Brands Hatch BTCC: Cook defeats Proctor as Sutton extends lead

Josh Cook claimed victory in the first race of the British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch, as Ash Sutton extended his points lead with two races remaining.

Brands Hatch BTCC: Cook defeats Proctor as Sutton extends lead

Cook, who had the slenderest of mathematical chances of the crown entering the weekend, lined up second behind the sister BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R of Senna Proctor, but demoted the Yorkshireman into Druids on the opening lap.

Cook, carrying 39kg of success ballast on the Honda, could not pull out a gap on Proctor, but was not challenged on his way to victory by 0.639 seconds.

Attentions instead turned to Gordon Shedden, who got past Team Dynamics Honda teammate Dan Rowbottom for third into Paddock Hill Bend on the second lap.

Shedden then set fastest lap as he closed on the BTC Honda pair, before the safety car appeared due to Andy Neate – who announced his retirement from BTCC competition this morning – going off in the gravel at Druids.

The safety car appeared to take the sting out of the contest and, while Proctor couldn’t get a run on Cook, neither could Shedden on Proctor.

Dan Lloyd took advantage of Shedden’s move on Rowbottom to slip his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra into fourth place at Druids, and held position from there in a processional contest.

Sutton brought his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 home in sixth place ahead of Colin Turkington, while 12th place for Jake Hill and 13th for Tom Ingram mean that they, along with Cook, are now out of contention for the title, which is between Sutton and Turkington.

Turkington jinked his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport inside Aiden Moffat’s LTR Infiniti at Paddock for seventh on the opening lap, and applied pressure to Sutton early on, but the Infiniti drew away after the safety car.

Tom Chilton was ninth in his Ciceley Motorsport BMW, while Stephen Jelley’s WSR BMW followed him for most of the race.

Jelley’s car sounded off-song in the closing stages and he slid down the order, promoting a ferocious scrap between Ollie Jackson’s Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus and Tom Oliphant’s WSR BMW.

Jackson pipped Oliphant to 10th, while Hill held off a ferocious attack from Ingram for 12th, which included a nerf at Clearways as they passed the slowing Jelley.

The result secured BMW its sixth successive BTCC manufacturers' crown, while Laser Tools Racing wrapped up the Independent teams' title.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Chassis Gap
1 United Kingdom Josh Cook
2 United Kingdom Senna Proctor
0.639
3 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden
1.522
4 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd
2.387
5 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom
3.021
6 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton
4.721
7 United Kingdom Colin Turkington
6.673
8 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat
8.081
9 United Kingdom Tom Chilton
9.598
10 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson
17.350
11 United Kingdom Tom Oliphant
17.538
12 United Kingdom Jake Hill
18.454
13 United Kingdom Tom Ingram
18.644
14 United Kingdom Adam Morgan
18.784
15 United Kingdom Chris Smiley
18.803
16 United Kingdom Rory Butcher
19.148
17 United Kingdom Jack Goff
19.981
18 Sam Osborne
21.685
19 United Kingdom Jason Plato
22.147
20 United Kingdom Sam Smelt
22.911
21 United Kingdom Jack Mitchell Jr.
25.044
22 United Kingdom Carl Boardley
30.495
23 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley
30.797
24 Rick Parfitt Jr.
30.975
25 Andy Wilmot
37.693
26 Jade Edwards
39.312
27 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith
1'13.399
Nicolas Hamilton
5 Laps
Andy Neate
13 Laps
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Brands Hatch BTCC: Proctor leads Honda 1-2-3-4, Sutton heads title contenders
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