Croft BTCC: Hill cruises to commanding Race 2 win over Moffat

Jake Hill broke his 2021 wins duck in style in the second British Touring Car Championship race at Croft by sailing to victory as war broke out behind him.

Once he found a way past Aiden Moffat’s polesitting Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 on the opening lap, Hill was in a class of his own as he extended an eventual winning advantage of 5.508 seconds over the Scot.

Hill, second in the opening race, was carrying 66kg of success ballast aboard his Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus, with Moffat on the full whack of 75kg.

Hill was able to draw alongside on the run to the first corner, where there was minor contact before he dropped back in behind Moffat.

He then got a run out of Sunny, drawing alongside Moffat and claiming the inside line – and the lead – at the right-handed curve in the complex.

The race soon went under the safety car, with the luckless Rory Butcher stranded on the complex grass with a damaged Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla, and Tom Oliphant stopped at the exit of the chicane after shearing the right-rear suspension of his West Surrey Racing BMW 330i M Sport on a kerb.

Hill judged the restart perfectly, and was 1.794s ahead of Moffat by the end of the first lap of the restart, before pulling ever further clear.

“It was a similar thing to race one,” said Hill, “but the only difference was that we were better with the [success] weight than Aiden. Fair play to him – he gave me room.”

“I’ve got respect for Jake, and I think it works both ways,” added Moffat. “We can lean on each other, but nothing stupid.”

While Hill scampered clear, Josh Cook shouldered his way ahead of the sister BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R of Senna Proctor into Sunny on the fourth lap after the restart and set off after Moffat.

Cook, with 39kg of ballast on his Honda, was soon putting the heavier Infiniti of Moffat under pressure, but the resolute Scot was defending superbly.

At the end of the 12th lap of 18, Cook had to check up behind Moffat at the hairpin, then buzzed the rev limiter in first gear, and the chasing pack – most of whom were on soft option tyres compared to the medium-shod leading trio – concertina-ed up behind.

That culminated in Colin Turkington, fourth at that point, being shouldered into the gravel at Clervaux by contact with Gordon Shedden, and Proctor losing out too.

Remarkably, championship leader Ash Sutton, who had just been demoted from sixth to eighth when a Shedden lunge at Tower opened the door for Tom Ingram to follow through, found himself up in fourth place.

While Cook finished third – and had to climb out of his Honda’s window due to damage to his door – it was Ingram who ended up fourth.

Pre-weekend points runner-up Ingram charged from 12th on the grid in his battle-scarred Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, after diving inside Sutton at the hairpin with four laps remaining.

Sutton was fifth, Shedden brought his Team Dynamics Honda home in sixth, while Turkington had to get feisty to recover seventh – he finished with a misfire on his WSR BMW, but has been drawn on reversed-grid pole.

The rest of the top 10 were Proctor, Chris Smiley (Excelr8 Hyundai) and Adam Morgan (Ciceley Motorsport BMW).

Croft BTCC Race 2 results - 18 laps

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Croft BTCC: Moffat soaks up Hill pressure to win Race 1

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