Championship contenders Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan both hit trouble on a dramatic weekend at Knockhill as the championship battle closed up at the top of the table. Just 11 points separate Turkington in 1st and Dan Cammish in 3rd with six races left of the 2019 season.
Race one saw Rory Butcher defend brilliantly from PIRTEK Racing’s Andrew Jordan in a nail-biting last lap which saw Jordan pass Butcher up the pit straight before the AmD Tuning driver and home hero retook the lead from Jordan, who took too much speed into Duffus Dip. Butcher went on to win his third race of the season with Jordan in second Cammish in third.
Race two saw Andrew Jordan jump Butcher off the line at the start and never look back as the BMW 3 Series was supreme. Jordan who looked assured in the lead of the race was well clear of the drama playing out behind as first Cammish, and then Turkington passed the ballast-laden Butcher. Turkington briefly took 3rd place from Butcher across the start/finish line but the AmD Tuning driver fought back in the opening corners of the lap, and the pair made contact at McIntyres as Butcher tapped the back-right corner of Turkington’s car. Turkington spun into the gravel and fell back to 27th before recovering to 19th at the flag and Butcher received a five-place grid penalty.
With just four points now separating Turkington and Jordan before the start of race three the stage was set for a new championship leader leaving Knockhill. However, Jordan made contact with the spinning Subaru Levorg of Senna Proctor on the opening lap and retired from the race after ending up the in the gravel trap. The race was won by Jake Hill, who secured his first-ever BTCC win with Josh Cook and Adam Morgan completing the podium. Turkington recovered from 19th to 10th at the flag.
The next round of the BTCC takes place at Silverstone on the 28th/29th September.
Quotes From The Drivers After Knockhill.
Rory Butcher said: “I’m so happy to secure that win in front of my home crowd – it’s incredible. I managed to make a gap through sector two which kept me safe, until that ding-dong on the last lap. I’m at home here. Everything that’s happened behind the scenes with Sam (Tordoff) is so upsetting, so it’s fantastic to do that for them. It was a shame what happened with Turkington. I initially made the move to go up the inside. As we got close to the corner I could sense Colin (Turkington) was going to turn in and I tried to back out. I don’t like that. I’ve got a massive amount of respect for Colin and I hope he managed to recover.”
Andrew Jordan said: “I was going forward on a mission and now we fight. That is the best touring car I’ve ever driven. It was just on absolute rails. I don’t care about anyone else during the race and I’m just trying to win it. If Colin was second behind me or down in 15th, it doesn’t matter. Obviously, it’s what we needed. You couldn’t write it could you. That’s why it’s the best championship around. I’m not going to worry about race three. We’re in a fight now and I’ll take the positives. I’ve been edging back up to Colin (Turkington). Dan (Cammish) is up there doing a top job too. This is what I do it for – it’s going to be incredibly tense. It’s time to roll the sleeves up.”
Jake Hill said: “It was a pleasure to have such a quick car beneath me. It was the first time I led for a restart in the BTCC. It’s the monkey off my back now and I wanted to win so badly. On the last lap I just misjudged it by a few millimetres and hit the gravel. I kept my foot in and held it! I can’t describe how good this result is for AmD and TradePriceCars.com. I’m overwhelmed. This win is for little Arlo Tordoff. I’m thinking of you Sam and Georgie.”
Colin Turkington said: “With three races in a day, it’s full of ups and downs, especially around Knockhill with 30 cars on such a short, tight track. I don’t know if I was unlucky or what in race two. Through no fault of my own I was put out of the race. That meant I sacrificed a huge amount of points in races two and three. This is how it goes. At least I was able to recover some points in race three but it’s so frustrating. You’re always managing risk in the BTCC. We know it’s about consistently scoring points and playing the long game. That can control how you drive and you take risks when you need to and go for it when your back’s against the wall. You just have to drive accordingly. We’re still where we need to be. Every driver has their ‘ifs, buts and maybes’, you’ve just got to come out a weekend still in the game.”
Dan Cammish said: “That was my 11th podium in 17 attempts. I’m not a serial winner but we’re maximising what we’ve got. We made changes and we could have gone further. What happened to Colin (Turkington) is obviously a shame. I don’t want to see him backwards in my mirrors but I’d be lying if I said one part of me wasn’t delighted. It’s brought me closer, and it’s certainly brought Andy (Jordan) closer. The car is consistently strong. It digs out results when others don’t and that’s how you win titles. We go well at Silverstone and Brands Hatch. If I’m anywhere near, the top two have got to watch out.”
Championship Top Ten After Knockhill
1 Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW 268
2 Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing 258
3 Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing 257
4 Josh COOK BTC Racing 238
5 Rory BUTCHER Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 227
6 Tom INGRAM Team Toyota GB with Ginsters 194
7 Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 183
8 Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing 174
9 Jason PLATO Power Maxed Racing 163