BTCC 2016 at Thruxton

BTCC 2016 at Thruxton

Last weekend saw the cars and support races of the BTCC 2016 at Thruxton, in blistering hot sunshine. It felt a very different weekend from the last round at Donington, with the changeable weather swapped for constant warmth, although there was still plenty of exciting and unpredictable racing. Practice on Saturday saw Andrew Jordan and Tom Ingram top a session each before qualifying, where Tom Ingram took pole position, with Aiden Moffat and Matt Neal taking the next two places.

Sunday morning saw a large crowd at the circuit, no doubt swelled by the rather pleasant weather. Before the first race, Team BMR announced that they would not be racing at Thruxton, after the fuel leak from James Cole’s car at Donington, meaning that Jason Plato, Colin Turkington, Warren Scott and James Cole were not on the grid. The temperatures were soaring as the race started, and there was the usual close racing that is a hallmark of the BTCC series. However, the weather that had brought the spectators also brought incidents, with tyres appearing to struggle in the heat. There were a couple of tyre failures in quick succession with cars returning to the pits before Matt Neal suffered a tyre issue joining the main straight and, unable to get to the pits, ended up the centre of a series of collisions that saw a red flag and the end of the race, with the ever popular Adam Morgan winning the race, becoming the first driver to take two BTCC victories in 2016.

Adam Morgan in the first race at the BTCC Weekend at Thruxton, May 2016

The next race for the Halfords Yuasa Racing team was to get their pair of Hondas on the grid for race two after both sustaining a significant amount of damage in the first race, a heroic effort for the team saw both cars on the grid. I was standing beside them as the team prepared them for the race.

BTCC Weekend at Thruxton, May 2016

The second and third races had been reduced in length to twelve laps given the tyre issues, with a track temperature of 33 degrees. The second race was won by Andrew Jordan, with Rob Collard and Adam Morgan making up the podium, but it was the fourth place man who provided plenty of excitement. Gordon “Flash” Shedden had started in 23rd position from the 28 cars after his first race woes, and entertained the crowds by moving through the field to take fourth place. Another few laps and I suspect we would have seen a podium finish.

The third race saw Thruxton still looking busy, and the sun still shining. The grid formed up, with an expectant crowd.

BTCC Weekend at Thruxton, May 2016

BTCC Weekend at Thruxton, May 2016

Adam Morgan sealed a good weekend with a third podium finish, on the third step, with Matt Neal’s Sunday finishing better than it started with a second place behind Mat Jackson who followed Morgan’s feat of winning a second race in the series.

BTCC Weekend at Thruxton, May 2016

The support races in the Clio Cup, the Ginetta series and of course, British Formula Four meant a spectacular weekend for those who braved the Hampshire sun. The BTCC drivers go to the next round at Oulton Park in June with Matt Neal and Rob Collard topping the table.