The British Touring Car Championship is back! The BTCC Brands Hatch Opening Rounds 2018 were held last weekend at Brands Hatch, and after a pleasant Friday and Saturday, Sunday was a wet and murky day, but that did not distract from a fantastic opening three races for the season. As normal, the series is supported by the Renault Clio Cup, British Formula Four, the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Ginetta Juniors and the Porsche Carrera Cup.
Qualifying saw the fastest lap set by Dan Cammish, new to the series and racing for Honda Team Dynamics. However, a pit lane issue – Cammish drove through a red light and had his previous lap times discounted – meant that pole position went to Jack Goff ahead of Sam Tordoff and Colin Turkington. The top thirty cars were separated by less than a second.
The first race saw a good start by Goff who won the race from a charging Turkington who finished second ahead of Andrew Jordan.
By the time of the second race, the weather was turning and there were a few dry patches on an otherwise damp track. A few drivers took the risk and went out on slicks, which made for an incredible race. It turned out that the real ones to watch in this race were those starting near the back of the grid on slicks. The race turned out to be fantastically exciting and a great advert for the BTCC. In the end, the podium featured three drivers all of whom were on their first BTCC podium, with Senna Proctor going from 27th on the grid to 1st, Jake Hill from 25th to 2nd and Ollie Jackson from 12th to 3rd. Being a long time supporter of Team Hard, I was delighted to see the team get their first podium.
The final race of the weekend had Rob Austin on pole from Aiden Moffat and Tom Boardman. Another fantastic race saw a win for Tom Ingram from Adam Morgan and Rob Austin, and a fine fifth place for Mike Bushell who came close to claiming Team Hard’s second podium of the weekend. Bushell did win some silverware of the weekend though, winning the new #ForeverForward award for the most passes of the weekend.
A cracking start to the season, and plenty of excitement as the teams head to Donington at the end of April for the next rounds. Meanwhile, here are some photos from the weekend.