BTCC at Croft 2017

BTCC Croft Weekend 2017

The British Touring Car Championship cars and teams have just completed the BTCC Croft Weekend 2017, as the season reaches the end of the first half, supported by British F4, the Renault Clio Cup, the Ginetta GT4 Supercup and Ginetta Juniors. Although it’s the middle of June, Saturday saw wind and rain, and difficult racing conditions. Both Free Practice sessions saw Ashley Sutton top the times, no doubt giving him plenty of confidence for qualifying. However, rather than the best times, qualifying will be remembered for the incident that saw a number of cars spin on an oily patch on the circuit causing some heavy impacts, which saw the medical team help with getting some of the drivers out of their cars, with Aron Taylor-Smith, Luke Davenport and Jeff Smith being taken to hospital with injuries. I hope they all have full and speedy recoveries.

There was some movement within the teams, with Dan Lloyd having left, Josh Cook taking his seat, and Dennis Strandberg taking the vacant Parker Racing seat. Ashley Sutton’s good run continued with him taking pole in the shortened qualifying session from Colin Turkington.

Sunday saw a dry but windy day, and as the cars headed off for the first race, Sutton and Turkington made good starts, and managed to hold their positions right through the race, with Mat Jackson joining them on the podium. Further down the grid, there were plenty of incidents with contact between several cars, notably including team mates Josh Price and James Cole making contact a few laps after Price had made contact with Matt Neal.

The second race saw a better start for the King of Croft, Turkington, who was side by side with Sutton for much of the first lap before managing to pass him, and holding it to the end to claim his twelfth Croft win. Rob Collard completed the grid.

The final race of the weekend saw Ollie Jackson on pole, and Jackson had a good getaway but Mat Jackson managed to catch him after a safety car period, and kept the lead to take the win, with Sutton in second and his team mate Jason Plato in third. Matt Neal had a great run from eighteenth on the grid to fifth place.

The teams now go into the mid season break with Gordon Shedden still leading the championship from Rob Collard, with his team mate Colin Turkington just one point behind. Racing gets back under way at the end of July at Snetterton. Meanwhile, here are some photos from Croft.