BTCC Brands Hatch GP: Cook wins as Sutton secures third championship title

The penultimate round of the 2021 British Touring Car Championship gave Ash Sutton his third championship title and his second in-a-row.

It was a thriller of a second race at Brands Hatch featuring multiple dramas, tense battles, and another championship title for Ash Sutton for Laser Tools Racing.

Off the line, Ash Sutton made a brilliant start getting ahead of Colin Turkington as the slow-starting Dan Lloyd in front boxed in the Infiniti Q50.

Senna Proctor was tapped by Dan Lloyd at Druids sending his BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R with an uncontrollable lock up and consequently ended up in the gravel.

Ollie Jackson was spun around by Tom Chilton, the incident collected Tom Oliphant and Adam Morgan, putting both BMW’s out of the running as well.

Also involved was Rory Butcher in the Toyota and Tom Ingram in the Hyundai as well as his teammate Chris Smiley.

A noteworthy restart occurred once the incident had been cleared with marshalls still on the track and double-yellows waved around the circuit.

Consequent gaps in the field split the pack into four different groups.

Jake Hill was tapped wide on the opening lap as well and his recovery drive started on Lap 5 after the safety car had come in, starting with the dispatch of Jack Goff in the Cupra.

Daniel Rowbottom put in the fastest lap of the race on Lap 6, he was quickly overtaken by the charging Ford Focus ST of Hill.

Josh Cook led Lloyd and Shedden as Sutton settled around in 6th with just 10 laps to go.

Rory Butcher sent a huge lunge up the inside of Aiden Moffat coming into Druids, and the Toyota driver was sent rally-crossing across the infield, yet managed to save himself from collecting Moffat.

Rowbottom went wide into Druids allowing Turkington through after Sutton almost spun his Infiniti due to Rowbottom’s slow getaway on the corner exit.

With six laps to go, Josh Cook led the race by just over a half a second from the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall of Dan Lloyd.

Gordon Shedden in the third-placed Honda dropped back into the clutches of Turkington’s WSR BMW.

Nicholas Hamilton beached his CUPRA in the gravel on Lap 12 causing the second safety car of the race and increasing the lap distance to 18.

Aron Taylor-Smith became the first victim of the brutal kerbs at Brands Hatch after he was forced to pit with a front-left puncture.

The safety car pulled back into the pit lane at the end of Lap 15 and Josh Cook got a strong getaway in the weight-laden Honda to bridge a gap to Lloyd again.

Stephen Jelley was the biggest gainer having gained 15 positions from where he started by the penultimate lap.

With just one lap remaining, Ash Sutton held onto his 6th position to bring home his third British Touring Car Championship title and defends his 2020 crown.

Whilst it was a case of back-to-back titles for Laser Tools Racing and Ash Sutton, Cook came home with back-to-back wins.

This brought his total to more than anyone else in the whole championship this year at five.

With one race to go, Ash Sutton has been crowned BTCC champion from Colin Turkington and Tom Ingram in the overall standings.

Cook claimed his second win of the day followed by Lloyd and Sheddon for the podium places.

Turkington followed up ahead of Rowbottom, and crowned-champion Ash Sutton.

Rory Butcher finished seventh in front of Tom Chilton, Stephen Jelley.

Jake Hill rounded off the top-10 order.

Position Driver Team
1 (18 Laps) Josh Cook BTC Racing
2 Dan Lloyd
Power Maxed Racing
3 Gordon Shedden Team Dynamics
4 Colin Turkington Team BMW (C)
5 Daniel Rowbottom Team Dynamics
6 Ash Sutton
Laser Tools Racing
7 Rory Butcher
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
8 Tom Chilton
Ciceley Motorsport
9 Stephen Jelley Team BMW (C)
10 Jake Hill
MB Motorsport (C)
11 Jack Goff Team HARD
12 Tom Ingram
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13 Sam Smelt
Toyota GAZOO Racing UK (C)
14 Sam Osborne
Motorbase Performance (C)
15 Carl Boardley
Laser Tools Racing
16 Jade Edwards BTC Racing
17 Jack Mitchell Team HARD
18 Jason Plato
Power Maxed Racing
19 Andy Wilmot
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20 Árón Taylor-Smith Team HARD
21 Rick Parfitt Jr.
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22 Aiden Moffat
Laser Tools Racing
23 (DNF) Nicolas Hamilton Team HARD
24 (DNF) Chris Smiley
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25 (DNF) Andy Neate
Motorbase Performance (C)
26 (DNF) Senna Proctor BTC Racing
27 (DNF) Ollie Jackson
MB Motorsport (C)
28 (DNF) Tom Oliphant Team BMW (C)
29 (DNF) Adam Morgan
Ciceley Motorsport