BTCC Brands Hatch GP: Sutton cruises to action-packed race win

Recently-crowned BTCC Champion Ash Sutton took the victory at the final race of the season, Round 30 at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

As the red lights went out for the final time, Stephen Jelley managed to get the best start of the front four and maintains his lead.

Carl Boardley in his Infiniti went around following contact with Jack Goff. He was able to get his stricken Laser Tools Racing machine facing the right way again afterwards.

Jelley led by the end of Lap 1 despite withstanding immense pressure from Sutton.

Turkington is then spun around after being put on the grass by the Toyota of Rory Butcher, as the BMW driver returned to the pits to try and save his race.

Daniel Rowbottom attempted to make a move on Sutton just before the Grand Prix loop but Sutton denied letting his guard down to the 2021 Jack Sears Trophy champion.

Rowbottom then made an opportunistic move around the outside of Druids to take second place off Jelley.

This gave Sutton a chance to charge away into the distance with Jelley dropped places to both Josh Cook and Tom Ingram.

Aiden Moffat and Jack Mitchell both had separate crashes on Lap 6 to bring out the safety car which extended the race distance from 15 to 18 laps.

Moffat was able to drive away whilst Mitchell’s car was beached in the gravel.

The safety car came in on Lap 15 as Sutton pulled a 0.6 second gap to Rowbottom’s Honda at the restart.

Stephen Jelley was spun around by Jake Hill coming out of Graham Hill which set the pole-sitter down the order.

Ingram’s weightless Hyundai flew past the ballast-laden Ciceley BMW of Tom Chilton.

Cook followed Ingram through, but lost out to Ingram again in the final corner as they passed the pit straight.

Jake Hill set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 13. He was sat in 4th with potential to catch Ingram with a 0.8 second gap separating the two.

By the next lap, Sutton managed a 1.8 second gap to Rowbottom at the sharp end of the field.

Ingram looked like he would not catch Rowbottom, but he closed the gap down to just 0.2 seconds by with two laps remaining.

Their battle for second was the main fight until the end of the race with Ingram flashing his lights in anger to try and get Rowbottom unsettled.

By the end of the race, Sutton was over two seconds ahead and he won the final race of the 2021 championship season.

The final corner battle for second came down to the wire, with Ingram marginally out on second to Rowbottom.

MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill finished fourth ahead of Josh Cook and Tom Chilton with his best finishing spot of the season.

Gordon Shedden finished seventh ahead of Team HARD’s Jack Goff and Toyota GAZOO Racing’s Rory Butcher.

PMR’s Jason Plato rounded off the top-10 order.

This race also marked the last before the hybrid era next year which will introduce ‘push-to-pass’ to each car.

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