With the final round of the 2021 BTCC completed, many ‘Winners and Losers’ emerged at Brands Hatch concluded either on highs or lows.
There were five initial contenders for the overall British Touring Car Championship title, preparing the finale weekend with tension already on the plate.
Brands Hatch GP gave us a thrilling display of wheel-to-wheel racing to match the drama.
Furthermore, certain drivers managed a conclusion on a pleasant note whereas others did not get to that
We take a took at the winners and the losers from an action pack final weekend.
Winner: Ash Sutton
Having won the championship by the end of Race 2, Ash Sutton was on fire the entire weekend.
A solid qualifying and two brilliantly-calculated and mature drives meant he won both races and with that, secured enough points to be crowned champion before the final race of the day.
Sutton made it very clear in interviews after the race that he was staying in the BTCC and wanted to become a legend of the sport.
Laser Tools Racing, his current team, will be more than up for a fight to keep the young talent in their ranks.
Loser: Rory Butcher
It was a weekend to forget for Rory Butcher.
Many people were putting their bets on him to pull out some incredible performances, similar to what he managed at Silverstone, but he simply wasn’t fast enough and his Toyota was notably off the pace from the front runners.
Butcher looked to be struggling in Free Practice and Qualifying, but although his team remained confident that the races would yield better results, they failed to materialise.
This weekend sums up his season: anticlimactic.
Winner: Dan Rowbottom
Having won the Jack Sears Trophy a few rounds before the finale, Dan Rowbottom came into the final weekend with nothing to lose.
He put up a brilliant fight in all three races finishing well inside the points.
Rowbottom is looking like a serious contender for Sutton’s crown next year, what with the year’s extra experience in the championship he now has and with no need to focus on the Jack Sears next season, he could well be a force to be reckoned with.
Loser: Jade Edwards
Her debut full-time season ended up being plagued with unavoidable incidents and heartbreak.
As one of the championship’s newest arrivals, a lot was expected of her when she joined BTC Racing alongside Senna Proctor and Josh Cook. But, she was more than often involved in other people’s mistakes – even if they were simply their’s.
This was no different at Brands Hatch after Edwards finished outside the points in three races.
Edwards will be looking to up her game significantly for next year, if she chooses to stay on, to be fighting at the sharper end of the field with Cook and Proctor – somewhere she hasn’t done so far at all this year, nevermind at Brands.
Winner: Tom Chilton
Tom Chilton was as surprised as everyone else when he put his Ciceley Motorsport BMW into the top-10 in qualifying.
A particular struggle for him was to dial in the one lap pace across the whole season, so he managed it right at least where it mattered during the finale weekend.
To add to this, Chilton maintained this new found pace in all three races after finishing in the top 10 in every one of them.
His most brilliant performances in the very final race got him a best-ever sixth position.
Chilton’s future looked uncertain before the last weekend of the championship, but there is light at the end of the tunnel now after showing what he is truly capable of in a rear-wheel drive car.
Loser: Rick Parfitt
After recovering from a back injury that left him out of the Croft weekend, Rick Parfitt would have wanted to end his debut season in the BTCC off in a positive manor.
Parfitt never really caught onto the pace of the rest of the field and was struggling throughout the weekend to keep his Hyundai off the bottom of the pack.
To make things worse, an engine issue forced him to not even start the third and final race of the year.
Could this spell the end for Rick Parfitt? Or will we see him back again for more next season?
Winner: Daniel Lloyd
Power Maxed Racing has really come alive at the closing events of the season.
With championship veteran Jason Plato struggling overall, Dan Lloyd stepped up to the plate and delivered some fantastic results.
Consistent points finishes throughout the weekend allowed him to have his second best weekend in the championship so far only bested by Silverstone.
Lloyd will be looking to see if Power Maxed are up to the task of delivering a championship contending car next year, or if a move elsewhere will suit his desire to win.
— BTCC (@BTCC) October 24, 2021
Loser: Senna Proctor
After surprising everyone and sticking his BTC Racing Honda on pole just in front of his teammate Josh Cook, Senna Proctor looked to have started a weekend where he would be fighting for podiums.
Race 1 was brilliant, with a superb defensive drive to come home second only to his teammate, Josh Cook.
However it all unravelled come Race 2, as he made contact with another car at Druids and was sent into the gravel and consequently, into an early retirement.
Race 3 was no better, struggling for pace and looking like he was carrying a problem, Proctor could only summon 19th after what looked promising only a day before.