Butcher wins race three after Chilton penalty

7th April 2019

Cobra Sport AmD Autoaid/RCIB Insurance's Rory Butcher claimed victory in the final BTCC encounter at Brands Hatch after Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher's Tom Chilton was handed a post-race penalty.

Chilton crossed the finish line first on-the-road but in a post-race appeal was adjudged to have gained an advantage during contact with Matt Neal's Honda. Chilton failed to give the position back during the race itself and was therefore penalised by the addition of five seconds being added to his overall race time, handing Butcher with his first ever BTCC win.

Stephen Jelley incredibly took the lead when his BMW 125i M Sport blitzed from sixth on the grid and straight into P1 by the time the cars exited Druids for the first time, but he soon had Halfords Yuasa Racing's Neal on his tail.

Neal's Honda Civic Type R – running the softer Dunlop SportMaxx tyre – had the initial pace and was able to slip by Jelley at Clearways on lap seven. Chilton then repeated the trick at the same corner one lap later, and Jelley was now down to third.

Action further back saw two of today's big hitters forced out of contention when contact between Jake Hill's Audi and Ash Sutton's Subaru sent the latter's car spiralling into the barrier at Graham Hill Bend. 

Two laps later and Chilton was at the head of the field as Neal's tyres began to lose their ultimate pace. Chilton's Ford Focus seemingly clinched the position across the start/finish line on lap 13, but not before the contact was made resulting in the post-race penalty.

Neal's speed continued to dip and it all came to head when contact with Jelley's BMW sent the Honda sideways through Clearways, allowing the charging Rory Butcher past both of them in the older shaped Civic Type R, a move that would ultimately hand him victory.

Jelley and Neal continued their scrap and the latter faced last lap heartache when a wheel problem forced him to slow dramatically. Jelley went on to grab a hugely popular podium – his first since winning at Rockingham in 2009 and the first ever for Team Parker Racing in the BTCC.

Josh Cook took fourth and with it the overall lead in the Drivers' standings, whilst Team BMW duo Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant were next in the order.

Chris Smiley provided yet more joy for BTC Racing with seventh, which was just reward for the Northern Irishman after a day fighting back through the field following his race one accident.

Neal had to settle for eighth at the finish, with Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing) and Tom Ingram (Team Toyota GB with Ginsters) completing the top ten.

Rory Butcher said: "I felt quite calm today. We didn't qualify in the top ten but my strategy was to just chip away in the races. I knew Matt (Neal) would fade a little bit on the soft tyre. It's my first podium. Hopefully it'll be one of many. I had to capitalise. As soon as I got Matt and Stephen (Jelley) behind me, I knew I could drive away. We need to qualify a bit higher because when you're at the front it's most definitely easier. We've got the speed and the race-craft. We can do it."
Tom Chilton said: "A double podium's not bad is it? I didn't bother attacking Matt (Neal) until both of us made it by (Stephen) Jelley. I saw he was struggling at Surtees and I overtook and pulled away. The car was fantastic. I love the medium tyre and it just felt beautiful. I learned that move off Matt when he was my team-mate on lap three. We both got through cleanly and he held on until the inevitable and the soft tyre lost out. I'm very happy here in my second year. I love the team and my team-mates. The car's consistent and reliable and we'll keep clicking those gears."
Stephen Jelley said: "It's fantastic. Anything can happen in the BTCC. We were distraught yesterday and with the weather changing in race one we could have had a worse result than we did in the end. I was at the back so I bolted on the dry tyre instead of going with the wet.. I have no idea where the start came from. We're on the crest of a hill there and we got a good run, just lit up and I nearly went all the way around Proctor as well into turn one. The guys are sure of the regulations on that and we were very good out of Druids. There was a bit of contact so I thought I'd better give the place back and go from there. We've had enough bad luck so I'm not going to show too much sympathy for anybody else. We'll take it when it comes!"

2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch Indy

Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 24 laps
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +3.005s
3 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +7.926s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +11.510s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +11.967s
6 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +16.482s
Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +12.677s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +12.934s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +15.226s
10 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +19.664s
11 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +19.926s
12 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +20.321s
13 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +20.621s
14 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +20.827s
15 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +21.143s
16 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +25.052s
17 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +25.219s
18 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +25.690s
19 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +27.945s
20 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +35.384s
21 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +35.938s
22 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +36.417s
23 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +40.265
24 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 1 lap
25 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 1 lap
26 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport 3 laps
27 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com 9 laps
28 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher 12 laps
29 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing 14 laps
30 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport 21 laps

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