‘Old school’ Oulton Park challenge awaits TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK is heading to picturesque Oulton Park for the next instalment in the 2024 British Touring Car Championship campaign this weekend (22-23 June), with its sights firmly set on conquering the circuit’s notorious ‘old-school’ nature.
 
Located just east of Chester, Oulton is familiar territory indeed for Speedworks Motorsport – the team behind TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s BTCC effort – with its workshop based less than ten miles up the road in nearby Northwich. 
 
Despite that proximity, the two-time Independents’ title-winning outfit was frequently out-of-luck there until 2021, when Rory Butcher ended its home soil hoodoo with a commanding victory behind the wheel of the British-built Toyota Corolla GR Sport, backing that up with another podium performance ten months later. The team tallied a further six points-scoring finishes around the undulating and challenging 2.23-mile layout last year.
 
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s current drivers Rob Huff and Andrew Watson have similarly enjoyed plenty of success at Oulton in seasons past. Former FIA World Touring Car Champion Huff reached the rostrum there in Renault Clios in 2002, before triumphing at the track on his way to clinching the SEAT CUPRA Championship crown in 2003.
 
In his sole prior BTCC appearance at the circuit 20 years ago, the Cambridgeshire ace outqualified team-mate Jason Plato – the winningest driver in the history of the UK’s premier motor racing series – and then outscored him in the only race the pair both finished.
 
Northern Irishman Watson – the reigning Jack Sears Trophy winner – ascended the podium at Oulton in the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup and also has experience of the track in the British GT Championship. The 29-year-old Belfast native raced to a trio of points finishes there last season as a BTCC rookie.
 
Following Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session at 15:35 – streamed on ITV Sport’s YouTube channel – every moment of Sunday’s doorhandle-to-doorhandle action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, beginning at 11:45. All three races will similarly be shown on the ITV Sport TikTok channel, in the UK and globally.

Christian Dick, Team Principal, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK, said:
 
“It goes without saying that we always look forward to Oulton Park. It’s a circuit that has played such a huge role in Speedworks’ history as the place where it all began, and we invariably receive amazing support there from friends, family, fans and team partners. It’s the busiest weekend of the year for us – both on and off-track!
 
“Compared to the first three events of the season, Thruxton was clearly more of a struggle but it is such a unique circuit and we are confident that now returning to more of a ‘traditional’ track will enable Rob and Andrew to properly exploit the Corolla’s potential. Oulton is very much an ‘old-school’ challenge and the kind of place where good drivers and cars truly come to the fore, so we go there in optimistic mood and with the steadfast aim of adding to our 2024 trophy haul.”
 
Rob Huff, Driver, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK, said:
 
“I haven’t raced at Oulton Park that much – the last time was back in 2004, but it’s just the kind of challenge I relish. It’s fast-and-furious with very limited run-off or margin for error, and with the speed of the touring cars now, it’s going to feel very quick indeed compared to when I was last there in Super 2000 machinery!
 
“It’s one of the toughest and most technical tracks in the country, with plenty of elevation change and a lot of sweeping high-speed turns combined with probably two of the slowest corners on the calendar. It’s a little bit reminiscent of the infield section at Snetterton in some ways and the car was flying there, so I think it should suit the Corolla quite well.
 
“With no real straight lines, it isn’t difficult to defend at Oulton, so qualifying will be massively important – it’s not a circuit where you can easily recover from a bad start to the weekend. It really punishes any problems you encounter early on, making it essential to stay out of trouble.
 
“As a team, we are still searching for consistency and one of my personal targets is to make it into Q3 for the first time. To do that, we need to start off on the front foot and quickly get the car into a place where I’m feeling comfortable. If we can secure a couple of solid top six results in the first two races, we can then see where we shake out on the reversed grid for race three and go from there...”
 
Andrew Watson, Driver, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK, said:
 
“Oulton Park is a totally different kind of circuit to Thruxton, and I’m confident we will be quicker there. It’s really fun to drive – very fast and narrow with a lot of bumps and undulations, which gives you a great sense of speed and excitement. It’s pretty much got a bit of everything, and is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the calendar. It’s the kind of place where a good car-and-driver combination can scoop some serious points.
 
“The hybrid probably didn’t have as big an effect at Thruxton as we had been anticipating due to the high speeds around the lap; at Oulton, I think it will make a greater difference. We go there with a full allocation, and we’ve been very quick in qualifying this year so I’ll definitely be aiming for the front couple of rows on the grid and then to convert that into some silverware on race day.
 
“Honestly, it’s so tight in the BTCC that qualifying is always important; we’ve seen that in the reversed-grid races, where drivers that won earlier in the day often struggle to come through, but with a good car, the right tyres and a healthy dose of hybrid, I do believe overtaking will be possible at Oulton this weekend so whatever happens on Saturday, I think we will be in decent shape.
 
“Ultimately, this is still only my second season in the championship, and I have a tendency sometimes to forget that. I’m learning and improving all the time, and while I clearly haven’t maximised all the results so far this year, everything we are putting in-place will ultimately pay off, I’m very sure about that.”

Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing aiming high at Oulton Park

Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing is seeking to close out the first half of the 2024 season in style this weekend (June 22-23) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to Oulton Park.

The Vauxhall Astra squad heads to the picturesque Cheshire venue looking to not only extend its unbeaten record in the Independents’ Championship - which currently stands at 12 wins from 12 races - but also make its mark towards the very front of the grid.

Árón Taylor-Smith and Mikey Doble enter what will be the fifth meeting of the campaign with momentum on their side too, having both established themselves as regular top-ten finishers in the UK’s premier motorsport series.

Irishman Taylor-Smith claimed a clean sweep of Independent wins last time out at Thruxton to extend his lead in the standings and with Oulton Park having been a happy hunting ground for him in the past, he’s eager to deliver a standout result.

Across the garage, Doble has been the cream of the crop in the coveted Jack Sears Trophy this season and heads to the 2.23-mile Island circuit looking to further build on his commanding advantage in the points.

After solely running the hard tyre at Thruxton, Oulton Park will see the return of the option tyre this weekend, with both the ‘soft’ and the ‘hard’ Goodyear compounds being available to all drivers.

Qualifying will be broadcast on the ITV Sport YouTube channel on Saturday from 15:35 before all three races are aired LIVE on ITV4 on Sunday. Race one is scheduled to begin at 12:25 ahead of race two at 14:40 and race three at 17:25.

Árón Taylor-Smith: “Oulton Park is a real drivers circuit; it’s got a great mix of high and slow speed corners, the barriers are super close and for me, it really suits my driving style. I’ve had a few wins there in the past so it’s certainly treated me well.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back onto the soft tyre this weekend because it suits the Astra so well. To say I’m excited at what we could achieve is an understatement; the aim is to go into the summer break on a high and with a big haul of points.”

Mikey Doble: “As a circuit, Oulton Park is somewhere that demands a lot out of the driver and the car, and I think with the improvements we’ve made this season we’ll see stronger results than we achieved 12 months ago.

“Finishing inside the top ten is where we want to be and if we can come away with more silverware in both the Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy then that will be a great weekend for us.”

Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager: “It feels like only yesterday that we were starting the season and now here we are about to hit the halfway marker. It’s been a frenetic first half to the campaign, but one that has seen us make constant improvements.

“Going to Oulton Park we are optimistic that we can fight inside the top ten. The Vauxhall boasts a number of characteristics that suits the circuit and with the addition of the option tyres, we should be in a good place.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal: “Oulton Park hasn’t always been the happiest of hunting grounds for us as a team but I’m hopeful that we can shake that this weekend and come away with a strong set of results.

“Thruxton saw both drivers outline that we’ve made a clear step forward with the chassis so the aim is to ensure that we can progress that further. Rolling out with a strong package will be key and then we can work forward from there.”

Where to Watch: BTCC at Oulton Park

The 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns on-track this weekend at Oulton Park (22/23 June), here’s all the information you need to know to keep up with the action…

The 2024 grid headed to Thruxton just over a week ago for the fourth weekend of the season and the only event with the Goodyear hard tyre being the only tyre available. The sun continued to come and go giving various amounts of grip across both days due to fluctuating track temperatures.

Tom Ingram made the most of the conditions on Saturday to take pole but it would be Jake Hill that would make the most of the Sunday. The Kent racer taking two wins for the second event running and briefly taking the title lead after race two making him the highest points earner for two weekends on the bounce heading to his highest points round of 2023...

As we head into the fifth event of the year, there have been some line-up changes for teams and drivers during the off-season and across race weekends, it’s all to play for in 2024. To see all of this year’s line-up, click here.

This weekend’s race day action will feature on the home of the BTCC, ITV4, from 1145 on Sunday (23 June) while the ITV YouTube page will host qualifying on Saturday (22 June) from 15:20.

Worldwide, this weekend's races will feature live on the ITV Sport TikTok account, going live on the green flag lap before each race begins. Each race start time is currently as follows; 12:25, 14:40 and 17:25.

Check out the full TV schedule below, which includes all the information you need to catch ITV’s highlights programmes from the opening rounds.

Qualifying LIVE: Saturday 22 June

ITV Sport YouTube from 15:20

Raceday LIVE: Sunday 23 June
ITV4 & ITV4 HD
 11:45-18:15
ITV4 +1 12:45-19:15
ITVX 11:45-18:15

TikTok (UK times listed) Race 1: 12:25 - Race 2: 14:40 - Race 3: 17:25

Highlights:

Friday 28 June ITV4 18:30-20:00

Oulton Park set for thrilling BTCC action

Cheshire circuit to close fierce first half of the season

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship speeds into Oulton Park this weekend (22/23 June), as the Island circuit hosts Rounds 13, 14 & 15 of the 2024 season.

The BTCC season is already shaping up to be a classic with no fewer than seven race winners, with the most recent being reigning champion and current championship leader Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK). The nine podiums the No.1 has accrued this season is three more than any other driver.

Sutton is gunning for a record fifth BTCC title, as is Team BWM’s Colin Turkington. Highlighting just how tight this championship is, the dynamic duo were occupying the top two positions in the standings before Thruxton last time out, but the latter now sits fourth as we head to a historically BMW-friendly track.

Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) has climbed the standings over the last two race weekends, at one stage boasting four victories in five races across the Snetterton and Thruxton event. This leaves Hill second in the standings as we head to the circuit in which the No.24 scored a double victory in 2023, with his highest points tally of any round last season.

Oulton Park is a unique challenge, however, one manufacturer in particular enjoys an incredible record of producing the goods around the Cheshire rollercoaster.

Read on for more details on BMW's Oulton Park reign, TV times, circuit timetable and the all-important ticket information…

Beaming into the distance!

Turkington and winning at Oulton Park has seemingly become one of those inevitabilities in the BTCC over the years. The No.20 driver has amassed 11 victories at the Cheshire circuit, nine more than any other current driver. Turkington and BMW are top of the list in wins and podiums over the past five years.

Hill may be the favourite heading into this weekend though after scoring 62 points at Oulton Park last year. His highest points-scoring round by 19 points in 2023 and now heading to the circuit after four wins from the past two events, making him the highest points-scorer at both weekends.

Not only does the No.24 have all of the above to fuel him for success this weekend but he is also gunning for the 50th podium of his BTCC career. Hill currently sits second in the standings, five points behind Sutton, having briefly taken the championship lead after race two at Thruxton. Can Hill head to the top once again?

TV, Timetables and Tickets

A variety of support series will be heading to Oulton Park on what will be a bumper weekend of motorsport. The Porsche Sprint Cup returns after the championship's initial round coming at the heavily weather-affected Snetterton weekend.

Alongside is also the return of the Hagerty Radical Cup UK who, alongside the Porsche Sprint Cup, features once more after last being seen on the BTCC package at Snetterton.

Making their only appearance of the season is the Caterham Seven Championship UK which sees a fan-favourite produce intense racing once again at a BTCC event.

There’s no denying the headline act of course and that is the BTCC and its triple-header of races. To be there, just follow this links here to purchase your tickets through the Oulton Park website.

Those unable to make it can watch BTCC qualifying streamed live via ITV Sport’s YouTube channel from 1520 on Saturday, before ITV4’s all-day race day broadcast gets underway at 1145 on Sunday.

Remember, for the first time in the championship’s history the BTCC is being broadcast globally this season with every race being streamed live via ITV Sport’s TikTok channel. Look out for the races on Sunday starting at 1225, 1440 and 1725.

Hot streak continues for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport

Jake Hill took two victories and a fifth-place finish to move himself up to second in the Drivers' Championship at Thruxton before the next round at Oulton Park - his biggest points haul of 2023.

The No.24 had amassed four victories in five races between Snetterton and Thruxton and now heads to the circuit of his best weekend in 2023. Hill scored 62 points across the Oulton Park weekend last season - 19 more than his next best, Knockhill.

Arriving for the fourth and most recent round of the season at Thruxton, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport looked to continue their winning momentum from Snetterton, where Jake Hill took pole position and two victories around the Norfolk circuit.

Kicking the weekend off at the fastest circuit in the UK, Hill and the team were instantly up to speed as they finished the opening practice session in first place before following up with a sixth-place finish in the second and final practice session.

Another strong qualifying session saw Jake progress through the first two stages of the new-for-2024 qualifying format, and in the 'Quick Six' qualifying, Jake was able to secure a third-place starting position, marking his third top-four qualifying result of the season.

Sunday's opening race saw Jake line the grid from the second row, and he was able to get past both Cammish and Ingram off the line to take the lead of the race. As Jake began to stretch a healthy gap at the front of the field, the safety car was then called into action, and his almost two-second gap at the front was taken away as the pack formed behind the safety car.

Managing the safety car restart perfectly, Jake remained in first place and stayed there until the finish, taking the chequered flag and claiming the fastest lap to secure his third win of the season and a pole position start for the second race of the day.

Leading the pack away from the start lights, Jake was able to hold onto first place despite pressure from behind going through the first complex. Jake stayed at the front of the field until the halfway point of the race when he was passed by Tom Ingram, who had the hybrid advantage, and was demoted to second place.

Remaining in second place until the finish, Jake was then given the victory after Tom Ingram was handed a post-race penalty.

This victory marked Jake's fourth race win of the season and his fourth in five races, shooting him up the championship standings and making him the most successful driver so far this season!

For the final race of the day, Jake was given an 8th-place starting position in the reverse grid draw and got a good launch off the line but was boxed out as he tried to manoeuvre past the cars ahead.

With several great on-track battles, Jake progressed up the order to take the chequered flag in fifth place to round out a sensational race day at Thruxton.

Two victories and 54 points collected on Sunday saw Jake depart Thruxton second in the Drivers' Championship, just five points adrift of the top of the standings, as the championship heads for Oulton Park, this week, for the fifth round of the season (22-23 June).

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport said,

"What a weekend! We came to Thruxton expecting it to be one of our weaker circuits and departed with it being our most successful round so far this season. All of the hard work is starting to pay dividends, and the balance of the car gave me so much confidence in qualifying and the races, so a huge thank you to Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, WSR, and my engineer Craig Porley.

There's a long way to go in the championship, so we can't get carried away with our recent successes. We just need to take it one weekend at a time and make sure we are bringing our best to every circuit to stay in this championship fight."

"We can all be very proud of our trip to Thruxton. We knew the challenges the circuit possesses, and Jake and the team finely rose to the occasion. The margins in the championship are so fine, and since Brands Hatch, everyone in the team has worked so hard to ensure we maximize every bit of potential.

Now we must ensure that we're performing at this high level at every circuit to remain competitive in the championship race. There will be many challenges ahead of us, but I'm fully confident in our ability as a team to keep this momentum rolling.

A huge thank you to all of the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport and WSR team for their efforts this past weekend and, of course, to all of our fans and partners that keep us on track."

British Touring Car Stars to join Kwik Fit at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2024

The UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company is gearing up for another successful show at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year. In 2023, Kwik Fit welcomed hundreds of motorsport enthusiasts to take part in the BTCC activations running across the four-day spectacle.

Similar to last year, the Kwik Fit stand will host some familiar faces to the BTCC grid. They will be featuring in live Q&A sessions, interviews, competitions and autograph sessions.

The line-up includes the likes of reigning and four-time champion Ash Sutton, 2022 champ Tom Ingram, race winners Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom and many more.

Ash Sutton, reigning and four-time BTCC Champion, said: “I’m always excited to join Kwik Fit at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We saw so many BTCC fans come out and visit us last year and we’ll be looking forward to seeing even more this time around.”

Tom Ingram, 2022 BTCC Champion, added: “Goodwood is always a lot of fun and I recommend any BTCC or motorsport enthusiast to join us down at Kwik Fit. It a great opportunity to win some fantastic prizes, battle us drivers on the simulators or watch a live podcast style Q&A. We hope to see many of you there!”

With just over a month to go until one of the UK’s biggest motorsport festivals the count down is on!

More information will follow over the coming weeks with the final Kwik Fit four-day timetable due to be launched nearer the event.

Events and activities hosted by Kwik Fit will be available to view via the Goodwood Motorsport App during the Festival of Speed in order for visitors to add to their personalised timetables, while those unable to attend can keep up to speed with the latest action via Kwik Fit’s social media channels.

For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.

Double podium and JST win for Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS secured plenty of silverware from the fourth meeting of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Thruxton, with two podium finishes and victory in the Jack Sears Trophy.

On a weekend where the team celebrated its 100th race with title partner Bristol Street Motors, things started in promising fashion in free practice, with Tom Ingram - running the #100 to celebrate the milestone, as well as Bristol Street Motors’ centenary - topping the times during the second session.

With Tom Chilton also lapping inside the top ten and Ronan Pearson not far behind, confidence was high going into qualifying, where Ingram and Chilton both made it through to the final Quick Six shootout for pole.

Despite limited hybrid due to his championship position, Ingram stormed to pole by more than a quarter of a second, with Chilton ending up in sixth spot for his best qualifying result since Silverstone last year.

For Pearson and Nick Halstead however, it would be a more difficult session, with Halstead ending up 19th on the grid having dropped out of the session in Q1 and Pearson failing to even leave the pits due to an unfortunate throttle issue on his car.

A tough start to race one saw Ingram overhauled off the line when the lights went out as he slipped back to fourth, which is where he would ultimately then finish having put pressure on defending champion Ash Sutton following an early caution period to move a tyre stack dislodged at the chicane.

Chilton meanwhile moved up into fifth spot on the opening lap of the race but was overhauled by both Dan Rowbottom and Josh Cook after the restart to leave him in seventh spot. Post-race, Rowbottom was penalised for having drawn alongside Chilton too early on the restart, resulting in him being demoted in the result and moving Chilton up into P6.

The dislodged tyre stack on lap one proved to be beneficial to Pearson as he took advantage of cars scattering in front of him to make up five spots and jump into the points, ultimately taking the finish in 15th place. Halstead was able to stay out of trouble to bring his car to the flag in 19th.

A fine start in race two saw Ingram battling for third spot with Dan Cammish going into the chicane.

Overhauling Sutton when he picked up damage to his splitter, Ingram then drew up to leader Jake Hill before taking the lead with a fine move at Church, going on to secure a 30th career win.

Post race however, Ingram was handed a two-place penalty for gaining an unfair advantage when passing Cammish, which demoted him back to third spot.

Shuffled back to eighth on the opening lap, Chilton ran strongly in the midfield pack but would ultimately slip to just outside the top ten by the finish, putting him directly ahead of Pearson after a strong showing from the Scot saw him battle back from a difficult start - where he dropped down to 18th place - to rise up into twelfth.

Halstead repeated his result from the earlier race, taking the flag in 19th, but lapping nearly a second quicker than he had in race one.

The final race of the weekend kicked off with Ingram lining up in eighth place on the reverse grid and he was soon making up places, with impressive moves on Jake Hill and Josh Cook helping him work his way up into fifth. A strong move around the outside into the chicane then resulted in Ingram grabbing fourth from Colin Turkington before he repeated the move on Adam Morgan a lap later.

Ingram would ultimately grab third spot before taking the flag for a second podium finish of the weekend, to remain third in the championship standings going into the next round.

Chilton ran in the top ten in the early stages before a small battery fire forced him to pull off and retire the car, meaning it was Pearson who was the second Hyundai home as he completed his comeback from the issue in qualifying with a solid tenth place. That meant he was the highest scoring Jack Sears Trophy driver from the weekend to secure the round win.

Unfortunately for Halstead, the weekend would end in disappointing fashion when he put a wheel on the grass on the high-speed run through Goodwood and went off into the tyres, leaving him shaken but uninjured.

Tom Chilton, #3 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said:
“Thruxton has been a blast, particularly Saturday when we made it through to Q3. I gave it everything in that session and it was a lot of fun at the wheel of the car. The first race was a good way to start things off despite some contact from a few drivers that I think stopped us from finishing higher, but race two was more of a struggle.

“The circuit conditions changed a lot between the two races and we were just outside the window, which meant I dropped down the order to P11. Then, in race three, we had a battery failure which caused a small fire and killed all the electrics which meant there was no power steering into turn one, which was an experience. I’m gutted not to finish the race as we could have potentially come through the pack, but we’ll take the positives from Saturday and look ahead to the next one.”

Ronan Pearson, #14 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said:
“I wasn’t feeling in a good place after qualifying so to come back from the disappointment of Saturday and race through the field into the top ten - and win the Jack Sears Trophy - is really pleasing. This isn’t the easiest circuit for overtaking, so the fact that we managed to make up ten spots from where we started is really pleasing, and there were moves I made that I certainly wouldn’t have felt confident making twelve months ago.

“The Jack Sears Trophy has been my big focus this season so it’s great to get a first round win of the season under my belt and we’ve also been able to claw some points back in the standings. Like Brands Hatch, this weekend has shown how important it is not to give up, and we’ve battled back well."

Nick Halstead, #22 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said:
“I’m going to feel a bit sore in the morning but pulled muscles are fixable and the car is fixable. The final race had been a tough one as I was suffering with understeer, and I just got a wheel on the grass at one of the fastest parts of the circuit where there is no margin for a mistake. Unfortunately it was at a point where the barriers come closer to the track and there was no way to avoid a big hit.

“This is a circuit where I’ve not done anywhere near as many laps as everywhere else and is always going to be my most difficult weekend of the season. I’d made progress compared to last season, which is the positive for me to take away from the meeting, and now I’ll just look forward to Oulton Park and a circuit that I’m much more comfortable around.”

Tom Ingram, #100 Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 Fastback N, said:
“Obviously I’m disappointed to have lost the win in race two because I felt that avoiding the potential of a collision was the best thing to do. Dan had rolled off the brakes after the first part of the chicane to try and edge back ahead, so cutting the chicane made sure there was no contact between us - and ultimately I got penalised for it.

“Despite that, we’ve actually come away from the weekend with a decent haul of points on the board, which is the key thing we need to be doing at this stage of the season. Our pace was clear to see in qualifying on Saturday and although I didn’t get away as well as I hoped in race one, we had good pace in the race to bring it home in fourth.

“The reverse grid race was also pleasing as we made some really good moves to make our way through into the top four before being forced wide, and to end up with a double podium means we’ve retained our championship position heading to Oulton Park next time out.”

Justina Williams, Team Owner, said:
“It’s frustrating that some decisions haven’t gone our way today and have ultimately cost us a race win that our pace deserved, as once again the Hyundai has shown its speed this weekend. We’ve performed well across race day and to come away with two podium finishes and the Jack Sears Trophy is really pleasing although by the same score, we know it could have been even more.

“Of course the big positive is that Nick if okay after a big hit in the final race of the weekend, and we’ll have his car fighting fit and ready to go for Oulton Park in a few weeks time.”

BTCC’s ‘King of Thruxton’ speeds to trio of top six finishes

Josh Cook continued his stellar form at his home circuit of Thruxton last weekend (8-9 June), fighting hard to secure a full house of top six finishes in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship behind the wheel of his LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport.
 
Cook has always been a contender at Thruxton – the fastest track in the country – and he duly lined up eighth on the grid amongst the 20 high-calibre protagonists in qualifying. He missed out on advancing to the session’s final phase – the ‘Quick Six’ – by a scant 14 thousandths-of-a-second, or in layman’s terms, next-to-nothing.
 
In front of the live ITV4 cameras and a capacity trackside crowd the next day, passes on Adam Morgan and Tom Chilton saw the Bath-born ace – two times an Independents’ title-winner in the UK’s premier motor racing series – climb to sixth in the curtain-raising contest, prior to being elevated to fifth when another driver picked up a penalty. The third-quickest lap time – bettered only by the top two finishers – further underscored Cook’s mastery of the daunting Hampshire circuit.
 
The 32-year-old fleetingly ran fourth in race two as he took advantage of a squabble ahead. For a while, he looked like he might mount a threat for the podium, before slipping back to sixth and thereafter artfully fending off four-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington to the close. He repeated that result in the weekend’s finale, in which he featured as high as second over the course of a feisty opening few laps and put Morgan under intense pressure for the lead.
 
In the sister British-built Corolla – prepared by Northwich, Cheshire-based Speedworks Motorsport – team-mate Aiden Moffat was denied a late chance to escape Q1 in qualifying by yellow flags that thwarted the Scot’s efforts to improve, leaving him a frustrated 14thon the grid.
 
With overtaking no easy task around Thruxton, the 27-year-old Dalkeith native took the chequered flag in the same position in race one – engaging in a prolonged duel with fellow Toyota driver Andrew Watson along the way – and then progressed to finish 12th in race two. 
 
Moffat was on the move again in race three and had just passed Chilton for ninth on lap two when the lightest of contact between the pair pitched him off the road at high speed at Church corner. Despite skilfully keeping his Toyota away from the barriers, the delay sent him plummeting well down the order, from where he recovered to 15th to sneak the final point on offer.
 
LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ will travel next to Speedworks’ home circuit of Oulton Park on 22-23 June, for the final event ahead of the BTCC’s traditional summer break.
 
Christian Dick, Team Principal, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:
 
“After the high of the double podium and all-Toyota top three finish at Snetterton, it was always going to be a tall order to replicate that kind of form at Thruxton, but we certainly gave it our best shot and it was encouraging to see Josh fighting right up towards the sharp end throughout race day.
 
“We all know how quick he is around there, and he consistently hustled every last drop of performance out of the Corolla to achieve three very strong finishes that keep him firmly in contention in the championship standings.
 
“Aiden obviously had a trickier weekend, and when you start further back at Thruxton, it’s tough to come through as the field is so closely-bunched and overtaking is difficult. He was going really well in race three until the contact with Chilton, which denied him a top ten result, but thankfully there was no damage to the car and he will come back stronger at Oulton Park, I have no doubt.”
 
Josh Cook, Driver, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:
 
“It wasn’t a bad weekend overall – just not quite as good as we had been hoping for. I had a bit of a feeling going to Thruxton that it wouldn’t necessarily be our strongest circuit, and while we took steps forward in every session, we were missing a little bit of balance and grip through the high-speed sections. It’s always such fine margins there – you’re fighting for less than a tenth-of-a-second – and it’s so fast-and-flowing out the back of the lap that if you’re not completely in the window, it soon adds up.
 
“I went into Sunday targeting three solid points scores, which we achieved and I think we extracted the maximum out of what we had, but ultimately we just weren’t quite quick enough. The Corolla is still new to me, though, and the positive is that we’re making it better every time – Thruxton was the happiest I’ve felt in the car so far.
 
“We’re obviously not there yet, but it’s been a steady start to the season and we’ve been working methodically and slowly building. Whilst I clearly want to be up there winning, the most important thing is to make sure we are playing the long game and focussing on the bigger picture, and hopefully that approach will pay off in the end.”
 
Aiden Moffat, Driver, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ, said:
 
“That was what I guess you would call a character-building weekend! We travelled to Thruxton aiming to keep the momentum going from our success at Snetterton, but at the same time, mindful that it was a very different kind of circuit that might not play to our advantage quite so much.
 
“Sadly, that turned out to be the case, and following another ‘tyre-saving’ Saturday, when we had some issues with the rear of the car and consequently struggled for speed, we went into Sunday fully focussed on moving forward.
 
“We scored a few points in races one and two and looked like coming away with a significantly bigger haul from race three, which would have been a good way to finish the weekend but then we had the contact with Chilton at Church, and that really isn’t the kind of place where you want to be sent spinning across the grass! Luckily we didn’t hit anything and were able to recover, but by that stage, any chance of a decent result was gone.
 
“That was obviously disappointing just as we had seemed to finally be getting somewhere, but let’s take the positives from the weekend and move on to Oulton Park, where we will hopefully be more competitive.”

Kids in Motorsport: Inspiring the next generation

In case you missed it, another hugely successful 'Kids in Motorsport presented by Kwik Fit' event took place at Thruxton ahead of the BTCC race weekend and it's something we're extremely proud to be a part of.

Entertainment, engagement and education were the themes throughout day and you can read our full story here or watch the short video below:

You can also see our full gallery of images from the latest Kids in Motorsport event below:

Huge crowd enjoys high-speed BTCC drama in Hampshire

Sutton and Hill share the spoils as title chasing duo top the table

Jake Hill has enjoyed one of the best fortnights of his BTCC career, having followed up his Snetterton double victory last time out with another here at Thruxton today (9 June).

Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship were not without drama as Hill inherited one victory after title rival Tom Ingram was handed a post-race penalty.

A huge crowd descended on the hugely popular Hampshire venue as the fastest track in the country provided the highly anticipated thrills and spills.

The final reverse grid race was won by NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton – his first of the season and the 40th of his BTCC career so far – as the Essex driver moved back to the summit of the standings, five points ahead of Hill.

Ingram is third with Colin Turkington fourth, whilst Dan Cammish hauled himself back into championship contention with an impressive trio of second place finishes at Thruxton.

Alliance Racing/Ford and its NAPA Racing UK outfit tops both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ tables.

Árón Taylor-Smith and his Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing team continue to dominate the Independents’ order, whilst team-mate Mikey Doble still holds sway in the Jack Sears Trophy.

The BTCC returns at Oulton Park in two weeks’ time (22/23 June).

Hill climbs the summit with race one win

Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport's Hill became the first treble winner of the season with victory in the opener.

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS' Ingram bogged down from pole position, as Hill blasted his #24 BMW 330e M Sport off the line. He immediately nipped between second placed Cammish and ahead of Ingram, as the latter got swamped by a trio of NAPA Racing UK cars.

There was contact further down the order early on as a clash between Team BMW's Adam Morgan and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK's Andrew Watson dislodged the tyre stack at the final chicane, resulting in a brief safety car period.

Things settled down among the top positions following the restart, albeit at a ferocious pace, as Hill led home the NAPA Racing UK duo of Cammish and championship leader Sutton.

Jake Hill inherits victory after Ingram penalty

Hill made it a double-double in race two as he inherited the victory following a post-race penalty for on-the-road winner Ingram.

Kent driver Hill came into the Snetterton weekend last time out languishing behind in the standings, but an incredible four victories from five races propelled him up to the top of the order.

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS' Ingram initially fired his Hyundai i30N to the chequered flag first but was later demoted to third after gaining an unfair advantage in an incident involving Cammish.

Having relinquished pole position in race one – eventually having to settle for fourth – Ingram was keen to put things right in the second contest.

Pole man Hill made a stellar getaway in his Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW, as the NAPA Racing UK duo of Sutton and Cammish tried to keep Ingram behind.

Ingram got by Cammish as the duo ran side-by-side towards the final corner, the former being adjudged to have gained an unfair advantage as he straight-lined the chicane.

Sutton and Ingram hounded Hill for the win, but the #1 Ford Focus suffered damage to the front splitter around mid-distance.

Struggling for traction at the ultra-high-speed Hampshire circuit, Sutton was soon relegated to third by Ingram, who then blasted by Hill a few laps later before romping away.

Sutton was further demoted by his NAPA Racing UK team-mates – Cammish and Dan Rowbottom – and eventually had to settle for fifth, but the headlines belonged to Hill after Ingram’s post-race penalty.

Sutton returns to standings lead after 40th BTCC career victory

The BTCC saved the best until last with an exciting reverse grid race at Thruxton, as Sutton returned to the top of the standings with his first win of the season and the 40th of his impressive career so far.

Starting from fourth on the grid Sutton initially dropped back and was embroiled in a scrap with some of his rivals, but he soon set about rising through the order.

He saw off NAPA Racing UK team-mate Cammish and he eventually got the better of long-time leader Adam Morgan.

Team BMW’s Morgan was then tangled in another incident, as on-the-track race two winner Ingram experienced a case of Déjà vu when approaching the final chicane late on in a fight for fourth.

Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS' Ingram looked to have got past Morgan before being hit in the side, forcing him to straight-line the chicane for the second successive race, but this time through no fault of his own.

Ingram rejoined in third to complete the podium behind race-winner Sutton and Cammish – the latter having taken an impressive podium hat-trick during the day.

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “What a day! I didn’t think we could possibly do any better than Snetterton, but amazingly we have. Thruxton; you’ve been a diamond; two wins and a fifth place. I’m over the moon. The Laser Beemer has been unbelievable and I’m over the moon. We’re only a couple of points off the lead, which has been a mega comeback since Brands. We’ll go to Oulton ready to get some more.”

Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK, said: “I massively fancied my chances. I knew we had a quick race car, we saw glimpses of that in race two. To go out there and utilise that was mega and to reward the guys was awesome. It’s been a bit harder this season, everyone else around us has upped their game. We just chose to go about it a bit differently this year with the new hybrid rules and option tyres, but when the opportunity comes and the car is beneath me, I will go out there and deliver!”

2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Thruxton

1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 18 Laps

2. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +1.216s

3. Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1.955s

4. Tom Ingram, Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS +2.518s

5. Josh Cook, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ +13.147s

6. Tom Chilton, Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS +15.696s

7. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK

8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +18.765s

9. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +19.151s

10. Árón Taylor-Smith, Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing +19.752s

2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Thruxton

1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 16 Laps

2. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +1.262s

3. Tom Ingram, Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS

4. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +2.745

5. Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +5.582s

6. Josh Cook, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ +7.002s

7. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +7.402s 

8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +9.809s

9. Árón Taylor-Smith, Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing +12.512s

10. Rob Huff, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +15.073s

2024 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Thruxton

1. Ash Sutton, NAPA Racing UK 19 Laps

2. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +4.449s

3. Tom Ingram, Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS +7.962s 

4. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +8.039s

5. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +8.198s

6. Josh Cook, LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ +8.376s

7. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +9.464s 

8. Árón Taylor-Smith, Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing +10.002s

9. Rob Huff, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +10.275s

10. Ronan Pearson, Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS +10.990s

Penalties:

Qualifying

Árón Taylor-Smith was formally reprimanded during qualifying for Round 10 of the championship, for driving in a manner deemed to be potentially dangerous to others

Race One

Dan Rowbottom received a two place penalty during Round 10 of the championship, for gaining an unfair advantage during a restart on Tom Chilton

Race Two

Tom Ingram received a two place penalty during Round 11 of the championship, for gaining an advantage after leaving the track on Dan Cammish


Ronan Pearson received a one place penalty during Round 11 of the championship, for gaining an unfair advantage after leaving the track on Aiden Moffat