It’s been a titanic season of touring car racing, with 12 different winners across the season so far, it all comes down to the last meeting of the season at Brands Hatch to see who will be crowned 2017 champion.
For one man he’s been there and done it, Colin Turkington has won the title twice, in 2009 and 2014, and in his first season back at WSR after leaving Subaru, he could make it a hat-trick. However, his rival has come from almost nowhere to be in prime position to take an unlikely maiden title.
Ash Sutton was a rookie last season, winning the Jack Sears Trophy, and having moved from MG Racing to the Adrian Flux Subaru team, taking a spot vacated by Turkington, he sits atop of the championship with just three races left to run.
It’s been a corking season, with more shocks than a low budget horror movie, there have been surprise winners, wildcard racers and some stars of tomorrow have emerged amongst the veterans and the elite.
This all begun with independent Tom Ingram taking the first win of the season at Brands Hatch Indy. Ingram was no stranger to the top step, having won twice in 2016, but the Speedworks driver has taken four wins this season and sits fourth in the table. Though he has a mathematical chance, it would take something special for the 24 year old to take the title.
Subaru took on a four car team this season, continuing with the Levorg GT estates. While these remind many of the Volvo 850 estates which Rickard Rydell rinsed around, it’s a young Englishman doing the winning this time round.
Ash Sutton came into the season as a young protégé, in the same team as BTCC legend Jason Plato, Sutton has emerged as the main man in Warren Scott’s team. Taking his first win from pole at Oulton Park, Sutton has been consistent and quick, taking wins at Oulton, Croft, two at Snetterton, Knockhill and Rockingham.
He holds a slender lead over Turkington heading into the finale, only ten points separating them, and while anything can happen in the BTCC, this title is Sutton’s to lose. As the reigning Jack Sears Trophy winner, he’s proved that the rookie championship does have a purpose.
This is proved by 2017’s rising star, Senna Proctor. The 19 year old, driving with Power Maxed Racing this season, has shone, and at some times outshadowed his vastly experienced team mate Tom Chilton. He has secured the Jack Sears Trophy championship already with Brands still to come. He will be encouraged by the progress Sutton has made in his second season.
With the title finely poised, Turkington and Sutton will be looking to keep their cars in one piece, while the chasing pack will be sure to get stuck in, with places and championships yet to be won. Brands Hatch is the classic circuit, and has seen some stellar moments over the years, but neither of our title protagonists will want to risk losing any ground, as one slip, could prove vital.