Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram won the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship encounter at Knockhill after coming out on top of an early battle against Ant Whorton-Eales’ AmD Audi and Rory Butcher’s Motorbase Ford.
Whorton-Eales and debutant Butcher held an unlikely front row start for the final race and both defended valiantly on the opening lap, before pole-sitter Whorton-Eales made contact with a barrier and dropped out of contention on lap two.
There was a family feud for third place as reigning champion Gordon Shedden passed brother-in-law Butcher, whilst Ingram inherited the lead. The Toyota man never looked back as he took his third win of the 2017 campaign to reignite his championship challenge – it was also the first win at Knockhill for the Japanese marque since Julian Bailey’s success in 1993.
Butcher’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Focus would also be shuffled down the order, as the battle for the lower top ten placings intensified.
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing took fourth, fifth and sixth positions as Ashley Sutton headed team-mates James Cole and Jason Plato. Matt Neal wedged his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda in-between the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Mat Jackson and the recovering Butcher, whilst BTC Norlin’s Dave Newsham was tenth – impressively his third top ten finish of the day.
Tom Ingram said: “It’s been a long time coming hasn’t it. I had a funny feeling after about five laps, saying to the team ‘when do you think the safety car will be then?’. It never goes that easily does it? Amazingly though, it went perfectly and I got the jump at the restarts. Ant (Whorton-Eales) made a mistake at the chicane which allowed me to get through. My word, the Speedworks guys have given me a great car this weekend. What’s really been annoying is that our struggles haven’t been our fault. If it were mistakes on my part or from the team, then it’d be okay but when it’s not it gets very frustrating. We’ve got a great team and a great car underneath us. I heard people saying it was a fluke at the start of the year and this shows it wasn’t.”
Gordon Shedden said: “I could see the BMWs coming! The safety car definitely helped – it saved my bacon. The car was good but it was just lacking a bit. Tom (Ingram) had mega pace and drove really well so I’ll take second place. Rory (Butcher) was driving well and it’s that first touring car meeting and just realising what goes on in the first few laps. He did well and he was fast, he’ll come out stronger in the next one.”
Colin Turkington said: “If I could keep finishing third between now and the end of the season I’d be in pretty good shape but Knockhill has been great. It’s always a circuit I enjoy coming to. I wouldn’t have expected that. It shows you don’t always have to win the races to score the most points. I go home tonight satisfied but also quite aware of the hard work that lies ahead. There’s nobody slow out there, everybody’s fast and those reverse grid races are incredibly tough. I picked my way through and just survived at the end.”
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 21 – Knockhill
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 27 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.167s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.556s
4 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.172s
5 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.463s
6 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +5.179s
7 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.538s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.784s
9 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +6.333s
10 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +7.193s
11 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.614s
12 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +9.215s
13 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +9.316s
14 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +9.775s
15 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +10.407s
16 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +10.730s
17 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +11.091s
18 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +12.152s
19 Brett SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +12.890s
20 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +13.059s
21 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +16.267s
22 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +17.095s
23 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +18.503s
24 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +18.727s
25 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +24.014s
26 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +1 lap
27 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +2 laps
28 Stewart LINES (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +2 laps
29 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +3 laps
30 Will BURNS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +8 laps
31 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +12 laps
32 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +19 laps