Jake Hill secures chaotic win as top two fail to score
Jake Hill secured a vital win for his BTCC title hopes in a chaotic opening race that saw both Ash Sutton and Tom Ingram fail to score.
Light rain ahead of the start led to teams facing a quandary over which tyres to go with, with Hill going against his title rivals by opting for wets as Sutton and Ingram both stuck with slicks.
Before the start there was drama as pole man Mikey Doble failed to stop in his grid position and completed an additional lap to the grid, with Hill blasting to the lead on his wet rubber immediately from Ingram and Andrew Watson – who used his wets to rocket up to third.
Colin Turkington by contrast would suffer contact on the opening lap that dropped him out of contention as he was forced to pit.
As conditions worsened, those who had stuck with slicks dropped down the order, with Ingram suffering a spin before he came in for wets as did Sutton – meaning neither would score a point.
Hill was able to romp away at the front to take the win, with Dan Rowbottom – having moved up to third within two laps – securing second spot with a late move on Watson at the final corner.
That was despite being the lowest placed of the four NAPA Racing Fords on the grid.
Watson would take third spot ahead of Adam Morgan and Bobby Thompson, with the returning Team HARD driver making up eleven spots on lap one alone.
Behind, Rory Butcher as the best placed of those to stay out on slick tyres, benefitting from the circuit drying in the closing stages to come through to P6 ahead of the slick-shod Astra of Aron Taylor-Smith, with Sam Osborne, Josh Cook and Dan Lloyd rounding out the top ten.
Ingram and Sutton would end up a lap down in 22nd and 23rd places, meaning Hill has now split the pair in the points – albeit 41 down on the leader.