BTCC: Brands Hatch II: Rounds 17 and 18 race report

Rounds 17 and 18 of the British Touring Car Championsip took place at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, England. The Indy circuit is a 1.2-mile lap which uses Paddock Hill, Druids, Graham Hill and Surtees from the Grand Prix circuit and then cuts...

Rounds 17 and 18 of the British Touring Car Championsip took place at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, England. The Indy circuit is a 1.2-mile lap which uses Paddock Hill, Druids, Graham Hill and Surtees from the Grand Prix circuit and then cuts across to join up with Clearways and the Clark Curve.

Before the weekend James Thompson led the championship with 166 points, 24 ahead of team-mate Muller and 42 ahead of Matt Neal, the Egg Sport Astra Coupe driver. Vauxhall's aim for the weekend was to capture the Manufacturer's title, thus allowing the drivers to battle it out at the final round at Donington Park in four weeks.

Sprint Race: MG dominate Brands as Vauxhall take championship

Anthony Reid won a confusing and tough race at Brands Hatch to give MG a dominant one-two result in the sprint race. Reid led from lights-to-flag as the two MGs pulled away from the rest of the field.

MG dominated the front row in qualifying with Reid less than 0.03 seconds ahead of Hughes. James Thompson was third for Vauxhall by a similar margin behind Hughes, with Gareth Howell in fourth and Colin Turkington fifth both for MG at a circuit that has traditionally favours the MG.

The MG pair both made good starts and entered Paddock Hill Bend with Reid ahead of Hughes, closely followed by Gareth Howell in third place in the Independent MG. Unfortunately MG scored another first as Colin Turkington spun off into the barrier in his MG. Once the safety car managed to find the leader the cars followed behind for a few laps.

At the restart the MGs maintained their positions and started to build back their lead, with Howell, Thompson, Muller and Harvey all running nose-to-tail. However championship leader Thompson suffered a suspension failure along the start-finish straight and had to complete an entire lap to return to the pits for repairs.

Yvan Muller and Tim Harvey enjoyed a good battle for fourth with Muller taking the place after the restart and eventually closing up on and taking Howell for third place in an extremely tight manoeveur around Druid's hairpin, with Matt Neal taking advantage to nip past too.

After a second safety car period to clear up a collision along the start-finish straight the MGs held station to the red flag, which was brought out to end the race after Aaron Slight ended his unfortunate race in the gravel trap at Paddock Hill Bend.

Muller's third place allowed Vauxhall to retain the Manufacturers' Championship.

Results:

1 Anthony Reid (MG ZS) 26m38.150s
2 Warren Hughes (MG ZS) 26m38.380s
3 Yvan Muller (Vauxhall Astra Coupe)
4 Matt Neal (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 26m40.368s
5 Gareth Howell (MG ZS) 26m41.241s
6 Tim Harvey (Peugeot 406 Coupe) 26m42.209s
7 Phil Bennett (Proton Impian) 26m42.392s
8 Alan Morrison (Honda Civic Type-R) 26m42.839s
9 David Leslie (Proton Impian) 26m42.984s
10 Paul O' Neill (Vauxhall Astra Coupe) 26m43.478s

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Anthony Reid , Yvan Muller , Alan Morrison , Tim Harvey , David Leslie , James Thompson , Warren Hughes , Aaron Slight , Gareth Howell , Matt Neal , Phil Bennett , Graham Hill