It’s advantage Ash Sutton following the BTCC races at Silverstone, the Ford Focus driver finishing in sixth, fourth and second to lead the championship standings by five points.
Jake Hill is second in his BMW 3 Series, with Tom Ingram two points off him in third. Four-time champion Colin Turkington still has a mathematical chance at the title, but a rare off-weekend for the Northern Irishman (27th, 13th and 12th) has left him with a lot to do at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.
Butcher wins his first race of season
Toyota driver Rory Butcher made the most of his pole position and a titanic battle for second place behind him to pull clear of the field in the initial stages of race one.
He was eventually caught by the BMWs of Hill and Adam Morgan, who took advantage of a late safety car to put even more pressure on Butcher, but the Toyota man held on to finish 0.299sec ahead at the flag.
The biggest loser from this first race was Turkington: contact meant he was bumped to the back of the pack and could only finish 27th.
Hill makes his move
Rokit MB Motorsport’s Hill won the second race at Silverstone, thanks to a stunning overtake on Gordon Shedden that ran from Luffield and Woodcote before he made it stick before Copse.
The pair finished in that order, while Butcher continued his excellent Silverstone form to complete the podium. With Sutton in fourth and Ingram fifth, it meant the title battle got even tighter: at this stage of the weekend, 14 points separated the top four.
Ingram emerges winner from fraught third race
Hyundai racer Ingram scored a comfortable win in the final round at Silverstone after rivals were eliminated in various incidents. Josh Cook and Dan Cammish clashed off the line, then Morgan had a coming together with Cook at Becketts that proved crucial to the race result as it allowed Ingram, Sutton and Butcher through.
Those three went on to finish on the podium, with Sutton’s second place and consistency across the weekend giving him the championship lead.
Hill was hit hard by Shedden early on, but recovered to finish fourth to keep his championship hopes alive. As a result, just seven points separate the top three.
The final three races are at Brands Hatch on 8 and 9 October.