The BTCC at Silverstone and the Irish Drift Championship Finals
The Owens boosted British Touring Car Championship was at Silverstone for their penultimate round, with Turkington on the cusp of a second title would he be able to withstand the pressure from his rivals at MG and Honda? Meanwhile the Irish Drift Championship, with the title already decided, was heading back to Mondello for the final round with a few friends from the USA in tow...
Turkington holds Championship advantage after Podium hat-trick
MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato scored two impressive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victories at Silverstone, ensuring there will be a title showdown at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.The home of British motor sport never fails to produce incredible racing, and a crowd of over 30,000 fans descended on the Northamptonshire venue to see the best tin-top drivers in the country battle it out around the National circuit.
For both wins Plato had to get past current championship leader Colin Turkington, making late dives down the inside at Brooklands corner on both occasions to steal some valuable points back from the eBay Motors BMW driver. Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson completed the podium in the opening race, having jumped fellow second row starter Sam Tordoff off the line. MG’s Tordoff had to fend off the Chrome Edition Restart Racing duo of Alain Menu and Aron Smith to claim fourth. With Plato leading home Turkington again in race two, it was this time left for Menu to join them on the rostrum after the Swiss star attacked Jackson through Copse before completing the move at Becketts shortly after the mid-distance stage of the contest. The second race also saw one of the biggest accidents of the season when Rob Collard’s BMW barrel rolled several times before coming to rest upside down. The incident was sparked after contact with Jack Clarke’s recovering Ford Focus, which was in the midst of a high-speed slide on the exit of Becketts. A shaken and winded Collard was taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays but was released later on Sunday evening.
One of the most incredible touring car battles in recent years then played out when no fewer than five former BTCC champions went doorhandle-to-doorhandle in a bid for a podium finish in the final race. The race win went to the impressive Jackson – his second victory of the season – as the Motorbase driver nipped by team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi in the early stages. Smith followed suit to claim a lonely second place while the epic scrap ensued behind. Turkington eyed every opportunity to get past Giovanardi before finally making a concrete attempt at the end of lap 19, which launched a sensational sequence of events. Giovanardi and Turkington touched while running side-by-side across the start/finish line, as the VW of Alain Menu also joined the fray. As the two squabbled over the same piece of asphalt Menu cleverly wedged his VW up the inside of both of them and into third place through Copse.
They were three abreast on the run down to Becketts before Plato made it four former champions in the fight. Plato’s MG then made contact with the rear of Turkington’s BMW at the tight turn, which speared the Ulsterman’s machine into Giovanardi’s Ford Focus. The Italian impressively saved the car from a slide but still fell down the order. It was three-wide again down the Wellington Straight with reigning champion Andrew Jordan now looking to join the party. As the cars roared into Brooklands it was Turkington who emerged in third place immediately followed by Plato, Menu and Jordan. The quartet were eventually covered by little more than a second as they finished the race. The fallout from a fantastic weekend at Silverstone is that Turkington now holds a 50-point advantage in the Drivers’ standings over Plato and the two will now duel it out for the coveted BTCC title at Brands Hatch next month. MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save is in the driving seat of the Manufacturers’ championship with Plato’s dynamic double extending its lead over Honda Yuasa Racing to 28 points. Turkington and eBay Motors have now moved into unassailable leads in the Independents’ drivers and teams tables
Irish Drift Championship Finale, Owens dominate the Podium!
With the Championship decided last round sadly none of the Owen’s supported drivers would repeat James Deane’s Irish Drift Championship win last year, but there were several Owen’s boosted drivers fighting over second! James Deane (ODGTX3582R-M), Adrian Walsh (ODGT2871HTA-M), Shane O’Sullivan (ODGTX3076R-M) and Wesley Keating (ODGTX3071R-M )were all in contention for second in the Championship, Matt Carter (ODGT3586HTA-M) would be over from the UK as well and just to spice things up Formula Drift stars Chris Forsberg and Darren McNamara would be competing in Owen’s boosted cars!
James Deane took his customary top qualifying slot, ahead of another five Owens drivers in the Top ten including Forsberg who in a right hand drive, unfamiliar car on a new track qualified an impressive seventh. Could Forsberg or Carter beat the Irish at home? It had never been done in ten years of the IDC.
The battles were close, with some of the highlights including Chris Forsberg beating new IDC Champion Duane McKeever and an all Team Falken Top four battle between James Deane and Matt Carter. Deane won this time, denying Carter a win though he would still be the first Englishman to take a podium finish in the IDC. Carter also denied fellow Owen boosted driver Adrian Walsh a chance at second in the Championship knocking him out early on, this would mean that James Deane could potentially go from 10th to 2nd if he won the event, he’d just have to go through Chris Forsberg in the final first (and keep the Irish winning streak going!).
Sadly the crowds were denied what had the potential to be the battle of the event, Forsberg had to retire with engine issues gifting Deane the win; hopefully we will see this battle in the future! This means that James Deane is Drift Allstars Champion and IDC Vice-Champion in the same season having only competed in two IDC events all year! Completing the all Owen Developments boosted podium was Matt Carter, a great end to the season for us in the Irish Drift Championship.