Around the British Championships: 13 – 14 August 2022
Four more Motorsport UK-sanctioned British Championships inked the latest chapter in their respective title fights last weekend, at Snetterton, Shelsley Walsh and in Scotland respectively.
Here’s our latest round-up:
British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton, Norfolk
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington marked a milestone weekend in his British Touring Car Championship career, taking two wins on the weekend of his 500th start in the category at a baking hot Snetterton.
The four-time champion narrowly pipped team-mate Jake Hill to pole position on Saturday, and from there claimed a routine lights-to-flag win, keeping Hill at arm’s length for the duration. Tom Ingram’s Hyundai completed the podium.
Turkington repeated the display in race two, although he was pushed harder at the start by Hill, the pair spending most of the opening lap around the 2.96-mile Norfolk venue side-by-side in typical touring car fashion.
Having been reversed onto pole position for race three, reigning champion Ash Sutton then steered his NAPA Racing UK Ford to a second victory of the season, ahead of a welcome podium return for BTC Racing’s Jason Plato.
That result was made extra special for Plato, the series legend contesting his 650th start respectively. Ricky Collard (Toyota Gazoo Racing) initially rounded out the top three, but his move on Ingram at Oggies was deemed too robust by the stewards post-race, and the positions were reversed.
Turkington leads Ingram by 25 points in the standings, with the series heading next to Thruxton on 26-28 August.
ROKiT British F4 Championship – Snetterton, Norfolk
Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne looks to have one hand on the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA crown after a commanding double victory at Snetterton.
The Irishman was peerless in qualifying, over three tenths clear of second-placed Georgi Dimitrov (JHR), but it would be the latter who made the better start in the opening race.
Dimitrov’s spell up front was brief, however. Dunne, quick to regain his composure from a stuttering start, sent an audacious move around the outside of Palmer just three corners later to re-gain top spot, and from there build a comfortable 3-second margin of victory.
Dunne then completed a brace of wins – and fastest laps – with a dominant drive in the finale, racing almost ten seconds clear of a thrilling scrap between Dimitrov and Carlin’s Ollie Gray for second, the pendulum eventually swinging the way of Williams junior Gray.
Dunne’s successes book-ended a reverse grid win for Joseph Loake, the JHR racer managing his tyres expertly to retain enough performance to fend off a charging Ugo Ugochukwu (Carlin). Dunne leads by 66 points heading to Thruxton next week.
British Hillclimb Championship – Shelsley Walsh
Adverse weather conditions restricted the British Hillclimb Championship to just a single Run-Off at Shelsley Walsh, but Matthew Ryder still impressed, posting a time to just 0.07 seconds off the outright record.
Ryder’s Gould GR59 navigated the fastest 1000 yards in UK motorsport in a blistering time of 22.4 seconds, with championship leader Wallace Menzies and Scott Moran tied for the runner-up spot behind, two tenths of a second further back.
Menzies still holds a slender five-point advantage over nearest rival Alex Summers, fourth in the surviving Run-Off, with two rounds left to run at Prescott and Loton Park.
British Rally Championship – Grampian Rally, Scotland
Keith Cronin’s dominance at the Grampian Forest Rally has kept him in the hunt for the British Rally Championship, winning alongside co-driver Mike Galvin by 21 seconds from chief rivals and fellow VW Polo R5 crew Osian Pryce and Noel O’Sullivan.
Cronin came flying out of the blocks in Scotland, building up a ten-second advantage by the first service. Two stages in, and Pryce and O’Sullivan looked more at risk of losing second to Ruari Bell and Max Freeman’s Skoda Fabia R5.
That came to pass during the third stage, and the two were neck-and-neck across the fourth. Cronin, meanwhile, continued to press on up front.
Pryce and O’Sullivan were, crucially, able to deny Bell and Freeman at the last, pulling back four seconds on SS5 to earn second behind Cronin. That puts the gap between them at the championship summit at 18 points with three rounds left to run in the 2022 campaign.