Tom Ingram, Colin Turkington and Rory Butcher split the race wins in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship’s visit to Snetterton, with a one-off tyre rule helping to spice up the racing.
For the first time, drivers were required to run all three of the BTCC’s Dunlop tyre compounds in the three races at the Norfolk track. The difference in pace between the three compounds led to plenty of overtaking, particularly in the final race.
Ingram started the opening race from pole position after topping qualifying in his works-backed Speedworks Toyota Corolla by 0.002s from works Honda Civic Type-R driver Dan Cammish. Despite an early push from Cammish, Ingram pulled clear for a comfortable victory, his second of the year.
Sam Tordoff finished third in his Civic Type-R, completing a podium lock-out for drivers running the soft tyre. Works BMW UK driver Colin Turkington was the top driver on the medium tyre in fourth, extending his championship lead over his fifth-place WSR team-mate Andrew Jordan.
The BMW 3 Series of Turkington and Jordan both ran the soft tyre for the second race. They quickly moved into second and third, putting intense pressure on leader Ingram, who was hampered by success ballast.
Turkington finally made his move on lap seven, pushing Ingram wide - blocking Jordan’s path in the progress. That allowed Cammish to jump up to second, with Ingram sliding down the order. His day worsened when he picked up a technical problem, dropping out of the points.
Turkington’s win was the tenth for the new 3 Series this season, with Jordan recovering to third ahead of Ollie Jackson (Ford Focus RS).
The third race was full of drama. Chris Smiley (Civic Type R) started from pole, but was soon overhauled by former champions Jason Plato (Vauxhall Astra) and Ash Sutton (Subaru Levorg). They staged an intense battle, while further back the Civic Type-Rs of Butcher and Josh Cook used their soft tyres to charge up the order from 12th and 15th on the grid.
The battle for the lead culminated with Sutton, Plato and Butcher heading down the back straight side-by-side, with the inevitable contact at the next corner dropping the first two down the order and leaving Butcher clear for his second win of 2019.