Rory Butcher, Ash Sutton and Adam Morgan each took a British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) race win at Oulton Park, while reigning champion Colin Turkington continued to build his lead in the standings after another solid weekend.
Mixed conditions at the Cheshire circuit added to the drama, with the first race held on a wet track. Butcher started from pole in his Motorbase Ford Focus ST and in the early stages pulled out a clear lead. Meanwhile, BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R driver Josh Cook battled past Team BMW 330i M Sport duo Turkington and Tom Oliphant and Dan Cammish’s works Civic Type R.
Once up to second, Cook quickly chased down Butcher and grabbed the lead. He crossed the line first, but his celebrations were short-lived: he was excluded after his car failed a post-race ride height check. That elevated Butcher to first, marking the first victory for the new Focus ST.
Jake Hill (Civic) was another driver to out on a mid-race charge to claim third, ahead of Turkington.
Sutton finished the opener eighth in his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 but made a superb start to vault up the order and staged a series of impressive moves to battle past title-rivals Turkington, Cammish and Butcher to claim the lead. He quickly pulled clear to take a dominant second victory of the season.
Butcher held on for second to bolster his title bid, while Turkington took third after a race-long scrap with Cammish.
Starting from the back of the grid after his first-race penalty, Cook put in a mighty charge to battle through the pack – before crashing out of the race after a clash involving team-mate Michael Crees.
The reverse-grid third race was held on a dry track, and Morgan quickly jumped into a lead in his Mercedes-Benz A-Class. But he soon found Turkington, Oliphant and Sutton closing in, forcing him into some fantastic defensive driving. His fine efforts were aided when the race was stopped early after a late-race multi-car crash, giving Lancastrian Morgan his first victory at his local circuit.
Turkington’s second place bolstered his championship lead: he now has a 19-point edge over Sutton. Butcher is 22 points further back.
The next event is at Knockhill in Scotland this weekend.