The BTCC grid at Brands Hatch ahead of the 2023 season

BTCC 2023: the season so far

As the British Touring Car Championship turns its gaze towards Silverstone, we thought we’d look back on an enthralling season to date. One which sees Ashley Sutton lead the standings by some margin ahead of reigning champion Tom Ingram, the indomitable Jake Hill, the ever-present Colin Turkington and 2019 title contender Dan Cammish. 

Should things fall in Sutton’s favour, he could be crowned BTCC champion at Silverstone for a record-equalling fourth time, drawing level with Andy Rouse and Turkington. As is often the case in the BTCC, there have been plenty of twists and turns in the run-up to the penultimate round of the 2023 season. 


READ MORE: BTCC Championship Hots Up for the Penultimate Round at Silverstone


Donington Park 

Race 1NAPA Racing UK set the tone for the rest of the season when they locked out the front row for the first race of the season at Donington Park. It was neither pole-sitter Daniel Rowbottom nor Sutton who would claim victory though, with the former dropping back into the pack and the latter pitting for repairs after a hair-raising moment on the grass into Turn 1. It was their teammate, in fact, Dan Cammish who took the Race 1 spoils after a thrilling move on Jake Hill at Craner Curves. Hill claimed the runner-up spot ahead of Tom Ingram. 


Race 2Just like his teammate in Race 1, Cammish would be unable to convert pole into the win despite a promising getaway on Lap 1. As rain began to fall, chaos reigned and those who made an early switch to wet tyres held a sizeable pace advantage. The first of those runners was BTCC veteran Tom Chilton who calmly controlled the race to win from Adam Morgan and Ronan Pearson, who was later disqualified after failing the post-race ride height test, handing third to Sam Osborne. 


Race 3Rather serendipitously for NAPA Racing UK, the team found itself with another front row lockout for Race 3, this time headed by Cammish with Rowbottom alongside in the still-damp conditions. Cammish streaked away into a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. The real battle in Race 3 was further back as the squabbling quartet of Ingram, Turkington, Sutton and Hill went toe-to-toe for the final two steps on the podium. Eventually, Ingram brought home second with Sutton third as Cammish established himself as the early points leader.

Dan Cammish crossing the line to win Race 3 at Donington Park


Brands Hatch Indy

Race 1Turkington was seemingly a man on a mission for Race 1 at Brands Hatch, snatching the lead from pole-sitter Cammish not once, but twice after a red flag stopped play initially. He wouldn’t be denied victory either, leading from lights to flag after the restart, swiftly followed by the duelling teammates of Sutton and Cammish respectively. 

Race 2It was another cracking start for Turkington in Race 2, but this time he’d be unable to translate it into the win. With a well-executed move into Druids, Sutton snatched the lead and held off a charging Ingram to win ahead of the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 driver with Turkington third. 


Race 3It was Ricky Collard who kicked off Race 3 with a sensational move around the outside of pole-sitter Bobby Thompson at Druids, giving him the inside line to take the lead at Graham Hill Bend. Collard wasn’t the only one making moves on Lap 1, however, with Sutton gaining seven places on the opening lap. He continued his charge all the way to the flag, finishing second behind a composed Collard who won on the road. In a cruel twist, Collard would be denied his maiden BTCC win by way of a track limits penalty that bumped him to eighth in the order. In the end, it was Sutton who won from Thompson and Ingram. 

Colin Turkington on track at Brands Hatch Indy in his BMW



Race 1Remarkably, Sutton had to wait until the third qualifying session of the season to take pole position, but he certainly didn’t waste the opportunity in Race 1 at Snetterton. He sprinted into an early lead whilst Turkington and Hill nipped past the slow-starting Ingram. A superb move from Hill into Nelson saw him take second from Turkington. Sutton held off late pressure from Hill to win, similarly, Turkington resisted Ingram’s advances to take third.


Race 2Race 2 would see Sutton convert pole into victory once again, achieving a mighty run of four wins in succession. Hill and Turkington would also retain their grid slots in a quiet race for the front runners. 


Race 3In the reverse grid Race 3, it was Stephen Jelley who led from Adam Morgan early on. Once the order had been established, a pacey Rowbottom made light work of both leaders to take the lead but quickly conceded the position to Ingram, and then another to Rory Butcher. Cammish was on a charge in the closing stages and scythed past both Rowbottom and Butcher but failed the ride height test, handing Rowbottom third and Butcher second behind Ingram.

Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington on the BTCC podium at Snetterton


Race 1The next stop on the BTCC 2023 calendar was the series’ fastest circuit, Thruxton in Hampshire. Just like in Snetterton, Sutton took pole and Ingram joined him on the front row. By all accounts, it was a straightforward race for the leading trio, as Sutton won from Ingram and Cook who took third from Hill at the start.


Race 2In a carbon copy of the first race, Sutton led Ingram and Cook for most of the race, although Cook had to fend off Hill as they went side-by-side through Campbell and Cobb. They crossed the line in the same order they had earlier that day, with Sutton notching a sixth win of the season (comprising three doubles at Brands Hatch Indy, Snetterton and Thruxton), ahead of Ingram and Cook. 


Race 3In a frenetic Race 3, Adam Morgan headed the field through the opening exchanges, followed by Aiden Moffat whilst Rowbottom made his way past Collard for third. He followed that up with a move on Moffat at the chicane and a bold pass down the inside of Morgan at Church. They finished in that order with Rowbottom taking his first win since Oulton Park in 2021, followed by Morgan and Moffat.

Dan Cammish on track at Thruxton for the BTCC race


Oulton Park 
Race 1For the third event in succession, Sutton took pole but this time it was Hill who leapt into an early lead. Despite coming under pressure from the three-time champion, Hill held his nerve to claim his first victory of the campaign, ahead of Sutton and Ingram who had to battle his way past Cammish and Collard for third. 


Race 2The podium trio from Race 1 would replicate the same result in the following race. The battle this time, would be between Cammish, Turkington and Collard who fought for points and pride in the top ten. 


Race 3Like Race 3 at Thruxton, Morgan took an early lead but this time, Turkington was in hot pursuit. In a titanic battle which saw the two Team BMW drivers side-by-side for five corners, Turkington eventually came out on top to take the win from Hill and Morgan. Meanwhile, Sutton glanced the pit wall early on and retired, enabling Hill and Ingram to gain ground in the standings. 

Jake Hill en route to his first BTCC victory of 2023


Race 1 The theme of the season continued at Croft with a NAPA Racing UK 1-2-3 on the grid, headed by Cammish, then Rowbottom followed by Sutton. In the race, Cammish drove to an untroubled victory whilst Rowbottom and Sutton swapped places. Cook, Hill, Ingram and Turkington completed the top seven after a tense tussle. 


Race 2Ever the opportunist, Sutton claimed the early advantage in Race 2 and sprinted into a lead that he’d continue to extend until the flag, winning in dominant fashion. Cammish followed his teammate home in a reverse of Race 1 whilst Rowbottom withstood pressure from Ingram to hang on to third. 


Race 3Turkington got away well from reverse grid pole and led Cook out of Turn 1. Eventually, Cook would concede second to Ingram and Turkington would go on to win his 66th BTCC race as action unravelled for the rest of the field. Another Sutton retirement meant his points lead diminished considerably. 

Colin Turkington crossing the line to win his 66th BTCC race


Race 1As had become the custom in 2023, Sutton started the Knockhill weekend from pole position and led the early stages from Cook and Hill. Shortly after the lights went out, the heavens opened and with that, Hill made an expert pass to take the lead on the exit of the chicane. A battle between Sutton and Cook meant the latter ended his race in the barriers. As Sutton pitted, it became evident that those who had pitted for wets early were in the pound seat and Ingram assumed the lead, taking the win shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, he fell foul of the ride height test, so the final order saw Hill take the win ahead of Andrew Watson and Collard. 


Race 2Hill utilised the first-place grid slot to launch into an early lead, but Sutton made quick work of BMW rear gunner Stephen Jelley to move into second. Sutton bridged the gap to Hill but try as he might, was unable to make a pass for the lead so had to settle for second behind the BMW. Jelley held on to the final podium spot whilst eye-catching recovery drives from the back of the grid for Cook and Ingram saw them carve through the field to finish eighth and 10th respectively. 


Race 3With conditions worsening, the race got underway with a rolling start. Ronan Pearson took an early lead from Dan Lloyd but once again it was Sutton on a charge, climbing the order with ease. Once he’d made his way past Pearson, he opened an astonishing eight-second gap and won ahead of Cook and Ingram. 

Ash Sutton on track at the BTCC race at Knockhill


Donington Park GP
Race 1Sutton started Race 1 at the Donington Park GP circuit from his fifth pole from eight attempts in 2023, but a slow getaway meant it was Ingram who seized the lead from Collard and Sutton. However, Sutton wasted no time in dispatching the pair of them to regain the advantage and went on to win. A resurgent Hill pressured Ingram all the way to the line but had to settle for third. 


Race 2With the same front row as Race 1, it was Sutton who got the best start this time but a brave move at the Craner Curves earned Ingram first place. Much like Ingram did in the first race, Sutton came under late pressure from Hill but the final order would be Ingram, Sutton then Hill. 


Race 3Lloyd and Chilton occupied the front row for the third and final race and they held position early on. As the race progressed, Butcher and Aron Taylor-Smith moved into second and third respectively, whilst the title rivals Sutton and Ingram went toe-to-toe in the mid-pack with the latter coming out on top. Having controlled the race beautifully, there was heartbreak for Lloyd as his driveshaft snapped with five corners to go. Butcher crossed the line to win ahead of Taylor-Smith and Morgan. 

Ash Sutton claiming pole position at Donington Park GP


As the BTCC fraternity gears up for Silverstone, Sutton sits atop the pile with a healthy 42-point advantage over Ingram, with Hill a further 20 points behind. An incredible tally of nine wins for Sutton this season sees him standing on the precipice of BTCC greatness. 


TICKETS: BTCC Silverstone tickets available from £22