BTCC aces thrill thousands at Donington Park
Donington Park hosted the second round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) last weekend (16-17 April), with the triple header of races thrilling the thousands of race fans who descended on the legendary East Midlands circuit.
The BTCC produced three different race winners as Mat Jackson, Rob Collard and Matt Neal claimed the spoils as the series once again proved why it’s one of Britain’s biggest crowd pullers. Fans were treated to wheel to wheel racing throughout the weekend, with further excellent racing from the support categories.
Jackson was the winner of race one, after making an excellent start to squeeze between the MG duo of Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton at the start, and then held his nerve after safety cars reduced his lead, before the race ended slightly prematurely after a dramatic crash for Matt Simpson and Daniel Welch, and a spectacular fire for Subaru racer James Cole.
Collard claimed race two, after starting from sixth place on the grid. He worked his way up to third on the first lap, then passed rising star Tim Ingram on lap 12, and then went side by side with Jackson through Coppice corner before completing his race winning move at the Esses. Meanwhile there was a breathtaking scrap for the final place with Sam Tordoff, Ingram and Jack Goff going at loggerheads before Irishman Aron Smith snatched the position.
Neal then secured the honours in race three after chasing down and passing the BMWs of Jack Goff and Sam Tordoff, with team mate Gordon Shedden following through, with Neal winning by just 0.2 seconds in the closest finish of the day.
There was drama aplenty in the in the support races too, courtesy of the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, Renault UK Clio Cup, Ford MSA Formula and Ginetta Junior Championship, in which Castle Donington youngster Tom Wood impressed with mature and consistent racing. Fans at Donington were able to take in the action on the stunning new spectator banks on the refreshed infield which opened for the first time.
Donington Park is now gearing up for the annual Donington Historic Festival, which takes place on 30 April – 2 May, with three days of fantastic action from cars from as far back as the 1920s, while demonstrations will come courtesy of Formula One machinery and more.
Donington Park Managing Director Christopher Tate commented: “We were thrilled by the strong turnout of fans at Donington this weekend, and hope they had a great weekend of action. The racing was dramatic as it always is from the BTCC, and with the unrivalled views from our spectator areas, we are confident they will return to see more great action at Donington Park this year.”