The final race of the day got underway with Jake Hill in the Trade Price Cars.com Audi S3 on pole after Alain Menu pulled the number 10 from the ball-draw on ITV4. With the reversed grid it always offers an opportunity for hail mary style blast into the unknown and a final throw of the dice to secure a BTCC race win or podium.
Race three is always an exciting prospect, with drivers on differing weights, tyres and championship strategies. One man looking to make an impression from a relatively disappointing meeting was Jason Plato. Lining up third on the grid, Plato was eager to get stuck in and had this to say during his ITV4 interview with Louise Goodman:
“My flight has been delayed, so I could probably afford a bit of time in the bus after this one, so the elbows will be out,” an ominous statement of intent from the former Champion, which certainly set the tone for the race.
So much so that the opening lap carnage was almost expected. Hill held his nerve to race into the first corner and by the time they’d slithered through McIntyre’s all hell broke loose.
Jordan and Simpson collided and the latter flew off the track at Butcher’s; then as Proctor thumped through the Blackcircles.com Chicane something snapped on the car sending the Subaru Levorg spinning into the middle of the track. Jordan and the rest of the field came hurtling though only to have to take emergency avoiding action – veering left and right to avoid Proctor. Jordan decided to exit stage left and unfortunately tagged the front of Proctor’s car which left his BMW Pirtek Racing 330i stranded in the gravel and with it, his chance of leading the BTCC series leaving Knockhill.
It’s a funny old game this Touring Car lark, with Jordan benefitting from Turkington’s demise in Race 2, and now, how the tables had turned. Turkington would have seen his rival – who let’s be honest was on an absolute mission today – in the gravel at the exit of the chicane and thought ‘game on’.
The Northern Irishman turned the screw and fought tooth and nail for 13th position with Ash Sutton – to be fair to Sutton, he wasn’t giving him an inch. But when Turkington finally got past he started to make in-roads up the order – as did Sutton hot on his heels. Turkington, eventually crossed the line in 10th place to increase his advantage at the head of the standings to 10 points ahead of Jordan.
Aiden Moffat, continued to make good progress in the Infiniti Q50, passing fellow Scot Rory Butcher on his way to 9th place in Race 3. As for Rory, he crossed the line in 14th place to round off a highly successful weekend for him and of course the AmD sqaud. Moffat, and the Laser Tools Team will be heading back to Livingston with a spring in their step this evening – knowing that next year, with more testing and development of the Infiniti, that they could be a genuine front-runner in 2020.
Race 3 however, belonged to Jake Hill; the TradePriceCars.com had to fend off constant pressure from Josh Cook in the BTC Racing Honda, including two safety car restarts and an almost catastrophic moment at the chicane on the final lap to seal his first ‘proper’ on-the-road BTCC win – to much delight in the paddock.
It’s been another fabulous weekend of racing with some top teams and drivers putting on a show for the crowds gathered around Knockhill.
A massive thanks to everyone involved and thanks once again to all the fans who’ve come out on a September weekend to enjoy some BTCC action around the twists and dips of Knockhill.
See you in 2020.