Published: 10:00, 16 November 2020
| Updated: 10:25, 16 November 2020
There were Kent honours during the final round of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch over the weekend.
While Wrotham-based Motorbase Performance celebrated a last-race home win and the Teams Trophy there was also delight for Broadstairs' Michael Crees after he clinched the Jack Series Trophy.
The overall championship win went to Ash Sutton, crowned two-time champion, after rival Colin Turkington could only manage ninth in the final race. It was a race that was won by Motorbase driver Rory Butcher, with Goudhurst’s Jake Hill in third.
Crees, for BTC Racing, finished 15th to claim the title for those driving older-spec cars.
The final round of the BTCC took place without fans, due to Covid-19 regulations.
Motorbase started the weekend with a fourth and fifth place, with Butcher just ahead of team-mate Ollie Jackson. Race two saw Jackson getting the upperhand, with another fifth as Butcher finished in 10th.
Race three belonged to Butcher but Sutton’s sixth place was enough to clinch him the headlines and the main title.
Butcher was delighted to have ended a good season on a high. finishing fifth in the driver standings. He claimed six race wins during 2020.
"We really needed that to go into the winter," he said.
"It’s been a tough few rounds, but we’ve made team boss David Bartrum very happy. We’ve had such a great year with a brand-new car. The Ford Focus ST came out of the blocks really fast and it’s been great all year.
“We’ve had some bad luck; I’ve made some mistakes and it’s been a learning experience. In the middle of the season, two or three rounds in a row we didn’t get everything out of it that we wanted to. We’re finishing fifth in the championship and we’ve had numerous podiums, pole positions and wins, but we need to get more consistent next year if we want to challenge someone like Ash.
“It’s our first year and it’s been a fantastic new car. Our goal for next year is to come back fighting and put in an even stronger fight, with everything we’ve learned about the championship and the car itself, so we’ll be back!”
Hill’s third place ended a positive season on the podium, his sixth of the season while he also ended the year with 19 top-10 finishes, boosting what he had already described as his best ever season. The MB Motorsport driver finished 20202 in seventh place.
The Kent racer said: “When we left Brands Hatch earlier in the year, I felt terrible as we'd had an awful weekend and it was the lowest I'd felt after a touring car meeting.
"Here we are now, six podiums later after a fantastic turnaround, and we can celebrate what has been a really good weekend to end the season. This is my home circuit and one that I absolutely love, and we've enjoyed a strong race day to be right up there in the top eight, scoring good points and picking up some more silverware.
"I have to say a huge thank you to the team for doing a fantastic job and I'm hugely excited for next year to see what we can achieve together."