Scalextric at Brands Hatch for the BTCC!
After what has seemed like an eternal wait, the 2019 motorsport season has finally begun! In this edition of Test Track Pit Stop we will be looking at rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) seeing how both our Brand Ambassador Andrew Jordan fared, as well as some of the other drivers who appear in the Scalextric 2019 range.
A somewhat cold and foggy morning greeted me on race day, which was at least preferable to the downpour that had soaked me to the bone, as well as frozen me, on the qualifying day beforehand. However, the thick fog did mean that racing took some time to begin, with the opening support races cancelled and the BTCC cars being first out on the track.
For 2019 West Surrey Racing and BMW have a new car, gone is the 125i and in its place is the 330i. A spectacular looking machine and one that despite being finished just weeks before the opening round proved to be quick enough to qualify 3rd, 4th and 9th for Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant and Andrew Jordan respectively.
In the first race a real lottery was served up with the track being wet at the start and drying throughout the race. Sadly, for Andrew, WSR had chosen wet tyres for him and the rest of the BMWs, which meant that as the track dried and the slick tyres came on both him and the rest of the wet tyred runners began slipping down the order. In fact, by the end of the race only Andrew was in the points, coming home 15th.
However, this was only the opening round and race two saw a somewhat different result for our 2019 Brand Ambassador. A storming start saw him make the top ten on the opening lap, the car much happier on slick tyres on what was now a dry track. By lap nine he was third and closely following the 2017 champion Ash Sutton in the Subaru. They were both hard on the tail of race one winner Josh Cook in the BTC Honda, with Sutton slipping up the inside at Graham Hill bend, Jordan however followed him through and it was now a fight for the lead.
On the 17th lap a great exit from Clearways allowed Andrew into a lead he continued to build throughout the rest of the race. His pace was exceptional in the new car and he scored the first win for the WSR 330i - a great achievement!
The third race was less successful, starting back in the pack due to the reverse grid rules of the BTCC, he was unfortunately roughed up a bit by the pack and finished down in 24th place after having to pit to remove some bodywork.
Race three was actually won by another of our 2018 drivers, Rory Butcher inheriting the win after a somewhat controversial penalty saw the ‘on the road’ winner Tom Chilton penalised after contact with Matt Neal.
For 2019 AMD have moved across from the soon to be released MG6 they used in 2018 to the highly successful Honda Civic.
Rory was able to build upon successes throughout the day, with a tenth place finish in race one followed by an 8th in the second encounter which enabled him to capitalise on the drama of the third race to score both his and the team’s first win. A massive congratulations to all at AMD Essex from Scalextric!
His 2018 MG6 will be released soon, which you can pre-order here too.
In another Civic, Northern Irishman Chris Smiley wasn’t having quite such a successful day. Gone are the earlier shape Civics, replaced at the BTC squad by the new FK8 model. While Chris’s team mate won race one, his race ended in contact at Graham Hill bend. However, race two saw him climb to 20th and then race three ended in a seventh-place finish.
Finally, we come to Bobby Thompson. The Team HARD man scored a fantastic fastest lap in the first race, a brilliant achievement for the relative newcomer. He ended up in 6th place overall after taking part in an enthralling dice for fourth with Aiden Moffat and Adam Morgan.
Race two saw him dip a bit to 13th, while he managed a 15th place finish in race three. Three points finishes though are an excellent achievement for him and his team.
The next BTCC round is at Donington on the 28/29th of April – don’t forget that ahead of each and every BTCC round we here at Scalextric will be giving you the chance to win VIP tickets to the event courtesy of Andrew Jordan and Pirtek! Andrew Waller was the lucky winner of our Donington competition, but keep an eye out on our social media channels for the next competition.
Just before I go, I’d like to offer a big thanks as ever to Gary Hawkins for the brilliant photos!
See you soon,
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