BMW and Turkington crowned on drama-filled finals day

  • Turkington makes history with record-equaling fourth BTCC crown
  • Jordan snatches second in championship in nail-biting season finale
  • BMW retains Manufacturers’ title as 3 series proves class of the field

BMW made it back-to-back Manufacturers’ titles in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch yesterday (13 October), as Colin Turkington clinched a record-equaling fourth Drivers’ crown in the most dramatic fashion possible.

Turkington arrived at Brands’ legendary GP circuit – home to Formula 1’s British Grand Prix on 12 occasions between 1964 and 1986 – holding a 16-point lead in the pursuit of the most coveted prize in UK motorsport.
That margin was eroded, however, when intensifying rain over the second half of race one restricted the Northern Irishman to a fighting fifth-place finish. Having qualified on pole position for the third time in 2019, he led early on, but was ultimately powerless to withstand the attack of rivals who had pitted to switch over to wet-weather tyres during an early safety car period.

Turkington’s advantage was overturned altogether in race two, when a tag from another driver sent the Team BMW man into a spin and tumbling down to the tail of the order. That left him eight points shy of the lead going into the eagerly-anticipated finale, and with it all to do from 25th on the grid. A scintillating charge through the field secured sixth at the chequered flag – and with it, a supremely hard-earned fourth championship title.
BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan was similarly in the mix heading into the weekend, sitting 17 points adrift of the summit of the standings. He had reduced that deficit to just two points by the end of race three, courtesy of an eighth, second and fourth-place finish, as the 30-year-old came tantalisingly close to adding to his 2013 championship success.

The runner-up spot in the Drivers’ table was ultimately Jordan’s reward for a season in which he won more races than anybody else behind the wheel of BMW’s all-conquering new 330i M Sport.

Tom Oliphant concluded his maiden campaign with Team BMW with a sensational drive from 30th to a top ten finish in the finale. The 29-year-old proved his pace with fastest lap in race one despite the mixed conditions, before finding himself removed from contention on the opening lap of race two through no fault of his own – a setback that paved the way for his soaring charge in race three.

The results confirmed BMW’s sixth BTCC Manufacturers’ title, with Team BMW finishing second in the Teams’ classification and BMW Pirtek Racing sixth.



Bottas won the Japanese Grand Prix with team-mate LCH third behind Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, securing a Formula 1 record sixth straight World Championship double for Mercedes.

The result sealed the constructors’ title with four races to go and, while Hamilton is not quite world champion yet, only Bottas can catch him.

It breaks the record set by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari from 2000 to 2004, and confirms this Mercedes team as the greatest in F1 history.

LCH leads Bottas by 64 points and needs to be 78 clear of the Finn to win his sixth drivers’ title at the next race in Mexico.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: “It has never been done before and that’s why it feels great.

“It’s F1, it’s motor racing. Is it historic? I don’t know. There are more important things out there but for us it feels great.”

Again, as so often this season, Ferrari’s race unravelled as a result of driver errors – from both in this case.

Vettel moved forward in his position box before the red lights had gone out at the start, forcing him to have to stop and then go again, and allowing Bottas to spring past him into the lead at the first corner.

Beside him, Leclerc also made a slow start, if not as poor as Vettel’s, and he had Red Bull’s Max Verstappen alongside him through the first two corners.

In Turn Two, Leclerc slid wide and into Verstappen, pitching the Red Bull into a spin that ultimately led to its retirement, and damaging the Ferrari’s front wing.

Leclerc tried to hang on but was forced to pit on lap three, and was only able to recover to sixth in a race that forced him to spend most of the afternoon picking his way past back markers.


Goodyear announces return to UK Motorsport through BTCC

Today, Goodyear announces a return to UK motorsport and will become the new sole tyre supplier to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) from 2020.

The decision comes with a view to enhancing Goodyear’s brand within the motorsport and ultra-ultra-high-performance (UUHP) segments. 2019 witnessed Goodyear’s return to these segments with the launch of its Eagle F1 SuperSport range of road tyres and successful return to European and International sportscar racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Goodyear has chosen the BTCC for the second step of its racing comeback as it provides a strong platform for demonstrating tyre technologies on a wide range of saloon cars as well as providing the right marketing platform to reach high-performance car enthusiasts within the UK.


Motorsport Director at Goodyear, Ben Crawley, explains the move: “The recent launch of Goodyear’s Eagle F1 SuperSport range and relaunch into motorsport shows how the brand is applying itself to a broader range of initiatives within the ultra-high-performance automotive sector.”

The decision to become the sole tyre supplier to BTCC forms part of a broader strategic marketing plan for the company and Ben elaborates: “The BTCC is one of the best-loved, most famous motor racing championships in the world and it will provide a great opportunity for Goodyear to get close to the hearts and minds of motorsport enthusiasts. We are thrilled to be partnered with the championship from 2020.”

Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, commented: “Goodyear has a proud and proven history in motorsport, spanning multiple decades and championships. They provide knowledge from a global programme of racing experience making them a strong partner for the championship going forward. It also gives Goodyear the ideal opportunity to further increase their brand awareness via the UK’s largest motorsport championship. We are looking forward to welcoming the brand into the championship from 2020.

F1Weekly podcast # 806



“I’m a big fan of Suzuka. It’s one of the best, if not the best track, on the calendar. It’s where you really get to feel a Formula 1 car come alive and each part of the lap has something special. It’s got a combination of low-speed and high-speed corners but, more than that, it’s the flow and the speed that’s incredible.

“It’s what we describe as an ‘old-school track’ without much run-off. So there’s very little margin for error and demands even more precision than most other circuits. You have to use every inch of tarmac to be quick there. That’s why it’s such a favourite with the drivers and fans too.

“My favourite corner is the first Degner, which for me is the most impressive corner of the year. It’s probably one of the narrowest corners on the circuit, but you’re doing it in fifth gear and 260-270km/h and that’s very impressive. In qualifying the sensation of speed is incredible.

“Generally the whole first sector is very special and it’s where we get to feel a Formula 1 car working at its best. It’s all about precision and rhythm. Throughout the weekend you’re just building confidence in that sector and it’s about positioning the car in the right place.

“The Japanese fans make this a special event because of the energy they bring to the track. I also enjoy Japanese food, especially sushi so it’s interesting to try the local stuff.”

Play Podcast: 10-08-19f1weekly806.mp3


Seventh heaven: Rast racks up another win at Hockenheim

  • Champion vs Champion: René Rast triumphs over Marco Wittmann
  • Honda guest driver shines: Button ninth after thrilling duels
  • Rast win seals teams’ title for Audi Sport Team Rosberg

Saving the best for last: René Rast (GER, Audi) won a lights-to-flag thriller on Saturday as the DTM wrapped up its penultimate race of the 2019 season.

The newly crowned champion came out on top after a cat-and-mouse duel with Marco Wittmann (GER, BMW), who had rediscovered the early-season pace in his car that allowed him to take the fight to the front. Wittmann’s undercut pit-stop looked set to earn him the lead, but an ill-timed Safety Car neutered his advantage – meaning that he was forced to make a late-race pass for the lead. Rast countered, retook the place and was able to establish a small margin to the chequer.
Behind the leading pair, there were fierce battles up and down the top 10 as the Safety Car compressed the field, prompting many frantic moments as everyone scrabbled for grip and position. Paul Di Resta (GBR) drove a determined race to finish as the best-placed Aston Martin driver in seventh. And ex-Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button (GBR), driving in this race as one of three Japanese SUPER GT entrants, overcame a tardy 18-second pit-stop to battle back to an incredible ninth.

Victory for Rast, title for Rosberg – decision in the teams’ championship

The outcome of the duel between Rast and Wittmann also indirectly contributed to the early title win for Audi Sport Team Rosberg in the teams’ championship. Rast’s victory earned him 28 points for Rosberg, as opposed to the 12 points Robin Frijns (NED) pocketed for Audi Sport Abt Sportsline. With Jamie Green (GBR) and Nico Müller (SUI) failing to score, Rosberg’s margin increased to 48 points – the exact number of team points on offer tomorrow. However, Rosberg sealed the title by virtue of having scored eight wins this year compared to Abt Sportline’s two.

F1weekly podcast # 805


Mattia Binotto Team Principal
The 1 -2 in Singapore was very important to us because we achieved it in a different scenario, on a very different type of circuit to Spa-Francorchamps or Monza. The team managed the situation, the strategy and the pit stops very well. The aero update we brought here worked well and, combined with our drivers’ confidence around here and the tyres, that we managed to get to work properly, we actually got more than we expected today.

Well done to Seb, he deserved to win! We had to bring him in first, to protect his position because Max Verstappen was about to pit and that was Seb’s best chance to overtake Hamilton. Also, we knew that on the following lap we would have pitted Charles, so it was important not to stop both the drivers on the same lap. The undercut was very effective. Seb drove very fast and very well on new tyres in that part of the race and gained the position to go ahead of Charles, which is part of racing.

For his part, after the spectacular qualifying yesterday, Charles had a solid and consistent race.
The car is good and is constantly improving and the team is working and reacting well. There’s no doubt about it, we are all very happy with this victory.

Podcast: 09-30-19f1weekly805.mp3

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast