07:42 AM

Dunlop ForeverForward and overall BTCC battle down to the wire at Brands Hatch

  • Tom Ingram leads Dunlop #ForeverForward table
  • Seven drivers have topped the weekend honours from nine rounds
  • Option tyre likely to have a say in the outcome of the overall title battle
This weekend the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reaches its climax in the final round at Brands Hatch in Kent. At the top of the overall leaderboard, there are just three drivers who can mathematically claim the title, Colin Turkington, Tom Ingram and Tom Chilton.
Tyre choice looks set once again to play a major role in the outcome of who takes home the coveted crown. All three will use the Dunlop SportMaxx Option-Soft tyre in different races; Turkington in race one, Chilton race two and Ingram race three. This means qualifying on Saturday, taking into consideration the success ballast for the top three, will prove crucial.
Dunlop #ForeverForward
As well as being an overall title contender, Ingram also leads Dunlop’s ForeverForward overtaking league. With an incredible 156 positions gained across the nine rounds, including 25 at Snetterton, 27 at Rockingham and 22 at Silverstone, he holds a 30 point advantage over Ash Sutton. 
Ingram’s now trademark drives through the field have seen his overtakes voted as fans favourite on Dunlop’s social media channels five times; his move on Rob Austin at Brands Hatch to win, his last lap pass on Andrew Jordan at Knockhill, Chris Smiley at Oulton Park, Senna Procter at Rockingham and his move on Sam Tordoff for the lead at Silverstone.
Sutton has twice topped the weekend ForeverForward honours, at Knockhill and Silverstone, with 29 place gains at each race. The outgoing champion is not in contention to retain his overall BTCC title, but can still challenge Ingram for the Dunlop ForeverForward Award. 
Stephen Jelley is just two points behind Sutton. Jelley has twice picked up the most place gains this season; at Oulton Park he came through to claim 19 places across the weekend but gained a staggering 29 places at Rockingham. Josh Cook is a further one point behind. Although he’s not taken weekend honours, a solid performance through the season has produced consistent improvements from grid to finish position. 
Fifth-placed Senna Procter (121) took the ForeverForward honours in the opening round on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and will be hoping for the same pace this weekend. Rob Austin is placed sixth on 120 place gains. Austin has not topped the weekend honours, but some incredible fightbacks through the field mean he’s another contender for the #FF trophy and indeed outright race victory.
Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport: “2018 for us has been a bit of an overtaking season. We’ve had a couple of dramas and it’s hard to pick my #ForeverForward highlight from Snetterton, Rockingham and Silverstone. Snetterton and Rockingham were great, coming from dead last to reach the podium, but Silverstone coming from the mid-field to win was incredible and holds a very special memory as it was essential to keep the overall championship alive too.
“At Rockingham and Snetterton tyre choice was critical. They were changeable conditions and we had to take a little bit of a gamble. Some people were going wets, others slicks, we opted for the slick tyres and it was really important to focus on the tyre temperatures which is a big thing we’ve worked on.  I really tried to maintain tyre temperatures in the greasy, cold conditions, under the safety car so they were as hot as possible for the restart. I think my ability to do that is one of my strong points as a driver and has allowed me to fight back through the field in both Dunlop’s overtaking league, but also the overall championship fight.”
#ForeverForward overall standings
  1. Tom Ingram 156
  2. Ash Sutton 126
  3. Stephen Jelley 124
  4. Josh Cook 123
  5. Senna Proctor 121
  6. Rob Austin 120
  7. Bobby Thompson 116
  8. Matt Neal 101
  9. Rory Butcher 101
  10. Aiden Moffat 98