BTCC

Title decider build up: Jack Sears Trophy winner Proctor

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More than 100 points ahead of his closest rival, nobody can stop Senna Proctor from taking the rookie title, the Jack Sears Trophy, at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Having taken the step up from the Renault UK Clio Cup after just one year in the championship, Proctor joined Power Maxed Racing’s manufacturer outfit alongside Tom Chilton.

Whilst only 20th in the overall championship, Proctor has been the dominant rookie throughout the season, taking 14 rookie wins over the course of the year.

Proctor took 17th in the opening race of the season after falling backwards early in the race. He dropped to 18th and was left battling with Martin Depper and Dan Lloyd on his way to his first British Touring Car Championship finish.

Points came in the second race of the year. Starting 17th, he worked his way up to 13th before a mid-race safety car. Proctor made up another position after the safety car, but dropped behind Colin Turkington and Matt Neal before the end of the race.

Though he fell backwards in the final race of the weekend, finishing 19th, Proctor left Brands Hatch with three rookie wins and there would be many more to come.

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Proctor claimed more points in the opening race at Donington Park. Again ahead of the other rookies competing, Proctor climbed his way up to 14th. He fell backwards in race two whilst fellow rookie Ant Whorton-Eales snatching 12th and ruining’s Proctor perfect rookie win record. The Power Maxed Racing driver bounced back in the final race of the weekend. Starting outside the top 20, Proctor jumped up to 13th on the opening lap. He fell backwards after an early safety car period but fought back in the second half of the race. Proctor eventually finished 10th, his first top 10 finish, and the top rookie.

After his sixth rookie win of the season in race one at Thruxton, Proctor was involved in a multicar collision in race two. He made contact with Aron Taylor Smith, before collecting Dan Lloyd. All three drivers were able to compete in the final race of the weekend, damage to the barriers cut race two short.

Proctor left Thruxton with two more rookie wins and, though he didn’t take any overall points from the Hampshire track, he was now 45 points ahead of Subaru’s Josh Price in the Jack Sears Trophy standings.

Another rookie win and a point finish at Oulton Park extended that lead to 51 as Proctor headed to his home round.

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After a chaotic qualifying in which many drivers were injured, Proctor started his first home BTCC race 15th. He dropped down the order on the opening lap but slowly picked his way forward throughout the race, eventually finishing 14th. Points and top rookie from his first home race.

He continued to move forward in race two and was running 10th by the midpoint but fell backwards as Depper made up positions. On the final lap, he fell back behind Whorton-Eales and Mike Epps. He crossed the line 13th as Whorton-Eales claimed his second rookie podium.

Proctor spent the final race at Croft battling with Chris Smiley, trying to keep the BTC Norlin Racing driver behind him. Smiley found a way past in the closing stages of the race, and Proctor finished 14. It meant a hat0trick of overall points finishes and put him 95 points ahead of Price in the Jack Sears standings halfway through the season.

After the summer break, Proctor started on the back foot at Snetterton. He lined up 27th on the grid for the first race of the weekend and, though he picked his way forwards throughout the race, he could only make it to 17th before the chequered flag. Race two went no better. The rookie dropped down the order on the opening lap and, though he did make up a handful of positions, he finished 23rd whilst Team HARD’s Will Burn claimed his second rookie win of the weekend.

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An amazing opening lap in the final race of the weekend allowed Proctor to bounce back. He stormed from 23rd on the grid to 14th by the end of lap one. He continued to pick up positions through the race, crossing the line ninth, his best BTCC finish at that point.

Proctor bettered that at Knockhill.

After battling to find a way past Gordon Shedden early in the race, Proctor passed the reigning champion and into eighth. He next picked his way past Dave Newsham to take seventh, where he stayed until the chequered flag.

He couldn’t build on the success the following race, retiring on the opening lap after being caught up in a collision between Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal. He was sent into a spin through the field as they sped past. The Vauxhall Astra collided with Stephen Jelley, causing severe damage to both cars.

Both cars were repaired for the final race of the weekend, but Proctor could only finish 25th.

A 21st, 11th, and seventh at Rockingham promoted Proctor to 19th in the overall championship and more than 100 points clear of Whorton-Eales in second. Whorton-Eales and Burns were still mathematically in with a shot at taking the Jack Sears Trophy.

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Both Proctor’s rivals tried to fight back at Silverstone and, for the first time this season, the Power Maxed Racing driver didn’t take a rookie win.

Proctor took 15th in race one, nine positions behind Whorton-Eales and a position behind Burns. Brett Smith took the rookie honours in race two whilst Proctor took 22nd. Proctor moved forward in race three, finishing 18th, five positions behind Whorton-Eales.

Though Proctor could only take two third and a fourth placed rookie from Silverstone, he collected enough points to take him out of Whorton-Eales.

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