BTCC: Top 10 drivers of 2021

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2021 brought another great year of British Touring Car Championship action and with crowds coming back the series was back to it’s best.

In final year before the BTCC goes to hybrid technology, the grid was as competitive as ever with old hands and young guns showing age is just a number and that the series is in good hands.

10. Aiden Moffat

2021 was the season that Moffat got his head around the Infiniti Q50 and although it didn’t show at the first two rounds at Thruxton I and Snetterton a run of nine points finishes, eight of them in the top ten, showed an undoubted improvement in pace and a fantastic weekend at Croft, scoring a victory and second and sixth place finishes set himself up for his first top ten Championship which he achieved by finishing eighth overall.

Despite a poor final weekend he finished within touching of both Gordon Shedden and Rory Butcher.

A breakthrough season for the young Scot.

9. Rory Butcher

An unfortunate start to the season with two DNF’s at Thruxton I left him and his new Toyota Gazoo Racing team on the backfoot and despite winning three times, including a double victory at Silverstone, he was unable to get himself fully into the title battle.

The pace was undoubtedly there for both car and driver throughout the season but a lack of consistency and reliability issues kept 2021 from being a stellar season for the Scot.

8. Dan Lloyd

Undeniably the better of the two Power Maxed drivers taking four podiums to teammate Jason Plato’s one and beating his two-time champion teammate by 34 points.

The Vauxhall Astra was once again a step behind the top cars in 2021 however Lloyd was able to put himself in the top ten in almost 50% of the time and comfortably beat two of the three WSR run BMW 330i’s showing just how effective Lloyd was during race weekends, especially on Sunday’s.

A great return to the Championship for the Yorkshireman.

7. Dan Rowbottom

Brought in to replace 3-time champion Matt Neal and he did not disappoint. Whilst his 2019 results in a Ciceley-run Mercedes A-Class didn’t make him look that good, his 2021 performances on track show that he is. Multiple podiums and a race victory at Oulton Park alongside two pole positions, only matched by Colin Turkington, is a great haul only his second full season and first at the sharp end of the grid.

6. Senna Proctor

To finish the season in the top ten having missed the first round and scoring no points in round 2 after no testing is a monumental achievement and does raise intriguing question of where he would’ve ended up had he had a full pre-season with BTC Racing.

The consistency shown by Proctor in the middle of the season, fourteen top ten finishes in a row including four podiums and a victory, was truly fantastic and feat unmatched by all except this year’s champion.

A season of what could’ve been for Proctor but one that should cement his place grid for the near future.

5. Tom Ingram 

New car, new team for the 2018 Championship runner-up and he immediately showed the potential of the Hyundai i30 by getting onto the podium at race 1 at Thruxton I.

He kept himself in the title race until the final round but did not stand a realistic chance of taking his first title and once again showed just how much raw pace he has and if it wasn’t for anonymous weekends such as Oulton Park he may have found himself at the sharp end of the title battle at Brands Hatch.

Year two with the Hyundai looks very promising indeed.

4. Jake Hill

Same team, new car for Hill and the jump to the Focus proved to be a good one for the Kent-based racer. Finished on the podium in each of the first three races and added another six podiums, including two wins, throughout the season.

Whilst his speed was good, the speed of the Focus with weight on was not. After a great round at Croft, the added weight for Silverstone meant he was nowhere in qualifying and race one. The same happened at Donington which put paid to any realistic chance he had of the title going into the finale.

He appears to have found a solid home at MB Motorsport which bodes well for any future championship challenge.

3. Colin Turkington

Once again kept himself in the championship hunt through consistent, classy drives and but for two painful rounds at Brands Hatch Indy and Oulton Park he may have taken the battle to the final round, but it was not to be a record championship for the BMW driver.

Victory at race one at Knockhill and wheel-to-wheel battle with Ash Sutton at the next race were the standout performances and he may be heading into his 40’s but he has not lost an ounce of the speed and competitive spirit that has made him a four-time champion.

Any year could bring his fifth title, could very possibly be 2022.

2. Josh Cook

A quite brilliant season in what was his third season for BTC Racing in the always competitive FK8 Honda Civic. He started the season perfectly, winning the first two races of the year and added another three throughout the year including another double at the Brands Hatch finale.

The issue for Cook this year wasn’t his speed and race craft but a complete lack of luck culminating in a disqualification at the second race in Silverstone which put him out of a real chance of the championship.

All the signs are there that Cook will be in the championship hunt again next season.

1. Ash Sutton

The class of the 2021 field and by considerable distance and did it from the front. Sutton went into the majority of the rounds with maximum ballast and just kept relentlessly scoring whilst keeping the rest of the field at arm’s length.

This was his most accomplished season to date, scoring points in 29 of the 30 races and winning five races, the joint highest of the year alongside Cook.

Whilst not a dominant season in the traditional sense it is for the BTCC in it’s current form and it has to be regarded as his best season so far.

A new legend of the sport has arrived.

Honorable Mentions

Gordon Shedden showed good pace on his return to the series, including two victories at Donington, but there were too many poor performances for a three-time champion. Adam Morgan adapted well to the BMW 330i taking two wins at Brands Hatch and Thruxton II, but finished the season with only one points finish in the final ten races which was a shame given how quick he was at the beginning of the season. Dan Cammish‘s cameo at the first round showed what the BTCC missed throughout the season. He undoubtedly would’ve been a title threat had he been able to carry on for the rest of the season.

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