Photo by Hills Speed Images

Title winning tin top racer Paul Rivett proved he belongs in the British Touring Car Championship after showcasing stunning pace during the Brands Hatch season finale.

The four-time Renault Clio Cup champion, competing in only his second weekend in Britain’s premier series, emerged arguably as the star of the 27 car field in qualifying at the Kent circuit.

Driving the #222 Tachosys/WDE Recruitment/JSUPPLIED 3D/Craftbot backed Audi S3, Rivett tamed a treacherous wet 1.2mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit to qualify a highly impressive  ninth.

His stunning 55.404s effort was only four tenths of a second from pole position and 0.023s adrift of four-time BTCC champion and 2020 title contender Colin Turkington.

After overcoming a slow start in Sunday’s opening race, held in desperately wet conditions, the Epsom driver fought back to 15th spot. The result delivered the milestone moment of a first BTCC championship point, in only his fourth race in the series.

Race 2, on a damp and drying track, was however a different proposition with Paul hampered by a mechanical issue. Rivett was sent spinning at Paddock Hill bend after oil from the car’s differential leaked onto the rear wheels. 

He was lucky not to be collected by oncoming traffic before recovering to 23rd spot. 

Rivett bounced back in the final race to finish in 17th spot, earning four more points in the Independent drivers championship to add to the six gained in Race 1. 

“Qualifying was the real highlight for me this weekend and to put the car inside the top ten on the grid was brilliant and something I was really pleased about,” said Rivett.

“Clearly however, I need to practice my starts a bit as they let me down, but it isn’t easy to get the power down in these cars when the conditions are like that!

“To come back and score some points after a bad start in race one was really good and it was a shame in race two that we had the spin after some oil leaked from the diff, as without that, I think we would have won the Jack Sears Trophy this weekend. 

“As it was, we had to come from the back in race three, and to get up to 17th was good in the conditions.”

Rivett’s performances over the final two BTCC meetings at Snetterton and Brands Hatch have confirmed his desire to compete in the series full-time in 2021.

“These two rounds have shown me that this is where I want to be in the future as I’ve really enjoyed it, and hopefully I can get the sponsors onboard to do a full season in 2021,” he added.