Lea Wood has become the first title winner in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after wrapping up the Jack Sears Trophy at Rockingham.
The Wheelheaven/Houseman Racing driver went into the weekend with a healthy advantage over closest rival Liam Griffin in the race to secure the crown, which has been contested by those drivers running Super 2000-spec car this season.
Wood strengthened his advantage with a dramatic win in the opening race, which came when after he pitted for slick tyres at the end of the green flag lap. On a damp circuit, he hunted down the Ford of David Nye to take victory late on, with Griffin forced out with engine issues.
With a second win wrapped up in race two, Wood went into the final race of the weekend knowing that a third success would be enough to clinch the title.
When Griffin was unable to then start that race due to a gearbox problem, Wood's title success was confirmed and he celebrated in style with a third win to take him an impressive 13 in the 24 races run so far.
“The excitement has been huge going into every weekend,” he told BTCC.net
. “Take race one at Rockingham – I saw that Liam came into the pits after the green flag lap so I had to make the call and come in to match him.
“It turned out he was having engine issues, which meant we were on slicks while everyone else was on wets, but in the end it made it one of the most exciting races of the season to come through right at the last and get victory as the track dried out.
“In my mind the championship isn't over until the end of the year, but to get the results we did today and move out of reach of the others is fantastic. The plan for the rest of the season is to keep winning as many as we can!”