Turkington fends off team-mate Collard to win race one
eBay Motors enjoyed a one-two finish in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park as Colin Turkington held off a sustained challenge from team-mate Rob Collard.
Having got the jump off the line by the MG of Jason Plato and Honda of Gordon Shedden, Collard was able to protect the fellow BMW ahead of him in the opening laps. Gradually the duo pulled clear and although Collard remained in touching distance for the entire race, he was never close enough to make a move.
Turkington’s impressive consistency was there for all to see as he completed all but the first and final tour in the 1:43s bracket.
Plato and Shedden also held station behind in what was a fast and competitive first race. Such was the closeness of the field that fellow championship contenders Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal struggled to make progress from their lowly grid positions. Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal made up one position to finish 13th, whilst the ballast-laden Civic of Jordan dropped two places to 15th. Neal’s improvement was only achieved on the final lap when he eventually got by the VW of Alain Menu after a race long battle.
The result means Turkington now leads the standings for the first time since winning the championship back in 2009. Shedden is tied on points with the Ulsterman but Turkington is classified ahead having won three races to Shedden’s two so far this season.
“Races like that are never easy,” said the race winner. “It might look as though it is but I can assure it’s definitely not. Points are really important but those guys [Neal and Jordan] can fight back so you’ve got to score big when you can. It’s absolutely vital that when you’ve got a fast car that you maximise every opportunity, so I’m delighted with the win.”
MG’s Sam Tordoff and Exocet Racing’s Rob Austin tussled for fifth on the opening lap with the pair swapping places twice before the latter took control of the position, which he held until the chequered flag. Austin’s result was to the delight of the huge crowd as it was also his first top five finish since the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Mat Jackson secured a lonely seventh as the eBay Motors BMW of Nick Foster bottled up a gaggle of cars behind for much of the contest. Foster defended impressively and despite the relentless pressure he held on to eighth ahead of Tom Ingram’s Toyota and the third MG of Marc Hynes. The Quantel Bifold Racing MG6 of Hynes has run well throughout the weekend at the Cheshire circuit, culminating in the former British F3 champion scoring his first ever top ten BTCC finish.
Click here for the full classification of round ten of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.