Turkington at the double
Colin Turkington’s dream of becoming a three-time Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion could still become a reality later today as the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver doubled up at Brands Hatch.
The Ulsterman made an even better start in the second contest and immediately ripped away from the rest of the field.
There was drama for one of the title contenders as Matt Neal’s hopes spiralled into the tyre barrier on lap three. The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver had just set the fastest lap of the race, but his Honda engine stuttered out of Paddock Hill Bend before contact was made with Ash Sutton’s MG on the run down to Graham Hill. The incident speared the Honda Civic Type R into the tyre wall and out of contention.
A lengthy stoppage followed in order for the BTCC Medical Team to attend to the shaken Neal, and the triple champion was later diagnosed with slight concussion. Subsequently he will not contest the final race of the season later today.
Victory looked secure for Turkington during the opening half of the race, but everything changed when his team-mate Jason Plato and Honda’s Gordon Shedden eventually muscled their way past Rob Austin’s Toyota.
Plato scythed into Turkington’s advantage and was on the sister Levorg’s tail on lap ten. The stablemates battled for a number of laps with Plato incredibly pressuring Turkington at this critical stage of the season. Eventually the call came from the team and Plato relented, backing up the chasing pack in the process and allowing Turkington to take victory.
“It’s fantastic stuff,” beamed Turkington. “I didn’t see it coming before the weekend, I really didn’t think we could win here once never mind twice. Sometimes things go your way and the team have given me a good car. The effects of the 75kgs were playing out and I could see Jason (Plato) right behind me. I wasn’t going to waste my energy on the team radio but thanks to them it made my job a bit easier. I was relieved when I saw him back off. I could see Gordon (Shedden) behind and you can easily go from first to fourth to fifth.”
Josh Cook and Sam Tordoff dive-bombed by Austin’s Handy Motorsport machine, and the Laser Tools Mercedes of Aiden Moffat immediately followed suit. Austin retired shortly after with what looked like a mechanical issue.
Mat Jackson took seventh – and with it the reverse grid pole for race three – although his championship chances are now over.
Adam Morgan claimed eighth for WIX Racing, ahead of Tom Ingram, with the latter having fought back from the rear of the grid at the start of the day.
Rob Collard completed the top ten order but he too is now out of the running to become the 2016 BTCC champion.
Tordoff now leads by just two points from Shedden, while Turkington is a further eight back. Neal remained in mathematical contention, but his withdrawal on safety grounds ends his challenge for this year.
“It was good to finish ahead of Sam (Tordoff) but the gain was quite small,” said Shedden. “He starts ahead so it’s going to be tough, but as we all know anything can happen in last race of the season. We’re closing in and we’ll keep pushing until the end.”
The climax to this incredible season will come down to the 30th and final round at 17:05, with tens of thousands of fans taking in the atmosphere at Brands Hatch and many, many more watching the action on ITV4.
2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Race Two – Brands Hatch GP:
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing 28m52.932s (85.93 mph)
2 Jason PLATO (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +1.128s
3 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.535s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +1.827s
5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +2.431s
6 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +2.931s
7 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +3.046s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) WIX Racing +3.336s
9 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +3.626s
10 Robert COLLARD (GBR) Team JCT600 Racing with GardX +3.963s
11 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +4.650s
12 Jake HILL (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +5.697s
13 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) Motorbase Performance +7.043s
14 Aron SMITH (IRL) BKR +10.510s
15 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD Tuning.com +13.455s
16 Michael EPPS (GBR) RCIB Insurance Racing +14.421s
17 Hunter ABBOTT (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +14.914s
18 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Eurotech Racing +15.214s
19 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +16.729s
20 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team IHG Rewards Club +16.743s
21 James COLE (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +16.808s
22 Alex MARTIN (GBR) Dextra Racing +19.672s
23 Warren SCOTT (GBR) Silverline Subaru BMR Racing +20.541s
24 Kelvin FLETCHER (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +20.888s
25 Stewart LINES (GBR) Maximum Motorsport +25.510s
26 Mark HOWARD (GBR) BKR +36.284s
27 Dan WELCH (GBR) Goodestone Racing +44.694s
28 Tony GILHAM (GBR) TLC/RCIB Insurance Racing +14 laps
DNF Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +3 laps
DNF Ash SUTTON (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +8 laps
DNF Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +14 laps