‘The aim will be to continue scoring big points’
Team BMW and BMW Pirtek Racing had another successful weekend as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship visited Croft as the squad now prepares for the visit to Oulton Park.
Andrew Jordan roared into title contention in North Yorkshire, claiming another pair of victories, ‘King of Croft’ Colin Turkington enjoyed a stellar weekend as he moved into the outright lead at the top of the Drivers’ standings and West Surrey Racing team-mate Tom Oliphant impressed with a feisty drive to fifth in race one, as BMW also moved to the top of the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Jordan’s second-best time in qualifying was good enough to secure pole before the rain closed in, while Turkington and Oliphant were fourth and fifth respectively, completing a good afternoon’s work for the WSR squad.
Sunday got off to a great start for Jordan as he pulled away cleanly from the front row, holding off Chris Smiley into Clervaux before controlling the race from the front to take his fourth win of the season.
Turkington and Oliphant ran line astern from lights to flag to secure fourth and fifth, although the latter kept reigning champion Turkington on his toes with a bold attempt through the Complex late on.
Race two was more of the same for Jordan as he fired his 3 Series off the line before setting about creating a gap to the chasing pack.
Northern Irishman Turkington bided his time before making a move, and then demonstrated his pace by bridging a gap of nearly five seconds to close right up behind Jordan at the flag.
Meanwhile, Oliphant found himself muscled out wide by Dan Cammish through the Chicane and spun to the back of the pack – resulting in an impressive recovery drive up to 18th.
The reverse grid draw saw Turkington and Jordan start eighth and ninth respectively, with the duo enjoying a race-long battle with Rory Butcher on their way to another solid points haul with Turkington crossing the line in sixth and Jordan finishing two spots further back.
Oliphant’s gamble on slicks failed to pay off, with the WSR driver eventually bringing his BMW home in 23rd.
Jordan moves up to fourth in the overall standings, just 26 points behind points leader Turkington while Oliphant is currently 13th in the order. BMW are now leading the Manufacturers’ Championship and Team BMW sit second in the Teams’ Championship.
“Once again Croft proves to be a great track for BMW, and now for the new 3 Series,” said Turkington. “It’s been a great weekend for me. I came here sharing the lead of the points and I leave in front on my own, which is exactly where we all want to be. Next we go to Oulton Park, where we’ve had some great results in the past, and even though I’ll have maximum success ballast, the aim will be to continue scoring big points.the aim will be to continue scoring big points.”
“Today’s a case of ‘what might have been.’ The pace in race one was an indication of how fast the car was today and I was pretty confident of getting a good start and a podium in race two,” reflected Oliphant. “But then I was turned sideways at the first corner unnecessarily and then just ran wide into the dirt two corners later and went around … We’ll put this behind us and head to Oulton.”
“A second double of the year … It was pretty much perfect,” enthused BMW Pirtek driver Jordan. “I was overwhelmed after winning race two with full ballast, because to get two double-wins in successive events is something that almost never happens in the BTCC and it shows what an amazing job the team have done with the BMW.”