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Colin Turkington at the double

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington has doubled his 2018 race-winning tally in just one afternoon here at Donington Park as the reigning champion secured his second lights-to-flag victory of the day.

The opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at the East Midlands circuit was an event filled contest, and the second bout provided its fair share of incident too.

Turkington had to contend with two safety car periods but dealt with all such challenges with consummate ease as the scrap for second place enabled him to scamper off into the distance on each occasion.

“What a start to the season compared to last year,” enthused Turkington. “We’ve seen this before, track position counts and if you can get out front you’ve got half a chance. I won the race by managing the safety car periods and kept Ash (Sutton) half a length back.

“I can’t say enough about this team. That’s three wins. It was really difficult in the first few laps. I went in a little too hot to start with. Once I got the balance I put in consistent laps. I saw Ash had to work hard with Matt (Neal), so that made it a bit easier for me. It’s a big pat on the back for the whole team.”

Tom Oliphant briefly held second off the line in the sister BMW 3 Series, but Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton immediately fought back with a brilliant move into the Old Hairpin.

The first safety car intervention was called for when the Audi of Mark Blundell tagged Sam Osborne’s MG on the run down to the final chicane, leaving the former’s Trade Price Cars machine in the gravel.

A strong and much needed result for Sam Tordoff was ruined shortly after the restart when contact with Jason Plato’s Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s Vauxhall Astra fired his car across the grass at the Craner Curves.

Oliphant was busy being shuffled down the order with the AmD Honda of Rory Butcher making a particularly eye catching move by the BMW, but racing was halted again shortly after when Jack Goff’s VW got into the side of Chris Smiley’s BTC Racing Honda. The FK8 Civic, with damaged suspension due to the contact, slid across the grass and into the gravel.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal – quietly going about his business on an otherwise dramatic day – made a great move by Sutton on lap 17 of 19 to take second place, but the main incident involved the charging Josh Cook and Oliphant’s BMW. BTC Racing’s Cook had already made up amazing ground from 24th on the grid before contact with Oliphant in a battle for sixth left the WSR man facing the wrong way.

When the chequered flag finally fell on another action-packed BTCC race it was Turkington from Neal and Sutton in the podium positions.

“I was optimistic, but I was only thinking of fourth!” said Neal. “Colin (Turkington) is just too strong for us at the moment but I was surprised that once we got weight in the car we were up there. It got a bit robust at the Craners. We were both fighting for the same piece of track (Neal and Tom Oliphant).”
 
“I knew I didn’t have the pace to just sit there,” responded Sutton. “As soon as Matt (Neal) got through I wasn’t going to make it too difficult. I couldn’t match his pace with the ballast. The focus was on keeping Tom (Chilton) behind me. We haven’t been in this position before, so I’m just going to take it as it comes.”

The impressive Tom Chilton was fourth, and now leads the overall championship for Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher.

Butcher held off the Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing duo of Plato and Rob Collard to take fifth. Cook had to settle for eighth at the finish, whilst Jake Hill (Trade Price Cars) and Tom Ingram (Team Toyota GB with Ginsters) rounded out the top ten.

2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 5 – Donington Park

1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 19 laps
2 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.151s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2.528s
Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +2.825s
Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +3.061s
6 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +4.326s
7 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +7.110s
8 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +7.338s
Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +7.925s
10 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +9.475s
11 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +10.062s
12 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +10.717s
13 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +11.415s
14 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +11.565s
15 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +12.641s
16 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +14.580s
17 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +16.190s
18 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +18.343s
19 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +18.779s
20 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1 lap
21 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +2 laps
22 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +3 laps
23 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +5 laps
24 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +7 laps
25 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +8 laps
26 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +9 laps
27 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +10 laps
28 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +17 laps
29 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +18 laps

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