BMW trio chasing more silverware at Oulton Park
Following a successful outing at Croft earlier this month, BMW’s Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant and Andrew Jordan are Cheshire-bound this weekend (29/30 June) for the next rounds of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park.
Courtesy of a hat-trick of top six finishes, Turkington sped clear at the summit of the standings in North Yorkshire, opening up an 11-point advantage as he bids not only to defend his crown but also to become the second driver to win four titles in the UK’s premier motorsport series.
Oulton Park has played host to numerous triumphant races for the Northern Irishman, too, with eight race wins to his credit around the challenging and picturesque circuit. Indeed, the last time he competed there in a BMW 3 Series – back in 2009 – he took a double victory.
Team BMW stablemate Tom Oliphant has had an up and down start to the season, but Oulton Park is home turf for the 28-year-old from nearby Tarporley, and he has achieved multiple podiums there in BTCC support series in seasons past.
BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan, meanwhile, vaulted from ninth up to fourth in the title table with a second consecutive double top last time out, as he continues to bounce back from a pointless Donington Park weekend in April.
The 2013 champion has won half the races he has started this year, and he travels to Oulton Park with happy memories. He reached the BTCC rostrum there for the first time in 2008 and has been one of the highest scorers in each of the past two seasons, tallying four podium finishes in BMW machinery and taking the chequered flag no lower than fifth.
Turkington, Oliphant and Jordan’s combined results have put BMW at the top of the Manufacturers’ classification heading to Oulton Park, with Team BMW a close second in the Teams’ rankings.
All of the race day action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4 on Sunday, 30 June, beginning at 11:00am.
“I feel happy with where we are with the 3 Series and the development so far, so the plan is to really attack the weekend from the outset and go into the summer break with the momentum on our side,” said Turkington. “Oulton Park incorporates some of the most demanding corners in British motorsport such as Cascades and Druids, which require a lot of commitment, and it’s narrower than most tracks, which enhances the sense of speed. You really need to be on-point if you want to be on the pace. Going there as championship leader obviously presents its own challenges. Qualifying won’t be easy on maximum ballast but I’m confident we’ll still be able to race well and score some good points – and the aim is to get onto the podium at some stage.”
“Oulton Park is very much home turf for me, and I always enjoy going there,” said Oliphant. “It’s one of my favourite tracks on the calendar – it presents a unique challenge as a driver, and qualifying is a lot of fun as you push yourself and the car absolutely to the limit. Grid position is particularly important there, because the narrow track makes it difficult to overtake and you really need to get your elbows out to go forwards but I’ll arrive with no weight in the car, which will definitely be an advantage so I’m focused on starting right at the front.
“I’ve had some terrible luck recently, so what we need above all else is a clean weekend and three consistent finishes. I can’t help but think my fortunes have to change soon – and where better than Oulton this weekend…?”
“Oulton Park has been one of my strongest circuits in recent seasons, and I love going there,” Jordan said. “It’s just old-school, with all the undulations, a bit of camber and a lot of character. I keep saying we need to hold our expectations in-check and I certainly don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves, but I do go to Oulton expecting to challenge for pole position and race wins – and if we can’t win, then we need to keep bagging the points.
“We’ve really found the sweet spot with the 3 Series, and the confidence level is sky-high for both myself and all the guys on my side of the garage so I see no reason why we shouldn’t be as quick as we were at Croft. We’re in a really good place so we need to use that positive momentum to keep moving forwards.”