TURKINGTON COMPLETES CLASSIC COMEBACK
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington has taken victory in the final reverse grid BTCC race at Oulton Park, completing a phenomenal comeback throughout the day for the four-time champion.
Turkington is no stranger to victory of course, but this was arguably one of the best days of his illustrious career, having produced brilliant drives in each of the three contests at the picturesque Cheshire circuit.
The #4 BMW 330e M Sport was disqualified from Qualifying yesterday after the car failed post-session scutineering checks, which meant a starting berth on the last row of the grid for Turkington.
He charged from 27th to ninth in the first race, then improved up to fourth in the next bout, but saved his best until last to grab his 65th BTCC career victory.
It was a BMW 1-2-3 at the finish as Turkington prevented stablemate Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) from claiming an historic hat-trick, whilst Adam Morgan (Team BMW) completed the podium.
The moment of truth came shortly after an early safety car period as Turkington ran around the outside of Morgan through turn one, as Hill also followed him through when the move was completed down at Cascades.
The aforementioned safety car spell also proved dramatic as the Ford Focus championship leader Ash Sutton (NAPA Racing UK) grounded to a halt on the opening lap after contact with Tom Ingram’s (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) car squeezed the former into the pit wall.
Ingram held onto fourth from Dan Cammish (NAPA Racing UK) and Aiden Moffat (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) – the Scotsman having surged through the order on the softer Goodyear tyre.
Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and Dan Rowbottom (NAPA Racing UK) were seventh and eighth respectively, whilst the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK pairing of Ricky Collard and Rory Butcher completed the top ten for the second successive race.
Colin Turkington said: “It’s been the most amazing day. I was a bit down in the dumps last night knowing I had to start right at the back in P27 – right in the dip here! I did not think we could make the progress we have, though. Oulton Park has been quite a good track for the BMW previously and although it can be tough to pass we played our cards right and in each race it kept getting better and better.
“This victory means so much. I had to really graft for it, having started right at the back at the beginning of the day in the doldrums to the top step of the podium. It really means a lot.
“There are not too many opportunities to overtake against a car which is the same as your own, so you have to try something different. It was maybe a move which Adam [Morgan] wasn’t expecting. I got a really good run on the hybrid coming out of the last corner to start the lap which really set me up to make the move. Having three BMWs on the podium is a fantastic feeling. Jake [Hill] was on my case, but I could see where we were strong and where we were not – so it was nice in the last few laps to stretch my legs at the front.”
Jake Hill said: “It’s been a blinder of a race weekend! To take two wins, three podiums and three fastest laps is brilliant and I can’t say much more than that. This car and the team are true heroes, and we have really turned it around this weekend. The car was monstrous – I am not saying that it is going to be rapid everywhere, but it is currently a lovely place to be. I must say a huge thank you to Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, everyone in the team at West Surrey Racing and of course BMW UK for all of their support.
“Unfortunately for Adam [Morgan], Colin [Turkington] just had a really good run coming out of Old Hall on the outside and it just set me up really to dive down the inside at the next turn to take second. Huge credit to both of them to complete a 1-2-3 for the BMWs – it’s an amazing feeling.”
Adam Morgan said: “What a way to finish. I would love to take the P3 and swap it for P1, but to get a 1-2-3 is fantastic. Colin [Turkington] took me completely by surprise going into the last corner. I thought I had braked quite late, but I have no idea where that came from by Colin going into Lodge!
“Colin started last in the first race of the day and won the third – that’s what the BTCC is all about. For my own championship it is a really good haul of points and now, heading into the break, I am ready for a lie down!
“My kids can also definitely come again – they must be good luck! You see so many people at your home track and so it is amazing to end like this.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Oulton Park
1. Colin Turkington, Team BMW 18 Laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +1.762s
3. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +4.305s
4. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +4.709s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +6.176s
6. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +7.179s
7. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +9.306s
8. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +9.512s
9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +11.786s
10. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +17.512s
11. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +19.322s
12. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +19.949s
13. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +20.749s
14. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +21.766s
15. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +22.875s
16. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +25.203s
17. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +29.115s
18. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +32.133s
19. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +33.189s
20. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +33.375s
21. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +39.181s
22. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +52.137s
23. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1 Lap
24. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1 Lap
25. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1 Lap
26. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +4 Laps
27. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK DNF