TURKINGTON TAKES LIGHTS-TO-FLAG WIN
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington claimed a commanding triumph in the final Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at Croft, whilst Tom Ingram took second to again close within six points of the standings summit.
One Motorsport with Starline Racing’s Josh Cook went for glory from the outside of the front row on the opening lap, but couldn’t make a move on Turkington stick and also had to concede to Ingram as the field flew through the opening turns.
There was even greater drama behind as Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley was involved in an incident with a trio of NAPA Racing UK cars. Slight contact led to a further more significant incident as a clash between Ash Sutton’s Ford and Jelley’s BMW forced both cars into retirement.
A safety car was called for when Sutton’s stricken machine failed to make it back into pitlane, but Turkington was still able to control the race at the restart from Ingram and Cook.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish and Dan Rowbottom came home in fourth and fifth respectively to complete a fantastic day for the duo, whilst One Motorsport with Starline Racing’s Aiden Moffat grabbed a top six finish.
Jake Hill will be kicking himself, having spun his chances away for the second successive race, but the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport man recovered to take seventh.
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK pairing of Rory Butcher and George Gamble recorded top ten finishes, as did the CarStore Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall of Aron Taylor-Smith.
Incredibly, despite near domination during the day from NAPA Racing UK the result in the finale allowed the title race to close up once more, with Sutton topping Ingram by just six points with Turkington, Hill and Cammish all in close contention.
The BTCC resumes at Knockhill in two weeks’ time.
Colin Turkington: “I really didn’t think was on the cards! Obviously as you saw Lap one was the critical moment and I had to keep Josh [Cook] and Tom [Ingram] behind as they are both super quick, super aggressive.
“I could see where Tom [Ingram] was quick, so he would catch me into and out of Tower but the rest of the lap I felt like I had the legs. I was pleased when I saw him start to degrade a bit, but that’s two weekends on the bounce we have won with the hard tyres – it used to be our achilles heel but so far we have got on top of it.
“A big well done to Team BMW, they grafted really hard for that one today!”
Tom Ingram: “Good to get the points in that one. I saw on the big screen that Ash [Sutton] had obviously had a bit of an issue, so it was just nice to bank points. I only felt like I had a chance against Colin [Turkington] in the opening laps, and Josh [Cook] was in exactly the same boat. We know that against a rear-wheel drive car, that is where we have to pounce. Once it settles into the race, it’s just quite difficult to get past.
“Very pleased, very good to get a result because we have been on the backfoot. But somehow, we are still there or thereabouts. We’ll keep going!”
Josh Cook: “We are slowly making progress. We are still finding our feet with this car – although it looks the same, it is a different chassis, different engine installation and we are just not quite in the sweet spot.
“In that last race I just went for glory and tried to get it done on Colin [Turkington] early and lost out. But I am pleased with the weekend. A fourth, fifth and a third to finish off gives all the guys and girls at One Motorsport with Starline Racing some sort of credit for all the hard work they have been putting in.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Croft
1. Colin Turkington, Team BMW 18 Laps
2. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +3.242s
3. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing 5.287s
4. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +5.886s
5. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +7.192s
6. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +10.402s
7. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +12.336s
8. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +13.152s
9. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +21.699s
10. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +22.819s
11. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +23.309s
12. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +26.774s
13. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +27.021s
14. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +27.721s
15. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +27.843s
16. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +28.425s
17. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +32.011s
18. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +36.409s
19. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +40.420s
20. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +42.603s
21. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +7 Laps
22. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +8 Laps
23. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +15 Laps
24. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +15 Laps
25. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK DNF
26. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils DNF