Three podiums for WSR and BMW at Donington GP debut
WSR and BMW claimed a trio of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship podium finishes last weekend at Donington Park (26/27 August), as they maintained the lead of the Manufacturers’ title race.
Second and third-place finishes for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill and another rostrum result for Team BMW’s Adam Morgan mean WSR cars have scored 21 podiums in 2023 – a total the team have only surpassed three times in the BTCC.
In the opening bout, Hill drove from ninth on the grid to the rostrum; the Kent racer fighting his was through the pack in his BMW 330e M Sport to score his 40th career podium.
Part of a thrilling four-way race-long fight for second spot between the title contenders, he added third place in a dry second encounter and then eighth in a bruising finale in which he suffered bodywork damage against a chicane tyre stack.
Hill’s results maintained his third place in the Drivers’ Championship and took him to 10 podiums for the year.
Team BMW racer Morgan started fourth on Race Three’s partially-reversed grid and left it late to pass one of his race-long rivals for third – his fourth podium of the year.
The Lancashire racer had earlier finished 12th in a wet opener and ninth in Race Two.
Four-time champion Colin Turkington produced one of the most consistent sets of results of any driver on the grid; the Northern Irishman finishing fifth in the wet before adding fourth and sixth spots in the dry to cement his fourth spot in the points.
His results, combined with those of his three WSR stablemates, kept BMW at the head of the Manufacturers’ points as they chase a record-breaking 10th title.
Large amounts of spray limited Stephen Jelley’s visibility in Race One; the local hero starting 20th and finishing 19th.
But his dry pace was far stronger; the Leicester racer climbing to a points finish in 13th in Race Two and improving further to end the day with a 10th-place finish.
Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) said: “Overall I’m very happy. It’s been a strong day and my engineer Craig and the WSR and Laser Tools crew have done a great job to give me probably the best ‘wet car’ I’ve ever had. The BMW was much better after some major changes overnight and helped me get on the podium again. We’ve stayed ahead in the Manufacturers’ points too so I’m pleased to have done my bit.”
Adam Morgan (Team BMW) said: “I’m really pleased to be back on the podium and it’s been a good weekend all round. We have to work on our wet pace because Race One was a bit of a struggle, but the balance was better in the dry and in Race Three the pace was really good. The drive home’s going to be a good one and hopefully the rest of the season will be too.”
Colin Turkington (Team BMW) said: “To have fourth, fifth and sixth today is decent points. That’s the pace we had for the three races. It was a bit of a war in Race Three, but it was actually quite an enjoyable race. You’d gain one place and then lose two, but it was fun. I was conscious not to get involved in anything too hard because we have the Manufacturers’ Championship to think about, but we’ve come away with some decent points.”
Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) said: “The BMW was good in the dry in race trim today, we just couldn’t overtake some of the cars that had more straight-line speed. I’m pleased with what we’ve done with the balance. That’s the bit we can control and the team did a good job.”