BTCC: Turkington reaches half-century at Oulton Park

0
45
Colin Turkington was on song once again at Oulton Park. © Ian Cutting Photography/Prescott Motorsport

BMW’s dominance in the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship showed no signs of stopping at Oulton Park, as reigning champion Colin Turkington claimed two victories.

Chasing a fourth title this season, Turkington stormed to two wins around the Cheshire circuit to extend his championship advantage.

His second victory was his 50th in the series, putting him in an exclusive club alongside Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Andy Rouse.

Two more podium finishes for Andrew Jordan saw him climb into second position in the standings, as the two threaten to run away from the chasing pack.

Audi claimed the third victory on the road as Jake Hill won the reverse grid race. Unfortunately for Hill, he received a time penalty afterwards after a collision with Neal whilst fighting for the lead.

That meant victory for Stephen Jelley and Team Parker Racing, also driving a BMW.

Pole for Turkington despite maximum ballast

Colin Turkington has proved to be a dominant force in the BTCC this season. © Ian Cutting Photography/Prescott Motorsport

Despite carrying maximum success ballast as championship leader, Turkington produced a stunning lap in qualifying to claim his second pole position of the season.

In fact, BMW and Honda dominated qualifying, locking out the top seven positions on the grid for Round 13.

Turkington and Jordan elected to take the soft Dunlop tyre for the first race of the day.

Both made cracking starts to take first and third positions. It was front row starter Sam Tordoff making a slow getaway to drop to fourth.

Oulton Park has produced plenty of drama over the years for Matt Neal. His frustrating day started with an accident on lap five.

A departing wheel for Matt

Matt Neal’s car is taken back to the pits after his Race One incident at Oulton Park. It was the start of a frustrating day for the three-time champion. Image sourced from btcc.net

The seven-time Oulton Park winner had the accident at Druids.

Although he reported a tyre deflation to his team, replays showed a wheel suddenly parting company from the front end of his Team Dynamics chassis.

Neal was unhurt but the damage to his Honda Yuasa Racing car put him onto the sidelines.

The Safety Car was brought out and on resumption of green flag racing; there was some good midfield battles.

Adam Morgan came off worse, suffering rear suspension damage after a clip from an aggressive Ash Sutton at Cascades.

For the second successive weekend, the Subaru driver copped a post-race grid penalty from the stewards.

He made more progress though than most, coming from a lowly 13th on the grid to 8th at the finish.

Turkington cruised to his third victory of the season ahead of Dan Cammish and Jordan. Rory Butcher finished fourth ahead of his teammate Tordoff and the third BMW of Tom Oliphant.

Turkington Hits the big Five-O

Colin Turkington lifts the trophy aloft after his 50th BTCC victory at during the Oulton Park meeting. © Motorsport Images

Turkington made another textbook start in Round 14 with Jordan moving past Cammish into second place.

There was drama further back. Rob Collard’s Vauxhall knocked Sutton into a spin onto the grass at Cascades.

Then at the Ireland hairpin, Josh Cook tapped Jack Goff, who skewed across the pack and t-boned the luckless Chris Smiley.

With two cars out and damage from Collard’s car across the track, another lengthy Safety Car period followed.

It wasn’t a great second race for Motorbase either. Tom Chilton was an early retirement whilst Ollie Jackson came off second-best in a scrap with Plato and lost five positions.

There was another Safety Car when Sam Osbourne lost control of his MG at Old Hall and hit the barrier.

In the closing moments, Rob Smith had a big accident exiting Lodge corner and he was lucky not to be turned onto his roof.

However, it was a comfortable lights-to-flag victory for Turkington to give him his 50th victory in the BTCC, 16 years after his first at Brands Hatch in 2003.

Jordan and Cammish completed the podium again. There was also a notable drive from Neal who stormed through to 11th from 29th on the grid.

Hill pays the penalty

Stephen Jelley was the main beneficiary of Jake Hill’s penalty in Race Three at Oulton Park. © Ian Cutting Photography/Prescott Motorsport

Accidents in the second race meant Goff and Smith were absent from the final encounter of the day.

Ex-Tyrrell F1 driver Jonathan Palmer did the reverse grid draw which saw a full 12-car shuffle and therefore, pole position for Jake Hill with Neal alongside.

Hill converted pole position into a lead for two laps before Neal got through. However on the exit of Old Hall on lap three, Hill spun Neal around.

In the smokescreen created by the Honda, Plato and Tom Ingram took evasive action and ended up on the grass. Both of their races were ruined.

Plato damaged an oil cooler and pulled off, dumping oil on the racing line to Ireland hairpin.

Cammish, Collard, Ingram and Smiley were amongst those who went off on the oil. All of this gave Hill a five-second lead from Butcher and Jelley.

That early drama took some of the excitement away but Butcher did close down Hill’s advantage and was within a second with three laps to go.

However, he went off on the oil at the hairpin on the penultimate lap and dropped to sixth.

Hill held on for his maiden BTCC victory on the road but he paid the penalty for his earlier misjudgement with Neal.

A 30-second time penalty dropped him to 14th in the final classification, handing victory to Jelley ahead of Oliphant and Tordoff. Jordan and Turkington drove low-key races to fifth and ninth.

Going into the five-week hiatus, Turkington leads the championship by 33 points from Jordan with just a single point covering Cook, Butcher and Sutton.

The next round is at Snetterton at the start of August.

LEAVE A REPLY