Team BMW scored a milestone victory on a superb weekend in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Croft, North Yorkshire.
Colin Turkington’s victory in Race Two was not only the 50th in the BTCC for WSR with BMW, but also the 75th in total for the Sunbury-on-Thames-based team in the series. Turkington’s third win of the season moved him up to third place in the Drivers’ Championship. His results also helped Team BMW to take the lead of the Teams’ points race and BMW to increase their advantage at the head of the Manufacturers’ title fight.
The Northern Irishman finished a strong second in Race 1 before coming out on top of a close battle for victory in Race Two, despite carrying 66kg of success ballast in his BMW 125i M Sport. He also set the fastest lap in two of the day’s three races. His victory was also a record-extending 12th in the BTCC at Croft and the 17th for WSR at the 2.1-mile circuit, ensuring their mantle as the most successful team in series history there was maintained.
His team-mate Rob Collard was third in Race Two to keep up his record of finishing on the podium at every event and in the points at every race this year. The Hampshire racer added a fourth and an eighth – the latter after being pushed off-track by Matt Neal in Race Three – to retain second place in the Drivers’ Championship at the halfway point of the season.
Colin Turkington said: “It’s been an ultra-strong weekend for me, capped off by taking the 50th win for WSR with BMW in the BTCC; 10 years after I got the first one – also at Croft. We’ve had very good race pace today on both types of tyre and a big points haul means I’m right in contention for the championship as we hit the halfway point of the season. There’s still 15 races to go and anything can happen, so we’ll go away, keep working on fine-tuning the BMW and make sure we have an equally strong second half of the season.”
Rob Collard said: “I have mixed feelings about the weekend. On the one hand it’s great to maintain my run of scoring points in every race and finishing on the podium at every event because it keeps me right in the hunt for the championship. However, we’ve had such strong race pace today, it’s a little frustrating that my results haven’t quite reflected this. I couldn’t match some of the cars I was racing with for straightline speed, and I’ve been pushed off in Race Three by an unnecessary move by Matt Neal. I’m confident of continuing this strong run at Snetterton after the summer break.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It’s been a very strong day for Team BMW, who have re-taken the lead of the Teams’ Championship and have both Colin and Rob in very good positions in the race for the Drivers’ title at the halfway point of the season. I think Rob could have been on the podium in Race 3 too, but it seems some of the more established drivers have lapsed back into their old tricks, which is disappointing to see. We’ve reached a few milestones today, which are very nice to have, but at WSR we look forwards, not backwards, and that means focusing on making sure we stay in championship contention for the rest of the season.”
BTCC Drivers’ Championship after Round 5/10
1 Gordon Shedden 188
2 Rob Collard 177
3 Colin Turkington 176
4 Ashley Sutton 168
5 Tom Ingram 140
1 Team BMW 344
2 Halfords Yuasa Racing 314
3 Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 213
4 Speedworks Motorsport 135
5 BMW Pirtek Racing 123
1 BMW 421
2 Honda 382
3 Subaru 337
4 Vauxhall 281
5 MG 201