Team BMW’s Colin Turkington bounced back from near-disaster at Donington Park to claim a dominant British Touring Car Championship victory in the last race of the day to set up a dramatic five-way fight for the Drivers’ title at the season finale.
The Race-Three win was the 60th of the Northern Irishman’s BTCC career, putting him level with Andy Rouse in third place on the series all-time winners’ list and edging him even closer to the lead of the championship in his WSR-run BMW 330i M Sport. It also ensured that BMW will go to the final event of the season with a commanding lead in the Manufacturers’ Standings as they seek a record-breaking sixth-consecutive title. After a well-judged run to fifth place earlier in the day while carrying 48kg success ballast, four-time champion Colin was attempting to move into a podium spot in Race Two when he clipped a kerb at Donington’s Old Hairpin and spun, dropping to 11th place.
But a stroke of good fortune came shortly after the chequered flag as he was randomly drawn on pole position on Race Three’s partially-reversed grid by model and racing enthusiast Jodie Kidd. An inch-perfect drive in a ballast-free BMW delivered him victory with the fastest lap; a result that moved him into second place in the Drivers’ Championship – 32 points behind the series leader with 67 on offer at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.
Significantly, Colin has won at Donington Park in every season since the BMW 330i, designed, built and run by WSR, debuted in 2019. The WSR-run operation remain in the hunt for all three BTCC titles with BMW 91 points clear in the race for the Manufacturers’ crown and 111 available at the final three races.
Colin Turkington said: “That was a pretty emotional win. After what happened in Race Two and what it could have meant for the championship, getting drawn on pole was a stroke of luck. It’s still a big job to win – even when you are on pole – but the BMW was perfect and I think we got what we all deserved. I’ve possibly even scored more points this way than I would have done without what happened in Race Two. To get my 60th win and equal Andy Rouse’s total – which was the all-time record for such a long-time – is a nice feeling, but right now making sure we go to Brands Hatch with a decent chance of the championship is the most important thing.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “I’m very pleased for Colin to end the weekend with not just an important win for the championship, but a milestone victory for himself too. That’s three years in a row that we’ve won here – at a track where handling is so important – with the BMW 330i M Sport. That proves what a well-balanced car we have. Stephen got better as the day went on and was really quick in Race Three, but I’m sorry for Tom because he shouldn’t be where he was this weekend. We’re going to look deep into everything to do with his car back at base to see if we can locate the cause. Brands Hatch isn’t far away and we need to be as ready as we can be to fight for the championship.”