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Colin Turkington thrilled with Croft spoils

Colin Turkington left Croft a happy man as he retained the lead of the British Touring Car Championship ahead of the series’ summer break, despite retiring from the day’s final race with clutch problems.

The eBay Motors driver looked like the man to beat from the get-go, setting the pace in opening practice and crushing his rivals with a lap-record to claim pole on Saturday, then dominating proceedings in Sunday’s opening two races before a clutch failure put pay to his hopes of becoming only the third man to complete a clean-sweep of races across a weekend.

Although Turkington’s nearest challenger throughout the weekend was his closest championship rival, Gordon Shedden, a post-race demotion for the Honda driver in race three means that Turkington holds a seven-point advantage at the front, even after missing the opportunity to score further points.

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But despite holding onto his lead, the 32-year-old struggled to hide his disappointment at retiring from a chaotic race three while running in fifth – although he admitted that he had no option but to stop.

“The car was running really strong and I feel there was a lot of potential certainly to get on the podium,” said Turkington to TouringCars.Net. “But we just had an issue with the clutch – it was slipping from the word go and it got progressively worse so we couldn’t continue.”

Moving on from the incident, Turkington was otherwise thrilled with his weekend in Yorkshire, where his two wins brought his total number of victories at the track to ten – eight of them coming in his last 12 races at Croft.

“[It was] A really, really positive weekend,” beamed the Northern Irishman. “To get pole and win two races is not easily done against this level of competition so it’s been a great weekend.

“It doesn’t always go your way – you need some luck sometimes – but I can leave happy.”

And with the end of the weekend marking the halfway point in the season, Turkington affirmed the need for his team to continue their efforts from the first 15 rounds of the championship.

“[We have to] Just keep working hard really. We’ve done that in the first half of the season so if we keep our heads down and try to maximise our performance, it’s no secret that hard work pays off.”

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