BMW’s Colin Turkington slashed the deficit to championship rival Ash Sutton to six points with victory in the second British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, as the Subaru star struggled to 12th.
Turkington started the race with a 24-point deficit to Sutton, but by the end of the opening lap the BMW driver was up to 12th as he stated his intent to reduce the gap to the Subaru driver.
Race one winner Aiden Moffat led the field away at the start, as behind the Mercedes driver Mat Jackson got his Motorbase Ford off to a strong start to take third into Turn 1.
Further back the race did not start strongly for Sutton, as he slipped from third to sixth by the end of the opening lap, as both Power Maxed Racing Vauxhalls got past early on.
Moffat held the field at bay during the opening laps, with his fully-ballasted car clearly unable to open up a lead at the front, with first Tom Ingram, then Jackson, who moved into second on lap six, trying to pass the Scot for the lead.
Meanwhile, further back Turkington was making steady progress. The Northern Irishman passed Rob Austin for 11th on lap three, before making up a position a lap for the next two tours.
On lap seven Turkington was up to eighth immediately behind his title rival, and going into Turn 1 on lap eight the BMW driver made his key move on Sutton for seventh.
The two-time champion didn’t stop there, however, and he passed the Vauxhall of Tom Chilton on the same lap before securing fifth from Honda’s Matt Neal two laps later.
The progress continued unabated for Turkington, and having dispatched Ingram, Gordon Shedden and Jackson on successive laps, Turkington took the lead on lap 13 with a pass on Moffat at Turn 1.
The pass was not clean though, with Turkington nudging the back of Moffat’s Mercedes and pushing him wide, dropping the Scot to fifth.
The soft-tyre shod Turkington held on to the lead thereafter, taking a maximum points haul by also posting the fastest lap of the race to reduce the championship deficit to six points.
Honda duo Shedden and Neal completed the podium, having assumed the positions in the final few laps, ahead of Motorbase’s Jackson in fourth.
Moffat finished in fifth after his earlier nudge from Turkington, leading to Moffat’s father protesting to the stewards about the incident. No change to the result was deemed necessary, but Turkington was fined £500 and handed three points on his racing licence.
Speedworks’ Ingram took sixth and with it secured his first-ever title in the BTCC, as the Toyota racer wrapped up the Independents’ championship.
Vauxhall’s Chilton took seventh, ahead of Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff in eighth, whilst Austin and Mike Epps completed the top ten.
Sutton had been running in the top ten for much of the race, but the bookies favourite was clearly under pressure throughout, including making several unforced errors that saw him run wide. Having been in seventh on lap 11, Sutton dropped five places in a single lap two laps later and eventually finished in 12th.
The reverse grid draw, by legendary commentator Murray Walker, sees the top ten reversed, putting a fully ballasted Turkington just two places ahead of the unballasted Sutton with six points between the duo in the standings.
|1||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||15||23:27.896||1:31.741||15|
|2||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||1.605||1:32.681||7|
|3||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||2.246||1:32.463||10|
|4||3||Mat JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||15||3.756||1:32.811||4|
|5||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||5.923||1:32.995||1|
|6||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||6.486||1:33.063||2|
|7||2||M||Tom CHILTON||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||6.832||1:32.959||5|
|8||31||Jack GOFF||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||7.252||1:32.661||12|
|9||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||7.584||1:32.552||9|
|10||12||Mike EPPS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||15||8.001||1:32.414||18|
|11||39||Brett SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||8.563||1:32.101||17|
|12||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||8.691||1:32.522||3|
|13||40||M||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||15||8.958||1:32.353||23|
|14||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||11.420||1:33.022||6|
|15||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||15||11.810||1:32.387||14|
|16||24||Jake HILL||TAG Racing||Volkswagen CC||15||15.016||1:32.312||26|
|17||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||15||15.290||1:32.378||27|
|18||10||Ant WHORTON-EALES||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||15||15.480||1:32.697||16|
|19||33||Adam MORGAN||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||15.644||1:32.377||30|
|20||303||M||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||16.411||1:32.345||13|
|21||6||Rory BUTCHER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||15||16.730||1:32.136||24|
|22||20||M||James COLE||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||17.066||1:32.716||19|
|23||28||M||Josh PRICE||A-Plan Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||15||22.090||1:33.385||22|
|24||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||29.816||1:32.322||28|
|25||95||Stewart LINES||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||15||31.169||1:34.342||29|
|26||66||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||15||41.809||1:32.297||25|
|27||30||Martin DEPPER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||15||49.980||1:33.540||21|
|28||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||14||1 Lap||1:32.529||11|
|R||17||Dave NEWSHAM||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||8||DNF||1:32.768||8|
|NS||7||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||–||DNS||N/A||20|
|NS||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||–||DNS||N/A||–|