Colin Turkington takes first 2018 win for BMW and championship lead

Colin Turkington takes first 2018 win for BMW and championship lead

Photo: PSP Images

Colin Turkington scored Team BMW’s first victory of the 2018 British Touring Car Championship season after cutting through from the second row to dominate the middle race at Oulton Park.

Matt Neal similarly improved but took the chequered flag over 5 seconds adrift in the Honda Civic Type R FK7, whilst a battling drive from Motorbase’s Tom Chilton earned a second successive podium.

The drama began before the race had even started, with pole-sitter and race one winner Matt Simpson ruled out due to a necessary engine change, explaining the smoke emanating from the Eurotech-run machine in the opening contest.

That released Chilton and the second WSR BMW of Andrew Jordan at the start, with the former holding the advantage after a side-by-side battle at Old Hall.

Chaos ensued further back, with Aiden Moffat spinning down Cascades and out of the race with a broken rear tow-link, and Brett Smith narrowly avoiding disaster after contact with Chris Smiley sent the MINI Challenge Champion spinning across Island Hairpin, though everyone avoided him safely.

Sam Tordoff briefly held the final podium slot but was forced to concede to Turkington through Old Hall at the start of the second lap, before fading and eventually retiring with a fire.

Turkington’s progress continued relentlessly, dispatching team-mate Jordan in a stunning move at Lodge whilst both were avoiding the slow moving BMW 1-series of Stephen Jelley.

Chilton put up a valiant – albeit brief – fightback, but was powerless to stop another sweeping move at Lodge from the Northern Irishman to take the race lead.

From there, it proved relatively simple, Turkington’s final winning margin 5.372 seconds.

Jordan would eventually finish fourth behind Neal and Chilton, with the final Motorbase Ford Focus RS of James Cole rounding out the top five.

Rob Collard cemented the BMW’s strong performance in the heat with sixth, Rob Austin seventh after making incremental gains in the HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Jack Goff came next in the sole points-scoring Eurotech Racing Honda, with Ollie Jackson and Tom Ingram rounding out the top ten after a lively scrap between the pair.

Erstwhile championship leader Adam Morgan was 11th as his recent run of frustrating form at the 2.2 mile Cheshire circuit continues, with the second Team Dynamics car of Dan Cammish 12th after a trip across the grass at The Avenue.

Local racer Tom Oliphant was 13th, with the AmD MG of Rory Butcher and Mike Bushell’s Volkswagen CC rounding out the points.

It proved another frustrating showing for Team BMR, with Jason Plato the leading Subaru Levorg GT in 20th. Team-mate and reigning champion Ash Sutton managed just 23rd.

The final race of the weekend gets underway at 17:05 BST.

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 2 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 15 22:04.333 1:27.058 6
2 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 5.372 1:27.124 5
3 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 15 7.800 1:27.683 2
4 77 M Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 15 8.598 1:27.707 3
5 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 15 13.121 1:27.928 7
6 5 M Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 15 13.347 1:27.543 9
7 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 15 15.304 1:27.940 10
8 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 15 18.205 1:27.883 8
9 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 15 18.308 1:27.714 14
10 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 15 18.493 1:26.996 15
11 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 18.582 1:27.091 18
12 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 18.922 1:27.304 13
13 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 19.497 1:27.273 20
14 6 Rory BUTCHER AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 15 19.798 1:27.742 27
15 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 15 21.984 1:27.432 19
16 18 M Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 15 22.438 1:27.592 28
17 26 Daniel LLOYD BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 23.292 1:27.567 25
18 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 24.115 1:27.935 12
19 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 15 24.959 1:27.236 11
20 99 M Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 25.854 1:28.074 30
21 24 Jake HILL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 15 27.549 1:28.310 23
22 44 Michael CAINE Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 15 30.056 1:27.938 29
23 1 M Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 34.586 1:28.057 21
24 28 Josh PRICE Autoglym Academy Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 38.931 1:28.629 32
25 12 Tom BOARDMAN AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 15 39.965 1:28.019 24
26 66 M Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 13 + 2 LAPS 1:27.580 17
R 19 Bobby THOMPSON Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 13 DNF 1:28.031 26
R 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 12 DNF 1:27.738 31
R 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 10 DNF 1:28.057 4
R 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 2 DNF N/A 22
R 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 1 DNF N/A 16
NS 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R DNS N/A 1