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.
|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|