Team BMW’s Colin Turkington controlled the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Donington Park to claim his first victory in the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series.
After successfully negotiating two safety car restarts, Turkington controlled the gap to 2017 champion Ash Sutton to take victory in race one at the Leicestershire circuit.
Turkington’s Team BMW stablemate Tom Oliphant secured his first BTCC podium with a clean drive which saw him progress from ninth on the grid to fourth, before being promoted to third when Tordoff spun at the final chicane.
Three-time champion Turkington got a clean getaway at the start, while Sutton jumped Josh Cook off the line before carnage unfolded at the Old Hairpin when Rob Collard tapped Andrew Jordan’s BMW into a spin.
Jordan’s car spun back into the path of the unsighted Adam Morgan, who made a heavy collision with Jordan’s door and sustained major damage to the front end of his Mercedes A-Class, and appeared winded after clambering out of the car.
Stephen Jelley’s BMW 125i then followed suit, causing Jordan’s door to cave in while others took to the grass to avoid contact.
One such driver was Ollie Jackson, who lost the rear and collected Jake Hill’s Audi, breaking his suspension and pitching him into a spin.
The safety car period lasted six laps to remove the stricken cars, and Turkington nailed the restart while Cook’s hard tyre-shod Honda Civic struggled to maintain third, eventually dropping down the order with a punctured left-rear after contact at the final chicane.
Once that battle settled down, it was Matt Neal who emerged in fourth and maintained position to the finish by virtue of a defensive drive to keep Tom Ingram’s Toyota at bay.
Neal’s Halfords Yuasa Racing team-mate Dan Cammish forced fifth-placed Ingram to be conscious of defending while attacking Neal, with the pair holding station to the line with Chris Smiley providing some consolation for BTC Racing in seventh.
New championship leader Tom Chilton was eighth, heading the Power Maxed Racing duo of Jason Plato and Rob Collard in ninth and tenth respectively.
Rory Butcher gained eight places in the opening encounter to finish 11th, with the second BMR Subaru of Senna Proctor coming home in 12th.
Tordoff, who initially plummeted from third to 15th due to his spin after clipping the grass on entry to the final chicane, managed to salvage 13th but will no doubt be left frustrated.
Aiden Moffat dropped back at the start, taking to the grass to avoid the opening lap incident at the Old Hairpin, but showed positive race pace to finish 14th, with Team HARD’s Jack Goff claiming the last points-scoring position in 15th.
Matt Simpson was another non-finisher in his Honda Civic as he got tangled up in the opening lap melee with front end damage.
With heavy damage to both Jordan and Morgan’s cars, it is unclear as to whether either driver will contest the second race of the day, which is scheduled to get underway at 14:30 BST.
|1||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||19||27:52.990||1:09.646||1|
|2||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||19||2.254||1:09.719||3|
|3||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||19||6.402||1:09.806||9|
|4||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||19||8.543||1:10.215||8|
|5||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||19||9.027||1:10.198||6|
|6||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||19||9.480||1:10.116||7|
|7||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||19||9.862||1:10.181||4|
|8||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||19||10.899||1:10.289||13|
|9||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||19||12.267||1:10.382||12|
|10||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||19||12.488||1:10.124||10|
|11||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||19||12.722||1:10.262||19|
|12||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||19||13.166||1:10.284||21|
|13||600||I||Sam TORDOFF||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||19||20.103||1:10.123||5|
|14||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||19||20.370||1:10.553||15|
|15||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||19||21.317||1:11.039||20|
|16||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||19||25.972||1:11.375||23|
|17||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||19||26.652||1:10.904||17|
|18||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||19||27.156||1:10.906||30|
|19||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||19||29.120||1:11.415||27|
|20||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||19||33.106||1:11.718||25|
|21||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||19||34.276||1:11.835||24|
|22||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||19||35.186||1:11.822||28|
|23||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||19||35.888||1:11.908||29|
|24||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||18||+ 1 LAP||1:11.155||2|
|R||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||7||DNF||1:40.387||26|
|R||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1||DNF||N/A||18|
|R||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||0||DNF||N/A||11|
|R||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||0||DNF||N/A||14|
|R||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||0||DNF||N/A||16|
|R||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||0||DNF||N/A||22|