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Colin Turkington canters to race one win at Brands Hatch

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington eased to victory in the opening British Touring Car Championship race at a hot and sunny Brands Hatch, with Josh Cook and Ash Sutton completing the podium.

Turkington converted his pole position into a lights-to-flag victory, being one of five drivers to run the soft tyre in the first race of the day.

Whilst the four-time champion held the lead at the start, team-mate Adam Morgan, who started alongside him on the front row of the grid, did not fare as well.

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Morgan was second initially, but on the second lap he fell behind NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton on the run down the Cooper Straight. Morgan’s strife continued in the following laps, as NAPA’s Dan Cammish and Speedworks Motorsport’s Cook passed him on consecutive laps, leaving him fifth by the end of lap four.

Morgan lost three more places on lap five, and was defending from EXCELR8 Motorsport’s Ronan Pearson on lap seven when he made a late move to defend into Druids, resulting in contact between the pair which saw them brush the barriers on the inside.

Both drivers could continue, but Morgan dropped to 18th and Pearson had to pit before returning to the race two laps down.

Further drama struck on lap eight as Cammish, on the soft tyre, slowed with a front-left puncture, making a pitstop for new rubber and dropping two laps down.

That promoted Sutton into second, with Cook just over half a second back. As the race progressed, Cook on the soft rubber began to pile the pressure onto the four-time champion ahead, and he passed Sutton for second on lap 15.

By this stage, Turkington was almost six seconds clear at the front and went on to score a comfortable first win of the season, ahead of Cook.

Sutton completed the podium, keeping him just two points shy of the summit of the drivers’ championship standings.

Toyota’s Andrew Watson was originally fourth, benefitting from the soft tyre and charging from seventh on the grid.

Having got past NAPA’s Daniel Rowbottom early on, Watson was later re-passed by the Ford driver and the duo enjoyed a fierce battle for fifth, benefitting from the demise of Morgan and Cammish.

The Northern Irishman then got by Rowbottom for good on lap 13 with a clean move into Paddock Hill bend to seal fourth place.

However, the Toyota driver was later handed a six-second penalty for contact with EXCELR8’s Tom Ingram, dropping him to eighth.

Laser Tools Racing’s Jake Hill, on the soft tyre, was fourth in the revised result, passing Rowbottom into Paddock seven laps from the finish, leaving Rowbottom to take fifth.

EXCELR8 duo Tom Chilton and Tom Ingram were sixth and seventh respectively, Chilton having actually dropped a place at the start before fighting back and passing team-mate Ingram on lap nine. After his penalty, Watson was eighth.

The top ten was completed by Speedworks’ Aiden Moffat, making up six places, and Power Maxed Racing’s Árón Taylor-Smith.

Taylor-Smith got by Toyota’s Rob Huff for the place on the penultimate lap, with Huff potentially dropping back to ensure he can run the soft tyre with full hybrid boost in the second race of the day.

Huff was thus 11th, ahead of NAPA’s Sam Osborne, PMR’s Mikey Doble, Restart Racing’s Chris Smiley and BMW’s Morgan.

Unlimited Motorsport’s Daryl DeLeon was the only non-classified driver, after pitting with a differential issue, having earlier also had soem smoke emanating from his CUPRA for a period in an unrelated issue.

Race two is scheduled to get underway at 14:30 BST.

Revised race results*

1 20 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 24 19:43.459 48.380 1
2 66 M Josh COOK LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 6.826 48.417 5
3 1 M Ashley SUTTON NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 24 8.722 48.765 4
4 24 M Jake HILL Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport 24 14.924 49.095 12
5 32 M Daniel ROWBOTTOM NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 24 15.386 48.888 6
6 3 M Tom CHILTON BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 24 19.342 48.960 10
7 80 M Tom INGRAM BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 24 19.474 49.206 8
8 11 M Andrew WATSON* TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 19.763* 48.769 7
9 16 M Aiden MOFFAT LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 20.669 49.330 15
10 40 I Árón TAYLOR-SMITH Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 24 27.024 49.226 14
11 12 M Rob HUFF TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport 24 27.632 49.176 11
12 77 M Sam OSBORNE NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 24 27.999 49.325 17
13 88 I Mikey DOBLE Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra 24 28.835 49.252 13
14 222 I Chris SMILEY Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 24 30.546 49.322 16
15 33 M Adam MORGAN Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport 24 30.902 49.178 2
16 29 I Scott SUMPTON Restart Racing CUPRA Leon 24 34.770 49.462 18
17 22 M Nick HALSTEAD BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 24 39.532 49.965 20
18 27 M Dan CAMMISH NAPA Racing UK Ford Focus ST 22 + 2 LAPS 48.476 3
19 14 M Ronan PEARSON BRISTOL STREET MOTORS Hyundai i30 N Fastback 22 + 2 LAPS 49.212 9
NC 18 I Daryl DELEON Duckhams Racing with Bartercard CUPRA Leon 20 NCF 49.641 19
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