Team BMW’s Colin Turkington maintained his excellent start to the 2019 campaign at Croft with a fourth, second and sixth across three exciting races.
The reigning Champion now sits 11 points clear at the top of the driver’s standings with BTC Racing’s Josh Cook in second.
“Once again Croft proves to be a great track for BMW, and now for the new 3 Series,” said Turkington. “It’s been a great weekend for me. I came here sharing the lead of the points and I leave in front on my own, which is exactly where we all want to be. Second, fourth and sixth represent big points and was as much as I could hope for. It’s fantastic to drive a car that feels so good.
“Next, we go to Oulton Park, where we’ve had some great results in the past, and even though I’ll have maximum success ballast, the aim will be to continue scoring big points.”
However, it was Turkington’s BMW teammate Andrew Jordan who stole the headlines with yet another double and his fourth and fifth wins of the season.
Jordan converted pole position into race victory in the opening encounter of the day, holding off Chris Smiley and Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton.
The second race of the day followed in similar sort with Jordan taking the lead from pole once again before racing off into the distance.
Meanwhile, behind him Smiley was acting as the cork in the bottle allowing Jordan to mount a comfortable gap out in front.
Turkington eventually found a way past Smiley and began to close the gap to his teammate but couldn’t get close enough to find a way past.
It would get worse for Smiley with the two Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R’s relegating him down to fifth. On the final lap, Smiley’s race ended prematurely after coming together with Ashley Sutton at the Complex.
Sutton managed to keep it on the road to finish fifth with Jason Plato just behind in sixth.
I couldn’t have asked for more today. It was pretty much perfect,” said Jordan. “I was overwhelmed after winning race two with full ballast, because to get two double-wins in successive events is something that almost never happens in the BTCC and it shows what an amazing job the team have done with the BMW.
“It’s drawing us back into contention after Donington Park. We need to keep our expectations in check – there are a lot of quick guys out there. We’re on good form. I feel good in myself and with the car and the team. The title fight really starts here.”
Race three was all about tyres with rain falling over the North Yorkshire circuit before the start of the race.
It was Chilton who held his cool on a very damp track to take the race win from Cook with Plato completing the podium places – that was Plato’s first podium since Croft last year.
“I said to my dad I’d try and get him a podium for Father’s Day and he said that wouldn’t be good enough, he wanted a win!” said Chilton. It was a perfect weekend for me and the team. We’ve managed not just a double podium, but we got the win as well. We’re in it to win it.
“Everyone in the team is working hard to put all of our knowledge together and make this old girl go faster this year and we’ve done a great job. I’m really looking forward to going to Oulton Park next. I’ll be looking for more of the same.”
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads to Oulton Park for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Championship and after that, we will be half-way through the 2019 title race. Now is where it really starts to heat up!
Header image from BTCC
By Jordan Hollands