Colin Turkington reclaims championship lead with Snetterton win

Reigning Kwik Fit British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington secured his second race win of the day at Snetterton and subsequently retakes the championship lead.

There’s now just seven points separating both him and Ashley Sutton at the top of the standings with just four races left in this dramatic and enthralling season.

After what appeared to be a stalemate for much of the race between the championship contenders, a late safety car brought it all into life.

Turkington fired his BMW 330i M-Sport off the line for the second consecutive race and into the lead as Tom Ingram and Rory Butcher got the better of Jake Hill off the line. With Hill still struggling, Sutton and Dan Cammish also got past the MB Motorsport Honda Civic and into fourth and fifth respectively.

The biggest mover in the pack however was Ollie Jackson who had made up 11 positions from where he initially started by the end of just the third lap.

With some clean air in front of him, the Ciceley Motorsport run Mercedes A-Class of Adam Morgan set the fastest lap of the race at the half-way point, but was about to lose his seventh position as Josh Cook dived up the inside going into Riches.

After struggling early on, Turkington had now pulled out a couple of seconds advantage over second-placed Ingram who had Butcher nibbling at his bumper at every opportunity. The Northern Irishman was looking comfortable out in front and set the fastest lap of the race.

With Butcher also defending from Sutton, the Laser Tools Racing driver kept waving his finger at Butcher, signalling to stop defending and chase after Ingram who had since pulled out a couple of tenths advantage.

Butcher acknowledged and the pair were soon right on Ingram’s bumper again with Cammish and Hill also joining the rear of the train.

With just one lap to go, Jack Goff ran wide coming out of Riches and onto the grass with the car careering into the inside barrier head-on, bringing out the safety car.

This reduced Turkington’s three-second advantage to just a few tenths as the race resumed with just one lap left. The Team BMW driver got off to a great start as Ingram still had all the attention of Butcher in third.

From a long way back, Butcher went very late on the brakes into the Montreal hairpin and hit Ingram out wide. Butcher backed out of it as Sutton capitalised on the pair running wide by diving up the inside.

However, Ingram managed to get enough drive out of the corner to hang into second as Cammish also joined the fray by diving up the inside of Butcher going into Agostini. The Motorbase Ford Focus managed to hang on to the place despite having a crumpled front end with Hill managing to get the better of Cammish in the final sector to secure fifth.

At the front though, it was all about Turkington as he claimed his second win of the day, and with it the championship lead.

“It’s still the same pressure,” said Turkington. “I once again got a good start and survived the first lap when the pressure was on, but it was really the scrap behind me that allowed me to break free. I saw that Tom [Ingram] was having an almighty race trying to keep the others behind, so I just tried to keep my focus and keep chalking down the laps.

“I could have done without the safety car at the end, but I managed it well and took home another win – there’s nothing that beats that feeling of winning! It’s a lovely place to be out in front – it’s a luxury. The BMW has been ballistic this weekend at Snetterton, so absolute credit to Team BMW for that.

“Race three is about surviving, getting stuck in and still trying to get some really good points. You’ve got to fight for every point, but I’m looking forward to a really good scrap.”

Ingram managed to hang on to second with Sutton third.

Ingram managed to hang on to second despite a last-lap scare courtesy of Butcher. (Photo credit: BTCC/Jakob Ebrey)

Fourth was Butcher with Hill fifth and Cammish sixth.

Seventh was Cook with Jackson a superb eighth whilst Morgan finished ninth.

Chris Smiley finished in 10th and will start race three from pole position after his number got picked out the hat.

Tom Oliphant finished in 11th with Matt Neal 12th and Senna Proctor 13th.

Michael Crees took charge of the Jack Sears trophy standings with a 14th place-finish whilst Sam Osborne finished in 15th.

Header image courtesy of BTCC/Jakob Ebrey

By Jordan Hollands

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