BTCC

Turkington takes BTCC title fight lead at Knockhill

Turkington

Colin Turkington leads the British Touring Car Championship after a trio of podiums at Knockhill.

Turkington leaves the Scottish track four points ahead of Subaru’s Ashley Sutton, who took his fifth race win in the second race of the weekend. A frustrating weekend for home hero Gordon Shedden dropped him to third in the order, just ahead of Rob Collard.

After a breakthrough pole on Saturday, Plato took victory in the opening race of the weekend. Sutton, who started second, challenged him throughout the race, and briefly led when Plato let him past on the final lap in a misjudged attempt to allow his team-mate to take a point for leading a lap. But Sutton was forced to let Plato back past before the end of the lap.

Plato took the victory, his first since Knockhill last season, ahead of Sutton and Turkington.

Turkington and Collard had remained close to the Subaru duo throughout the race, but never close enough to attempt a move for the win.

James Cole followed them across the line, having taken fifth from tom Ingram early in the race.

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The second race of the weekend was red flagged on the opening lap when Andrew Jordan tapped Matt Neal into Senna Proctor. The Power Maxed Racing driver was sent into a spin and made contact with multiple drives as the field sped past. A collision with Stephen Jelley severely damaged both cars’ front-ends, but both were repaired before the final race.

Plato led the race from pole on the restart with Sutton close behind. The championship contender took the lead at the midpoint of the race but was forced to defend to keep Plato behind him in the second half of the race.

Sutton took the chequered flag two tenths of a second ahead of Plato to take his fifth race win of the season.

Turkington and Collard enjoyed a repeat of race one with another 3-4 for West Surrey Racing. Cole took his second fifth place of the weekend after another battle with Ingram.

After taking 11th in the opening race, Shedden enjoyed a stronger second encounter. He began race two battling with team-mate Matt Neal, who had finished ninth in the opening race, and BTC Norlin’s Dave Newsham. After passing both, he wasn’t able to get close enough to challenge Cole for fifth, and finished sixth.

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Josh Price followed Shedden across the line, but was later excluded for overtaking under yellow flags.

Ant Whorton-Eales took pole in the reverse grid, with BTCC newcomer Rory Butcher starting alongside him. A puncture on the opening lap dropped Whorton-Eales to the back of the field, whilst lack of experience meant Butcher fell backwards over the course of the race.

Tom Ingram inherited the lead and immedietly pulled away from the rest of the field. He was more than nine seconds up the road from Shedden in second when the safety car was brought out for an incident further down the field.

Shedden couldn’t match Ingram on the restart and the Toyota soon pulled away, only to have the gap dashed again by a second safety car. Ingram pulled away again after the second restart to finish more than a second ahead of Shedden.

Shedden had past Newsham and Butcher early on in the race, but couldn’t keep up with Ingram.

Collard and Turkington quickly closed in on Shedden, Collard moving past to take second before he ran wide and fell back behind his team-mate. Turkington chased Shedden to the line, but ran out of laps before he could find a way past.

A mistake from Collard on the penultimate lap dropped him back down the order and he finished 11th.

The Subaru of Sutton took advantage of the mistake to take fourth, but only after team-mate Cole let him past to aid his title fight.

Image credit: Caroline Rhea

 

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