The battle for supremacy in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship reached boiling point – much like the weather – at Snetterton this past weekend (August 13/14) as Colin Turkington and Ashley Sutton charged to victory.
On what proved to be a scorching seventh event of the season at Norfolk track, Turkington – who was celebrating his 500th BTCC start on Sunday – stamped his authority on the title fight with a dominant double before reigning champion Sutton struck back in race three.
Qualifying on Saturday arguably belonged to West Surrey Racing as Turkington led home a front-row BMW lockout, snatching pole position from team-mate Jake Hill in the latter stages.
The four-time champion lit up the timesheets in the closing minutes to edge out Hill, who had been on course to improve his time before catching traffic at Coram. Tom Ingram netted third whilst Stephen Jelly and Adam Morgan rounded out the top five.
Race one on Sunday saw Turkington keep stablemate Hill at bay to claim a commanding lights-to-flag victory. Holding the lead off the line, the Northern Irishman was never headed despite having to deal with two safety car periods and Hill, who was threatening to make a move throughout the contest.
Ingram remained within striking distance of the top two however the Hyundai man was never able to launch a proper attack and ultimately settled for third place.
Turkington and Hill then produced a carbon copy performance in the second encounter. Blasting off the line, the BMW duo ran side-by-side for much of the opening lap before the pole sitter pulled clear as they filed through Brundle and Nelson.
Once out front Turkington didn’t put a wheel wrong to lead home the second successive WSR 1-2 of the day, with Ingram once again completing the podium in third.
NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton then came to the fore in the reverse grid encounter as he scored his second win in as many race weekends. Drawn onto pole position after two ninth place finishes earlier in the day, the Ford Focus ST driver fought back from a sluggish start to dominate proceedings.
Behind, Jason Plato marked his 650th series start with a welcome return to the podium. The double title winner dispatched Dan Rowbottom early on and from there enjoyed a trouble-free run to the flag to clinch this first podium of the season.
The final spot on the rostrum had everyone on the edge of their seats as Ricky Collard and Ingram went door-to-door on the final lap. Collard would prevail on the road however he would later be hit with a one-second time penalty for an incident, promoting Ingram up a position to give him a hat-trick of third-place drives.
With three events remaining, Turkington holds the advantage at the summit of the BTCC Drivers’ Championship whilst Team BMW lead the way in the BTCC Teams’ Championship standings.
Josh Cook and Rich Energy BTC Racing continue to top the Independent Drivers’ and Independent Teams’ categories, with BMW setting the pace on the Manufacturer-Constructors’ leaderboard. In the Jack Sears Trophy, Bobby Thompson remains out front.
To view the full classification of results from all sessions at Snetterton, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship continues in less than two weeks’ time as Rounds 22, 23 & 24 take place at Thruxton on August 27/28.
Tickets for the series’ second visit to the fastest circuit in the UK are available to purchase at advance prices via https://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/btcc-august.