Colin Turkington produced a stellar performance at Oulton Park this weekend (June 29/30) as he tallied a half-century of Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship victories, extending his advantage in the standings in-doing.
Marking the final stop on the calendar before the annual six-week summer break, the picturesque Cheshire venue served up a blockbuster race day with Turkington and Stephen Jelley sharing the spoils.
Reigning champion Turkington entered the fifth event of the season ladened with success ballast but that didn’t stop him from scorching his way to pole position in qualifying. The Team BMW driver powered his way to the top of the times early in the session and was ultimately never headed.
Turkington converted his front row start into a flawless victory in the opening encounter as he dominated proceedings, leading lights-to-flag. Despite being kept honest by the Honda of Dan Cammish throughout, the Northern Irishman had enough in hand to record his third win of 2019.
Andrew Jordan, the form man of recent events, continued his impressive run of results with a third place finish to round out the podium.
The latest chapter of Turkington’s storied career was written in the second race of the day as the triple champion swept his way to a milestone 50th BTCC win.
Storming off the line, Turkington hit the front and despite two safety car periods, the 330i M Sport driver commanded every lap to lead Jordan across the line for West Surrey Racing 1-2 – whilst Dan Cammish just prevented Tom Oliphant from making it a clean sweep on the podium.
Race three around the 2.23-mile circuit proved to be action-packed from start-to-finish with Team Parker Racing’s Jelley triumphing for the first time since his last BTCC win ten years ago.
Trade Price Cars’ Jake Hill took the chequered flag however a post-race penalty for the Audi driver saw his maiden victory in the series taken away.
Hill started on pole position virtue of the reverse grid draw but came under early pressure from Matt Neal. The pivotal moment in the race came on lap three as the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver passed Hill into the first turn. As Neal tucked ahead, contact was made and the triple champion was sent spinning across the grass and track.
Several cars took avoiding action and when the dust settled, Rory Butcher and Jelley found themselves in second and third. With a gap of more than five seconds to close down, Butcher soon began to eat into Hill’s advantage and by the penultimate lap had caught him.
Pushing hard, Butcher overcooked it into the hairpin and dropped down the order – all but confirming Hill’s victory with Jelley and Oliphant rounding out the rostrum. Hill’s celebrations were short-lived after the race as he was handed a 20-second time penalty for his part in the Neal incident, thus handing Jelley a first win since Rockingham 2009 and the team its first-ever in the series.
Leaving Oulton Park, Turkington holds a 33-point advantage at the top of the BTCC standings ahead of Jordan and Josh Cook.
To view the full classification of results across all sessions during the fifth event of the season, click here.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will now pause for six weeks before the kicking the second half of the season off at Snetterton on August 3/4. Before that, a majority of teams will venture to the Norfolk venue on July 16/17 for the annual two-day in-season test.