Team BMW’s Colin Turkington returned to the top of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship standings at Snetterton this past weekend (October 24/25) after producing a near-perfect race day performance.
Pole position, two wins and a third place finish for the reigning four-time champion was enough to see him turn a 12 point deficit into a nine point advantage ahead of next month’s season finale at Brands Hatch.
Five drivers will now head into the final three races of what has been a blockbuster season in mathematical contention to lift the coveted crown, with Turkington in the box seat as he bids to become a record-breaking five-time title winner.
At the wheel of his West Surrey Racing BMW, the Northern Irishman powered his way to pole position in the one-off Top Ten Showdown during qualifying and ultimately never looked back.
Blasting off the line in race one, Turkington came under attack by Tom Ingram early in the 12-lap encounter but soon broke free and scampered into the distance to take a comfortable victory.
Behind, Ingram and Jake Hill served up a fascinating battle for second and third whilst fellow title contenders Rory Butcher, Ashley Sutton and Dan Cammish scrapped amongst themselves fourth, fifth and sixth.
Race two would see the top five in the title fight occupy the top five positions for a majority of the contest until a late safety car period and last-lap dash to the flag spiced up the action.
Out front, Turkington once again reigned supreme as he produced another commanding lights-to-flag win whilst carrying maximum success ballast. Behind, Ingram appeared to be the cork in the bottle as he held off the charging Butcher, Sutton and Cammish.
Butcher nibbled at the back of Ingram’s Toyota Corolla throughout the race but couldn’t’ find a way past. Then on the final tour, the Scotsman out-braked himself at Wilson which led to contact with the Speedworks ace and subsequently allowed Sutton through.
Ingram would starve off the attack from Sutton during the final sequence of corners to hold onto second whilst Butcher fell into the clutches of Cammish and Hill.
Motorbase Performance’s Ollie Jackson then rounded off a dramatic day in Norfolk by claiming a second career BTCC victory, whilst the leading protagonists all went wheel-to-wheel.
Jumping into the lead after starting third, Jackson served up a masterful display as he held off the charging Adam Morgan from start to finish. Turkington rounded off the podium as he and chief title rival Sutton took advantage of an incident between Ingram and Butcher at the final corner.
Ingram had reeled in third place man Butcher during the second half of the race and made his move on the final tour in Coram. Initial contact happened through the right-hander and it ended with Butcher skating across the grass and slamming into the side of Ingram at Murray’s.
As the pair recovered, Turkington and Sutton each jumped up two spots to bag valuable points.
Leaving Snetterton, Turkington holds a nine point lead over Sutton in standings with Cammish a further 16 markers further back. Both Ingram and Butcher remain in contention as well.
Team BMW continue to lead the way in the BTCC Teams’ Championship and BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship. Sutton has wrapped up the Independent Drivers’ Championship with Laser Tools Racing in prime position to do the same in the Team’s category.
Michael Crees bounced back from a recent run of bad luck to triumph in the Jack Sears Trophy, re-taking the lead he had previously lost.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions this past weekend, click here.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will conclude with three high-octane races from Brands Hatch Indy on November 14/15.