Turkington closes in on BTCC points lead with Silverstone win

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington closed in on the lead of the British Touring Car Championship with a deserved race victory at Silverstone, while team-mate Tom Oliphant also celebrated a podium finish.

Colin’s Race-Two win made him only the third driver in BTCC history to achieve 150 podium finishes and moved him to within four points of the series lead, having begun race day 16 adrift.

“It’s always nice to win, and for Colin to close in on the Drivers’ Championship the way he has – at a circuit where we haven’t often been able to maximise our equipment – is pleasing,” commented Team Principal Dick Bennetts. “Both Colin and Tom drove the wheels off the BMWs in the corners to make up for the straightline speed disadvantage we seem to have developed against some of the other cars.

“We appear to be losing out quite a bit at the start of races now, which is an area where a rear-wheel-drive car should have an advantage over front-wheel-drive cars, and we saw that here and at Thruxton.”

The four-time champion battled hard to finish fourth in Race One while carrying 54kg success ballast, but was able to drive his WSR-run BMW 330i M Sport to the front of the field in Race Two with a reduced 42kg on board.

The Northern Irishman snatched tenth place on the final lap of Race Three to help Team BMW retain the lead of the Teams’ Championship and BMW remain on top in the Manufacturers’ title race.

Tom’s Race Two performance was one of the starring performances of the day as the Brands Hatch race winner, who retired from the opening race with a suspension issue, charged through the field from 25th to ninth.

Drawn on pole position on Race Three’s partially-reversed grid, the Leamington Spa racer was beaten off the line by a front-wheel-drive rival and became embroiled in a race-long fight for victory; eventually finishing second.

His fourth podium finish of the year not only kept him in sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship, but also helped the 30-year-old to exceed his 2019 end-of-season points total with nine races to go of the current campaign.

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