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Turkington triumphs in opening BTCC contest at Donington

Sunday, April 28 2019

Reigning Kwik Fit BTCC champion Colin Turkington claimed his first win of the season in the opening race of the day at Donington Park today (Sunday).

Turkington converted pole into victory, despite two safety car restarts in the opening half of the race. The Team BMW driver finished over two seconds ahead of 2017 champion Ashley Sutton in the Subaru Levorg, while Tom Oliphant ensured there were two BMWs on the podium with third, his first ever touring car podium.

Matt Neal was fourth in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic and Toyota's Tom Ingram fifth, cheered on by thousands of employees from the local manufacturing plant for the Japanese giant. Dan Cammish completed the top-six ahead of fellow Honda-runner Chris Smiley with Tom Chilton eighth in his Ford Focus.

Jason Plato and Rob Collard completed the top-10 in their Vauxhall Astras.

Turkington made a strong start from pole position to fend off Sutton, but it didn't take long for things to kick off. As the pack of 30 cars filtered through the Old Hairpin, Donington-local Andrew Jordan's BMW was nudged by Rob Collard, and spun in front of the pack, sparking a chain reaction that resulted in Adam Morgan, Ollie Jackson and Jake Hill being forced into retirement. Morgan's car went into the side of Jordan's with both cars sustaining major damage, though both drivers were able to exit their cars.

After the first safety car period, the racing was again negated when Nic Hamilton crashed exiting the Robert's chicane, bringing out another safety car. 

As racing finally resumed, Turkington was able to gradually pull out a decent gap, setting a  to clinch his first win since Oulton Park last season.

He commented: "Qualifying set us up perfectly for today. When you're at the front you can get away and have a clear race. I didn't feel like I was sixth tenths ahead of the opposition and I didn't know what I was going to face in the race. But I could tell the car was working on lap one and it was going to be a good race.

"I got my head down and put a few laps in to pull out a margin so I could relax a bit. To have two BMW 3 Series on the podium shows we've had a good start and there's pace in the car."

The second BTCC race at Donington Park is due to start at 14.30.

Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, Donington Park race one result:

1. Colin Turkington, Team BMW, 19 laps
2. Ashley Sutton, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, +2.254s
3. Tom Oliphant, Team BMW, +6.402s
4. Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing, +8.543s
5. Tom Ingram, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, +9.027s
6. Dan Cammish, Halfords Yuasa Racing, +9.480s
7. Chris Smiley, BTC Racing, +9.862s
8. Tom Chilton, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher, +10.899s
9. Jason Plato, Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing, +12.267s
10. Rob Collard , Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing, +12.488s

Click here for full result.