Team BMW’s Colin Turkington kept his title chances alive with a sensational victory in the second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch.
The double BTCC champion surged from 15th on the grid – making incredible pass after pass – to eventually muscle his way by long-time leader Aiden Moffat to clinch an emotional win. Turkington also had to get past title rival Ash Sutton during a quite performance, and the latter now holds just a six point advantage going into this afternoon’s nail biting season finale.
Moffat’s Laser Tools Racing Mercedes made a good getaway from pole position, as Tom Ingram’s Toyota tucked in behind, but a nervy Sutton was being shuffled down to sixth in his Subaru Levorg.
Turkington was up to 12th at the end of the first tour and he was soon into the top ten following moves by Rob Austin and Jack Goff. More heroics followed before Turkington’s BMW 125i M Sport was hauled onto the back of Sutton’s machine, and he scythed his way through on the run up to Druids on lap eight.
Further manoeuvres by Matt Neal, Tom Ingram and Gordon Shedden left Turkington looking at the rear of Moffat’s Mercedes and the moment of truth came late on. Slight contact into Paddock Hill Bend saw Turkington cement P1 and complete one of the most memorable drives in recent history.
“I’ve still got the fight!” said Turkington. “What an amazing race. I wasn’t expecting to make that much progress but the strategy was really good. Obviously, I missed out in race one but with the soft tyre here and no weight the 1 Series was blinding. I had the fire in my belly, there’s too much at stake not to. The grip was there in the warmer part of the day once you make a few places up, you get a bit of confidence and we were strong in the right areas, so I could make the cutback and we were strong on the brakes too.
“Aiden (Moffat) was carrying full weight and driving a very defensive race – I came with so much more pace and was able to brake so much deeper. The disparity between the two cars at that point was pretty obvious and there was too much at stake to follow him around, so I may have just kissed him. I’m just going to try. A cup of tea is required! I’ll reset and we’ve got to do the same again. I thought after race one that it was too much of an ask but there are always twists and turns and I’m just going to give it everything. I’ve fought from day one to now, so I’ll keep trying.”
When the dust settled it was the Halfords Yuasa Racing pairing of Shedden and Neal completing the podium positions, ahead of Mat Jackson’s Motorbase-run Ford Focus and the recovering Moffat.
Ingram claimed sixth to move into an unassailable lead in the Independent Drivers’ standing – a fantastic achievement from the young Toyota star.
“All credit goes to Speedworks,” enthused Ingram. “They’ve done a splendid job to pull all this together. Without them all, I wouldn’t be able to do what we do. I’m so, so pleased. It’s huge for us. People may look down on it but there are some proper teams in this paddock.
“You look down the Independents’ table and there’s some real class in there. For us to come out on top with a race to spare is just amazing. Hopefully we can get the Independent Teams’ wrapped up now too. Gordon (Shedden) had a very good run that time, and had the pace on me and he managed to sneak past. It’s really good for us to be in the mix for third in the overall standings, too.”
Goff, Austin and Michael Epps completed the top ten order, with the latter receiving more joy post-race when Murray Walker picked out the #1o ball during the reverse grid draw, meaning the VW driver will start the final race of the season from pole position.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 29 – Brands Hatch GP
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 15 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.605s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.246s
4 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +3.756s
5 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +5.923s
6 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +6.486s
7 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +6.832s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +7.252s
9 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +7.854s
10 Michael EPPS (GBR) TAG Racing +8.001s
11 Brett SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +8.563s
12 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +8.691s
13 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +8.958s
14 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +11.420s
15 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +11.810s
16 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +15.016s
17 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +15.290s
18 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts +15.480s
19 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +15.644s
20 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +16.411s
21 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +16.730s
22 James COLE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +17.066s
23 Josh PRICE (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +22.090s
24 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +29.816s
25 Stewart LINES (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +31.169s
26 Josh COOK (GBR) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +41.809s
27 Martin DEPPER (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +49.980s
28 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +1 lap
29 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +7 laps