BTCC wows the crowds at picturesque Oulton Park
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington took a commanding Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race two victory at Oulton Park earlier today (10 June), moving to the standings summit in the process.
The two-time BTCC champion immediately dedicated his first win of the season to his late mother, who sadly passed away last week.
The Northern Irishman was also part of an historic 1-2-3 finish for German manufacturer BMW in the final race, as Rob Collard headed home stablemates Andrew Jordan and Turkington.
Matt Simpson kicked off a memorable day of racing in Cheshire as he converted his first BTCC pole position into a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the opener.
The Honda Civic Type R driver made a steady getaway off the line, as Motorbase duo Sam Tordoff and Tom Chilton swapped positions on the run down to Old Hall Corner for the first time.
Whilst Chilton, Tordoff and the Pirtek-backed BMW of Jordan kept Simpson honest throughout the 15-lap contest, it was ultimately only a scrap for second place that was ever on the cards.
Chilton held position in second for the entire race but he first had to fend off an attack from the sister Ford Focus RS of Tordoff, and then from Jordan’s BMW 125i M Sport after he had scythed by the Yorkshireman across the start/finish line on lap eight.
Jordan’s best chance of dislodging Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Chilton came on lap 12 at the Island Hairpin, as things bunched up at the tightest corner on the track. Former champion Jordan touched the rear of Chilton’s striking yellow machine, but the latter held on, exiting the turn still in charge of the position.
There was a brief scare for Simpson in the latter stages with smoke coming from his front left wheel as Chilton closed in, but the Simpson Racing driver wouldn’t be denied what he called a ‘dream come true’ maiden victory.
Turkington’s win came next after he made up good ground from the start. He was into second early on, but it was his textbook pass by then-leader Chilton that secured the deal. Chilton’s ballast-laden Ford Focus couldn’t hang on as Turkington fired his BMW 125i M Sport down the inside at Lodge Corner.
The BMW star never looked back as he claimed a comfortable win ahead of Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal, who also got by Chilton in the second half of the contest. The Motorbase man held on impressively for third, however, as he claimed his second podium of the day.
The racing concluded with a sensational 1-2-3 finish for BMW as Collard grabbed his first win of the season ahead of Jordan and Turkington.
Collard blasted his Team BMW 1 Series off the line and immediately past pole-sitter Rob Austin in the DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Austin kept the pressure on Collard in the early stages before heartache cost him the chance of a second podium of the season. A broken differential forced Austin into retirement and promoted BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan into second.
Championship leader Turkington was now up to third after he had made a number of stellar passes, most notably by the Motorbase Ford duo of Chilton and James Cole. WIX Racing with Eurotech star Jack Goff followed Turkington through and eventually claimed fourth place.
The fight for fifth was an enthralling one and it went the way of local racer Adam Morgan. The Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport man started the race in 11th place but made early progress in his Mercedes A-Class, and then benefitted from a number of scraps towards the end of the race.
Toyota hotshot Tom Ingram and three-time champ Matt Neal went wheel-to-wheel at Druids on lap eight, which allowed Morgan through as the Honda of Neal ran wide and tumbled down the order. Morgan then made his own move by Chilton’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher car and the Lancastrian would go on to end a challenging weekend on a high.
After the huge crowd left the circuit and the dust settled on another exciting BTCC race day, it was Turkington leading the standings by 12 points from both Morgan and Goff, with Ingram a further nine points in arrears.
Team BMW heads the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, whilst Jack Goff and his WIX Racing with Eurotech squad top the Independents’ tables.
Ollie Jackson and Jake Hill shared Jack Sears Trophy honours at Oulton Park, but Honda rookie Dan Cammish is leading that particular contest overall.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns in two weeks’ time (23/24 June) at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.
Matt Simpson said: “We had mega pace yesterday in Free Practice 2 and qualifying and I would just have been happy to finish this race as it was already a massive achievement from where we’ve come from. I had to get away cleanly into turn one and managed to get there in the lead. I saw Tom (Chilton) looming but I held on – I’m over the moon as it’s a dream come true. It was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had I think last night after the concentration yesterday. When I saw the smoke coming off the car, I didn’t want to look at my lap board as the minute you start overthinking is when you start to make mistakes. My brakes were fading and I knew I had a bit of a cushion and used that so I didn’t make a silly error.”
Colin Turkington said: “Winning always feels good, especially in the BMW. Around here, we’ve found the magic ingredient for race two. I didn’t see it coming. Starting fifth, there are a lot of fast guys out front. My pace in race one was good but it wasn’t winning pace. We’ve improved the car a lot and it merits all the hard work we’ve put into it. I enjoyed being out front and in the groove. I sensed soon on I had a strong car and it was time to strike. I’m over the moon for everybody. I just want to dedicate this one to my mum, who’s not here for the first time. Mum, that was for you.”
Rob Collard said: “I’m so pleased with that. We knew we had it in the car yesterday and I didn’t maximise our potential in qualifying. I knew, though, if I was two tenths off the quick guys then it’d be all to play for on race-day. It’s a great feeling to see all three BMWs on the podium. It doesn’t happen very often, so congratulations to BMW – it’s a great achievement. We had a win here last year, and we were right there until that horrible accident at Silverstone, which ruled me out of the championship. I’ve struggled for form since then but any win in the BTCC leaves you walking on water. When I saw the red flag I thought it was just my luck but to then repeat my great start was ideal. I just focussed then on pulling out a gap.”
Micky Butler, Manager, UK and One Brand Motorsport Events, said: “Overall, very pleased. The Option tyre performed as expected, with both compounds running well on a hot track. The drivers said the softer compound gives the feeling of the car coming alive, which creates confidence to charge forward. Again, the Option-Softs won two out of the three races… onwards and upwards to Croft.”
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 10 – Oulton Park
1 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing 15 laps
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.265s
3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.630s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +1.630s
5 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.828s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +3.165s
7 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.127s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +6.587s
9 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.125s
10 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +7.485s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 11 – Oulton Park
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 15 laps
2 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.372s
3 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +7.800s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.598s
5 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +13.121s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +13.347s
7 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +15.304s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +18.205s
9 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +18.308s
10 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +18.493s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 12 – Oulton Park
1 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW 12 laps
2 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +3.881s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +7.647s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.333s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +13.385s
6 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +15.374s
7 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +16.360s
8 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +16.786s
9 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +18.153s
10 Jake HILL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +18.403s