TURKINGTON HITS HALF-CENTURY WITH OULTON PARK MASTERCLASS

Colin Turkington produced a peerless performance at Oulton Park last weekend (29/30 June) to secure the 50th win of his glittering British Touring Car Championship career on a record-equalling day for BMW and West Surrey Racing.

After scorching to his 19th BTCC pole position with a sublime qualifying lap on maximum ballast behind the wheel of the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series, Turkington controlled race one beautifully, carefully managing the margin over his pursuers to register his third victory of the season and 49th career success.

The defending champion repeated the feat in race two with a second consecutive lights-to-flag display, as BMW and West Surrey Racing’s ninth triumph of 2019 equalled the highest number of wins they have ever achieved together in a single campaign. Turkington rounded out his weekend’s haul with an eighth-place finish from 12th on the partially reversed grid in race three.

Team BMW stablemate Tom Oliphant pushed hard in race one to take the chequered flag sixth – a gain on his grid position – while a lightning getaway in race two earned him fourth, as the local hero kept the pressure on for the podium throughout.

The 28-year-old bided his time in race three as he sized up Sam Tordoff for fourth before making his move late on, with a subsequent error by Rory Butcher elevating him to third and a post-race penalty for Jake Hill lifting him to second. That completed Oliphant’s most successful BTCC weekend to-date, while taking BMW and WSR’s rostrum tally in Britain’s premier motorsport series to just one shy of 200.

From fourth on the grid, BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan took a strong third in the curtain-raiser before going one better in race two, as he again leapt away from the line. Like his two team-mates, the 2013 title-winner avoided a multi-car collision early on in race three, and continued to show good pace as he came within 0.3 seconds of a third consecutive podium after starting down in 11th.

Underscoring the 3 Series’ prowess, the three BMW drivers tallied the three best points totals out of the 30 high-calibre competitors at Oulton Park. Entering the five-week mid-summer break, Turkington leads the way in the title chase from Jordan, with Oliphant climbing to just one place outside of the top ten. BMW has opened up a 46-point advantage at the summit of the Manufacturers’ standings, while Team BMW has vaulted to the head of the Teams’ classification.

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