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Colin Turkington heads Ulster success at Snetterton

By Sammy Hamill

Published 01/08/2016

Back in the running: Colin Turkington won race one, finished second in race two and came sixth in race three to boost his BTCC title hopes
Back in the running: Colin Turkington won race one, finished second in race two and came sixth in race three to boost his BTCC title hopes

On a day when Colin Turkington thrust himself back into contention for a third British Touring Car title, two other Ulster drivers were also celebrating on the podium at Snetterton.

Daniel Harper scored back-to-back wins in the UK Ginetta Junior Championship and Charlie Eastwood recorded his best finishes of the Porsche Carrera Cup with two second places.

After a troubled start to the season following his BMR team's decision to switch to an all-new Subaru Levorg, Turkington finished the first half of the campaign with wins at Oulton Park and Croft.

Yesterday, as the BTCC series resumed, he was back at the front of the action, qualifying on the front row of the grid and winning race one.

Carrying maximum 'success' ballast in race two, Turkington fought a race-long duel with the Ford of Mat Jackson but had to settle for second.

Starting eighth for the reverse grid third race, which was delayed by a dramatic accident in which a somersaulting car took down a TV camera tower, the Portadown driver salvaged sixth place as Gordon Sheddon won for Honda.

Second place took Rob Collard to the top of the standings but Turkington has jumped from outside the top 10 to fifth place.

Dromore High School student Harper, 15, had an outstanding weekend, winning both fiercely contested Ginetta races to increase his lead in the rookie category, while Eastwood, also in his rookie season, moved to third in the Carrera Cup with two strong second places behind championship leader Dan Cammish.

Jake Byrne picked up the Super Series Driver of the Day nomination after setting pole position for both Formula Ford races at Kirkistown, going on to finish second behind Stephen O'Connor in race one then win race two ahead of Alan Davidson. He set the fastest lap in both races.

Meanwhile, Derek McGarrity increased his lead in the NI championship with victory in the Tyrone Stages Rally, winning in his Ford Fiesta by 21 seconds from Brendan Cumiskey, in an R5 Fiesta, with Emma McKinstry third in her Subaru.

Daughter of former champion Kenny, Emma had been ahead of her dad all day before he was forced to retire his Subaru with power steering failure.

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