Belfast Telegraph

Colin Turkington is edging ever closer to British Touring Car title glory

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington took two more massive strides towards becoming British Touring Car champion for the second time with a couple of important victories at Rockingham.

And with a safe, sensible drive to fourth place in the third of the three races at the giant American-style raceway in the former steel town of Corby, he stretched his lead at the top of the BTCC standings from 23 points to 55 going into the final six races of the season.

Turkington, the 2009 champion, had never won at Rockingham before, but he put past disappointments behind him to dominate the first two races in his eBay Motors BMW as his closest title rivals Gordon Sheddon and Jason Plato struggled.

Indeed, Sheddon had a nightmare day, the Honda driver picking up just a handful of points and slipping back to third behind the MG of multi champion Plato who took third, second and sixth in the three races.

But it was Turkington's day, the Portadown driver again proving to be top of the class of the most impressive BTCC field ever assembled as he claimed his seventh and eighth wins of the season.

There was Rockingham success, too, for Andrew Watson in the Ginetta Supercup series, the 20-year-old from Donaghmore winning the second of the two championship races to stay third in the points table.

Over in Belgium, Richard Lyons was also on the winners' podium with a debut victory in the International Open GT for the AF Corse Ferrari team.

He and his Thai team-mate Pasin Lathouras won the GTS category, finishing second overall, but had to retire from the second of the two races.

Meanwhile, Donagh Kelly won the Samdec Security Lakeland Stages Rally in his first drive in a WRC Mini.

More usually seen on tarmac rallies in his M-Sport Ford Focus, Kelly opted to hire the McGeehan Motorsport Mini for his return to gravel stages and he took little time to adapt, slotting quickly into second place behind the Mitsubishi of Josh Moffett.

He even moved ahead after the third stage before Moffett grabbed the lead back and they were virtually neck-and-neck going into the final two stages. But Moffett's Mitsubishi, which had been hastily re-built after an accident during testing on Friday, hit mechanical problems on the penultimate stage and he was forced to retire.

It left Kelly clear in front and he went on to finish 33 seconds ahead of the Mitsubishi of Desi Henry with Martin Cairns third in his Subaru.

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