Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Colin Turkington on a high despite cut to title lead

Birthday boy: Colin Turkington and son Lewis on the podium
Birthday boy: Colin Turkington and son Lewis on the podium

Even a last race retirement and seeing his British Touring Car Championship lead cut couldn't dampen Colin Turkington's spirits after another stunning performance at the Croft.

He had a double win to celebrate, making him the most successful touring car driver at the north of England circuit – he has now won 10 times there – and the 2009 champion chalked up his 30th victory in the BTCC.

And all on the fifth birthday of his little son Lewis, who was there to join his daddy on the podium.

Turkington totally dominated the first two races, qualifying on pole position and leading from start to finish in his eBay Motors BMW despite new rules to counteract a perceived advantage rear-wheel-drive cars have off the start.

In fact, no one other than Turkington has won in a rear-wheel-drive car so the new rule which sees them having to fit a longer first gear has to have been aimed at slowing him down.

But it didn't work and the Portadown driver swept to two convincing wins which extended his championship lead to 20 points.

However, the new gear is thought to have contributed to his retirement from race three, Turkington explaining that the clutch was slipping badly. His exit allowed Gordon Sheddon, the 2012 champion, to close within five points.

However, Sheddon, who was third in race three, was handed a four second penalty for an aggressive passing move on Mat Jackson and relegated to fourth. It opened the gap a little, Turkington seven points ahead going into the summer break.

Andrew Jordon, the reigning champion, won race three and is third in the standings, eight points behind Turkington but he faces a 10-place grid penalty.

Meanwhile, Steven Kane made it back-to-back wins for Bentley in the Blancpain Endurance series at the weekend. The Ballynahinch born driver followed up his victory at Silverstone by steering the car across the line in round three of the series at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France.

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