Belfast Telegraph

Colin Turkington stays clear despite early slip

It had all the makings of a disaster but a combative Colin Turkington turned it around and emerged from the Knockhill rounds of the British Touring Car Championship with his lead intact.

He headed to Scotland 23 points in front but facing an eight place grid penalty for a contentious collision at Snetterton earlier in the month. And he was taking on second placed Gordon Sheddon on his home circuit.

Despite setting fastest time in qualifying in his eBay Motors BMW the former champion from Portadown was relegated to the fourth row of the grid for race one. He had fought his way to fifth, passing the Ford of Mat Jackson and the MG of Jason Plato in one move, only to be tagged from the back and sent spinning into a gravel trap.

Stranded at the side of the track, Turkington could do nothing but watch Sheddon narrow the gap at the top of the standings to nine points by taking second place behind his Honda team-mate Matt Neal.

Worse still, it meant Turkington starting from 27th place on the grid for race two.

But in one of the drives of his life, he carved his way through the field to finish fourth and this time it was Sheddon's turn to lose out. He was shunted off the track by the wayward Audi of Rob Austin and could only finish back in the pack as Jackson took his first win in two years.

It was a seventh place start for Turkington in race three and he quickly fought his way up to third but couldn't find a way past the Toyota of a defensive Dave Newsham in the closing stages as his BMW team-mate Rob Collard scored his first win of the season.

And with Sheddon back in sixth, Turkington ended the day where he started – 23 points in front.

"I didn't think I would still have the same leading margin when I was sitting in the gravel trap in race one," smiled Turkington, "but it didn't turn out so bad. We'll have a bit of a celebration tonight!"

The BTCC series now moves on Rockingham in two weeks time.

Belfast Telegraph

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