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Grid penalty makes it tough for Turkington

By Sammy Hamill

Published 16/09/2016

Struck out: Turkington must start from the back of the Silverstone grid
Struck out: Turkington must start from the back of the Silverstone grid

Colin Turkington feels “hard done by” as he is relegated to the back of the grid for the first of Sunday’s three British Touring Car Championship races at Silverstone.

The former two-time champion was one of several drivers who incurred penalties from the previous round at Rockingham but Turkington has been hit by the ‘three strikes’ rule which automatically triggers a drop to the rear of the 31-car grid.

It is a blow to the Portadown driver’s already slim hopes of regaining the BTCC title. Despite a strong second half to the season after his BMR team made a late decision to switch to the all-new Subaru Levorgs, he is in sixth place, 48 points behind leader Sam Tordoff.

Turkington had a mixed weekend at Rockingham, finishing a close-up fourth in race one then losing out in a first corner melee in race two. But a storming drive from 15th place in race three saw him grab a podium place — only for the stewards to penalise him a second time on the day for a questionable overtaking manoeuvre.

Added to an earlier penalty from Knockhill, Turkington, who has two wins to his credit this season, must pay for his alleged misdemeanours.

“It’s disappointing after such a memorable third race at Rockingham and I know my team and supporters feel the same,” he said “I feel hard done by as both penalties were issued for minor infringements but it’s out of my hands. I promise we haven’t given up on the title yet and this will only further inspire me to keep fighting.”

The Silverstone meeting, which is broadcast live on ITV4 on Sunday, also features two other Ulster drivers — Charlie Eastwood in the UK Porsche Carrera Cup and Daniel Harper in the Ginetta Junior championship. Both winners of scholarship drives, they lead  the rookie categories in their championships.

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