Leader Turkington’s title bid is a team effort
Published 27/08/2009 | 03:02
Colin Turkington’s team have called in reinforcements in an effort to protect his lead at the top of the British Touring Car Championship.
There will be a third Team RAC BMW on the grid at Silverstone on Sunday with veteran Scot Anthony Reid at the wheel.
And Turkington’s team boss Dick Bennetts makes to secret of the fact that he will be there to help fight off the threat from Vauxhall and their reigning champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.
Bennetts admits the move was prompted by Vauxhall’s employment of team tactics in the last round at Knockhill where Matt Neal sacrificed third place on the final corner to enable Giovanardi to gain extra points and close within nine of Turkington.
He explained: “Our hand has been forced by Vauxhall instituting team orders at Knockhill with Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan giving points and positions to Fabrizio.
“There was nothing wrong in them doing that but three against two isn’t a fair fight and that’s why we have brought in Anthony,” he said.
There is also the fact that Team RAC’s No.2 driver Stephen Jelley has been able to do little to aid Turkington’s bid to become BTCC champion for the first time. Two second places at Oulton Park — behind Turkington — are the most he has been able to contribute.
But at Knockhill it became clear Vauxhall are now pouring all their efforts into helping Giovanardi win the title for a third year in a row with Neal and Jordan tasked with taking as many points as possible away from Turkington.
Now Team RAC have responded by bringing in the experienced Reid who was BTCC Independents’ Cup champion in 2004.
He has driven in the series for Nissan, Ford and MG, winning 15 times, but most recently has been racing touring cars in Argentina.