Belfast Telegraph

Turkington brings up a century of BMW victories in BTCC

 

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington chalked up his 43rd win in the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton but this one, he said, was special. On a weekend when he struggled to get to grips with Britain's fastest circuit, finishing seventh and then sixth in the first two races, Turkington came good at the end to take victory in race three and record BMW's 100th victory in the BTCC series.

"I grew up watching drivers like 'Smokin Joe' Winkelhock winning in BMWs and to be the one to score their 100th win is something special for me," said the former two-time champion.

"Traditionally rear-wheel-drive cars don't do well at Thruxton and I struggled in the first two races although my team-mate Rob Collard coped pretty well to bring up win number 99 in race two. But the West Surrey team gave me a great car for race three and I was able to pull away from pole position and stay out in front."

Turkington sits third in the championship behind Tom Ingram with Gordon Sheddon, the champion, in third. Race one was won by Sheddon's Honda team-mate Matt Neal.

Another star on the day was Daniel Harper who didn't get to stand on the top step of the podium but stood out as the star of the UK Ginetta Junior rounds.

The 16-year-old from Hillsborough crossed the finish line first in race one but was penalised five seconds for an infringement and dropped to fourth. A track limits penalty during qualifying then saw Harper start from 16th on the grid for race two.

But he stormed through the field to take third place to retain his second place in the series behind race one winner Tom Gamble and ahead of race two winner Seb Priaulx.

There was disappointment for all three Ulster drivers in the Blancpain European GT3 sprint championship at Brands Hatch - Bentley's Steven Kane finished 12th while Andrew Watson was back in 21st in his McLaren.

Jonny Kane didn't make the start after his McLaren team-mate Loris Hezelmann crashed during qualifying.

Meanwhile, Jonny Greer, driving one of the DGM team's R5 Citroens, took his second win of this year's Northern Ireland championship in the Glens of Antrim Rally, finishing 21 seconds ahead of the WRC Fiesta of champion Derek McGarrity.

The rally was settled on two runs over the torturous Torr Head stage after Greer, McGarrity and Alan Carmichael, who finished third in a WRC Mini, beat the minimum 'bogey' time on both runs through the Pollans and Glendun stages.

And each time over Torr, Greer was quickest, beating McGarrity by 10 seconds first time around and then by 11 seconds on the second run.

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