Belfast Telegraph

Turkington's touring car title hopes take a battering

 

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington is still in the hunt for a third British Touring Car Championship but the penultimate round of races at Silverstone yesterday left him reflecting on what might - or indeed should - have been.

He might be leading the series heading into the finale at Brands Hatch in a fortnight's time but after a bruising weekend at the home of the British Grand Prix he still trails Subaru's Ash Sutton.

It was a rollercoaster ride for the Portadown driver, ending with his West Surrey Racing limping over the line at the back of the field when he could have expected to fighting for victory.

Starting eighth on the grid in race one, he had taken fifth place to close the gap slightly on Sutton who finished sixth as Toyota's Tom Ingram won when the race was reflagged because of a serious incident involving Rob Collard and Will Burns.

Race two saw Turkington climb to third and was closing in on Jack Goff, the winner, and Ingram when Sutton came barging through on the last lap.

Turkington wasn't happy about it and neither were the officials who penalised him for the over-aggressive move, and as it was his third misdemeanour of the season, he was relegated to the back of the grid for race three.

It should have given Turkington the opportunity to score big and jump to the top of the standings.

Instead, starting sixth, he was nudged off the track in a frenetic first lap, dropping back into the mid pack where he soon found himself caught up in a multi-car accident.

The incident brought out the safety car as Turkington headed for the pits for repairs, returning a lap down and all hope of points gone. Sutton, meanwhile, climbed to 11th to re-establish a 10-point lead.

Unaffected by the dramas were the Belfast-branded Norlin Chevrolets of Dave Newsham and Chris Smylie who scored their best results of the year, Newsham third behind Matt Neale and Rob Huff with Smylie seventh.

The Porsche Carrera GB series will also go down to the wire at Brands Hatch with Charlie Eastwood leading by four points from Dino Zamparelli after the Belfast driver overcame a 10-place grid penalty to finish fourth in the first of the two Silverstone races.

He then finished third in race two and with Dan Cammish, the champion, retiring when his Carrera caught fire the title will be fought out between Eastwood and Zamparelli who won both races.

Daniel Harper's hopes of winning the UK Ginetta Junior championship are fading after Tom Gamble won all three races yesterday to stretch his lead in the standings.

Harper finished fifth, second and third and remains third in the table.

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