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Podium double puts Colin Turkington in front in BTCC title bid

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Right on track: Colin Turkington takes a corner on his way to taking the lead in the BTCC standings

Right on track: Colin Turkington takes a corner on his way to taking the lead in the BTCC standings

Right on track: Colin Turkington takes a corner on his way to taking the lead in the BTCC standings

Colin Turkington played the percentage game at rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill in Scotland to vault to the top of the drivers’ standings.

Turkington headed north of the border to one of his favourite venues – which heralded the resumption of the tin top series following its four-week summer break – and collected another useful haul of points, including a bonus point for the quickest lap in race two.

The West Surrey Racing ace returned a brace of podiums in Sunday’s first two 26-lap battles and capped off a fruitful day’s works with fourth in the reverse grid contest aboard his BMW 330e M Sport saloon.

He could have made it three successive third-place performances, but decided against getting embroiled in a potentially costly battle with the Rokit MB Motorsport BMW of Jake Hill.

It means Turkington’s advantage over EXCELR8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, who led going into the event, is five points, with reigning British Touring Car Champion Ash Sutton one point further back in third.

“It has been a really solid weekend for points,” admitted four-time Championship winner Turkington.

“Two podiums and a fourth place make a really good score on a day when I didn’t really have that last little bit of pace that you need to win. The racing was hard and inside the car it was very hot.

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“We had great reliability and good teamwork between myself and race one winner Jake and that has maximised what we could achieve team wise. Leading the Championship is obviously a good thing, though it does mean I have to start the Snetterton weekend with no hybrid.

“I would much rather be leading (the standings) at the end of Brands Hatch in October, but it is a strong position to be in.”

It is another quick turnaround for teams and drivers as rounds 19, 20 and 21 take them to Snetterton on the weekend of August 13-14, another venue Turkington has traditionally excelled at with BMW.

Meanwhile, a puncture in the final throws of the 24 Hours of Spa scuppered a shot at a podium for the ROWE Racing trio of Max Hesse, Neil Verhagen and Hillsborough’s Dan Harper yesterday.

They battled back and eventually ended up fifth overall – 12 places higher than The Heart of Racing’s Ross Gunn, Alex Riberas and Belfast’s Charlie Eastwood who lost ground to a double puncture and heavy damage to their Aston Martin Vantage GT3.


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