Belfast Telegraph

Turkington celebrates a classy double at Donington

 

Two-timer: Colin Turkington celebrates his double victory
Two-timer: Colin Turkington celebrates his double victory

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington got his British Touring Car title defence up and running with a dominant double at Donington.

After a disappointing start to the series at Brands Hatch earlier in the month, the three-time champion from Portadown won rounds four and five at the Leicestershire circuit to climb from 13th to third, adding pole position and fastest lap to his points tally.

And to cap a superb weekend for Ulster drivers, teenagers Daniel Harper and Jack Young were up on the podium too with Young, who is mentored by Turkington, winning both UK Renault Clio races and Harper adding his second Porsche Carrera Cup GB victory.

But it was Turkington's day, qualifying the new West Surrey Racing BMW 3 Series on pole position for the first of the three races and steaming away to win handily with the bonus of fastest lap. Ash Sutton, the 2017 champion, was second for Subaru with BMW of Tom Oliphant third.

It was a similar story in race two despite the BMW being weighed down with a maximum 54 kgs of 'success' ballast. Again Turkington pulled away from Sutton and managed two safety car periods for another comfortable win although this time it was the Honda of Matt Neal who took second ahead of Sutton.

The reverse grid for race three saw Turkington start 10th and he steered clear of trouble to finish ninth and move to third in the standings just five points behind leader Tom Chilton. The last race was won by the new Toyota Corolla of Tom Ingram.

Chris Smiley had a tough day, finishing seventh and 11th in his Honda.

Harper was again the star of the Carrera Cup races, following up his victory on Saturday with a battling third place from sixth on the grid yesterday.

The 18-year-old had only qualified fourth for race one in the damp conditions but surged to the front, setting the fastest lap, to claim his second win of the season. Back in sixth on the reverse grid for race two, he became mired in a fight for third which allowed the leaders, Josh Webster and Lewis Plato to escape.

But Harper persisted, showing his determination and bravery as he rubbed tyres with the Carrera of George Gamble through the 130mph Cramer Curves, as he fought his way onto the podium again to increase his lead over Plato in the Cup standings.

Young moved to the top of the Clio Cup table, too, with back-to-back wins. The 17-year-old Methody student had been second in the opening two races at Brands Hatch but turned the tables on rival Max Coates, qualifying on pole and going on to become the youngest winner in the series.

He repeated the performance yesterday, leading from start to finish with fastest lap to finish 10 seconds ahead of Brett Lidsey. Coates, who had retired from race one, came through the field to finish third.

Meanwhile, the battle between Alan Davidson and David McCullough for the Dawson-WAM Northern Ireland Formula Ford title continues to see-saw at Kirkistown.

David won the first two rounds of the series earlier in his Mondiale earlier in the month but on Saturday it was McCullough who dominated in his Van Diemen.

He qualified on pole position and went on to win race one ahead of Will Herron with Davidson back in third. But race two was a different matter with McCullough just managing to squeeze over the line ahead of Davidson in a photo finish. Herron was third a further five seconds back.

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