Belfast Telegraph

Turkington doubles up to reach 50-win mark

 

Two-timer: Colin Turkington scored back-to-back wins
Two-timer: Colin Turkington scored back-to-back wins

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington marked up a half century of British Touring Championship victories with back-to-back wins at Oulton Park to extend his lead at the top of the 2019 standings.

The reigning champion from Portadown was in dominant form at one of his favourite circuits, leading both races from start to finish having set a stunning pole position lap during Saturday's qualifying despite his West Surrey Racing 3 Series BMW being weighed down by the maximum 48 kilos of 'success ballast'.

And Daniel Harper and Jack Young joined Turkington in the winners' circle on another outstanding day for Ulster drivers.

But it was Turkington who stole the spotlight as he added win numbers 49 and 50 to his BTCC career history.

Surprisingly he was initially unaware of his landmark achievement.

"I hadn't realised where the stats were, I was just delighted to get the wins," he said.

"The car was incredible, the best it has ever felt. I was enjoying every lap!

"But I'm just the front man here, and BMW and the WSR team behind me deserve just as much credit."

Having produced the "perfect lap" on Saturday to secure pole, he swept into the lead from the start of race one and was never headed, setting fastest lap on his way to the chequered flag ahead of the Honda of Dan Cammish and his BMW team-mate Andrew Jordan.

The story was the same in race two, Turkington speeding away from the field, but this time it was Jordan who took second with Cammish in third.

In the reverse grid third race, Turkington started from 12th place and stayed out of trouble to finish ninth as Jake Hill provisionally won in his Audi.

Chris Smiley had another difficult weekend, culminating in his Honda being rammed on the first lap of race two by the VW of Jack Goff - which had been punted onto the grass by Smiley's BTC Racing team-mate Josh Cook.

Harper won the first of the Porsche races on Saturday to extend his lead in the Carrera Cup GB series. The Hillsborough teenager qualified on pole position and led from start to finish, picking an extra point for fastest lap.

He started from fifth on the reverse grid for race two yesterday and quickly moved to fourth but got bottled up behind Jamie Orton and Lewis Plato, allowing George Gamble to escape at the front. He sensibly avoided a risky overtaking manoeuvre to bank more points along with another fastest lap bonus.

Young came to Oulton Park on the back of a double victory in the Renault Clio International at the Paul Ricard circuit in France and carried on in the same vein by winning the first of the UK Cup races and setting fast lap.

However, there was disaster in race two when, starting from pole position he clashed with arch rival Max Coates on the first lap, Young's car spearing across the track and slamming into the barriers. The 17-year-old student limped away from the accident with a bruised knee as Coates went to win and re-take the lead in the Clio Cup table.

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