| 19.5°C Belfast

Turkington is focusing on positives after seeing British Touring Car title lead cut at Knockhill

 

Close

Safety first: Colin Turkington opted for points over glory

Safety first: Colin Turkington opted for points over glory

Safety first: Colin Turkington opted for points over glory

Colin Turkington conceded it wasn't a day for heroics as he saw his 19-point lead in the British Touring Car Championship cut to 10 at the short, tight Knockhill circuit in Scotland.

But the four-time champion was far from downhearted; indeed, he described it as a good day as he accumulated a hefty collection of points with two more top-two finishes to stay ahead in the standings after the first 12 races of this delayed season.

However, he spent the first two races at the track, where he was once a driving instructor, with his 3-Series BMW glued to the back bumper of former champion Ash Sutton's Infiniti but couldn't find a way past.

The pair had the heaviest cars because of past successes but they still comfortably outpaced the field in both races, the Honda of Jake Hill completing the podium in race one and the Toyota of Tom Ingram in race two.

In the reverse grid race three, which was red-flagged at one point, Turkington started 10th and finished ninth but more importantly stayed ahead of Sutton who was unable to gain places from his 11th starting position.

"A very positive day for me," was Turkington's verdict. "I tucked away good points with strong finishes and on any day two podiums in the BTCC are not easy to come by.

"I did everything I could but our cars were so evenly matched and there was too much to lose to try and be the hero."

Turkington's fellow Ulsterman Chris Smylie started on the back foot, only able to qualify his Exceler8 Hyundai in 19th place, but he made steady progress to finish 14th in race one and climb to ninth in race two before taking seventh in race three as team-mate Senna Proctor lost out to race winner Rory Butcher.

Methody student Tom Edgar had his best result of the UK Ginetta Junior series with fourth place in the first of three races at the Scottish track.

Meanwhile, Morgan Quinn, who describes Turkington as his boyhood hero, won his first Northern Ireland Formula Ford Championship race at Kirkistown on Saturday. The Kildare teenager, who was 2019 Rookie of the Year in the UK national series, qualified second on the grid behind Ian Campbell.

The London-based Irish driver's race didn't last long and Quinn held on to win a tight battle with locals David McCullough and Alan Davidson, less than a second covering the three of them at the finish.

Gerard O'Connell won both the combined saloon/GT races in his lightweight Ford Escort while Steve Morris and Mark Crawford shared victories in the roadsports races.

Wayne Boyd's strong start to the European Le Mans series came to an end at the Paul Ricard circuit in France when the United Autosports LMP3 Ligier he shares with Rob Wheldon and Tom Gamble was forced to retire midway through the four-hour race.

They had won the first two rounds with Boyd qualifying on pole position for both of them. This time in mixed weather conditions he could only qualify fourth but Wheldon quickly moved their Ligier into the lead.

He collided with a Porsche as he tried to lap it, requiring a new nose to be fitted and shortly after Gamble took over he had to return to the pits with the car overheating.

Boyd could only watch as the car was retired, and said: "Rob's pace for his first couple of stints was fantastic but with motorsport you need a bit of luck and that wasn't on our side today."

Belfast Telegraph