Colin Turkington moved into the lead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on a thrilling weekend for Team BMW at Knockhill.
The two-time champion finished on the podium in all three races at the Scottish circuit to establish a four-point advantage at the head of the Drivers’ title race.
Carrying substantial success ballast on his WSR-run BMW in each of the first two races, the Northern Irishman twice started and finished third; his Race Two result being the 250th BTCC podium for the Sunbury-on-Thames-based team.
From eighth on the partially-reversed grid in Race Three, Colin carved through the field to finish third; the 14th podium finish for the BMW 125i M Sport in the 15 BTCC races the car has contested at Knockhill.
His team-mate Rob Collard, who began the day just one point behind Colin in the Drivers’ Championship, twice finished fourth and was on course for a podium finish in Race Three when he went off-track following contact with Gordon Shedden.
He finished 11th after a further off-track moment at the chicane to maintain his record as the only driver to finish in the points at every BTCC race this year.
The combined results of Colin and Rob helped Team BMW increase their advantage at the head of the BTCC Teams’ Championships while BMW’s lead in the Manufacturers’ title race also grew.
Colin Turkington said: “It’s been a great weekend for me and Team BMW. Three podiums is everything I could have asked for and I’m leading the championship for the first time in a couple of years. We haven’t had the fastest car this weekend, but we maximised every opportunity that came our way. From the qualifying strategy paying off right through to today’s first two races, it’s all just gone our way. We’ve kept improving the BMW throughout the day and that’s really paid off in Race Three with another podium from eighth on the grid. I’m going home very happy.”
Rob Collard said: “I have mixed emotions about today. Two fourth places provided solid points for the championship, but I’ve been the victim of a move by Gordon Shedden that was never on in a million years in Race Three. He pushed me off the track, which put a lot of dirt on my tyres and left me struggling for grip. Pushing hard to make up lost ground, I clipped a kerb too hard at the chicane and went off again, which has cost me a lot of points. But the BMW was improving throughout the day so I’ll be confident of pulling back some points at Rockingham.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “It’s been another good solid day for Team BMW and we’re very pleased to be leading all three championships. But we’ve been round long enough to know that, going forwards, a lot can change in the space of a weekend. This is one of the most competitive BTCC seasons we’ve ever been involved with and we know we’re going to have to work incredibly hard to make sure we stay in contention for the title for the rest of the season. We have an experienced team who know what it takes to win a championship and we’re looking forward to the challenges ahead.”