Team BMW scored a brilliant double podium at the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton on Sunday.
Colin Turkington produced two storming second-place finishes in the first and second races of day – his 125th and 126th career BTCC podiums – and followed those up with fifth spot later on in his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport.
This represented a 47-point haul – the highest total achieved on the day by anyone – and vaulted the two-time champion up to fifth in the Drivers’ standings.
The Northern Irishman made a brilliant start from the front row in Race One and battled for the lead for much of the opening lap. After that he chased the leader all the way to the flag, claiming his 50th fastest lap and breaking the 16-year-old lap record in the process.
Having taken on a 66kg success ballast in the second race, Colin this time took the lead into Allard. He led for 10 laps before being caught by a ballast-free rival, who he was unable to keep behind.
Colin started Race Three from fifth – again carrying 66kg of ballast. While a third podium of the day proved elusive, he was delighted with his day’s work.
Team-mate Rob Collard had a tougher day. Once he got in to his stride, he was able to fight up to 10th position in the last race of the day. This, added to his 11th spot in Race One, contributed 11 vital points to his tally.
Colin Turkington said: “My job at the moment is to score as many points as I can and we definitely got the maximum from the BMW today. It was a really good day, so it’s job done and on to the next one. My car has been strong even with weight on and it’s a nice feeling to have led for the first time this year in Race Two. When somebody is coming with a significantly quicker car at that stage of the race, then you have to assess whether it is better to defend like your life depends on it or be clever and not get dragged into the pack. I decided to be sensible. The difference between winning and second is not so much, and I had already led a lap so that’s a point and I was trying to use my head.”
Rob Collard said: “We changed the set-up of the car for the last race and stiffened it up a little bit, and that suited me better. Race Three was good, but it just wasn’t my day. It was a bit of a frustrating weekend for us and we haven’t done as well as we hoped in the championship. Next we have Oulton Park, where we are back on what I would call a conventional racing circuit. The BMW goes very well there and I’ve always gone well there, so I am looking forward to it a lot.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Colin has done an excellent job today with two second places. I’m very pleased. To get two podiums, especially in Race Two with 66kg on, he did a great job. Rob didn’t have such a good day, but we’ve had completely reliable cars and no issues this weekend, so well done to everyone. It feels as if we have got our momentum back and we are looking forward to Oulton Park.”