Colin Turkington took a comfortable second win of the 2013 season with a flawless lights-to-flag victory at Croft in the weekend’s opening BTCC race from pole position.
The eBay Motors team opted to start all three of their BMW 125i machines on the softer tyre compound for the day’s opening race, Irishman Turkington holding onto the lead at the start of the race ahead of a quick-starting Matt Neal who jumped ahead of Jason Plato for second spot, while the best start of all came from Turkington’s team-mate Rob Collard from row three.
Collard was challenging for second place by the time he reached turn two, but got it all wrong heading into the right hander as the BMW spun to the tail of the field, leaving Plato to battle with Gordon Shedden for third spot behind the breakaway lead duo.
While Turkington set the fastest lap of the race on lap two to begin his battering of the opposition, Shedden eventually forced Plato into a mistake at Tower on lap two, the Triple Eight MG running deep as the reigning champion moved up to third and began pursuing his own team-mate Neal for second.
The soft tires on the BMWs did not dismantle like they were expected to during the race, Turkington extending his gap each lap to eventually take the flag a full 9.334s clear to take his second win of the season, ahead of the formation-finishing Honda Yuasa Racing pair who completed the podium with Neal keeping Shedden at arm’s length.
Nick Foster proved just how fast the BMW 125i was as he climbed through the field to a best-for-2013 finish of fourth after successfully passing Sam Tordoff at the final hairpin early in the race, before disposing of Andrew Jordan at Tower and then chasing after Plato in the closing stages.
Foster eventually slid up the inside of the MG heading through Hawthorn bend after a little helpful tap into his rival’s rear bumper, the BMW man finishing fourth ahead of Plato, Jordan a distant sixth while Tordoff finished seventh ahead of a super battle for eighth place.
Michael Caine eventually cam through in fine style by passing Jeff Smith when the Honda lost time battling with the recovering Collard, before cheekily passing both Collard and Adam Morgan in one fell swoop coming through Hawthorns. The British GT champion then dispatched Tom Onslow-Cole heading out of Sunny on the final lap to seal eighth on his BTCC return, Collard and Onslow-Cole rounding out the top 10.
Mat Jackson suffered a dramatic exit early in the race meanwhile when he lost control of his Focus heading through Clervaux, sideswiping the tyre stack and removing a window from the Airwaves machine as a result.
The Jack Sears Trophy saw a very popular result as Jake Hill won the class fairly comfortably in his S2000 Ford Focus on his debut in the BTCC, beating David Nye and Trophy leader Lea Wood to the honours.
The young rookie told thecheckeredflag.co.uk afterwards: “It’s perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a better result to win on my first race really. I’ve never had support like this in my career so it feels pretty amazing”