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Race report
BTCC Croft Circuit

BTCC Croft: Turkington holds firm to win race three

Four-time British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington shrugged off early challenges from Josh Cook and Tom Ingram to win the final race of the day at Croft.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

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The reversed-grid counter allowed the Northern Irishman to take his tally of wins at the North Yorkshire circuit to a remarkable 14, and for himself and Ingram to mitigate the points damage over the weekend to Ash Sutton, who was a first-lap casualty.

From pole, Turkington got away in front with his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport, but fellow front-row man Josh Cook probed around the outside of Tower in his One Motorsport Honda Civic Type R.

The lost momentum from that meant Cook now came under pressure from the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N of Ingram, who swept around the outside into the Jim Clark Esses and claimed the inside apex for the second bend to move into the runner-up spot.

Chaos ensued at the first corner of Clervaux when WSR BMW driver Stephen Jelley nerfed Dan Cammish into the sister Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST of Dan Rowbottom.

Although Rowbottom survived the wobble, the concertina meant Jelley went into Cammish again at Hawthorns, and Sutton could not avoid the sideways BMW.

Sutton tried to get his wounded Motorbase Ford, its front-left suspension askew, back to the pits before abandoning ship just before the pit entry, while Jelley was a victim of right-rear suspension damage.

The other collateral victim of the Clervaux/Hawthorns drama was Dan Lloyd, whose Team Hard Cupra Leon was sent into the barriers, causing an early safety car.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

At the restart, Ingram charged after Turkington and tried a move around the outside of Tower, but the BMW held on in front.

From then on, with all the leading runners on the hardest compound of Goodyear, Turkington drew away to take the chequered flag 3.242 seconds in front of Ingram, who equalled Sutton’s points score across the weekend and is just six adrift.

“The early safety car really saved me, because with those extra three laps I was able to generate heat in the tyres,” said Turkington, whose rear-wheel-drive BMW takes longer to switch on the rubber than its opposition, a factor amplified by the hard tyre.

“You could see how hard Josh and Tom were hitting on me – they were straight on my case, and that would have continued on laps two and three.”

Cook was third, while Rowbottom was passed by Cammish for fourth.

After this, Rowbottom came under stern pressure for a long period from the WSR BMW of Jake Hill, before the Kentishman spun at Sunny In after putting his left-rear wheel on the grass.

That dropped Hill to eighth, although he recovered to dive past Rory Butcher’s medium-tyred Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla at Tower on the final lap for seventh.

In front of them both was Aiden Moffat, who used the soft tyres on his One Honda to take sixth.

Tom Chilton had also been embroiled in this group with his Excelr8 Hyundai on medium tyres, until he parked the car at Hawthorns – bizarrely, part of Moffat’s headlight had gone through his radiator.

Aron Taylor-Smith (Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra) beat George Gamble (Speedworks Toyota) and Michael Crees (Hard Cupra) in a frantic battle for ninth.

BTCC Croft - Race 3 results (18 laps)

 Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap 
1 Colin Turkington BMW 28m04.098s  
2 Tom Ingram Hyundai 28m07.340s 3.242s
3 Josh Cook Honda 28m09.385s 5.287s
4 Dan Cammish Ford 28m09.984s 5.886s
5 Dan Rowbottom Ford 28m11.290s 7.192s
6 Aiden Moffat Honda 28m14.500s 10.402s
7 Jake Hill BMW 28m16.434s 12.336s
8 Rory Butcher Toyota 28m17.250s 13.152s
9 Árón T.-Smith Vauxhall/TOCA 28m25.797s 21.699s
10 George Gamble Toyota 28m26.917s 22.819s
11 Michael Crees Cupra/TOCA 28m27.407s 23.309s
12 Mikey Doble Vauxhall/TOCA 28m30.872s 26.774s
13 Dexter Patterson Cupra/TOCA 28m31.119s 27.021s
14 Andrew Watson Vauxhall/TOCA 28m31.819s 27.721s
15 Ricky Collard Toyota 28m31.941s 27.843s
16 Jade Edwards Cupra/TOCA 28m32.523s 28.425s
17 Sam Osborne Ford 28m36.109s 32.011s
18 Daryl Taylor Cupra/TOCA 28m40.507s 36.409s
19 Ronan Pearson Hyundai 28m44.518s 40.420s
20 Nick Halstead Hyundai 28m46.701s 42.603s
 
  Jack Butel Cupra/TOCA   Retirement
  Tom Chilton Hyundai   Retirement
  Stephen Jelley BMW   Retirement
  Adam Morgan BMW   Retirement
  Ash Sutton Ford   Retirement
  Dan Lloyd Cupra/TOCA   Retirement

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