Snetterton BTCC: Turkington claims first 2021 win with Race 1 victory

Four-time British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington scored his first victory of 2021 in the opening race of the second round at Snetterton.

Snetterton BTCC: Turkington claims first 2021 win with Race 1 victory

The Northern Irishman, who is a maestro at the Norfolk circuit, fended off a first-lap challenge from Tom Ingram, and from then on his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport never looked under serious threat.

Poleman Turkington and the entire top five of the grid opted to use the softer option tyre in this race, for which they all carried comparatively little success ballast – or none at all.

The extra grip from this played a large part in Turkington bogging down off the line, and his rear-wheel-drive start advantage was nullified by the getaway from front-row partner Ingram’s Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N, which was 6kg heavier than Turkington’s BMW on 33kg of ballast.

Ingram challenged into Turn 3 on the opening lap, the leading pair rubbing panels, and then again around the outside of Agostini, where there was more contact.

Turkington eked his advantage out to over one second by lap five of 12, but a pair of fastest laps from Ingram brought the Hyundai back into the picture.

Ingram, worried about his soft left-front tyre in the heat, then elected to back off – Turkington reclaimed fastest lap to pull the gap out to 3.125s, but then he followed Ingram’s example and reined himself in to win by 2.932s.

“I was under big pressure on the first half lap,” said Turkington.

“There was more grip for the start, so that helped us bog down and we got even starts [with Ingram].

“I had to work hard and get my head down, but it’s always nice to get my first win of the year.”

From third on the grid, Rory Butcher had a lonely race to the final podium position in his Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla.

Rory Butcher, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Toyota Corolla

Rory Butcher, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Toyota Corolla

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

The gear-cut broke on the Toyota on the formation lap, meaning Butcher was having to lift for upshifts, and costing him straight-line speed.

Ollie Jackson, on the medium Goodyear, had a great first lap to impose his Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus ahead of the soft-shod BMWs of Stephen Jelley and Adam Morgan.

This turned into the battle of the race, but Jelley managed to get his WSR BMW ahead of Jackson at the Hamilton left-hander with four and a half laps remaining.

Dan Lloyd then joined what was now the battle for fifth in the lead Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, but Jackson did a sterling defensive job to hang on from Ciceley Motorsport driver Morgan and Lloyd.

Points leader Jake Hill, running the maximum 75kg success ballast on his MB Ford, lost eighth place to the WSR BMW of Tom Oliphant at mid-distance, and then had to get his elbows out on reigning champion Ash Sutton as the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 driver attempted to recover from his low grid position.

That cost Sutton positions to Chris Smiley and Jack Goff and, although he repassed Goff’s Team Hard Cupra, he finished 11th behind ninth-placed Hill and Smiley’s Excelr8 Hyundai.

Hill’s result actually extended his championship lead to five points, with Turkington now in second place.

Further back, Gordon Shedden climbed from 28th on the grid, after losing his pole position to a technical infringement, to 15th in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R.

Race 1 results:

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps Time Gap
1 2  Colin Turkington BMW 12 23'36.287  
2 80  Tom Ingram Hyundai 12 23'39.219 2.932
3 6  Rory Butcher Toyota 12 23'45.738 9.451
4 12  Stephen Jelley BMW 12 23'50.247 13.960
5 48  Ollie Jackson Ford 12 23'53.208 16.921
6 33  Adam Morgan BMW 12 23'53.859 17.572
7 123  Daniel Lloyd Vauxhall 12 23'54.336 18.049
8 15  Tom Oliphant BMW 12 23'54.660 18.373
9 24  Jake Hill Ford 12 23'58.238 21.951
10 22  Chris Smiley Hyundai 12 23'58.870 22.583
11 1  Ash Sutton Infiniti 12 23'59.139 22.852
12 31  Jack Goff Cupra 12 24'00.046 23.759
13 32  Daniel Rowbottom Honda 12 24'01.280 24.993
14 16  Aiden Moffat Infiniti 12 24'01.702 25.415
15 52  Gordon Shedden Honda 12 24'02.302 26.015
16 66  Josh Cook Honda 12 24'04.023 27.736
17 11  Jason Plato Vauxhall 12 24'04.950 28.663
18 18  Senna Proctor Honda 12 24'05.669 29.382
19 4  Sam Osborne Ford 12 24'06.229 29.942
20 41  Carl Boardley Infiniti 12 24'09.144 32.857
21 3  Tom Chilton BMW 12 24'10.751 34.464
22 40  Árón T.-Smith Cupra 12 24'11.645 35.358
23 21  Jessica Hawkins Ford 12 24'14.648 38.361
24 62  Rick Parfitt Hyundai 12 24'16.817 40.530
25 99  Jade Edwards Honda 12 24'17.317 41.030
26 96  Jack Butel Hyundai 12 24'18.061 41.774
27 88  Glynn Geddie Cupra 12 24'19.017 42.730
28 28  Nicolas Hamilton Cupra 12 24'19.517 43.230
29 23  Sam Smelt Toyota 12 24'35.021 58.734
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