Turkington wins chaotic Croft opener

Colin Turkington took his second British Touring Car Championship victory of the season in a chaotic opening race at Croft that was held in torrential rain and red flagged twice

Turkington wins chaotic Croft opener

The Team RAC driver prevailed in his BMW, grabbing the lead from Gordon Shedden when the Team Halfords Honda driver slid wide at the hairpin in what was the last corner before the order was frozen.

Shedden finished third behind Vauxhall's Matt Neal, who also nipped by on the run to the finish line.

The race initially got underway with second-row man Jason Plato starting from the pit-lane after aquaplaning into the gravel at Clervaux while heading from the pits and to the grid.

Shedden grabbed the lead from Plato's team-mate Darren Turner, and the SEAT driver soon dropped to the back of the field after ploughing straight on into the field at Tower on the first lap.

The standing water at the entry to Tower continued to cause problems. Stephen Jelley crashed there on lap three, prompting the marshals to come out and clear his car. Alan Taylor, who was further down the field, aquaplaned off at the same corner 20 seconds later, hitting and injuring one of the marshals - although not seriously - and forcing a red flag.

The re-start order was set from the previous lap, meaning that Jackson, who had taken the lead from Shedden with a sensational move around the outside at the Jim Clark Esses, had to drop back behind the Scotsman on the new grid.

The restart was due to be an eight-lap race without aggregate times. Jackson made the best of his rear-wheel drive to take a huge lead into turn one, but slid off at Tower and dropped to the rear of the field.

He wasn't the only one to be caught out by the conditions. Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole went off as well, with the Team Halfords driver failing to get going and bringing out the safety car.

Turkington and Neal to grabbed first and second from Shedden as the leading trio across the line for the last time under green flag conditions as worsening rain forced a result to be declared after two laps.

Fabrizio Giovanardi held his nerve to finish fourth from 12th on the grid for Vauxhall, while Rob Collard took his and Motorbase's best finish of the year in fifth in his BMW.

Mike Jordan and Steven Kane were next up with Adam Jones eighth and increasing his lead of the Independents' championship in his Team Air-Cool SEAT.

Michael Doyle took ninth and the best finish of his career in his In-Tune Racing Honda, while Andrew Jordan completed the top 10 in the second of the Eurotech Integras.

Pos Driver Car Time 1. Colin Turkington BMW 4:07.301 2. Matt Neal Vauxhall +1.007 3. Gordon Shedden Honda +1.973 4. Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall +3.161 5. Rob Collard BMW +4.182 6. Mike Jordan Honda +5.078 7. Steven Kane BMW +6.303 8. Adam Jones SEAT +7.276 9. Michael Doyle Honda +7.858 10. Andrew Jordan Honda +8.619 11. Chris Stockton SEAT +9.663 12. Jason Plato SEAT +10.323 13. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet +11.229 14. Jason Hughes Honda +13.069 15. Darren Turner SEAT +13.644 16. Erkut Kizilirmak Vauxhall +15.059 17. John George Honda +15.746 18. Mat Jackson BMW +16.267 19. Tom Onslow-Cole Vauxhall +17.169 20. Martyn Bell Vauxhall +18.173 21. Stuart Oliver SEAT +35.813 Retirements:  Driver Car Laps Alan Taylor Honda 0 laps Stephen Jelley BMW 0 laps Tom Chilton Honda 0 laps Fastest lap, Turkington 1:51.885 on lap 1 
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