BMW head BTCC manufacturers title race after Donington podium treble

BMW head BTCC manufacturers title race after Donington podium treble

A treble podium finish at the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season-opener thrust WSR and BMW into an early lead in the race for an unprecedented tenth Manufacturers’/Constructors’ title.


Two third-place finishes for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill and a final-race charge to second spot by Team BMW’s Colin Turkington made for a strong start on a weather-affected day at Donington Park by the BMW 330e M Sport race cars.


Battling the track conditions, Jake ran in the podium positions for most of the first race before coming home third.


The Kent racer sprinted into the lead of a dry Race Two, only for excessive rear tyre wear to lead to him being caught and passed by two rivals late on as he again finished third.


He was fifth in the finale, part of a five-way late-race battle for the win; minor set-up changes having prevented a recurrence of his tyre issue.


Three places further up the order was Team BMW’s four-time champion Colin Turkington, who had earlier finished fourth and fifth.


Keeping his composure during a frantic multi-car battle for the top spots, he made three spots in two corners at mid-distance and kept the pressure on as he fought to the flag in second place.


He’s fourth in the Drivers’ points, one spot behind Jake and 17 ahead of Team BMW team-mate Adam Morgan.


Adam had led the opening stages of Race Three, but locked a front wheel after clipping a kerb on entry to McLean’s at one-third distance and was demoted several spots.


The Lancashire racer finished seventh. He was eighth in Race One, driving superbly in the wet conditions to climb from 16th on the grid, but was later demoted to 14th owing to a time penalty for a jump start. That led to a similar Race Two charge to seventh.


Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “It’s been a nice, consistent day with fourth, fifth and second. Without grabbing any headlines I’ve scored a good lot of points. The highlight is obviously the second-place finish in Race Three. I had the BMW in the window where I needed it to attack and feel racey. I’m leaving Donington a lot more confident than I was even after Race Two. I enjoyed that last race so much. It’s been a strong day for Team BMW so I’m leaving quite happy.”


Adam Morgan, Team BMW, said: “It’s been a pretty turbulent day up and down the grid with a lot of close battles. Race One was good and I went from 16th to eighth, but then I got a ten-second penalty for a jump-start so had to do it all again in Race Two, but the pace has been pretty strong and I could make the kind of passing moves I wasn’t able to last year with the BMW, which is really encouraging. I’m frustrated with myself for Race Three. I saved five laps of hybrid and had it under control, but then I locked-up into McLeans, which hurt the front left and I was a sitting duck.”


Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “It was quite a successful day for me with third-place finishes in Races One and Two in totally different weather conditions. It was raining and very tricky in Race One and then totally dry in Race Two, which was pretty good for seeing where we are in those types of conditions. Race Three was extremely frantic with lots going on and my team-mates getting into all sorts of battles, but we kept clear of it and got another good points finish.”


Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Overall it’s been a very good day for us at Donington. Three races, three podiums, nine finishes in total from the three cars to put BMW in the lead of the Manufacturers’ Championship. We’ve been playing with the set-up of the cars because they’re so different to last year and we’ve made some very good progress across the weekend. Now we’re looking forward to Brands Hatch. I’m a lot happier than I was after qualifying.”

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