Lights to flag victory for Turkington in Brands BTCC Race 1

Lights to flag victory for Turkington in Brands BTCC Race 1

Team BMW's Colin Turkington produced a textbook performance in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, securing his first victory of the season with an inch perfect drive.


A solid getaway from pole position was arguably the only challenge that Turkington faced on the soft Goodyear option tyre as his team-mate Adam Morgan became embroiled in the frenetic scrap for the positions behind the leader.


Morgan faded quickly to the lower end of the top ten before his challenge was completely scuppered following contact with Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS' Ronan Pearson on the run up to Druids.


NAPA Racing UK's Ash Sutton had made his way by team-mate Dan Cammish into second before the positions were reversed a few laps later. Cammish, looking at a promising second place, was unfortunately dealt a blow when a puncture forced him into the pits.


So the fight for second was now between Sutton and his old friend Josh Cook. There was little friendship in the fight, however, with the pair swapping paint on a number of occasions before LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ's Cook eventually nudged his #66 Toyota Corolla down the inside of the #1 Ford Focus on the exit of Clearways.


TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK's Andrew Watson drove extremely well to take fourth from a resurgent Jake Hill in his MB Motorsport with Laser Tools Racing BMW, whilst NAPA Racing UK's Dan Rowbottom was also part of the same battle but had to settle for sixth.


Tom Chilton impressively dived by his Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS' team-mate Tom Ingram for seventh, albeit with the latter carrying far less hybrid deployment by virtue of his championship position.


Aiden Moffat (LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ) and Árón Taylor-Smith (Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing) rounded out the top ten, the latter taking the Independents' win in the process.


In the first four races of the season are anything to go by then we could be looking at a great campaign with Ingram leading Turkington and Sutton by just two points in the overall Drivers' standings.


The second BTCC race takes place at 1430 and the final encounter begins at 1715 – all the action is currently live in the UK on ITV4 and live across the world via the ITV Sport TikTok channel.


Colin Turkington said: "Those races feel really good when you're not under too much pressure. Obviously, leading any race is a pressurised situation and not knowing when the tyres may drop off, but not getting too much pressure from behind certainly makes it easier to manage things. I am really pleased that we had a great car in qualifying yesterday and that we were able to convert that into the race today. WSR put in a huge effort pre-season and we're getting the fruits of that labour. It's nice when you feel super connected to the car and the car is definitely suiting me much better."


Josh Cook said: "It was good. It was the first time we've bolted soft tyres on the car so it was a little going into the unknown. The balance of the car was really good and the team have done a great job. Of course, I had to get my elbows out in the battle with Ash [Sutton], I just wanted to get past him and then manage the hybrid until the end of the race. There's a few things to improve with me and improve with the car, but it's a good start and I'll be getting my elbows out again in race two."


Ash Sutton said: "Mega, we've always had good battles. Josh [Cook] and I get on well, we're good friends and we had a great battle here in 2018 too. There was a little bit of contact but it's touring cars isn't it. We race hard and fair. We were on the back foot – less hybrid and on the medium tyre – I wanted a podium, second would have been great, but we will certainly take that."

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