AT CROFT AS JACKSON & JONES STAR
Team RAC's Colin Turkington and Vauxhall's Fabrizio Giovanardi shared the wins in yesterday's three HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire.
Turkington won both the day's first two races while Giovanardi's race three victory has further extended his championship lead over team-mate Matt Neal who has moved into second in the standings as the BTCC now takes a six-week break before resuming at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk on Sunday 13 July.
Turkington won a drastically shortened race one after early leaders Mat Jackson (BMW Dealer Team UK) and Gordon Shedden (Team Halfords) had slithered off the wet track. Indeed, so bad did conditions become that the field completed just two racing laps before officials stopped the race.
Later, in improving conditions, Turkington won race two but the star of the show was BMW Dealer Team UK driver Jackson who, as they went onto the last lap, had worked his way into second position after starting way back in 18th on the grid. At the penultimate corner, Turkington, under intense pressure from the closing Jackson, almost lost control of his car but held on to win by just one tenth of a second.
Giovanardi was then a clear winner of race three while following him - and equalling his previous best result of second - was independent Adam Jones. Third, adding to the second and third-place finishes he achieved in races one and two, was Matt Neal - his strong set of results having elevated him from fourth to second in the Drivers' championship behind Giovanardi.
SEAT's Jason Plato, who had been second arriving at Croft, suffered a disastrous day with just one points finish with an eighth place in race two. As a result, he has dropped to fourth in the standings behind the rejuvenated Jackson. Plato's team-mate Darren Turner, having become the first driver in BTCC history to drive a diesel-powered car to pole position in Saturday qualifying, also had a luckless day, this leaving the door wide open for Vauxhall and VX Racing to open up sizeable leads in the Manufacturers' and Teams' championships over SEAT and SEAT Sport UK respectively.
Meanwhile, Team Air Cool's Jones has just held onto the lead of the Independent Drivers' standings from Turkington whose Team RAC squad has now moved to the top of the Independent Teams' standings.
Leading positions, BTCC Croft race 1 (provisional):1. Colin Turkington (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, 2 laps in 4m07.301s
2. Matt Neal (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +1.007s
3. Gordon Shedden (GBR), Team Halfords/Honda Civic, +1.973sFastest lap: Shedden, 1m37.870s (78.97mph)
Leading positions, BTCC Croft race 2 (provisional):1. Colin Turkington (GBR), Team RAC/BMW 320si, 16 laps in 26m24.098s
2. Mat Jackson (GBR), BMW Dealer Team UK/BMW 320si, +0.101s
3. Matt Neal (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +3.712s
Fastest lap: Steven Kane (GBR), Motorbase/BMW 320si, 1m35.559s (80.05mph)
Leading positions, BTCC Croft race 3 (provisional):1. Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, 18 laps in 28m31.186s
2. Adam Jones (GBR), Team Air Cool/SEAT Leon, +1.592s
3. Matt Neal (GBR), VX Racing/Vauxhall Vectra VXR, +1.820s
Fastest lap: Giovanardi, 1m26.547s
Points (all provisional):
Drivers1. Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA), 145 points2. Matt Neal (GBR), 1223. Mat Jackson (GBR), 1024. Jason Plato (GBR), 995. Colin Turkington (GBR), 986. Tom Onslow-Cole (GBR), 97
1. Vauxhall, 3512. SEAT, 284
Teams1. VX Racing, 3072. SEAT Sport UK, 1703. Team Halfords, 1304. Team RAC, 1035. BMW Dealer Team UK, 1006. Team Air Cool, 73
Independent Drivers1. Adam Jones (GBR), 1562. Colin Turkington (GBR), 1513. Mat Jackson, 1504. Mike Jordan, 845. Steven Kane, 756. Andrew Jordan, 75
Independent Teams1. Team RAC, 1622. Team Air Cool, 1593. BMW Dealer Team UK, 1504. John Guest Racing, 1225. Motorbase, 1066. Robertshaw Racing, 79