erman marque BMW scored a sensational 1-2-3 finish in the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park as Rob Collard headed home stablemates Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington.
Collard blasted his Team BMW 125i M Sport off the line and immediately past pole-sitter Rob Austin in his HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Guilietta. Austin kept Collard honest for much of the contest before heartache cost him the chance of a second podium of the season. A broken differential on the Alfa forced Austin into retirement and promoted BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan into second.
Championship leader Turkington was now in third after he had made a number of stellar passes, most notably by the Motorbase Ford duo of Tom Chilton and James Cole. WIX Racing with Eurotech star Jack Goff followed Turkington through and would eventually claim fourth place, although ended the bout with a slow puncture and could count himself fortunate to reach the chequered flag.
The fight for fifth was an enthralling one and eventually went the way of local man Adam Morgan. The Ciceley Motorsport man started the race in 11th place but made early progress in his Mercedes A-Class, and then benefitted from a number of scraps towards the end of the race.
Toyota hotshot Tom Ingram and Matt Neal got into eachother at Druids on lap eight, which allowed Morgan through whist the recovering Honda of Neal tumbled down the order. Morgan then made his own move by Chilton’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher car and the Lancastrian would go on to end a challenging weekend on a high.
Ingram grabbed sixth ahead of Chilton, whilst Mike Bushell and Jake Hill secured some much needed respite for Team HARD in eighth and ninth respectively. The VW CCs has progressed in terms of pace throughout the weekend and Bushell would be further rewarded by sharing the Jack Sears Trophy with Ollie Jackson.
James Cole completed a good day for Kent-based Motorbase by taking tenth in front of his home fans. The Liverpudlian was muscled down the order in this one but a trio of top ten finishes proved to be a productive day for the BTCC race winner.
The race was originally red flagged when a huge accident off the line sent Chris Smiley, Tom Oliphant, Daniel Lloyd and Rory Butcher immediately into retirement. All drivers involved were unharmed in the crash, with the delayed race being run over a reduced distance of 12 laps.
Rob Collard said: “I’m so pleased with that. We knew we had it in the car yesterday and I didn’t maximise our potential in qualifying. I knew, though, if I was two tenths off the quick guys then it’d be all to play for on race-day. It’s a great feeling to see all three BMWs on the podium. It doesn’t happen very often, so congratulations to BMW – it’s a great achievement. We had a win here last year, and we were right there until that horrible accident at Silverstone which ruled me out of the championship. I’ve struggled for form since then but any win in the BTCC leaves you walking on water. When I saw the red flag I thought it was just my luck but to then repeat my great start was ideal. I just focussed then on pulling out a gap.”
Andrew Jordan said: “That was a cracking result for the team, West Surrey Racing and BMW. To get a 1-2-3 with the championship as strong as it is now is a great achievement and it’s capped a very good day for us. A second, third and fourth for me has got to be up there around Colin (Turkington) for top points-scorer of the weekend. Croft should favour us. I scored my first ever touring car win there and my first car win full-stop there – so hopefully we’ll be on for a first win of the year.”
Colin Turkington said: “It feels great to be top of the pile. It’s been such a strong weekend for Team BMW. It’s only normally Croft where we can match this kind of result but all three West Surrey Racing cars were in the groove, so it’s a big pat on the back for the guys behind the scenes doing all the engineering. We’ve got the easy job bar the heat! It’s a nice thought leading the championship into Croft but we go there with a heavy car. We hope we’ll be able to get a few more points in the bag. I think we’ve all earned a cool beverage today!”
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 12 – Oulton Park
1 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW 12 laps
2 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +3.881s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +7.647s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.333s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +13.385s
6 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +15.374s
7 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +16.360s
8 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +16.786s
9 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +18.153s
10 Jake HILL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +18.403s
11 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +18.910s
12 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +18.974s
13 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +19.206s
14 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +19.559s
15 Tom BOARDMAN (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +21.584s
16 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +21.944s
17 Sam SMELT (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +25.031s
18 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +26.111s
19 Michael CAINE (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +41.924s
20 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +42.622s
21 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +1m21.197s
22 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1 lap
23 Josh PRICE (GBR) Autoglym Academy Racing +3 laps
24 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +3 laps
25 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +8 laps
26 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +12 laps
27 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +12 laps
28 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12 laps
29 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12 laps
DNS Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase
DNS Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing
DNS Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars