West Surrey Racing won each of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park (18 June), as Jake Hill and Colin Turkington helped the squad claim a clean sweep of victories for BMW.
Hill almost completed a perfect day individually as the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport star took two wins, a second place and three fastest laps.
Turkington produced a sensational turnaround throughout the day, having started last on the grid for the opener. The four-time champion made stunning ground in the first race, improved even further in the second, before charging to his 65th BTCC career triumph in the reverse grid finale.
There were podiums on the day for Ash Sutton, Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan as the title race took a massive twist as it reached its midway stage.
Sutton’s advantage in the Drivers’ Standings has been reduced to six points from Ingram, whilst Hill and Turkington remain in close contention.
The second half of the BTCC campaign will resume at Croft in North Yorkshire on 29/30 July.
Jake Hill led BMW charge with race one win
A fantastic victory in the opener kickstarted Hill’s 2023 campaign.
The Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport racer has driven consistently at the sharp end during the season so far, with three second place finishes being his best result up to that point, but a deserved visit to the top step of the podium elevated his title challenge.
A brilliant start from Hill saw his BMW 330e M Sport blast past pole-sitter Sutton around the outside on the run down to turn one, and a robust defence followed on the opening laps as the rear-wheel drive car gradually brought its tyres up to temperature.
After a high-pressured start Hill then gradually settled into his stride and pulled away from championship leader Sutton in his #116 Napa Racing UK Ford Focus.
BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8's Ingram completed the podium as he shook off the frustrations of qualifying to come through from sixth on the grid.
Hill does the Oulton Park double
Hill then claimed his first ever BTCC double on the same weekend, as the BMW star followed up his opening win with a lights-to-flag success in the second bout at the picturesque Cheshire venue.
In truth, Hill was never troubled in the contest – despite an early safety car period – and eventually pulled clear to secure another win ahead of Sutton.
The fight for the final place on the podium was an intriguing one as Ingram held off a late charge from Team BMW’s Turkington, with the latter again performing brilliantly to come through the order.
Turkington’s fightback began with a charge from 27th to ninth in the opening race and the four-time champion improved yet further in the next encounter.
With a total improvement of 23 places across the first two races, Turkington looked to be a contender for victory in the final reverse-grid race.
Turkington completes classic comeback
Team BMW’s Turkington grabbed victory in the final reverse grid race, completing a phenomenal comeback.
Turkington is no stranger to victory of course, but this was arguably one of the best days of his illustrious career, having produced superb drives in each of the three contests.
As mentioned, the #4 BMW 330e M Sport was disqualified from Qualifying yesterday after the car failed post-session scrutineering checks, which meant a starting berth on the last row of the grid for Turkington.
Having charged through the order in the first two races, he saved his best until last to take his second victory of the season.
It was a BMW 1-2-3 at the finish as Turkington prevented stablemate Hill claiming an historic hat-trick, whilst Team BMW’s Adam Morgan completed the podium – his 40th in the BTCC.
The moment of truth came shortly after an early safety car period as Turkington ran around the outside of Morgan through turn one, as Hill also followed him through when the move was completed down at Cascades.
The aforementioned safety car spell also proved dramatic as the Ford Focus of championship leader Ash Sutton grounded to a halt on the opening lap after contact with Ingram’s car squeezed the former into the pit wall.
BMW’s memorable day helped the Bavarian marque claim top spot in the Manufacturers’ Standings, whilst NAPA Racing UK maintained its position at the head of the Teams’ order.
Josh Cook and his One Motorsport with Starline Racing continued its command of the Independents’ tables, whilst Dexter Patterson tops the Jack Sears Trophy, although Andrew Watson claimed the JST honours at Oulton Park.
Sutton’s recent qualifying dominance ensured he holds sway in the Goodyear Wingfoot Award as the BTCC heads into its mid-season break.
Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “It’s been a blinder of a race weekend! To take two wins, three podiums and three fastest laps is brilliant and I can’t say much more than that. This car and the team are true heroes, and we have really turned it around this weekend. The car was monstrous – I am not saying that it is going to be rapid everywhere, but it is currently a lovely place to be. I must say a huge thank you to Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, everyone in the team at West Surrey Racing and of course BMW UK for all of their support.
“Unfortunately for Adam [Morgan], Colin [Turkington] just had a really good run coming out of Old Hall on the outside and it just set me up really to dive down the inside at the next turn to take second. Huge credit to both of them to complete a 1-2-3 for the BMWs – it’s an amazing feeling.”
Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “It’s been the most amazing day. I was a bit down in the dumps last night knowing I had to start right at the back in P27 – right in the dip here! I did not think we could make the progress we have, though. Oulton Park has been quite a good track for the BMW previously and although it can be tough to pass we played our cards right and in each race it kept getting better and better.
“This victory means so much. I had to really graft for it, having started right at the back at the beginning of the day in the doldrums to the top step of the podium. It really means a lot.
“There are not too many opportunities to overtake against a car which is the same as your own, so you have to try something different. It was maybe a move which Adam [Morgan] wasn’t expecting. I got a really good run on the hybrid coming out of the last corner to start the lap which really set me up to make the move. Having three BMWs on the podium is a fantastic feeling. Jake [Hill] was on my case, but I could see where we were strong and where we were not – so it was nice in the last few laps to stretch my legs at the front.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Oulton Park
1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 15 laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1.874s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +2.563s
4. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +10.181s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +10.583s
6. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +11.090s
7. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +11.566s
8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +17.674s
9. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +18.676s
10. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +21.899s
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Oulton Park
1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 17 laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1.773s
3. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +4.302s
4. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +7.796s
5. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +8.731s
6. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +10.162s
7. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +11.679s
8. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +12.610s
9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +13.726s
10. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +18.970s
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 3 – Oulton Park
1. Colin Turkington, Team BMW 18 Laps
2. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +1.762s
3. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +4.305s
4. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +4.709s
5. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +6.176s
6. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +7.179s
7. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +9.306s
8. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +9.512s
9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +11.786s
10. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +17.512s
Adam Morgan received a three place grid penalty for an incident involving Aron Taylor-Smith. The penalty was served in Round 14.
Dexter Patterson received a three place grid penalty for an incident involving Aiden Moffat. The penalty was served in Round 14.
Josh Cook penalised by means of a three place penalty for the next race, for an incident involving Bobby Thompson. The penalty was served in Round 15.
Dan Rowbottom was verbally warned for an incident involving Jade Edwards.
An incident involving Sam Osborne and Bobby Thompson will be reviewed at Croft, ahead of the next race weekend.
An incident involving Sam Osborne and Jade Edwards will be reviewed at Croft, ahead of the next race weekend.
An incident involving Dexter Patterson and Aron Taylor-Smith will be reviewed at Croft, ahead of the next race weekend.
Image: Side-by-side for the lead between Hill and Sutton