Team BMW’s Colin Turkington claimed a relatively routine lights-to-flag victory in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton, as the four-time champion kept WSR stablemate Jake Hill at bay.
Turkington’s main threat from attack was the race start – and two subsequent restarts following safety car periods – but the Northern Irishman dealt with the challenge with consummate ease, showing particularly good pace in the opening laps following each getaway.
ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Hill held off Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram in similar fashion, as the leading trio held station throughout the contest.
The only change in the top five happened on the opening lap as Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan blasted around the outside of Stephen Jelley’s BMW 330e M Sport with an impressive move.
Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Jason Plato withstood huge pressure in the early running to claim an impressive top six finish, with a gaggle of cars battling for seventh behind him.
The NAPA Racing UK duo Dan Cammish and Ash Sutton were heavily involved with the multi-car scrap, with the Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda of Dan Rowbottom finishing between them as they flashed across the finish line.
The second Halfords Racing with Cataclean car of Gordon Shedden rounded out the top ten, as the Scotsman cleverly undercut Toyota GAZOO UK Racing’s Ricky Collard late on.
The first safety car intervention was called for when the CarCare Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall of Michael Crees broke down on the side of the track, whilst the second interruption occurred following an accident involving Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing), Josh Cook (Rich Energy BTC Racing) and Jack Butel (Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com).
Colin Turkington said: “It’s a dream weekend so far. Even thought I’m leading, it’s by no means easy. I’ve never been so hot in that car in my life! I think the car was handling really well, it’s just the focus and concentration. You’re trying to drive the car on the limit and judge the gap to the guys behind. Safety Car periods are always an extra challenge as any lead you have is instantly eroded and it always takes a lap really to bring the fronts back in. But John [Waterman – Race Engineer] and Team BMW have given me a really fast 3 Series here at Snetterton – as we have the past three years. That’s my first win from the front this year, only my second overall of the year, the other was reverse grid, so it’s always nice to get pole and win the race. That’s satisfying.”
Jake Hill said: “I’m thankful to get out of [the car], that’s for sure, it’s just so hot in there! Great for ROKiT MB Motorsport, great for Team BMW, what a result! A 1-2 for the team, I’m very proud of that. Colin [Turkington] drove brilliantly, I think his car was just amazing whenever the restarts happened over those two safety cars. His car just came alive and he gapped me every time on that first lap. Nothing to be unhappy about here, I’ve got a load of points, the car’s all in one piece – I’m very happy!”
Tom Ingram said: “It was difficult, it was heavy, heavy going. And in that heat as well! It was doubly hard work when you’ve got to be checking your mirrors and not looking forward. I said before the race it would be a case of just trying to hold station. It felt very similar to last year when we had the [success] ballast onboard just driving around having to look in our mirrors. I think I was 1.8 seconds slower than Colin [Turkington] on that last lap, when I was deploying all my hybrid and might have done a couple of track limits as well to keep in front of [Adam] Morgan. It was heavy going but a good result nonetheless. Pointsy. A pointsy race!”
2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Snetterton
1. Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 15 laps
2. Jake HILL (GBR) ROKiT MB Motorsport +1.098s
3. Tom INGRAM (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +3.604s
4. Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +4.171s
5. Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +5.133s
6. Jason PLATO (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +6.519s
7. Dan CAMMISH (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +6.795s
8. Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +7.915s
9. Ash SUTTON (GBR) NAPA Racing UK +7.945s
10. Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +8.037s
11. Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +10.850s
12. Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +11.598s
13. Ash HAND (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +11.982s
14. Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +12.221s
15. Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota GAZOO Racing UK +12.362s
16. George GAMBLE (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +15.640s
17. Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +17.521s
18. Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +17.763s
19. Josh COOK (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +19.608s
20. Dexter PATTERSON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +18.418s
21. Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan +19.719s
22. Jack BUTEL (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +20.120s
23. Rick PARFITT (GBR) Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing +24.949s
24. Nic HAMILTON (GBR) Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing +25.401s
25. Will POWELL (GBR) Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero +25.418s
26. Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +6 laps
27. Jade EDWARDS (GBR) Rich Energy BTC Racing +7 laps
28. Michael CREES (GBR) CarStore Power Maxed Racing +12 laps
29. Tom CHILTON (GBR) Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com +15 laps