Colin Turkington drove the #2 West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M Sport to finish second in the first of three races at the British Touring Car Championship season-opener at Brands Hatch. It was the best finish of the event for BMW and WSR, the defending constructors’ and team champions in the series.
In the first race, which was run in the rain until near the end, Turkington ran the entire distance on the tail of the ultimate winner, Jack Goff (Honda Civic Type R); Turkington finished just over half a second behind him. Turkington’s WSR teammate, Andrew Jordan, finished third, while Rob Collard finished fifteenth in the third WSR 125i M Sport. Stephen Jelley (Team Parker Racing 125i M Sport) finished in 22nd place.
Jordan was in a three-way battle for the lead at the beginning of Race Two, but he and the other front-runners had bet on rain tires. The track dried after the halfway point in the race, setting those on rain tires back and moving those with slicks to the front. Nineteen-year-old Senna Proctor, who had started on slicks, took the win in a Vauxhall Astra; it was the first win for Proctor, and the first BTCC win for Vauxhall since 2012.
The BMWs, all on rain tires, fell back; at the end, Jordan finished 21st, Collard was 26th, Turkington was 27th, and Jelley retired.
The finishing order in Race Two set the grid for Race Three. Turkington fought his way through the pack to ninth at the end of the race, while Jordan was seventeenth, Jelley was 23rd, and Collard retired. The win went to Tom Ingram in a Toyota Avensis.
The series runs again at Donington Park on April 28-29.—Brian Morgan