Tom Oliphant in the #15 Team BMW 330i M Sport won the first race when the British Touring Car series ran at Brands Hatch on June 27. He went on to finish third in race two. Adam Morgan in the Cicely Motorsport 330i M Sport won the third race.
Oliphant’s win in race one left him with 75kg of success ballast for race two. Still, he found his way to the front of the pack, leading until a tap to the rear of his car on the final lap demoted him to third. Tom Ingram in a Hyundai won the race.
Morgan, winning his ninth BTCC race, scored the first BMW win for the Cicely Motorsport team. The best Team BMW finisher in race three was Colin Turkington, scoring his first points on a rough weekend with a fourteenth-place finish. Oliphant was fifteenth.
Stephen Jelley in the third Team BMW car, finished fifteenth in race one, was taken out of race two in a contact incident, and finished 22nd in race three.
Oliphant said, “It’s been a fantastic day. Getting the start in race one kind of made up for everything with missing out on pole. I really enjoyed that race, claiming my second BTCC win and my first of the season. In race two I drove the wheels off the BMW and got a bit unlucky on the last lap, but I’m really pleased to come away with third and solid points. Race three was very different being all the way back in tenth. I really didn’t have the best first lap and it just kind of went away from me. The car balance following people wasn’t quite what it was when I was in the lead. I did what I could, but at the end of the day the difference between twelfth and fifteenth is three points so it wasn’t worth taking an unnecessary risk. I just finished the race in the points and now I really look forward to going to Oulton Park. We’re sixth in the championship and it’s a track that suits us. This is just what I needed to get my title fight back on track.”
After Brands Hatch, BMW leads manufacturers points, Team BMW is third in team points, Turkington is fourth in drivers’ points, and Oliphant is sixth.
The series takes a five-week break before the Oulton Park event scheduled for July 31 through August 1.—Brian Morgan
[Photo courtesy Jakob Ebry/BMW.]