At the midway point of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), BMW leads the manufacturers championship and West Surrey Racing driver Colin Turkington sits third in the driver points. Turkington’s teammate, Jake Hill, was fifth in the driver championship.
BMW drivers were on the podium several times in the last three BTCC events at Thruxton, Oulton Park, and Croft (BTCC holds three races per championship weekend). In the first two races at Thruxton, Jake Hill and Colin Turkington finished second and fourth respectively as Honda driver Josh Hill won both races in his Civic Type R. There was a BMW one-two in race three, as Adam Morgan took the win with Turkington in second. “It’s a mega day for everyone, this is one that I won’t forget,” said Morgan after the win. “There’s no reason this car can’t keep up with everybody else and be at the front.”
Turkington had the best results of any of the BMW drivers in the first two races at Oulton Park, finishing fourth in the first race and third in race two, with Hyundai driver Tom Ingram winning both races. Jake Hill was the only other BMW driver to get into the top ten in the first two races, with a seventh in race two. West Surrey Racing driver Stephen Jelley got his first win of the season in race three at Oulton Park, while Adam Morgan finished in the top ten in eighth. “I feel fantastic,” said Jelley after the win. “It’s so great to get that weight off my shoulders. It’s been a long time coming because all season I’ve felt like I’ve had good pace in the BMW; things just haven’t gone my way necessarily. Today it all came together though.”
Colin Turkington had an added challenge going into the three rounds at Croft, as he had a heavy wreck in the previous race at Oulton Park and had to use a spare chassis that was last raced in 2019. He rose to the challenge, putting his car on pole in qualifying and finishing on the podium twice, with a second place in race one and a third place in race two, as Hyundai driver Daniel Lloyd won both races. Jake Hill also had strong performances in all three races, finishing fifth in race one, fourth in race two and fifth in race three. Jelley finished ahead of Hill with a fourth in race three, as Turkington wound up sixth.
West Surrey Racing Team Principal Dick Bennetts was satisfied with his team’s performance at Croft. “It’s been a very good weekend when you consider how things looked leaving Oulton Park,” he said. “Colin’s had two podiums and closed right in on the lead of the drivers’ championship, and we’ve put BMW back in front in the manufacturers’ points too, which is a great way to head into the summer break. I’ve said it before, but the team effort that’s gone into preparing Colin’s car around a spare chassis that hasn’t been used for a couple of years was just incredible and everybody involved can be very proud that their hard work has been the reason we’ve had the results we have this weekend.”
The BTCC races again on the weekend of July 30th-31st at the Knockhill circuit. —David Haueter
[Photos by Jakob Ebrey/BMW, BTCC]