It has been a challenging and hard-fought year of competition in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), but BMW is leading the manufacturers championship and BMW drivers Jake Hill and Colin Turkington are in third and fourth place in the driver points with nine races left to go (BTCC holds three sprint races per race weekend). West Surrey Racing (WSR) runs four BMW 330i M Sport cars under the Team BMW name for Hill and Turkington as well as Adam Morgan and Stephen Jelley.
Team BMW had a mixed bag of race results this season. The BMW drivers took six podium positions at Brands Hatch and Snetterton, with Turkington getting a win at Brands Hatch and Jake Hill scoring two second-place finishes at Snetterton, but the BMWs could only get one podium among them at Thruxton, with Adam Morgan finishing second in race three. Driver points leader Ashley Sutton won five races in that stretch in his Ford Focus ST MK.III.
Team BMW had a great weekend at Oulton Park, with Jake Hill winning the first two races and BMW drivers Turkington, Hill, and Morgan sweeping the podium in race three. “It’s been a blinder of a race weekend!” said Hill. “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.”
Ford bounced back at Croft, with drivers of the blue oval sweeping the podium in the first two races. Colin Turkington managed to take the win in race three, and Jake Hill had a solid fifth place finish in race one to score some points.
Hill was back on the top step of the podium twice in the most recent event at Knockhill, winning the first two races after starting from the pole. Teammate Stephen Jelly also had a strong weekend, finishing fourth in race one and third in race two. “I’m very pleased for Jake for his two wins and to see Stephen on the podium for the first time this year, but it’s been a bad day for Colin and Adam, which could have been very different if they hadn’t been taken out by other cars,” said WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts. We’ve maintained BMW’s lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, which is extremely important, so we’ll be looking to extend that at Donington next time.”
The next three races on the BTCC calendar take place at Donington Park on August 26th-27th. —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy BTCC]