Colin Turkington claimed BMW’s 100th Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win, after team-mate Rob Collard had earlier secured the 99th success for the German marque on a thrilling day of racing at Thruxton.
Honda machinery looked to be the dominant force after taking a 1-2-3 finish in the opening contest at Britain’s fastest circuit, which saw Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal head home stablemate Gordon Shedden and Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff.
It was a faultless lights-to-flag display from pole-sitter Neal, who drew level with Andy Rouse’s tally of 60 BTCC wins – the equal-second most victories in BTCC history.
Collard then claimed his first-ever triumph at Thruxton in a truncated encounter that included two stoppages and heartache for race one winner Neal.
Team BMW’s Collard had already surged from tenth on the grid up to sixth, before the race was red flagged for the first time following a high-speed accident involving Senna Proctor’s Vauxhall and the two MGs of Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd.
Local driver Collard made a strong getaway once again at the restart, firing his rear-wheel drive BMW 125i M Sport up to third and immediately harassing the two factory Hondas ahead of him.
It was three-wide for second into the final chicane on the opening lap as Collard emerged, ‘elbows out’, ahead of Goff and Shedden.
The drama continued as the Honda Civic Type R of initial race leader Neal crawled into the pits with steering problems one tour later, handing Collard the advantage.
With the race seemingly building towards an exciting climax, it was unfortunately cut short due to an accident for the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford of Martin Depper.
So, as the red flags waved it was Collard claiming a maiden win on home soil at Thruxton from Shedden and Ingram, who had both dispatched Goff earlier in the contest.
Then came another magic milestone as Turkington – having powered to two BTCC titles in BMW machinery – fittingly secured the memorable century for the German manufacturer.
The West Surrey Racing driver produced a commanding getaway from pole position and never looked in danger – the Northern Irishman eventually taking the chequered flag nearly three seconds ahead of the chasing pack.
Turkington commented “I wasn’t that confident before the race because we had been chasing the set-up all day, but the guys never let up which moved the car in a new direction – and the pace was there for all to see. To achieve BMW’s 100th win in the BTCC is a very special feeling for me”.
Colin continued “I grew up watching the likes of Smokin’ Jo Winkelhock and Tim Harvey, so to continue the history of this iconic brand means a lot to me. I’m so pleased to end the day like this. The BMW 125i M Sport is a fantastic car at the moment and we’ve really got it in the window. Thruxton has always been a challenge for us – it’s probably the circuit where we’ve won the least – so to take two victories here is fantastic.”
Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram finished runner-up to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship, whilst Goff claimed a second podium of the day. The latter’s trio of top four results was just reward for the 26-year-old and his Eurotech Racing squad.
Honda’s Gordon Shedden came home fourth in the final encounter – cementing his place as the highest points-scorer over the course of the weekend, keeping pressure on Ingram in the process. Turkington is now third in the standings after his latest success.
Honda closed the gap on BMW in the Manufacturers’ order while Team BMW slightly extended its advantage in the Teams’ standings.
Ingram and his Speedworks squad still hold sway in both Independents’ tables, whilst Senna Proctor took his third successive Jack Sears Trophy.
The BTCC returns in two weeks’ time (20/21 May) for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 7 – Thruxton
1 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.290s
3 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.372s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +1.772s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +2.230s
6 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2.474s
7 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +5.060s
8 Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.940s
9 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +6.366s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.302s
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 8 – Thruxton
1 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW 6 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.212s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.507s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.575s
5 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +2.791s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +2.971s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +3.327s
8 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.143s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +5.152s
10 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +5.623s
2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 9 – Thruxton
1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 16 laps
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.576s
3 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +4.081s
4 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.836s
5 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +10.002s
6 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +10.756s
7 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +11.732s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +12.414s
9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +12.989s
10 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +13.694s
Courtesy of BTCC