Article date: 3 June 2007
Colin Turkington secured the first BMW win for Team RAC at the fourth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Croft today (3 June).
In front of a bumper crowd, brought out by the fantastic weather, Team RAC didn't disappoint its supporters with the Northern Irishman Colin Turkington securing a win and team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole a podium finish.
After races 10, 11 and 12, Colin Turkington lies sixth in the drivers championship with 64 points, whilst Tom Onslow-Cole is in 10th with 51 points. Jason Plato (SEAT Sport UK) leads with 127 points.
Team RAC driver Colin Turkington secured the first victory for a BMW driver in almost eleven years and scored some valuable points for Team RAC.
Turkington started the first race of the day from second place on the grid. A positive start saw him move up to first place, in front of Gordon Shedden. Turkington's BMW 320si led for the duration of the race and as an added bonus he got the fastest lap.
Tom Onslow-Cole started sixth on the grid and began the race well but a rear tyre puncture took him into the pits in the sixth lap. A quick tyre change meant he got back out quickly but an incident with Matt Neal forced him to retire.
Colin Turkington said: "I am absolutely delighted to get my first win this year for Team RAC. It has been a while coming and the past couple of meetings have been difficult, but it has been great to come back to Croft and blow everyone away in the first race."
It was a frustrating race for Colin Turkington while Tom Onslow-Cole made a great recovery picked up some valuable points and put himself in a good position for the third race.
After winning race one Colin Turkington started in pole position. It was looking good for the Irishman until lap four, when he hit oil on the track causing him to lose some ground and enable Gordon Sheddon (Team Halfords) to pass him. Turkington was beginning to recover from this incident until a collision with Jason Plato put him out of the race.
Onslow-Cole began in 19th place on the grid and a great start saw him move up to 12th place in lap one. A strong performance from Onslow-Cole saw him pick up a number of places and eventually finish in seventh place.
Tom Onslow-Cole said: "I am really pleased with my recovery. I had a great start off the line and got stronger throughout the race. I was able to pull back some places, get some valuable points and push forward to move up a few places."
Tom Onslow-Cole secured a strong second place for Team RAC in the final race of the day at Croft.
Starting from third place on the reversed grid, Tom Onslow-Cole started well, moving into the lead on the first corner. The safety car came out in lap one and on the restart he was passed by Fabrizio Giovanardi. Onslow-Cole remained in second place throughout the race and secured his second podium finish for Team RAC.
Colin Turkington faced challenging circumstances in the last race. He began in 21st place and a good start saw him move up to 12th in the first lap. In a difficult race Turkington performed well to finish in ninth place.
Tom Onslow-Cole said: "It was a brilliant result. It really finished the weekend off on a high. The car is fantastic and it is consistently performing well. I really want the race win and I know that it is going to be soon."
Dick Bennetts, WSR team principal, added: "I am very pleased with the performance of both drivers. It is great that Colin got Team RAC's first win, with the fastest lap, and that Tom got second place in race three. The testing at Pembrey has definitely paid off. The car is very strong and the new set up keeps a good race balance. We are definitely looking forward to Oulton Park."
Team RAC now lead the Independents Team Championship with 140 points, and sit fourth in the Overall Teams Championship with 109 points.
The BTCC action now moves to Oulton Park on Sunday 24 June.
RAC were able to unveil the latest stage of their "RAC to the rescue" campaign, which provides benefits to enhance the race day experience of fans at all 10 rounds of the season.
RAC came to the rescue of families by offering Father's Day themed competitions offering unique race day experiences that will provide perfect presents for motorsport-mad dads.
Alastair Pegg, director of RAC marketing, said: "It was a great day for Team RAC. As usual there was plenty of action on track and it was great to see both drivers on the podium.
"RAC's season sees a different activity for each round of the Championship that rewards fans or adds to their race day experience and for Croft we wanted to show our support to families. The fans are the lifeblood of the British Touring Car Championship, so I'm pleased they were given a the opportunity for a great family day out.
"RAC have many exciting initiatives planned for the 10 rounds in 2007 so supporters should log onto teamrac.co.uk, look out in the media and at the rounds themselves during the season for details of our activity and how they can take part."
For further information please contact:
Lexis Sport - 07966 077572 / 0207 908 6488
Notes to editors:
The championship is firmly established not only as one of Britain's most popular form of motor racing but also as one of the UK's top sporting attractions. Over the past decade, action-packed BTCC race meetings have repeatedly drawn crowds on a par with Premiership football matches and Test Match cricket, with over 200,000 loyal spectators and over 20 million terrestrial television viewers.
RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations and a provider for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicle inspections, legal and financial services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.
Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15%.