Article date: 19 August 2007
Colin Turkington secured a well deserved win for Team RAC at the eighth round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch today (19 August).
On a rainy day in Kent, the luck was finally on the Northern Irishman's side as he won the final race of the day.
After races twenty-two, twenty-three and twenty-four Colin Turkington lies fifth in the drivers championship with 142 points, whilst Tom Onslow-Cole is in tenth with 106 points. Jason Plato (SEAT Sport UK) leads with 239 points.
Colin Turkington began the first race of the day in pole position and made a fast start but the race was called to a halt almost immediately due a multiple car pile caused by Mat Jackson spinning across the track.
After a lengthy delay, while the damaged cars were removed from the track, the race re-started with only 15 cars on the grid. Turkington started well in his BMW 320 and did well to hold off Darren Turner in the first few laps. In lap five Turner made an unsuccessful attempt to pass Turkington at clearways sliding into the gravel and dropping down to sixth place.
Turkington later slipped up himself in the tough conditions. In lap 10 he spun on the track but recovered to get back to sixth place. He finally finished the race in fourth place and secured an independents win.
Tom Onslow-Cole started the race in eighth place and drove well to keep out of trouble and pick up some valuable points.
By the 11th lap he had made up to fourth after passing Gordon Shedden and Darren Tumer and finally finished the race in fifth place after being overtaken by his team-mate Colin Turkington.
Colin Turkington said: "It was an exciting race. We were struggling a bit for pace at the beginning of the race and knew it was going to be hard to hold on. I had a bit of a spin mid race but I was able to recover and get myself together again to get another independents win."
Tom Onslow-Cole added: "I am pleased with the result. I was hoping to move forward quite quickly at the start of the race but was held up by Turner, riding shotgun for Plato and defending very well. As the rain came down it started to get a bit trickier with the rear wheel drive but it was a good solid result."
Team RAC began the race in fourth and fifth place but an unfortunate start line collision between Colin Turkington, Tom Onslow-Cole and Darren Turner eliminated the latter two.
Turkington remained in the race but was forced into the pits to replace a rear tyre following the collision and had to rejoin a lap down. He drove superbly to make up ground, got the fastest lap and finished in ninth place.
Colin Turkington added: "It was a frustrating race. An accident off the starting line made it difficult and I just missed the safety car, so I was a lap down. I got some points as a little consolation and the fastest lap."
Tom Onslow-Cole said: "I got a really good start off the line and went round the outside of Darren Tumer. Unfortunately Colin didn't get such a great start and he didn't see me in his blind spot as I came to pass him so the three of us were all squeezed in together. It's one of those things that happens. It's just a shame it's inter-team."
Turkington began the final race of the day from eighth place on the grid. A strong start saw him move up to third place within the first lap. Turkington fought off early pressure from Mat Jackson to keep his place and he made attempts to move past Giovanardi.
In lap 12 an incident between Giovanardi and Jackson worked in Turkington's favour and he moved into the lead. Turkington remained there for the duration of the race, finishing over 7 seconds ahead of Gordon Shedden.
Tom Onslow-Cole started the race from the back of the grid but a good start saw him move up to eighth by lap eight. A compelling battle for fifth place with Adam Jones, saw the drivers consistently swapping the lead but a late collision between Turner and Jones meant that it was Jason Plato who secured fifth place and Onslow-Cole took sixth.
Colin Turkington said: "I'm delighted to get another win for Team RAC. It wasn't easy starting from eighth but I had a great start and tried to make up as many places as possible. The car was strong, I was confident I could win and the dry conditions worked in our favour."
Tom Onslow-Cole added: "The race was exciting to drive in and it was great to make up as many places as I did. The conditions were good for the car and it felt strong. It is a few more points for Team RAC and we walk away strong for Knockhill."
Dick Bennetts, WSR team principal, said: "It was brilliant driving from Colin. We knew he had the pace after qualifying on pole. Tom had a strong race from 17th up to sixth and Colin from eighth upto first. All round it was a very good day for Team RAC."
Team RAC now lead the Independents Team Championship with 283 points, and sit fourth in the Overall Teams Championship with 230 points.
The BTCC action now moves to Knockhill on Sunday 3 September.
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 drivers attending the Kent circuit. Visitors to Brands Hatch were selected at random and given an RAC orange voucher to entitle them to a free windscreen wash and RAC Road Atlas.
Shaun Meadows, marketing director, RAC, said: 'It has been fantastic to see Colin Turkington succeed with another win for Team RAC at a particularly action packed round. It was great to be able to implement our 8th RAC to the rescue campaign and give something back to fans that will aid their motoring experience."
RAC have many exciting initiatives planned for the ten 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%.