Article date: 1 June 2008
Colin Turkington made it a memorable day for Team RAC as he scored two race victories - the first time in his HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship career he has achieved such a feat.
Turkington recorded a brilliant double success after an action-packed first race and a thrilling second race to re-kindle his title aspirations.
For Stephen Jelley it was the most productive day of his 2008 BTCC career thus far after notching ninth and 10th place finishes in races two and three.
Turkington moves up to fifth in the BTCC Drivers Championship, just a single point behind Jason Plato while Stephen Jelley moves up to 15th in the individual standings. Team RAC now lead the Independents Team Trophy placings with 162 points.
Team RAC driver Colin Turkington drove one of his most crucial laps of the 2008 BTCC season to secure victory in a dramatically shortened first race at rain-drenched Croft.
Having started on the second row of the grid following qualifying, Turkington's sensible approach saw him stay fourth before the first red flag.
A delay of 20 minutes saw the race re-started over just eight laps. Gordon Shedden and Mat Jackson both skidded off the track on the first lap - leaving Turkington with a perfect opportunity to overtake Matt Neal.
With conditions worsening, and heavy rain still falling, a second red flag emerged with the track unfit for driving. The Northern Irishman was declared the winner with full points awarded.
Stephen Jelley spun off at Tower in treacherous conditions on lap three despite a solid start. As race marshals attended to the Team RAC driver, Alan Taylor hit the same flooded area, subsequently crashing into Jelley's BMW320si. The collision injured one of the marshals which resulted in the first red flag.
Stephen Jelley, said: "I am very relieved the marshal is OK. I spoke with him just a few minutes ago and it appears that he has just a swollen knee.
"It can be easily forgotten that marshals give up their time voluntarily and without them BTCC races might not be able to take place. My first thoughts are obviously with him. He came to my aid in an hour of need and put himself on the line to rescue me."
Colin Turkington kept his cool to claim a second win of the day for Team RAC following a nerve-jangling final lap battle with Mat Jackson.
Starting on pole, Turkington comfortably staved off the challenges of Matt Neal and Rob Collard before Jackson battled for the leadership of the race on the final lap.
A terrific round for Team RAC was complete after Stephen Jelley secured his second point of the 2008 season.
Despite starting 19th on the grid, Jelley drove superbly and eventually overtook Tom Onslow-Cole on the final lap for vital points in both the individual and team championship standings.
Stephen Jelley notched the best finish of his fledgling BTCC career as he came ninth in the third and final race of the day at Croft.
Starting 10th on the grid, Jelley drove solidly to deservedly double his individual points tally for the season.
Carrying the maximum ballast of 45kgs, Colin Turkington's dream of a unique treble were effectively dashed on the third lap when Jason Plato needlessly crashed into the back of the Team RAC driver.
Turkington dropped to 12th place as a result but recovered sufficiently to finish a creditable eighth and earn more vital points in the individual points and team standings.
Colin Turkington commented: "This was a sensational day, both on a personal level, and for Team RAC. It's the first time in my BTCC career I have won two races in a day and I am ecstatic.
"It is slightly frustrating we now have a six-week break. The team has the momentum and now we are challenging on all fronts. I can only but look forward to racing at Snetterton next month, the team having qualified first and second there in 2007."
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts said: "What a fantastic day for the team. There is a great morale at the moment and it is tremendous to go into the mid-season break with a couple of victories behind us.
"Colin Turkington's performances were tremendous and only a desperate move from Plato cost him more points in the last race. Stephen Jelley coped admirably in the awkward conditions and can be delighted with his efforts, notably in race two when he started at the back of the grid to finish in the points."
Kerry Gazzard, RAC sponsorship and PR consultant: "Despite the weather it is great to finish this round with two first place finishes. With six weeks to Snetterton fans can keep up with team news by visiting teamrac.co.uk."
The BTCC heads south to Snetterton for rounds 16, 17 and 18 on Sunday 13 July.
RAC continued its season long promotion to win a BMW. Fans can go online at teamrac.co.uk for a chance to win a car and a host of other top prizes.
For further information please contact:
Lexis Sport - 020 7908 6439 / 07966677110
Notes to editors:
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is the UK's most popular motor racing spectacle. Its race season comprises ten events at top circuits across the UK. It is contested by professional racing drivers in competition versions of every day road cars, giving it tremendous public appeal. Around 300,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year. www.btcc.net
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.
HiQ (part of Goodyear Dunlop) has become the BTCC's new title sponsor in 2008 in a new three-year agreement. It provides a fast-fit car care service at its 150 centres across the UK. In the next two years, that number will rise to 250 as HiQ embarks on revolutionising the fast-fit industry. It has already taken the lead by offering a unique online service www.hiqonline.co.uk for motorists to buy tyres and arrange a fitting appointment.