Turkington still top at Knockhill

Article date: 16 August 2009

Colin Turkington still leads the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after an action packed day at Knockhill today.

In front of a huge Scottish crowd, Team RAC’s Turkington sealed an 11th podium finish at the seventh round of the BTCC season - making it 206 points out of 21 rounds for the Northern Irishman. 

Race 1
Colin Turkington maintained his lead in the Driver’s Championship with a solid performance for Team RAC.

Turkington began the first race of the day at Knockhill from fourth place on the grid and started promisingly, moving into third place in the opening lap. Strong defensive driving from Turkington saw him withstand early pressure from Collard and remain in third place until lap 12 when he dropped to fourth. 

The Ulsterman was going well but a knock from Collard on lap 14 saw him drop to seventh. From there he drove superbly to recover and capitalise on an incident with Collard and Neal to eventually finish in fourth place, securing valuable points for Team RAC.

Team-mate Stephen Jelley also got off to a good start, making up two places on his starting position of ninth. The Leicestershire man was passed by the Vauxhall’s of Jordan and Giovanardi in lap four, and later he defended valiantly in tough battles with both O’Neill and Thompson. The final lap of the race saw him gain two places to finish in eighth.

Race 2
A strong performance from Colin Turkington saw him secure his 11th podium of the season.

Turkington started from third on the grid, following Plato’s last minute retirement, but a difficult start saw him drop down to fifth place.  However, the 27 year-old recovered superbly in his Team RAC BMW to move up to fourth.

Strong driving saw him successfully hold his place for the first half of the race  until he passed Shedden on lap 14 to move up to third, where he eventually finished the race. 

Stephen Jelley started well from seventh but was passed by Thompson on lap six, Neal shortly after, and Collard on lap16, leaving him in ninth. However, the Leicestershire driver didn’t give up and a strong performance saw him recover well to move back up the order and capitalise on an incident between Shedden and Collard to eventually finish in eighth, securing some valuable Championship points.

Race 3
A good performance sees Turkington drive well to pick up points but not quite reach his full potential.

Beginning from fourth place Turkington cleverly capitalised on the tangle of Neal and O’Neill to move into second on the first lap. A tough race saw him retain his position until lap eight when he lost a battle with Jackson, who passed him along with Neal. 

Turkington later dropped back to sixth after being passed by both Giovanardi and Plato, but valiantly came back to pass Thompson.  A late battle in the dying seconds of the final lap saw Turkington almost pass Giovanardi before team orders led Neal to let the Italian through to finish two places ahead of Turkington, who eventually finished in fifth.

Stephen Jelley started from sixth and faced a tough challenge to keep his place in the pack. On lap six he gained a place to fifth but on lap eight he dropped to ninth place and later dropped further to 12th. However, as with all Jelley’s performances of the day he did not lose his resolve. He showed determination by coming back to eventually finish inside the points in tenth place.

Colin Turkington said: “It was a tough day for Team RAC as we didn’t quite have the pace. But I’m definitely not disappointed. I had three good finishes and secured some strong points, so I’m still in a good position at this stage of the season.

“Knockhill was always going to be a difficult circuit for us, but we now move on to Silverstone, Rockingham and Brands Hatch – all good circuits for us.”

Stephen Jelley said: “The best thing about Knockhill was that we got though the day in one piece and picked up points in all three races. 

“We were almost there in terms of pace and were quick in some parts but just not quite where we wanted to be. But overall I’m pleased with my performance and am looking forward to Silverstone.”

WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts said: “Our potential was not fulfilled today, although the WSR prepared BMW’s were strong and reliable once again.  We were pleased that it didn’t rain, which helped us to pick up some championship points and Colin is still leading  the Drivers Championship but we are slightly disappointed to be a little off the pace.

However, we are looking forward to Silverstone where believe the BMW will be very competitive.”

Kerry Gazzard, RAC Sponsorship & PR Consultant, said: “It’s been a good  day for Team RAC. The Scottish fans once again turned out in their thousands and it was an action packed day for them. Everyone is delighted that Colin is still leading the Championship with three meetings to go and we can’t wait for Silverstone.”

Throughout the season, Team RAC are offering a 10% raceday promotion for all merchandise purchased online by quoting ‘teamrac’

After seven rounds Turkington leads the Driver’s Championship with 206 points, nine points ahead of current champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.

Stephen Jelley sits in eighth place overall with 81 points and Team RAC lead the Independent’s Championship with 242 points.

To keep up to date with all the latest news from Team RAC, log-on to teamrac.co.uk

-ends-

About BTCC
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is Britain’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. Some 325,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year. www.btcc.net

About RAC
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.

RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer service by J.D. Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last three years and the top named service organisation in the July 2009 UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.

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 Aviva UK Insurance (formerly Norwich Union Insurance). Aviva is the UK's largest insurer with a market share of around 15 per cent.

RAC is part of Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries.

RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.

About HiQ
HiQ (part of Goodyear Dunlop) became 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.

For further information please contact:
Nina Cresswell
Lexis Sport
0207 908 6406

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