Article date: 31 May 2009
Colin Turkington romped to a stunning double victory for Team RAC at the fourth round of the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park, Cheshire.
Turkington looked a class apart to seal his second and third wins of the season in the first two races of the day. It meant that the Northern Irishman finished the day still in second position in the Championship on 109 points, two behind overall leader Matt Neal.
Stephen Jelley performed well in the first race to secure a fifth place finish before luck deserted the Team RAC man and a collision in the second race put him out of the points and out of contention for the final race of the day. Jelley sits in 11th place overall with 35 points
Team RAC lie in second position in the overall Teams’ Championship with Colin Turkington leading the Independent Drivers’ Championship.
Colin Turkington secured his second win of the season after a faultless drive in race one. A superb start saw the Team RAC man lead going into the first corner having started third.
Despite early pressure from Jason Plato, Turkington was able to hold off the challenge before stretching his lead as the WSR run Team RAC BMW showed its superiority in the scorching conditions.
Team-mate Stephen Jelley also got off to a good start, making up two places on his starting position of seventh. The Leicestershire man was passed by current Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi before a retirement from Mat Jackson saw Jelley finish strongly in fifth.
Colin Turkington led from start to finish to claim his second win of a memorable day.
Turkington got away well from pole position to lead from Fabrizio Giovanardi going into the first corner and held off a strong challenge from the current Champion in the opening laps.
The Team RAC BMW once again went from strength to strength, culminating in a fastest lap on lap eight, and Turkington was able to pull away as the front wheel drive competitors faded in the heat.
Stephen Jelley was once again left disappointed after finishing 14th and out of the points.
Starting in fifth, another quick getaway meant Jelley was able to pass Jonathan Adam for fourth place on lap one. However, for the second meeting in succession, a coming together with Matt Neal sent the Team RAC man spinning off and out of contention.
Jelley drove well in the second half of the race to gain four places and ensure a better grid position for the final race of the day.
With Colin Turkington carrying maximum ballast on the reverse grid, and Stephen Jelley starting in 14th, it was always going to be a difficult race for Team RAC.
Both drivers made good starts with Turkington moving up to sixth and Jelley to tenth after the first lap. Jelley was then tapped on lap 12 putting him back down to 15th. Teammate Turkington suffered damage resulting from contact in the middle of the race and both finished outside of the points.
Colin Turkington said: "It’s been a fantastic day, and it’s great to get two wins. The pace we had was really impressive, especially when you consider the amount of ballast we were carrying throughout the weekend.
"The front wheel drive cars gave me some problems at the beginning of each race but the BMW is such a consistent car and keeps its pace throughout the race when others may drop off. Team RAC have given me a great set-up and it’s a superb haul of points."
Stephen Jelley said: "The first race was a good one for me. It was a strong performance and I was challenging up at the front which is where the car deserves to be.
"We had really good pace again in race two but unfortunately I got turned around at the hairpin which sent me to the back of the field and I had to spend the rest of the race playing catch-up.
"We have a great car and hopefully my luck will change at Croft and I’ll be fighting up at the front once again."
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts said: "A very good day for Team RAC. The guys worked incredibly hard, and put in some long hours, to get Stephen’s car ready after Donington.
"Colin performed brilliantly today. Two race wins, both with success ballast was a fantastic result. It was frustrating that Colin was hit hard in the final race, causing damage to the car, but overall a great weekend and we look forward to Croft."
Kerry Gazzard, RAC Sponsorship & PR consultant, said: "It’s been another great day for Team RAC. The fans once again turned out in their droves and it was great for them to see Colin secure his two wins. Everyone’s on a high and looking forward to Croft in a fortnight’s time."
Throughout the season, Team RAC are offering a 10% raceday promotion for all merchandise purchased online by quoting ‘teamrac’
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Notes to editors:
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 – The Driving People
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, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists’ needs. RAC incorporates RAC Insurance.
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.
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.
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.