Colin Turkington scored Subaru Team BMR’s first pole position and race win in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The Portadown driver set a stunning pace at Oulton Park, an exciting qualifying session at the 2.26 mile Cheshire track commenced with Turkington and team-mate Jason Plato initially holding a one-two for the Japanese marque.
The fight back came from a whole host of challengers, however, which saw Plato demoted down the order by the likes of Gordon Shedden’s Honda and Ashley Sutton’s MG.
Most of the field pitted shortly after the midway stage of the 30 minute session as is relatively normal procedure in the BTCC in preparation for a final flying run on fresh Dunlop rubber.
“We had to work really hard for pole position.
“This is the jump we had hoped for. Admittedly, Oulton Park does favour rear-wheel drive a little bit more, but even at Thruxton I could feel we had made a step forward with the chassis, commented Turkington.
Race one and Turkington led from start to finish, thus placing him once again on pole position for race two, but this time he was carrying ballast and the BMW of Sam Tordoff beat the Subaru off the line with Turkington in pursuit, Tordoff kept ahead to the flag with Turkington settling for second.
There was an anxious moment for Turkington’s team when the Subaru of team owner Warren Smith caught fire, but it was not a repeat of the fuel line problem encountered at Thruxton.
The final race of the day had Matt Neal on pole and he took a lights to flag win, while Turkington started from sixth on the grid and he eventually finished seventh.
In the race for the championship Tordoff moved to the top of the table just a single point clear of Neal.
“We then had a productive test at Pembrey earlier in the week where we made further progress.
“And I am delighted to have come here and secured Subaru’s first BTCC pole and race win.
“ I am thrilled for all the BMR team members who have put in a tremendous amount of hard work,” commented Turkington.