Donington BTCC: Turkington scores back-to-back wins
Defending BTCC champion Colin Turkington earned another controlled win in the second race at Donington Park, as Matt Neal made a late rise to second.
After his race one success, polesitter Turkington doubled his 2018 win tally courtesy of two well-executed safety car restarts.
The West Surrey Racing BMW driver made a great start to lead into Redgate as a sluggish run for Ashley Sutton's BMR Subaru from second on the grid left him open to attack.
Tom Oliphant’s good launch took him past Sutton, but Sutton responded with an incisive move down the inside at the Old Hairpin to regain the place.
That allowed Turkington to stretch an early lead of eight tenths as a delayed Oliphant held back Neal and his Team Dynamics Honda stablemate Dan Cammish – who was then handed a drive-through penalty for being out of place at the start.
The race was neutralised by a safety car after ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell ran into the back of Sam Osborne to send them both across the grass and into the gravel at the chicane.
Turkington made a characteristic strong restart, overcoming his maximum 54kg load of success ballast to pull sixth tenths on Sutton by the start line.
Behind, Oliphant's attempted pass on Sutton at McLeans sent him wide on the grass, giving Neal and Motorbase’s Tom Chilton free positions.
While Sutton had fallen back and had to defend from Oliphant, Turkington was more than two seconds to the good when another safety car was called, triggered by Chris Smiley suffered suspension failure on his BTC Racing Honda Civic heading down the Craners.
Again Turkington made an early run on the restart and, with the BMW’s strong straightline speed, gained 0.5s on Sutton. From there he again found a two-second advantage, which he held to the flag.
Neal marked the 20th anniversary of his first BTCC win by passing Sutton late on for second as Chilton finished fourth ahead of Rory Butcher.
Despite starting 24th after a race one collision with Sam Tordoff, without ballast and on soft tyres Josh Cook enjoyed a rise up the order.
But an ambitious run up the inside of Oliphant into Redgate spun the WSR BMW driver and dropped Cook down to eighth behind the Vauxhall Astras of Jason Plato and Rob Collard.
Jake Hill was another climber, having started last and finishing ninth in his Audi ahead of Speedworks Toyota driver Tom Ingram.
After suffering a big crash in race one, Morgan’s hastily repaired Mercedes A-Class crossed the line 12th ahead of Cammish.
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