BTCC Knockhill Race One – Victory for Turkington

Race One podium (photo by Marc Waller)eBay Motors’ Colin Turkington won the first dramatic Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race today at Knockhill.

The Irishman crossed the line with a 3.4 second lead over second place man Gordon Shedden – holding off from a chasing Rob Austin – who equalled his best career finish – over the final few laps.

The safety car was called for on lap nine of the race, when an incident between Turkington’s team mate Nick Foster in the #48 eBay BMW and BTCC returnee Paul O’Neill – racing this weekend for Tony Gilham – saw the Team HARD. Insignia hit the barrier. The marshals were quick on the scene to put out the small fire which had started from the front left before clearing the mass of debris from the start-finish straight. Foster was reprimanded later in the day after the incident, but kept his finishing position of sixteenth.

Having claimed pole position in yesterday’s qualifying session, Rob Austin made a superb start off the line however couldn’t defend from a double battle from both Turkington and Shedden going into the final hairpin which saw him fall back to second before Shedden made his move at the chicane dropping the RAR Audi into third place.

Meanwhile behind, Jason Plato and Matt Neal were also battling between each other and despite making some small contact the pair maintained their positions to continue their foray.

Focus was on Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard during the latter stages of the race as the pair fought for seventh place on track. Jordan – who suffered a six place grid drop after yesterday’s qualifying session – started ninth, and was looking to make up as many places as possible to keep his championship fight alive.

Collard made his move on Jordan at the hairpin where he got a good exit compared to the Pirtek Honda with 36kg of ballast on board to cross the start/finish straight in sixth. It wasn’t long before the eBay BMW also drove past Sam Tordoff’s KX Momentum Racing MG for fifth – the MG’s struggling on Scottish tarmac during the day’s first race. Tordoff continued to lose places as the laps tumbled, and ultimately finished in eighth.

Adam Morgan also had a good race and was creeping up on a battling Rob Austin and Gordon Shedden as the race came to its conclusion. However, a post-race time penalty of 2.5 seconds after the stewards deemed him to gain an advantage after an incident with Jason Plato saw him demoted to fifth place – with Plato taking fourth.

Race One - Turkington (photo by Marc Waller)Moffat - R1 (photo by Marc Waller)Aron Smith recovered to finish in tenth place, after being hit in the rear of his Airwaves Racing Ford Focus during the safety car period by Dan Welch’s Proton Persona.

Motorbase team mate Liam Griffin won the Jack Sears’ class in seventeenth, beating Lea Wood who finished two places behind in his Houseman Racing Vectra.

IP Tech Race’s Mike Bushell finished eighteenth in his first touring car race, despite having to make a pit stop for an issue during the race. The two other rookies on the grid – 16-year-old Aiden Moffatt in the Finesse Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze and Team HARD’s Kieran Gallagher – both finished their first races, finishing twenty first and twenty second respectively. By Nikki Thompson – Photos by Marc Waller

Race One Classification:
1) Colin Turkington
2) Gordon Shedden
3) Rob Austin
4) Jason Plato
5) Adam Morgan
6) Rob Collard
7) Matt Neal
8) Andrew Jordan
9) Sam Tordoff
10) Aron Smith
11) Dave Newsham
12) Mat Jackson
13) Tom Onslow-Cole
14) Frank Wrathall
15) Ollie Jackson
Fastest Lap: Colin Turkington – Lap 6 – 53.002

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