While Jason Plato
went for glory in the drivers' title, SEAT team-mates Darren Turner
and Tom Coronel endured a weekend of mixed fortunes as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season drew to a close at Thruxton.
Turner had qualified in seventh place at the quickest circuit on the calendar but made a good start to the opening race and climbed up to fifth by lap six before he picked up a puncture on his Leon. Forced to pit as a result he could only take the flag in 18th place, although it allowed him to pick up valuable points towards the manufacturers' title.
Forced to start 18th for the second race as a result, Turner was only able to finish in eleventh which left him just outside the points going into the final race of the year. From there he battled through the field and, despite his tyres being far from their best by the end of the race, he came home in sixth place for a points finish in the final round of the year.
"We've been a bit unfortunate today,” he reflected. “We showed some good pace, but I was unlucky in race one to pick up a puncture and that put me towards the back of the grid in race two and I wasn't in a position to help Jason or score a lot of Manufacturers' points. In the last race I tried to get as close to Jason as I could, but when I got there my tyres had gone off. I've had a few good results this year and my win at Croft
and double race victory at Knockhill
are certainly the highlights. As a team we've had a lot of success this season."
On his first appearance at Thruxton, and his first outing in the BTCC, Coronel took time to get up to speed but was soon making progress through the field and took the flag in eighth place. In race two, he went one better to take seventh after a race long battle with Mike Jordan. In the final race, he took eighth again – meaning he heads back to the WTCC
with a 100 per cent scoring record in the British series.
"I have really enjoyed racing in the BTCC
today,” he said. “It's a championship I have always wanted to race in and I wasn't disappointed. Thruxton
is a very challenging circuit and the Dunlop tyres were difficult to get used to, but I'm really pleased to have not only finished all three races and scored points in all three of them as well!"