Darren Turner endured a difficult weekend as the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship made its annual trip to Oulton Park.
Turner was looking to rebound from his misfortune in the second and third races of the weekend at Snetterton last time out, and his weekend started well when he qualified second on the grid at the wheel of his Leon TDi.
The Le Mans GT1 champion lost a place at the start of the race to Tom Chilton but looked likely to reclaim the position as he harried the Halfords Honda through the opening laps, but he was the tagged by Chilton while making a move on lap four and forced wide.
Dropping down the order as a result, Turner rebounded to take sixth place at the flag but it was to be the highlight of the day as a suspension failure forced him to retire early in the second race.
It left Turner to start race three from the bag of the field and having avoided the carnage caused on lap one when Chilton took a trip across the grass and collected Steven Kane at Hislops, the SEAT man climbed into the points before the engine gremlins that have hit the team in recent meetings saw him drop down the order – although he managed to make it to the finish to secure vital manufacturers' points for the team.
"Qualifying was fantastic, and from the front of the grid it looked like we'd be able to finish first and second in the first two races and take whatever the third race would throw at us, but it all went wrong for me at the start of the first race when I dropped behind Tom Chilton,” he reflected. “It took me a few laps to get past him, only for him to lunge at me and take me off.
“I had to start sixth in the second race and had a suspension failure; that was unfortunate, but these things do happen and it's the first time anything like that has happened to me. I had to start the third race from twenty-first. I made a good start and quickly got on the back of Jason and it looked like we'd push through the field before Tom Chilton did one of his magical manoeuvres again and took out half the field at the chicane. It was actually of benefit to me as I moved up to ninth, and I was up to seventh when the engine gremlin appeared again.
“We need to find the problem sooner rather than later, because it's costing us good results - and if we can get rid of it, I'm sure we can score some good results in the last three race meetings."