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Two to remember for Jelley at Rockingham
21 September 2009
Stephen Jelley enjoyed his best weekend to date in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham as the former single-seater racer tasted tin-top victory for the first time.
Jelley, who secured his maiden podium earlier in the season at Croft on a weekend when he took a hat-trick of top three finishes, qualified fourth on the grid at Rockingham but moved up to second off the line and then put pressure on leader on Jonathan Adam before making a move for first on lap nine.
From there, Jelley was never headed as he took his maiden BTCC victory and followed it up with sixth place in race two – despite carrying maximum ballast on his Team RAC BMW for the first time.
From fourth on the grid again for the final race, Jelley was involved in a lengthy dice for the lead with the Vauxhall of Andrew Jordan before finally finding a way past the youngster, and duly secured his second win of the day aid Team RAC's title challenge.
“What a fantastic day,” he said. “It was great to finally record my first BTCC win, but to do the double is an amazing feeling. WSR have done a great job, and the BMW has been a pleasure to drive all weekend.
“Rockingham has always been a special place for me as this was the scene of my first ever career victory in Formula Ford, and it's given me another day that I will never forget.”
Team chief Dick Bennetts was quick to praise his driver for his performance, which included playing the team game in race two to aid team-mate Colin Turkington in his title chase.
“It was a great day for Stephen and he thoroughly deserved both his wins,” he said. “He's been quick all season and I'm sure there's a lot more to come from him. In race two he again showed what a great team-player he is by letting Colin through to pick up another couple of valuable points.”
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