1 June 2008
Round 14: Turkington doubles up - just.
Colin Turkington secured his second win of the day at Croft – and the 50th win for a BMW in HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship competition – in race two but only after surviving a stunning charge from Mat Jackson during the closing laps.
Turkington had started from pole position following his win in race one and made the best start to lead into Clervaux for the first time ahead of Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Rob Collard. With conditions still damp at the North East circuit, the field managed to negotiate the opening corners without problems although there was a scare amongst the mid-field runners when John George suffered a spin coming through the Jim Clark Esses although the cars behind all managed to miss the TH Motorsport with JAG Honda Integra.
Turkington led at the end of the opening lap, while Collard was coming under pressure from Fabrizio Giovanardi in the fight for fourth place, the Italian having a look up the inside at Tower before electing not to try and make a move on the Motorbase BMW. Further down the top ten, Micky Doyle got caught out going into Tower and went off into the crops from ninth place.
The RAC BMW was holding a comfortable advantage out front, but behind, Shedden was under pressure from Neal for second. Heading into Tower on lap three, Neal went for the inside but then forced Shedden wide coming out of the corner and once on the grass, Shedden could do nothing to prevent him going head-long into the tyre wall. Although the Safety Car was scrambled immediately, a clearly angry Shedden was able to make his way back to the pits with substantial damage to the front of the car.
A lap behind the Safety Car saw Turkington leading from Neal, Collard, Giovanardi and Steven Kane, while Jackson was on the fringes of the top ten having started down in 18th place, preparing to challenge Tom Onslow-Cole when the race went green.
The race resumed on lap five, and straight away, Jackson moved into the top ten after Andrew Jordan suffered a lurid spin through the Esses to drop down to twelfth place from ninth. On the following lap, Jackson made his move on Onslow-Cole for ninth place while further ahead another Vauxhall was coming under pressure from a BMW with Collard right on the tail of Neal for second.
Jackson, now free of any ballast on the BMW Team UK 320si, was driving like a man possessed and blasted past Jason Plato for eighth out of Tower on lap seven and then set about challenging Adam Jones for seventh. On lap eight, he made his move through the Esses only for Jones to then fight back through Barcroft and into Sunny In to reclaim the place. On the following lap, Jackson then looked into Clervaux and although Jones held on, the BMW was able to take a tighter line through Hawthorn to move into seventh place. Just up the road, Steven Kane had got ahead of Giovanardi at the same place to go fourth.
Seemingly able to pick off his rivals at will, Jackson went sixth on lap ten as he took Mike Jordan out of Tower Bend and then stormed into fifth past Giovanardi at Clervaux on the following lap. Giovanardi was then under pressure from Jordan with the John Guest man trying to go round the outside at Clervaux on lap twelve. Having run across the gravel, Jordan then tried to carry on round the outside around Hawthorns and was forced to cut the chicane to make a move stick. He would slow towards the end of the lap to give Giovanardi the position back, but at the same time, Adam Jones was able to also pass the Integra.
While Turkington controlled the race from the front, Jackson was now closing on fourth-placed Kane and he took the position through Hawthorns. Within a lap, a podium position was in his grasp when Collard got slightly wide out of the Chicane and Jackson stormed past on the run to Tower.
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