Team BMW's Colin Turkington has strengthened his British Touring Car Championship points lead over Tom Ingram after scoring three-top five finishes at Croft.

As the BTCC enters its traditional five-week summer break, Turkington has emerged from the first half of the 2018 season with a 19-point lead over Speedworks Motorsport's Ingram in second.

For the first time this season, Turkington arrived at a race meeting as the championship leader from the outset, which, the BMW driver admitted, altered the way in which he could attack the weekend.

"I’m very pleased," Turkington told "It’s been a good points scoring day. Three top-five finishes is a good score on any day on any track. We didn’t have the car to win today [Sunday]. The weekend is a different challenge when you’re starting with weight.

"You spend all of practice tuning the car weight so it’s not easy to the weight out and just be fast. We had good pace but it’s so competitive out there, it’s not easy moving forward.

"The expectations shift when you’re leading. The challenge is different with the weight. I was trying to stretch the lead and maximise the weekend by getting as many points as possible."

With a fifth place finish and a podium in the bag from the opening two races, Turkington looked in strong shape on the hard tyre during the final reverse grid encounter, but was unable to make his way past the Honda of Matt Neal following an entertaining duel with the three-time champion.

"I had a good balance in race three on the hard tyre," Turkington continued.

"We were cat and mouse over the lap with really similar pace. I didn’t have the speed to keep progressing like I had at Oulton Park. I was trying to force a mistake but that doesn’t happen too often with Matt [Neal]."