Defending British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington gets his 2019 title defence up and running after winning his first race of the season following an incident packed opening race at Donington Park.

The Team BMW driver led every lap from pole position to record his first BTCC victory since Oulton Park last year and jumps up to fifth in the standings as a result.

Despite Turkington enjoying a relatively untroubled route to his first race win with the new BMW 330i M Sport, chaos ensued behind the reigning champion as early as lap one after an incident between Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan led to a multi-car pile up on the exit of the old hairpin.

Apparent contact between the Vauxhall of Collard and BMW of Jordan triggered a chain reaction, which led to the Mercedes of Adam Morgan slamming into the side Jordan's 3 Series, leaving the pair out of the race on the spot.

Further contact between Ollie Jackson and Jake Hill, who were both trying to take avoiding action from incident, also put that pair out of the race, while Stephen Jelley, Aiden Moffat and Matt Simpson were also affected by the drama.

All of that resulted in an early safety car period, which was quickly followed by another after the marshals rushed recover debris from Nicolas Hamilton's accident at the end of lap eight.

From there on, the race was uninterrupted, which allowed Turkington to gradually build a comfortable cushion ahead of Subaru's Ashley Sutton.

Sutton moved into second right at the start of the race ahead of BTC Racing's Josh Cook, who's race quickly began to unravel on the undesired hard tyre.

While defending third ahead of Sam Tordoff, the pair made contact at the final chicane, which subsequently damaged the rear left of Cook's Honda Civic Type R, putting the former championship leader a lap down in the process after making an unplanned pit stop.

However, Tordoff, too, found himself in trouble after making an unforced error at the final chicane and spun out of a podium position. That elevated Team BMW's Tom Oliphant into the podium positions in third, but was unable to close the gap to Turkington and Sutton.

Turkington ultimately cruised across the line over two-seconds ahead of Sutton in second, while Oliphant secured a fine first ever rostrum in third after starting ninth on the grid.

Matt Neal resisted sustained race-long pressure from the Toyota Corolla of Tom Ingram to finish in fourth and help Honda retain their early Manufacturers' points lead.

Fellow factory Honda driver Dan Cammish followed Ingram home in sixth position, while Chris Smiley scored BTC Racing's only points in seventh.

Tom Chilton took eighth ahead of both Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astras, led by Jason Plato in ninth ahead of Collard in tenth.

 

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