BTCC: OULTON PARK
On a day when drivers using Cobra seats claimed fastest lap in qualifying and then claimed all three victories with a double for Tom Ingram and a last race win for Stephen Jelley, it was the image of Jelley’s teammate Colin Turkington ploughing in to a “head on” collision with Dan Lloyd that will live in the memory.
If ever there was proof of the benefits of the years of experience and hours and hours of product development and rigorous testing that goes into every Cobra seat – and the vital importance of ensuring that a seat fits perfectly - it was the fact that Colin walked away complaining of nothing more than a sore neck.
Starting eighth on the grid, Lloyd was “tapped” into the barriers on the first lap of the final race of the day and rebounded into the centre of the track. While cars immediately behind the incident managed to avoid Lloyd’s car, Turkington was unsighted and was confronted by a stationary Hyundai which he hit while his foot was still hard on the accelerator.
Turkington’s West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, boasting a brand-new chassis for this season, was so badly damaged that the team will have to run last season’s car during July while this year’s car is being assessed to see whether it is repairable – it certainly needs a new engine, turbo and EV motor. Meanwhile, Dan Lloyd’s repair bill is estimated at over £100,000!
Thankfully no one involved in the crash suffered serious injury (other than to their bank accounts!), so with a clear conscience we can summarise the results of the day – and again drivers using Cobra seats took the honours.
In qualifying Tom Ingram’s Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N set a new qualifying lap record and for good measure he followed up his quickest lap with another that was also quicker than anyone else managed.
In the first race Ingram took full advantage of his pole position, dominating the race from start to finish.
Ingram won from Ash Sutton and Rory Butcher, with Team BMW’s Colin Turkington driving a calculated race to take fourth having started ninth on the grid.
If anything, Ingram’s performance in race two was even more commanding, leading into the first corner and not being challenged for the rest of the race.
Again, Ash Sutton took second and Colin Turkington improved by one place to third, while Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden claimed fifth.
In the dramatic third race of the day Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley enjoyed a much quieter – and profitable - time than his teammate Colin Turkington to claim the fourth win of his BTCC career.
Another driver who puts his trust in Cobra seats – Ricky Collard – crossed the line third in his Toyota Gazoo Racing Corolla GR Sport only to find that he was penalised by five seconds for a jump start, handing the final place on the podium to Championship leader Josh Cook.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden and Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher were fourth and fifth respectively, while Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Jade Edwards was involved in a fascinating battle with Ash Sutton, Tom Ingram and Jake Hill which has helped to propel her upwards in the Jack Sears Trophy rankings.