At Cobra we’re proud that so many of the top drivers in the British Touring Car Championship use our seats – and try to mention as many as possible in our updates, but occasionally history dictates that we turn the spotlight on one driver in particular.
Our relationship with West Surrey Racing and Colin Turkington goes back well over a decade and has seen Cobra Seats play its part in WSR winning a hatful of Teams and Manufacturers Championships and Colin claiming the Driver’s Championship on no fewer than four occasions.
So we were very aware that the third race at Snetterton would be Colin’s 500th start in a BTCC race – and not at all surprised that he marked the milestone with a pole grabbing drive in qualifying followed by a win-double in the first two races of the day – the 62nd and 63rd times that he has claimed the top podium in his BTCC career, pushing his season’s points total so far to a field heading 282 points.
Turkington had set the scene perfectly for his celebratory weekend at the previous meeting at Knockhill when two third positions and a fourth had edged him into a slender lead in this year’s Drivers championship. At a baking Thruxton, Colin handled the heat both physically and metaphorically to deliver a sizzling performance.
Having snatched pole position from West Surrey Racing stablemate Jake Hill in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, he continued his dominance on Sunday with a pretty straightforward victory in race one when his main concern was keeping Jake Hill’s ROKiT MB Motorsport BMW at bay during the race start and the two subsequent restarts following safety car periods.
In similar style, Hill held off Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram as the leading trio of “Cobra drivers held position throughout the contest.
The only change in the top five happened on the opening lap as Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan blasted around the outside of Stephen Jelley’s BMW 330e M Sport with an impressive move.
Colin made sure that it was a double celebration with another dominant drive in race two after one of BTCC’s most memorable opening laps with Turkington and Jake Hill side by side at the front of the field for a fair chunk of the 3-mile opening lap.
Perhaps not surprisingly the experience gleaned from those 500 races meant the breath-taking tussle ended with Turkington edging ahead of Hill with Tom Ingram again in third and Adam Morgan and Stephen Jelley again finishing fourth and fifth.
Mention must also be made of Ricky Collard, one Cobra’s newest “recruits” who advanced his Toyota GAZOO Racing Corolla from eleventh on the grid to take sixth in race two – the best result of his season … that was until race three when Collard had an “elbows out” fight with Tom Ingram to claim third on the last lap of the race, only to be relegated to fourth by a post-race penalty for being a little too exuberant when he made his final pass on Ingram’s Bristol Street Motors Hyundai.
On a day when they could hardly be separated, it was no surprise that Hill and Turkington finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Turkington’s phenomenal weekend – one of the best in his illustrious career – saw him extend his advantage in the Drivers’ standings to 15 points from Ingram, with Hill and Ash Sutton a further nine and ten points in arrears respectively.
BMW tops the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ and Teams’ championships, whilst Josh Cook and Rich Energy BTC Racing still lead both Independents’ honours.