Team BMW aim continue their surge up the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship table.
A pair of podium finishes for Colin Turkington last time out at Thruxton helped elevate him to fifth in the Drivers’ points table while Team BMW rose to fourth in the Teams’ standings.
The combined efforts of Colin and Rob Collard so far in 2018 have also put BMW second in the Manufacturers’ Championship and both drivers are targeting further gains this weekend in their WSR-run 125i M Sports.
Colin, from Portadown, Northern Ireland, has won six times at the Cheshire parkland circuit and finished on the podium 13 times.
Team-mate Rob Collard, from Eversley, Hampshire, arrives at Oulton with a ballast-free BMW and knows that this gives him an excellent opportunity to add to the six podium finishes he’s achieved at Oulton Park in his BTCC career to date.
WSR have recorded 31 podium finishes and 11 wins in the past 20 years at Oulton. Another triumph would mean that the BMW 125i M Sport has been victorious in five straight seasons at the demanding circuit.
The Oulton Park triple-header on June 9-10 is the fourth of 10 events in this year’s 60th anniversary BTCC season, which takes in nine circuits the length and breadth of the country. Each race will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD.
Colin Turkington said: “Oulton Park’s always been one of the circuits I enjoy most in the BTCC, not just because I’ve had a lot of wins there, but also because its location means we tend to see more fans come over from Northern Ireland for this event than almost anywhere else, and that creates a special atmosphere. Thruxton was my best weekend of the season so far and I’m sure we can use the momentum we gained there to continue to drive ourselves forward this time.”
Rob Collard said: “Oulton Park is one of the most challenging circuits on the BTCC calendar. It’s narrow, it’s fast and there’s very little margin for error. I like tracks like this because it suits my driving style. Two years ago, I overtook more than 40 cars during the three races and last year I finished on the podium too. Making progress here is all about sensing where the space is going to open up for you when everybody’s involved in such intense battles. After the progress we made at Thruxton, I can’t wait to get on-track on Saturday morning for practice.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Oulton Park is a track at which we’ve achieved some excellent results in the past, and which tends to let us benefit from the excellent traction of the BMW 125i M Sport. Having said that, 2018 is turning out to be the most intense fight for the championship I think we’ve ever been involved in, so every single member of the team knows how deep they’ll have to dig if we’re to continue our run of strong results here. Colin and Rob have been on the podium here 19 times between them in the so they both know the knack for performing strongly here and I’m sure that will help us too.”
BMW Pirtek Racing target Oulton repeat
Meanwhile, BMW Pirtek Racing head to Oulton Park this weekend aiming for a repeat of their victory in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last year.
Driver Andrew Jordan enjoyed his best weekend of the 2017 season at the Cheshire parkland circuit as he scored a win and a second-place finish in his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport.
Fully recovered from the virus that forced him to miss the last of Thruxton’s three races in May, the 29-year-old from Lichfield, Staffordshire, is confident that his pair of determined top-six finishes from the previous round can act as a springboard for even better things this time around.
The Oulton Park Island Circuit holds happy memories for Andrew. He has scored 10 podium finishes on its 2.2-mile layout, recorded his first top-three finish there in 2008 and has won twice.
Andrew Jordan said: “Oulton Park is an amazing circuit and I always enjoy racing there. I scored my first BTCC podium there 10 years ago and usually run strongly. Last year, we came to Oulton ballast-free and had a massive weekend by qualifying on the front row, winning and getting three very good points scores. This year we’re in a more-or-less identical position championship-wise and again arrive ballast-free, so a repeat is exactly what I’m looking for.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “Andrew really kicked his season back into life at Thruxton with two strong points finishes, despite him being so ill he had to withdraw ahead of the final race. We have every reason to believe we can be successful this weekend. With Andrew back to full fitness, a ballast-free BMW and a circuit at which we’ve been able to win with the car for the past four seasons, we head to Oulton with plenty of optimism.”
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Credits: Written by Jamie O'Leary from Top Step Communications, on behalf of West Surrey Racing.