Colin Turkington brought his Subaru home in the first one-two finish for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team during race one at Croft. Another surprise was Ashley Sutton taking his maiden podium in the BTCC for MG Racing RCIB Insurance. Turkington was in control of the race from start to finish with Plato keeping him honest by constantly being in his mirrors. Turkington had to keep his head as he had to keep the lead after three safety car restarts. Turkington came under attack from Eurotech’s Daniel Lloyd on the first corner but unfortunately for the latter his race was ended there as he misjudged the corner and was fired into the gravel at turn one. Lloyd got a pretty good start off the line and was running on the outside line alongside Turkington as they approached turn one, Lloyd turned in slightly too early and after receiving contact he was fired into the gravel trap making quite a bit of contact with the tyre barriers which ended his race there after starting on the front row.

Sam Tordoff also had an off track moment in his one off platinum liveried BMW which dropped him down the order. He was able to fight his way back up through the pack but the incident on lap one caught up with him. The BMW man began suffering with an oil leak after his trip through the gravel trap, this forced him out of the top ten finishers. Although running with damage he managed to score some points after finishing in thirteenth place, this saw him remain at the top of the championship standings alongside Matt Neal. Hunter Abbott was hoping for a top ten but this did not last long after he slid out wide and unfortunately made contact with Adam Morgan in the Mercedes during the opening lap of the race. The Chevrolet man had no other option but to retire the Power Maxed liveried car on the spot. Adam Morgan managed to continue in the race but suffered more contact when Mat Jackson was pushed into the unfortunate Mercedes driver by another competitor, ending Morgan’s race there and then.

Team BKR’s Mark Howard had an off track excursion as well as Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat retiring around the circuit, both caused safety car interventions. Turkington dealt with all the safety car restarts easily and kept his lead to take the victory of the opening race. Plato kept him on his toes after he also got a good start from behind Turkington but the latter kept him at bay bringing the two Subaru’s home taking the two top steps of the podium.

Ashley Sutton drove very defensively to keep Jack Goff behind as the latter tried every move to get past but Sutton made his MG the widest car on track every time Goff attempted to pass. Multiple times during the race Goff looked to have made the move stick but Sutton refused to have his maiden podium in the BTCC taken away. Goff settled to take fourth at the flag. Motorbase’s Andrew Jordan was next across the line in fifth with Jake Hill driving impressively to take sixth. The RCIB Insurance Racing driver looked at home fighting through the pack, he remained strong and competitive throughout the eighteen lap encounter. He took his best finish in his BTCC career after taking sixth place.

West Surrey Racing’s Rob Collard fought his way up through the pack from thirteenth on the grid up to seventh by the time the flag was brought out. He was the highest finisher of the hard compound tyres in race one whilst Mat Jackson fought hard to take eighth place. Tom Ingram aboard his Speedworks Motorsport run Toyota finished ninth with Aron Smith rounding out the top ten in his Team BKR Volkswagen CC. Rob Austin in the Handy Motorsport run Toyota Avensis followed him home in eleventh with the Halfords Yuasa Racing duo both scoring points but seemed to be lacking pace, both Honda Civic Type R’s finished outside of the top ten with Neal in twelfth and Shedden in a low fifteenth.

Thirteenth across the line was a struggling Sam Tordoff followed by Michael Epps fighting to score points in his RCIB Insurance backed Toyota Avensis. Sixteenth went to Warren Scott followed by MG Racing RCIB Insurance’s Josh Cook. Eighteenth went to Eurotech’s Martin Depper,’s Ollie Jackson was next in nineteenth with Jeff Smith rounding out the top twenty. Twenty-first was Dextra Racing’s Alex Martin followed by Matt Simpson in twenty-second and Stewart Lines aboard his Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus in twenty-third. The last classified finisher of the race was TLC Racing/RCIB Insurance Racing’s Chris Smiley.

Eight drivers were unable to complete the race, these were; Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat, BMR’s James Cole, Goodstone Racing’s Daniel Welch, Power Maxed Racing duo of Hunter Abbott and Kelvin Fletcher, BKR’s Mark Howard, WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan and Eurotech Racing’s Daniel Lloyd.

©Fay Tilley 20th June 2016.