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Turkington converts pole to victory in first Croft race

BTCC News | Sun 29th June 2014

Colin Turkington claimed victory in the first race of the day at Croft. The eBay Motors driver led away from the line after a delayed start and fended off early advanced from Gordon Shedden for his fifth win of the year.

Turkington converts pole to victory in first Croft race

By Matt Lamprell

Turkington set a blistering pace in qualifying on Saturday to claim pole position despite carrying a maximum 45kg of success ballast in his BMW. Starting ahead of Jason Plato, Turkington kept his rear-wheel-drive 1 Series in the lead as the pack headed to Clervaux for the first time.

The start was made more complicated after technical issues caused it to be abandoned first time around. The field was forced to complete a second green flag lap and Turkington had to manage a damaged clutch after the aborted first attempt. Nonetheless, he stayed out front and was followed into the first corner by Gordon Shedden.

Shedden put Turkington under significant pressure for the opening part of the race, but the Honda driver knew he needed to take his chance early if he was to find a way past the leader. Shedden tried, but Turkington’s pace was quick at the front and he was able to hold onto the lead.

Behind the leaders, Jason Plato was in third, with Collard in fourth. With his teammate leading the race, Collard was keen to make the most of his pace and he tried, persistently, to find a way past Plato. However, the double champion drove a very wide MG for the duration of the race, frustrating Collard in his attempts to find a way past.

Throughout the race, it was case of defence being the best form of attack. After holding on for the first few laps, Turkington settled into his rhythm and went on to win for the fifth time this season. Shedden finished second, with Plato third and Collard fourth. Andrew Jordan crossed the line fifth, but was handed a one second penalty after the race, which dropped him behind Matt Neal. Alain Menu took seventh place, while Mat Jackson, Sam Tordoff and Hunter Abbott completed the top ten.

Race winner Colin Turkington said, “It’s always harder when there’s an expectation to win. My clutch overheated on the aborted start so I had to start in neutral, which made things harder. It’s a great result for the eBay Motors team. I’m just really pleased to take the win.”

Jason Plato said, “Rob [Collard] was quite a bit quicker than me. I just had to work out where I was at risk. Unfortunately, that was around most of the track. It was a good race though; I really enjoyed it.”

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