Race Recap from Croft 29/06/14


2014 BTCC - Race Recap from Croft eBay Motors driver Colin Turkington enjoyed a sensational double victory at Croft before a cruel retirement in race three handed Gordon Shedden the opportunity to close the gap at the top of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings.

Turkington was in dominant form throughout the weekend, obliterating his own qualifying lap record by more than 1.2 seconds on Saturday before going on to score a brace of lights-to-flag victories.

The BMW driver scampered away from Honda Yuasa Racing's Shedden in the opening two encounters, and although his Civic Tourer rival kept him honest for much of the running he eventually pulled away in both to win comfortably.

The duo were joined on the rostrum by different drivers in each contest, as MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato came third in race one whilst Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal took an eye-catching podium in the next battle.

That's as good as it got for the two BTCC legends, however, as Neal was excluded from the result after his Honda failed a ride height test in race two and Plato received a ten place grid penalty following contact with Alain Menu's VW CC.

Neal's day went from bad to worse when his Civic Tourer collided with both Rob Austin's Audi and Warren Scott's Vauxhall in the third race as the trio went side-by-side exiting the first corner. The incident sent all three cars off-track, and while Scott was able to continue but both Neal and Austin were forced into retirement.

The last race belonged to reigning BTCC champion Jordan. The 25-year-old endured a wretched weekend last time out at Oulton Park and Croft hadn't proved any kinder in the first two bouts, but all that changed in an action packed finale.

Jack Goff started on pole position thanks to the reverse grid draw, and the Vauxhall Insignia driver held on initially before slight contact with the Toyota Avensis of Tom Ingram on the exit of Clervaux scuppered his chances of a maiden victory.

Pirtek Racing's Jordan then got the jump on the Ford Focus of Fabrizio Giovanardi on the opening lap, though there was contact with the 'blue oval' machine ahead of him at Barcroft. Jordan never looked back as he went on to take the win from the eBay Motors BMW of Rob Collard, although he did receive a post-race ten place grid penalty for the next event at Snetterton for his part in the Giovanardi incident. The team are appealing this decision, which will be considered at Snetterton on 2 August. Collard's race wasn't without drama either - he's been handed a five place grid penalty next time out for his own misdemeanour with Goff.

Shedden finished third on the road but received a four second time penalty after the flag had fallen following an incident involving Mat Jackson's Ford Focus, which subsequently promoted the latter to his second podium of the season so far.

The championship picture after another enthralling day of racing at a packed Croft circuit, which enjoyed its best BTCC attendance figure since 2001, is that Turkington heads the standings by seven points from Shedden, with Jordan a further 23 points behind. Plato and Collard maintain fourth and fifth respectively, whilst Airwaves Racing's Jackson has leap-frogged Neal into the top six of the standings.
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