Colin Turkington has won the Independents Championship for Team RAC at the final round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton today (14 October).
After thirty races, Colin Turkington finished fifth in the drivers championship with 185 points, whilst Tom Onslow-Cole finished in tenth with 109 points. Fabrizio Giovanardi (VXR Racing) won the championship.
Colin Turkington began the day positively at the Hampshire circuit with an Independents win for Team RAC.
Turkington and Onslow-Cole started the first race of the day in 6th and 13th place respectively. During the first lap Turkington moved into 5th place in his BMW 320si, where he remained until lap 5 until he was passed by Darren Turner (SEAT Sport UK) and then by the two Team Halfords cars of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.
The good setup of the BMW meant that Turkington was strong throughout the race unlike Tom Chilton and Darren Turner who both suffered from punctures in the final laps. Turkington went on to finish in 6th place and Onslow-Cole in 10th place. The race was won by Fabrizio Giovanardi.
Colin Turkington said: “It was a really good race for me and I’m pleased with the performance of the car. Thruxton can be a difficult track for rear-wheel-drive cars but the car has had good pace all weekend and we have performed far better than when we were here earlier this season.”
The second race of the day saw Colin Turkington secure the Independents title for Team RAC.
The Ulsterman started Race 2 in 6th place and moved up to 5th in lap 4 after Shedden retired from the race with a suspension problem. Some solid driving from Turkington saw him keep his composure and resist pressure from Mat Jackson. He remained in 5th place until the final lap when he passed Vauxhall‘s Alain Menu to finish in 4th place.
Onslow-Cole finished in 10th place and the race was won by Giovanardi.
Colin Turkington said “I’m delighted to have won the Independents Championship. It was a difficult race but the car was very strong. Despite the good pace of the car I didn’t want to take risks so I was just trying to put together a strategy in my head. It’s great to win the Independents Championship and I’m really happy for Team RAC who have been instrumental in my success this season.”
The final race of the day was an action packed end to the season which began with only one point between the top two drivers Jason Plato and Giovanardi.
Colin Turkington began in 4th place and a great start saw him move up to 2nd behind Mat Jackson. The Irishman had the quicker car and was challenging for the lead and when he and Jackson came together in lap 11 resulting in Turkington drop back to 11th place, where he subsequently finished the race.
Tom Onslow-Cole also started the race positively moving up from 10th to 8th place in the first lap. An incident with Mike Jordon in lap 7 damaged the suspension of his car resulting in early retirement.
Dick Bennetts, WSR Team Principal, added: “I am very pleased that Team RAC have clinched the Independents driver and Team Championships. I would like to thank Team RAC, WSR and BMW for all their hard work this season. This year was the first time the team has run a rear wheel drive car and it has been a success. We are now looking forward to another great year in 2008.
Team RAC won the Independents Team Championship with 363 points, and finished fourth in the Overall Teams Championship with 277 points.
RAC was able to unveil the final stage of its ‘RAC to the rescue’ campaign, which has provided benefits to enhance the race day experience of fans at all 10 rounds of the season.
RAC came to the rescue of fans by giving them the chance to win VIP Hospitality with Team RAC.
Alastair Pegg, Director of RAC Marketing, said: “It was fantastic to see Colin Turkington win the Independents Championship and to see Team RAC win the Independents Team Title. RAC’s second season sponsoring the British Touring Car Championship has been a great success and it is great to see the teams expertise and hard work has been rewarded.’