BMW look to pick up where they left off on BTCC return to Thruxton

BMW look to pick up where they left off on BTCC return to Thruxton

09.08.2019: Colin Turkington focused on 'maximising opportunities' to stay ahead Thruxton double gives Andrew Jordan confidence

•    Colin Turkington focused on 'maximising opportunities' to stay ahead


•    Thruxton double gives Andrew Jordan confidence ahead of Hampshire return


•    Andrew Tom Oliphant 'pleased at the progress we've made'

 



The British Touring Car Championship returns to Thruxton next weekend (17/18 August) for another installment of high-speed, wheel-to-wheel action with Colin Turkington, Andrew Jordan and Tom Oliphant all keen to replicate the strong results delivered by the BMW 3 series at the first visit to the circuit in May.
 


Turkington arrives at the seventh event of the year leading the championship, after five wins and a total of seven podiums so far. The defending champion extended his points lead with a strong showing, including victory in race two, last time out at Snetterton. Couple this with a rostrum finish at Thruxton earlier in the year and the Northern Irishman has plenty of reasons to be hopeful on his return to the ‘Hampshire Speedbowl’.
 


Like Turkington, Jordan has stood on the top step five times this season, tallying a further three podium finishes. The 2013 champion sits 36 points shy of the lead as his unfortunate Donington Park weekend continues to loom over his 2019 season. However, a dominant double victory during the first visit to Thruxton stands Jordan in good stead ahead of Rounds 19, 20 and 21.
 


Oliphant meanwhile, has taken two podiums so far in his first season with the team and got up to speed with the new car quickly. After a challenging first two races at Thruxton earlier in the year, Oliphant ended the day with a seventh-place finish and strong pace, which he aims to build on next weekend.
 


All three drivers are eager to capitalise on the pace that the BMW 3 Series showed in May and to carry momentum over from a positive meeting at Snetterton.







QUOTES


Colin Turkington, Driver, Team BMW, said:
“Snetterton was a fantastic set of results for me.  It was always going to be a tough weekend given the official test day back in July, where everybody was able to get a feel of the circuit and get up to speed – we knew it was going to be ultra-competitive. It was great to win again, despite heading into the weekend with a heavy car fully loaded with the maximum success ballast. 


It was far from straight forward though, and we were really up against it in morning practice on Saturday. Turning it around for qualifying was the key for a consistent race day and I’m pleased I converted every opportunity that arose. We’ve a good knowledge of Thruxton, this being our second visit of the year so it’ll make for a strong starting point for the whole field, but as the Snetterton test proved to me, you can’t take this for granted.



The BMW was quick there earlier this season and looking back, we’d come out of the blocks fast. Now, as the season’s played out, things have tightened up and I expect the competition to be fierce. The focus is firmly on myself at this stage of the season and maximising opportunities wherever I can. We’ve completed six of ten race weekends and there’s still a huge amount of racing left.“

 







Tom Oliphant, Driver, Team BMW, said:
“Overall, we went into the weekend looking to close the gap between myself and my team-mates. On pure pace, we did just that. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite string qualifying together. I was 0.3-seconds up on Colin (Turkington) and looking at third or fourth on the grid but hit traffic. We’re looking to iron that out for Thruxton. I’ve been working with my engineer to ensure we get good, clean air even when the track gets busy.



Starting 20th really does impact the whole weekend. I was fast and made progress where I could but when you’re in the pack, it’s tough given how close everybody is in the BTCC. I’m pleased at the progress we’ve made and we’ll keep working and progressing. The car’s there underneath me and although Thruxton’s not one of my favourites, I enjoyed it last time out and drove well. We’ll be better still this time around and I’m looking forward to it.”



 




Andrew Jordan, Driver, BMW Pirtek Racing, said:
“Snetterton was full on with the range of tyre choice, it was a full-on day but I enjoyed it. We had some good races, I think we maximised everything and we did a good job collectively so I’m going home happy. I think we went for the safe option, we had to in the position we’re in, there’s people out there who could go risky with it and it paid off for them in the last race.



Our car was good, we rolled out a solid package all weekend and I think we got as much out of it as we could. It’s nip-and-tuck in the championship between myself and Colin, he extended by three points so it could be worse.




To gain 30 points on him over four rounds isn’t going to happen easily, I need some luck now somewhere, if he doesn’t get any bad luck he’ll win it and fair play to him, if he does get some bad luck I need to be there to pick up the points. On to Thruxton now where we should be strong so I’m looking forward to it.”


 


Russell Atkins


 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bmw-look-pick-up-btcc-return-thruxton---195481.html

09.08.2019 / MaP

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