Having dominated the first half of the 16-lap race in similar fashion to the opening event, Silverline Subaru Levorg drivers Colin Turkington and Jason Plato made contact, Rob Collard’s Team JCT600 BMW 1 Series slipping past both and pulling away to victory.
Plato had made the best start from second spot on the grid to head pole-sitting team-mate Turkington into the first corner. Further back the efforts of the Subaru Team BMR mechanics to repair the third Levorg of James Cole, after it lost a wheel in race one, were cruelly rewarded when it was pitched into the gravel, bringing out the safety car.
After a lap racing resumed but with the extra ballast applied after their earlier success the Subaru’s were unable to pull away, the BMW’s of Collard and Jack Goff remaining in close attention. With five laps down Turkington slipped past Plato to assume the lead, the quartet pulling away from a frantic fifth-place battle led by Ashley Sutton’s RCIB Insurance MG6, chased by the Fords of Matt Jackson and Andy Jordan.
Matters seemed settled until it all went wrong for Subaru on lap eight. Plato tried to snatch the lead back under braking and the two Levorgs made contact, Turkington sliding sideways and Collard seizing his chance. “There was a gap but it disappeared,” said Plato later, while Turkington disagreed with his team-mate’s opinion that the two cars had “had a little kiss…”
Thereafter the BMW was never headed, the first four spreading out and Collard finishing 2.3 seconds ahead of Plato, Turkington a similar distance behind his team-mate.
The late-race entertainment came from the third BMW of Sam Tordoff, fighting up the field from a lowly start. The progress was halted by Tom Ingram, who held onto seventh spot despite his Toyota being hit by the BMW accelerating out of the final corner.
With Matt Neal’s Honda struggling home 10th, Tordoff turned his joint series lead into a two-point solo advantage, and then earned pole position for the final race of the day courtesy of the reverse grid draw made by road racing motorcycle star John McGuinness. With team-mates Collard and Goff now third and fourth in the championship, five and 25 points respectively behind Neal, and the Croft circuit favouring rear-wheel-drive cars, BMW can be very optimistic going into the final race of the day, which is due to start at 5.06pm.
Photos: PSP Images