A triple-podium finish at the British Touring Car Championship season-opener thrust WSR and BMW into an early lead in the race for an unprecedented 10th Manufacturers’ title.

Two third-place finishes for Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill and a final-race charge to second spot by Team BMW’s Colin Turkington made for a strong start on a weather-affected day at Donington Park by the BMW 330e M Sport race cars.

Biblical levels of rain overnight and into the morning led to racing getting underway nearly two hours later than planned, but did mean that the season-opener was held in damp, rather than fully-wet weather.

Battling the track conditions, Jake ran in the podium positions for most of the race before coming home third.

The Kent racer sprinted into the lead of a dry Race Two, only for excessive rear tyre wear to lead to him being caught and passed by two rivals late on as he again finished third.

He was fifth in the finale, part of a five-way late-race battle for the win; minor set-up changes having prevented a recurrence of his tyre issue.

Three places further up the order was Team BMW’s four-time champion Colin Turkington, who had earlier finished fourth and fifth.

Keeping his composure during a frantic multi-car battle for the top spots, he made three spots in two corners at mid-distance and kept the pressure on as he fought to the flag in second place.

He’s fourth in the Drivers’ points, one spot behind Jake and 17 ahead of Team BMW team-mate Adam Morgan.

Adam had led the opening stages of Race Three, but locked a front wheel after clipping a kerb on entry to McLean’s at one-third distance and was demoted several spots.

The Lancashire racer finished seventh. He was eighth in Race One, driving superbly in the wet conditions to climb from 16th on the grid, but was later demoted to 14th owing to a time penalty for a false start. That led to a similar Race-Two charge to seventh.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW

Adam Morgan, Team BMW

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal