WSR and BMW scored an incredible treble win and a podium lock-out on an intense day of racing as the British Touring Car Championship reached its halfway point at Oulton Park.
Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill commandingly won the opening two races of the day in his BMW 330e M Sport while Team BMW’s Colin Turkington – who started Race One from the back of the grid – led an all WSR one-two-three in the finale.
The incredible display across the day allowed BMW to surge back into the lead of the Manufacturers’ Championship – which they are seeking to win for a record 10th time – and earned Team BMW the Teams’ Trophy as the weekend’s highest points-scorers.
From the outside of the front row, Jake grabbed the lead into the first corner and was then forced to fight off a determined effort from behind to cling onto the lead as his tyres came up to temperature.
Job done, the Kent ace established a commanding one-second advantage and secured his first win of 2023 – a result he repeated in Race Two as he led every lap to take his career wins total to eight.
Second place in the finale – from seventh on the grid – plus a clean sweep of Fastest Laps for the day – helped him to an incredible 62-point haul from a potential 67, which moved him up to third in the Drivers’ Championship, just 26 points away from the top spot.
His race day performance was matched in quality by that of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington, who stormed through from 27th and last on the Race One grid to finish ninth with a succession of perfectly-judged passing moves.
The four-time champion made even more progress in Race Two as, revelling in the BMW’s balance on soft tyres, he climbed to fourth, but it was a mesmerising move for the lead of a Race Three as light rain began to fall that brought him to the head of the field.
The Northern Irishman headed Jake and Adam Morgan to the flag to claim his 65th career victory and close in on the series lead himself.
Adam’s third place at his local track was the 40th of his BTCC career and came after a determined series of drives.
From 10th on the grid the Lancashire racer climbed to eighth in the opener and then improved to seventh later on. He secured his biggest points haul of the season and is seventh in the Drivers’ points.
Stephen Jelley battled hard to climb from 12th to 10th in the opener and positioned himself well to run in tandem with Adam in Race Two.
Aware that he was to incur a five-second time penalty post-race for a false start, he let Adam by with a handful of laps left, but was spun at the Knickerbrook chicane by a rival and was classified 18th. He recovered well to 13th in the finale.
Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport, said: “I’m not quite sure I have got the words to sum up that race weekend! It’s been phenomenal. I’m over the moon but I’m also so happy for everyone involved. My engineer Craig Porley and all the team at WSR have given me a fantastic BMW and it was on-song all weekend. Although we’ve been up the front most of the year, we’ve been searching for that little bit of an edge and I felt like we were properly on top form. To claim two victories, a second and three fastest laps is something I am really proud of and I’m so happy to deliver that for everyone who works so hard to support our programme.”
Colin Turkington, Team BMW, said: “I didn’t expect to win today given I was starting Race One from last. I set myself a target of 15th in Race One and then to see what we could do from there. Obviously it went a whole lot better than that and we just kept making the car better each race and made the moves. The BMW was loving the soft tyre and even in Race Three on the hard tyre it was good. I don’t think I’ve ever had to work as hard to win a race, but it feels fantastic to have done that and to be on the podium in a one-two-three for WSR and BMW.”
Adam Morgan, Team BMW, said: “To score my 40th BTCC podium is a great feeling at my home track and with my family here too. We’ve been finding more and more speed as I’ve got more used to being in Team BMW and the balance in the races today was very good. It’s a hard place to pass, but the results were solid and then in Race Three the racing was hard. To be up there on the podium with my team-mates on what’s one of WSR’s best ever days in the BTCC felt pretty good. We now have everything in place to step things up after the Summer break.”
Stephen Jelley, Team BMW, said: “The race pace has been really good today, which shows that if we can address our qualifying form, we can do something on Sundays. Today could have been very different. There was nothing between Adam and I in Race One so it’s only the penalty and then getting turned around at the chicane in Race Two that did me in. Had that not happened, Race Three could have been so different. I had the pace to be on the podium in Race Three, but I didn’t have the pace to do it in Race One. That’s what has to change.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “What a fantastic day for WSR and BMW. Everybody’s been working flat-out to try and have a day like this, but when it comes you still don’t have the words to sum up how amazing it feels. Jake and his engineer Craig went in a different direction with set-up and it’s paid off for them. Two wins, 62 points and three fastest laps is a truly magnificent achievement. For Colin, to come from the back of the grid this morning to the top of the podium this evening is a true measure of his quality as a racing driver. Adam’s had another podium and Stephen was every bit as fast, but so unlucky. It’s been eight years since we won all three races in a day and five years since our last one-two-three. It happens so rarely to anybody that it’s important that you celebrate these results properly when they come.”