2014: BTCC Brands Hatch Championship Decider

Only two drivers remain in mathematical contention for the 2014 British Touring Car Championship. On one side we have championship leader Colin Turkington and on the other side we have Jason Plato. 50 points separate the two and, while it looks like Turkington has it in the bag, even a points difference that big is not a guarantee. The British Touring Car Championship is well known for throwing a curveball. 2012 champion Gordon Shedden currently lies in third – but 100 points behind – with reigning champion Andrew Jordan fifth. Mat Jackson has enjoyed a return to the sharp end of proceedings but is more than 100 points off the top in fourth place.

Here is a quick look at how Turkington and Plato have stacked up this year:

1) Colin Turkington – 417 points

Outright pole positions: 3
Wins: 8
Podiums: 10
Fastest laps: 10
Point scoring finishes: 25
DNFs: 2
Average finishing position: 2.96

Turkington’s eight wins and 10 further podiums have put him in a very good position in the championship. He has also gained 13 bonus points from pole positions and fastest laps.

2) Jason Plato – 367 points

Outright pole positions: 3
Wins: 5
Podiums: 8
Fastest laps: 2
Point scoring finishes: 26
DNFs: 1
Average finishing position: 4.1

Plato has less DNFs than Turkington, but a slightly worse average finishing position. Three pole positions and five wins have helped him in the championship, with bonus points also coming from two fastest laps.

A few numbers

Neither driver is a stranger to winning the championship. Turkington has three titles to his name – the 2007 & 2009 Independent championships and the 2009 British Touring Car Championship. Plato on the other hand has two titles, winning the ‘big one’ in both 2001 and 2010.

There are 67 points available this weekend broken up in the following way:

  1. 1 bonus point for pole position
  2. 22 points maximum per race (20 for a win; 1 for leading; 1 for fastest lap)

So, if Turkington has a 44 point lead after the first race  he will have the championship wrapped up.

Plato’s team-mate Sam Tordoff has impressed this season and can give Plato a hand in proceedings. West Surrey Racing have put in a monumental effort to make sure Rob Collard’s car is ready for the weekend following his big accident at Silverstone two weeks ago. He and Turkington will be joined by Nick Foster on the grid and with a highest placing of fourth this year – including a fifth at Brands Hatch earlier in the year – he could also give a helping hand to Turkington.

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Three from three at dramatic Thruxton

Andrew Jordan has extended his lead in the championship following a string of strong results at Thruxton. He led race one from lights to flag and picked up a second and a fourth from races two and three, enabling him to take an eight point lead into Oulton Park in just over a months time. Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington also stood on the top step of the podium. It was a disappointing day for Jason Plato, who had been tied on points with Jordan coming into the weekend, after sixth and seventh place finishes were followed up by a DNF in race three.

Jordan started his weekend well by qualifying on pole position for the first race. He was able to pull away and cement his lead while others battles for position behind him. Rob Collard, who was the best placed of the eBay Motors drivers after qualifying – starting in eighth place, made another of the fast starts that the BMW drivers have become accustomed to. He rose to fifth place while Mat Jackson moved into second ahead of the Honda duo of Matt Neal and Shedden. Later on in the race both drivers got their positions back and the race finished as a Honda 1-2-3. Elsewhere James Cole and Warren Scott had a coming together which was unfortunate for Cole after the team had spent the past two weeks rebuilding his car following the heavy collision with Robb Holland at Donington. Incidently, Holland had not been able to get his car ready in time and so missed the Thruxton weekend although will be back for Oulton Park. Ollie Jackson’s car came to a halt on track while Aron Smith had to visit the pit-lane to get grass removed from his radiator. At the chequered flag M Jackson was the first non Honda finisher, ahead of the fast starting Collard and MG’s Plato. Alain Menu, Colin Turkington, Adam Morgan and Sam Tordoff were also in the top ten. The other points finishers were Jack Goff, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Tom Ingram, Nick Foster and Glynn Geddie.

At the start of race two, Collard made another of his fast starts, slotting into third place. Shedden made an unsuccessful attempt for the lead but was not able to pull it off. Menu received a drive through penalty for a jump start while Chris Stockton struggled to keep his car on track. On the eleventh lap of the race Shedden took the lead from Jordan. There was drama when Rob Austin and Foster had a coming together, resulting in Foster’s car making a high speed exit from the track at Church and launching over the tyre barrier. Thankfully the driver was able to get out of the car himself and was O.K, with the team being able to fix his car ahead of race three. Austin was penalised for the incident and given four penalty points. The race was red flagged with a lap to go and Shedden took the win, finishing ahead of Jordan and Collard who made a welcome return to the podium at his home race. Neal, Jackson, Turkington, Plato, Morgan, Goff and Giovanardi also finished in the top ten. Other point scorers were Tordoff, Ingram, Marc Hynes, Smith, and Geddie. After finishing in tenth place Giovanardi picked the number for reverse pole and was delighted after giving it to himself.

After Collard taking the eBay Motors lead in the first two races it was Turkington’s time to impress when he progressed from fifth to second by the first corner. He lead the race by the end of lap one, leaving Giovanardi to fend off team-mate M Jackson. Plato’s race came to a premature and disappointing end when Adam Morgan lost control of his car and, when trying to correct it, turned into Plato and broke his rear suspension. The safety car was deployed on lap five following another big off at Church corner. This time it was Ollie Jackson who was also able to get out of the car himself and indicated that he was O.K. Racing was resumed again on lap nine however it was not for long as Simon Belcher became the next victim of Church. His car rolled as it went over the barriers and he later revealed that he had hit a tree. He too was O.K. and out of the car, giving a thumbs up to the crowd. Racing resumed again on lap 14 and there was a tense battle between Neal, Shedden and Collard. Shedden overtook Goff under yellow flags and the positions were reversed after the race. Collard was given a tap by Shedden and as he and Neal fought for position, they took to the grass following contact from the BMW. Collard was given a verbal warning. Up at the front Turkington won the race ahead of M Jackson and it was a welcome return to the podium for Giovanardi. Jordan, Goff, Shedden, Smith, Morgan, Tordoff, and Collard rounded out the top ten. Menu, Austin, Ingram, Newsham, and Hynes also finished in the points.

eBay Motors field unchanged line-up

The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will feature seven champions on its grid after Colin Turkington was named in an unchanged line-up at eBay Motors for the new season. The news comes after Fabrizio Giovinardi and Alain Menu were confirmed to be returning, joining champions Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan.

Ulsterman Turkington will be joined by his 2013 team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster as the West Surrey Racing-run squad believes continuity is key in its quest to win the overall drivers and teams championships, as well as the independents crowns.

Colin Turkington on track in 2013
Colin Turkington on track in 2013

Turkington returned to the grid last season after a three year absence following his 2009 title. He took victory in only his second event of 2013 piloting the team’s brand new BMW 125i M Sport, and went on to challenge for the title right up until the final event of the season. The 31-year-old impressively scored five victories on his way to fifth in the standings and the feeling among the team is that Colin, combined with a further-developed BMW in its second season, will be even better placed to challenge for the championship in the year ahead.

“I have a long relationship with WSR and we’ve experienced some great successes together in both the BTCC and WTCC,” Turkington said. “Last season was a real transitional period for me with the new car and returning to the BTCC, but hopefully it’s made me a better driver and I am confident I can go even better with the eBay Motors team this season.”

Seven-time BTCC race-winner Collard also showed flashes of speed during 2013, particularly when scoring a superb podium at Knockhill. Foster’s season-high of fourth place at Croft was also a standout moment for the eBay Motors squad, but the duo will be keen to build on their performances further in the campaign ahead.

“We’re a close knit group here in the eBay Motors team,” Collard revealed. “We really value each other as drivers. We’ve all got a great understanding of the car and with it looking even better this season, we can’t wait to get back out there.”

Foster agreed with his team-mates. “We were pretty happy with how the season went in 2013 and it ignited a real ambition to push on,” he said. “You can only really be competitive at the highest level with the best people around you and that is what the eBay Motors team offers me.”

Team Principal Dick Bennetts is also looking forward to the year ahead. “It was a very new look team and a brand new car last season and I was pleased with our progress,” Bennetts said. “Considering the other top teams had run NGTC cars for at least a year, five wins was something that everyone should be proud of. This season is all about building and the guys at the factory have done a lot of R&D work this winter. We are thrilled to have Colin, Rob and Nick back on-board in our pursuit of winning the BTCC.”

West Surrey Racing will also embark on their fifth season with eBay Motors on board. With a year of learning the machine behind them, after a late reveal of their NGTC car prior to the 2013 season, combined with a truly top class driver line-up, manager of eBay Motors UK Tony Austin believes that the team is better placed than ever to deliver the main prize.

“With this being our fifth BTCC season, we are delighted that Colin, Rob and Nick will be representing the team again for 2014,” he said. “We have a great relationship with WSR and it’s good to see that our drivers buy into the collective ambition we all have for the team. With a year together under their belts, this is a cohesive team of drivers that we hope can be really competitive this season.”

The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March 2014. To keep up to speed with all the news on car development, testing and the drivers’ preparations follow the team on Twitter @ebaymotorsbtcc.

 

 

 

 

 

eBay Motors fight back on finals day

eBay Motors Team in action at Brands Hatch
eBay Motors Team in action at Brands Hatch

After a difficult start to Finals Day at Brands Hatch, the eBay Motors Team battled back to once again show their pace, as the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season drew to a close.

Heading into the season finale, Colin Turkington had an outside chance of securing the championship lying fourth and 48 points behind Andrew Jordan, with 67 points up for grabs.

Turkington was the highest placed of the three eBay Motors Team drivers in qualifying, starting race one from sixth on the grid. Rob Collard lined up ninth with Nick Foster in 14th.

With heavy rain arriving for race day, race one turned into something of a lottery and would end in disappointing fashion for the team. An incident at turn one saw Turkington suffer a spin at Paddock Hill Bend and then was hit by Foster when he was left with nowhere to go.

The incident put both drivers out of the race and left Collard on his own to fly the flag for the team. He finished the race in a solid seventh place.

Misfortune would then hit Collard in race two when contact from the Airwaves Racing Ford of Aron Smith saw him spin at Surtees on the second lap. While he was able to rejoin the race, the time lost saw him cross the line down in 14th, two places behind Turkington who worked his way through to twelfth from the back of the grid. For Foster, the wet conditions were made even more challenging by the fact that his car started to steam up as the race progressed. This led him to being forced to pit to allow the team to clear the windscreen. He ended the race a lap down in 18th place.

The eBay Motors drivers on track at Brands Hatch
The eBay Motors drivers on track at Brands Hatch

Persisting rain meant that conditions on track were as difficult as ever for the final race of the weekend, and season, but a fine performance from Turkington saw him rewarded with a fourth place finish. He ended the year fifth in the end of season standings and second amongst the Independents. All in all a successful year for the returning driver.

Collard secured his third points finish of the day in eighth having found himself stuck behind the Toyota of Adam Morgan as he tried to work his way through the pack. He ended up 13th in the championship and eighth in the Independents. Foster, meanwhile, showed his pace as he lapped quicker than a number of the top ten drivers, but fell just shy of picking up points in 16th place. He ended the year 15th in the championship and eleventh amongst the Independents.

As a team, eBay Motors ended its first season running its all-new NGTC-spec BMW 125i M-Sports in a highly impressive third place in the HiQ Teams’ Championship behind the works Honda and MG teams, both of whom were racing their current cars for a second year.

Here is what the drivers had to say:

Colin Turkington (R/12th/4th): “It’s been a really difficult way to end the year. I think we’d have been in better shape if it had been dry as the car was an unknown quantity round here in the wet, and the GP circuit is a real challenge in those conditions. It really took us until the third race to get the balance sorted in the car and that is the positive for us to take away from the weekend; that we found some strong performance in those conditions.

“Coming into the weekend, my aim was to try and wrap up third in the championship standings which sadly we weren’t able to achieve. However, to be fifth with a brand new car is still something we can be pleased with.”

Rob Collard (7th/14th/8th): “It’s been a hard way to end the year. Race one was where we expected to be in terms of the result, but to then be hit in race two was almost the story of my season; I’ve lost count of the number of times that something in the second race has put me on the back foot. When I was then stuck in traffic in race three, I couldn’t have got any higher.

“I knew at the start of the year that it wasn’t going to be easy this season with a new car and we’ve certainly had some challenges along the way. There is no doubt that it’s been tough, but the positive for me is that we’ve been on the pace and closer to the mix in the final rounds, which is promising for the future.”

Nick Foster (R/18th/16th): “I really enjoyed the final race and showed decent pace, but it’s just a shame about what happened in the first two races. There was nothing I could do with the incident in race one and then when the window steamed up in race two, I could see even less in the rain!

“Overall it’s been a hard season and while I’ve not managed to get what I wanted in terms of the end result, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. I had to get used to a new car and the team has done a great job making improvements over the course of the year. I think there is still more to come from it in future.”

BTCC: Brands Hatch GP Round-Up

Andrew Jordan overcame a dramatic Finals Day to become British Touring Car champion for the first time. He also clinched the Independents title for a second day in the row. Five drivers went into the weekend with a chance of becoming driver, and they all had their fair share of drama. Jeff Smith sat out the weekend, allowing Pirtek to focus their attentions on Jordan. Shaun Hollamby made a return to the series to give the VW Golf its last outing. Tom Barley made his British Touring Car debut. Here is how the action unfolded at a wet Brands Hatch as the 2013 championship drew to a close.

Race 1

Jason Plato qualified on pole position for the first race of the day, with his team-mate Sam Tordoff alongside him. Andrew Jordan started in third place, with reigning champion Gordon Shedden fourth, Colin Turkington sixth and Matt Neal down in 16th after a qualifying crash. The race was delayed due to the rain but eventually got going, with all drivers on wet tyres. Turkington made another fast start in his rear-wheel drive BMW and was fighting close with his team-mate Rob Collard as they approached Paddock Hill Bend for the first time. The pair were racing in close quarters and a slight tap saw Turkington’s car slide. He could do nothing as he was sent into a spin and there was further drama for the eBay Motors Team when Nick Foster was left with no-where to go but right into the front of his team-mate’s car. This brought Turkington’s race – and title hopes – to an end.

Rob Austin was another driver who had difficulties in the wet conditions as his car went off and into the gravel, leading to a safety car being deployed. By the end of lap four, Neal was already up to eighth place. Racing was resumed on lap six with the race extended to 17 laps. Up at the front, Jordan had a slide and Tom Onslow-Cole took advantage to pass him. By the eighth lap, Neal had progressed to P6 while towards the back,  the Jack Sears Trophy champion Lea Wood had an off after oversteer at the top of the hill. He slid off the track and onto the grass but managed to avoid the barrier. Aiden Moffat was another driver who left the track, and he did make contact with the barrier. At the front, Plato remained unchallenged and took his 81st career win. Shedden finished in second and Tordoff secured the final podium place. Jordan finished in fifth place with Neal just behind him in sixth.

Race one top fifteen

  1. Jason Plato
  2. Gordon Shedden
  3. Sam Tordoff
  4. Tom Onslow-Cole
  5. Andrew Jordan
  6. Matt Neal
  7. Rob Collard
  8. Adam Morgan
  9. Mat Jackson
  10. Aron Smith
  11. Dave Newsham
  12. Jack Goff
  13. Daniel Welch
  14. Jake Hill
  15. Shaun Hollamby

Race 2

Five became four for race 2, with Turkington dropping out of contention. It was still wet when the racing got going. Neal and Shedden were bogged down at the start with Shedden having a dramatic slide – sliding left and right, but he managed to keep his car pointing the right way. Aron Smith, who had a huge crash on Saturday, found a way past Neal early on in the race as he overtook him up the inside. There was drama for the championship on lap three which resulted in retirement for Jordan. Collard went into a spin and as Jordan pulled across to avoid him, he made contact with Neal. This instantly broke his suspension and he started to drop down the order. He continued driving round and eventually brought his car back to the pits. It was Jordan’s first retirement of the year, and what a time to have it.

Elsewhere, Neal was able to continue circulating after a visit to the pits, albeit at the back. BTCC newcomer Tom Barley became the next driver to have an off while Frank Wrathall and Dan Welch fought each other for position. In the middle of the pack Shedden started to gain on Goff, after falling down the order due to his slide and poor start. He momentarily made a move stick on the Team HARD driver, but running wide allowed Goff back through. Goff then wasted no time in overtaking former Team HARD driver Tom Onslow-Cole. Shedden also found a way through. In the closing laps of the race, Austin was shown the mechanical flag and he retired his car. At the front Plato took win number two of the day ahead of Tordoff and Jackson. Neal became the next driver to drop out of contention after his contact with Jordan. To add insult to injury his car caught fire after he crossed the line a lap down. Marshals were on hand to put out the flames.

Race two top fifteen

  1. Jason Plato
  2. Sam Tordoff
  3. Mat Jackson
  4. Dave Newsham
  5. Aron Smith
  6. Jack Goff
  7. Gordon Shedden
  8. Adam Morgan
  9. Tom Onslow-Cole
  10. Frank Wrathall
  11. Jake Hill
  12. Colin Turkington
  13. Ollie Jackson
  14. Rob Collard
  15. Aiden Moffat

Race 3

Andrew Jordan © Matt Roberts
Andrew Jordan on track © Matt Roberts

After 29 races and plenty of thrills and spills, it all came down to race three. Plato and Shedden were very much in contention, but it was Jordan who still had the points advantage. Alan Gow selected Shedden to start on pole. The reigning champion needed a race win to have any chance of beating Jordan, while Plato could finish on the podium and be champion if Jordan wasn’t picking up points. The rain continued to fall leading to another wet race. Plato started from sixth place on the reverse grid. At the start Tordoff went off while Goff made a good start to maintain his second place. Smith progressed to third. Shedden and Goff started to pull away from the rest of the pack while Jordan started overtaking people at the back.

By the fourth lap Jordan was up to 14th place and in the points. Goff was hustling Shedden for the lead – even flashing his lights at the Honda driver. With Shedden leading the race, even with fastest lap, it wouldn’t be enough to win the title with Jordan picking up points. If it had ended with Shedden winning, with two bonus points, and Jordan 14th they would have been tied on points, but Jordan would be champion on countback. Plato dropped down the order, with both MGs apparently struggling in the conditions. The race was relatively uneventful and in the end up Shedden held off Goff to win. Goff got his first British Touring Car podium and Mat Jackson finished in third again. Jordan finished in ninth place, and took fastest lap for good measure.

Race three top fifteen

  1. Gordon Shedden
  2. Jack Goff
  3. Mat Jackson
  4. Colin Turkington
  5. Aron Smith
  6. Dave Newsham
  7. Adam Morgan
  8. Rob Collard
  9. Andrew Jordan
  10. Jason Plato
  11. Ollie Jackson
  12. Sam Tordoff
  13. Tom Onslow-Cole
  14. Matt Neal
  15. Jake Hill

The final standings in the championship:

  1. Andrew Jordan 397
  2. Gordon Shedden 390
  3. Jason Plato 380
  4. Matt Neal 356
  5. Colin Turkington 347
  6. Sam Tordoff 286
  7. Adam Morgan 233
  8. Mat Jackson 225
  9. Aron Smith 201
  10. Dave Newsham 176

Independent Championship:

  1. Andrew Jordan 471 
  2. Colin Turkington 411
  3. Adam Morgan 324
  4. Mat Jackson 308
  5. Aron Smith 288
  6. Dave Newsham 260
  7. Tom Onslow-Cole 243
  8. Rob Collard 214
  9. Rob Austin 200
  10. Jeff Smith 200

Honda Yuasa Racing were victorious in the Teams championship while Pirtek took Independents glory.

Behind the scenes with eBay Motors’ ‘Tippa’

When the eBay Motors team arrive at Brands Hatch for the tenth and final round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, all the focus will be on drivers Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Nick Foster as they seek to end their seasons on a high.

The trio will work hard with their engineers and race crews over the course of the weekend to extract the maximum performance from their BMW 125i M-Sports in the final three races of what has been an encouraging campaign for the all-new NGTC-spec car.

However, Colin, Rob, Nick and the team wouldn’t be able to do battle on track without the hard work of the truckies responsible for transporting the cars and equipment to each of the ten meetings in the BTCC season.

Tippa at work
Tippa at work

One of those truckies is Simon Wood, best known within the BTCC paddock as ‘Tippa’, and it is down to him to transport two of the three cars around the UK over the course of the year.

“My job is to drive R5 WSR,” he says. “It’s a purpose built, Pocklington transporter that was commissioned by us back in 1996 at a cost of £200,000. It carries two of the race cars and is fitted with its own generator and Hydrovane Air compressor.

“It also carries mechanical spares, including engines and gearboxes, a large range of consumables, custom-built mechanics tool boxes, set-up equipment and refuelling rig for the three cars.

“We also have R6 WSR, which is another Pocklington-built trailer. This one carries the third car and other support equipment, including three sets of spare bodywork and eight sets of tyres (five slick and three wet) for each car. There is also a small office and workshop with a lathe and pillar drill for emergency use!

The teams trucks
The teams trucks

“The two trucks are basically our ‘factory’ at the circuit and between them, we have pretty much everything that we need to run the three cars and to deal with any problems we may encounter.”

As the name suggests, driving and looking after the race truck is an important part of the truckie’s role, but as Tippa explains, it is far from the only role they carry out within the team.

“During a race weekend, the truckie is responsible for tyres and fuel,” he says. “I work on Rob’s car and we have one truckie to each car, which helps to eliminate confusion as race engineers have different tyre and fuel strategies.”

That work includes making sure that tyres are mounted and marked, that pressures are correct and that used tyres are ‘scrubbed’ after sessions to ensure they can be used again.

But what about when the racing ends and the team is ready to head back its base in Sunbury on Thames?

“After a race meeting, we strip down the garages and load the trucks back up, which takes about three hours,” Tippa explains. “On the return to base, we unload the trucks and get them washed if it has been a wet journey home. My truck is then parked in the factory.

“We restock any consumables and spares while the cars get stripped down and rebuilt ready for the next race. I sort out the tyres for the three cars and mark up six slicks per car that we will carry over to the next race, which are extra to the four sets per car we get allocated.

“I also check and polish the wheels and order fuel to be delivered to the circuit for the next race meeting. Before the next weekend, we then load the trucks up on Wednesday before travelling together on Thursday morning to the shakedown, where the team runs the cars to do all the system checks they need to carry out.

“After shakedown, we drive to the circuit and unload and wash down the truck, then the garage build starts ready from the arrival of the mechanics on Friday morning. On Friday, they then do their final prep work while we get the new tyres mounted and marked up for each car.

eBay's tyres
eBay’s tyres

“Driving the trucks is the minor part of my job. Tyres are my main responsibility.”

 

eBay Motors Remain in Contention

Colin Turkington at Silverstone
Colin Turkington at Silverstone

The eBay Motors team will head into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season finale at Brands Hatch in contention for championship honours despite being dealt a huge blow in the penultimate meeting of the year at Silverstone.

Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Nick Foster battled hard on track at the wheel of their NGTC-spec BMW 125i M-Sports, bringing home a pair of points finishes each from the latest three races of the 30 race campaign.

Despite losing out on straight-line speed to their rivals, Colin and Rob were able to qualify strongly in fourth and eighth, although Nick was left on the back foot with a turbo problem leaving him 22nd on the grid for race one.

A strong start in the first race saw Colin briefly jump up to second place before he settled into third, with Rob following behind. The pair ran together on track – with Rob on the Soft compound tyre – and took the flag fourth and fifth, having lost a place to a charging Matt Neal.

Nick’s race would end in disappointment however as, after a strong start, he went off into the gravel on the exit of the final corner after contact from the Audi of Will Bratt at the end of lap one.

Colin rocketed away from the line once again when the lights went out in race two to jump up from fourth to second, but after an early Safety Car period, he found himself shuffled back to fifth place, which is where he would finish.

Rob Collard at Silverstone
Rob Collard at Silverstone

Rob had again hoped to slot in behind Colin on track, but an electrical issue would unfortunately force him out in the early stages. However Nick would enjoy a solid run as he came through from the back of the field following his race one retirement to finish 13th.

The reverse grid draw saw Colin starting from second on the grid and a trademark strong start saw him jump into the lead, building an advantage of more than a second before the Safety Car was deployed for debris on track.

Losing his advantage, Colin was demoted back to fourth place but was still well placed to pick up more valuable points when contact from Mat Jackson at Copse broke the rear suspension on his car and put him into retirement.

As such, he leaves Silverstone still in contention for the championship in fourth place, but is now 48 points down on points leader Andrew Jordan.

For Nick and Rob, race three would prove to be a frenetic one in the midfield, with Nick running as high as ninth and Rob battling through from the back before they crossed the line together in eleventh and twelfth.

eBay Motors Hub Live
eBay Motors Hub Live

Rob ends the weekend sitting 14th in the championship standings with Nick one place further back, while the eBay Motors team sits third in the HiQ Teams’ Championship.

Colin Turkington (4th/5th/DNF): “We knew we were going to struggle for straight line speed here but going into the third race, things looked good. I knew there was a gap to Andrew but we had a chance to score some big points, and it was taken away from us. The Safety Car really hurt up my race as my pace was better in clear air, and it was when I had to defend after the Safety Car that the tyres went away from me.

“All five of us fighting for the title were in a delicate position and it’s hard to take that a driver who isn’t in contention for honours could have ended my championship hopes. I could have rescued it if it was a little nudge, but he hit me so hard that it broke the rear wheel and I couldn’t have gone any further. It was always going to be a challenge at Brands Hatch and even though I’ll not stop pushing, it’s hard to see how I can overcome the deficit there is now.”

Rob Collard (5th/DNF/12th): “It’s another case of what might have been. I showed good pace again and in the first race I did a job for the team and tried to protect Colin. In the second race I got a good start and was ready to settle in behind him again but then the electrical issue put me out and that meant I was at the back for race three. I got a good start again but when I was caught in an battle in the pack, it was hard to get any higher than I did.”

Nick Foster (DNF/13th/11th): “To battle back to take a 13th and an eleventh after race one is good, but it’s been a hard weekend for us. With the boost levels we have, it’s been difficult to fight against some of the other cars, especially coming out of the corners. Qualifying for me was tough because of a turbo issue but we were still on for three solid points finishes before the incident in race one. The team has given me a great car again but we just lost out on the straights.”