BMW 3 Series driver Colin Turkington secured the 2019 British Touring Car Championship crown in dramatic fashion at Brands Hatch, as the title fortunes between him and his rivals see-sawed throughout the three-race meeting.
Although Turkington went into Sunday’s events as clear favourite, having secured pole position for race one and holding a substantial championship points lead, his hopes were hit by an inspired victory for Honda Civic Type R racing Dan Cammish in race one, followed by a non-score in race two when he was punted into a spin by Cammish’s team-mate Matt Neal.
All that drama left Turkington 25th on the grid for the final event of the season and trailing Cammish - who was leading the championship for the first time this year and eight points clear in the title standings, with Turkington’s West Surrey Racing BMW team-mate Andrew Jordan 13 points off the title leader.
Even has Turkington scythed through the field it looked likely he would be frustrated in his bid for a fourth championship title, as Cammish held his cool in the pack. As the race neared its conclusion both Jordan and Turkington were ahead of Cammish, but not by far enough to deny him the title.
Then, on lap 13, the title fortunes swung dramatically as Cammish suffered brake failure and was pitched off the track, backwards into the tyre wall. That left Turkington to reel off the remaining laps and sneak the title by two points, sparking huge celebrations at BMW, in stark contrast to the heartbreak at Honda.
Meanwhile, the race was won commandingly by series stalwart Jason Plato (Vauxhall Astra). It was his 97th win in the championship.
Race two had earlier been won by Ash Sutton (Subaru Levorg), while Cammish had ignited his title hopes with a brilliant drive on slicks in the wet to go from 12th on the grid to win race one. That, combined with an assured drive to third in race two after Turkington’s misfortunes, had looked to be enough to earn him his first title in the series until disaster struck just two laps from the end of the final race of the season. It marked his first non-finish in 2019.