Sam Tordoff has taken the lead in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, bringing to a close a day of exciting racing at Oulton Park, which also saw Subaru claim its first victory.
In the opening race of the day, the new Subaru Levorg BTCC racer claimed its first victory with former title-holder Colin Turkington at the wheel.
The rear-wheel drive Subaru Levorg estate endured a difficult time last time out at Thruxton last month, when the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Team was forced to withdraw due to fuel system problems. But prior to Oulton Park the team was able to make some technical modifications and carried out a productive test session.
Showing the step forward made by Subaru, Turkington planted the Levorg on pole position for the opening race and never lost the lead. Sam Tordoff finished second in his Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport, while Jason Plato finished third, also in a Subaru Levorg.
Turkington’s win in the opening race also marks the first time that Subaru has ever won a BTCC event. Subaru’s tin-top victory comes one day after rally ace Mark Higgins set a new lap record for cars around the Isle of Man TT course in a WRX STI.
“We knew the soft tyres would work well in the heat,” said Turkington. “There was a stage in the middle of the race when I could see Sam was reasonably fast in the BMW, but I had a super car right until the end. We hit the jackpot.”
In race two at Oulton Park, Tordoff got the drop on Turkington at the start and quickly established a lead of almost one second. Turkington, meanwhile, had his rear-view mirrors filled with the sister Subaru of Plato, the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R of Gordon Shedden and Tom Ingram’s Toyota Avensis.
That’s the way it remained until the end, with the two Subarus unable to make inroads into Tordoff’s lead. The real entertainment was behind this group, where a determined Josh Cook kept his MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG 6 ahead of a huge gaggle of potentially faster cars.