Honda driver Matt Neal also matches Ford legend Andy Rouse’s win tally.
BMW scored two wins at this weekend’s Thruxton round of the British Touring Car Championship, taking the brand’s overall BTCC win total up to the 100 mark. Team BMW driver Rob Collard scored the 99th victory, leaving team-mate (and long-time BMW BTCC driver) Colin Turkington clear to take the historic 100th win.
It wasn’t the only landmark record on the day, either. Earlier, Honda Yuasa Racing driver Matt Neal won the opening round in a lights-to-flag drive – taking him up to 60 BTCC wins overall, matching legendary racer Andy Rouse’s overall record. It was a Honda Civic Type R 1-2-3 in the opening round, before the BMWs took over.
“I hadn’t given much thought to equalling Andy’s win tally, to be honest,” said Neal. We all thought that record was unachievable and even though Jason [Plato] exceeded it, I never thought I would get there. Just unbelievable.”
Neal was actually looking sharp in the second race, before a power steering problem forced him to pit from the race lead. This left Collard clear to take the win, just ahead of Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden. Turkington took over in race three, himself leading from lights to flag to take victory by almost three seconds.
“To achieve BMW’s 100th win in the BTCC is a very special feeling for me,” said Turkington. “I grew up watching the likes of Smokin’ Jo Winkelhock and Tim Harvey, so to continue the history of this iconic brand means a lot to me. I’m so pleased to end the day like this. The BMW 125i M Sport is a fantastic car at the moment and we’ve really got it in the window. Thruxton has always been a challenge for us – it’s probably the circuit where we’ve won the least – so to take two victories here is fantastic.”
The Thruxton event was also marked by a huge trackwalk to raise funds in support of Formula 4 driver Billy Monger. The 18 year old lost both his legs in a high-speed accident during the Donington BTCC support race last month. People were charged £5 to take part, and more than 1200 race fans turned out to do the walk, raising £7500 for Monger.
The next stop for the 2017 BTCC series is Oulton Park in Cheshire: Rounds 10, 11 and 12 will run on 20-21 May.