Turkington’s podium finish in France

Cameron Dawson with his father, Ian (left), plus Gary Turkington (Turkington Windows and Conservatories).
Cameron Dawson with his father, Ian (left), plus Gary Turkington (Turkington Windows and Conservatories).

The experienced competitor took part in the Le Mans France meeting promoted by Italian American Motor Engineering.

The international karting event attracted a widespread field on a recently-constructed track within the Le Mans complex.

The qualification criteria called for drivers to have recorded a top-three position at domestic level across the X30 Championship class.

The France entry list of 326 names represented 38 nations across every continent, with the exception of Antartica.

Turkington was on board across the Masters category, a division for mature drivers 30 years old or above.

The Portadown ace came home 11th across the qualifying outing as part of a 71-strong section. He was 0.234 seconds off the pace but won the opening heat race by 0.076 seconds against a rival from Australia.

He recovered from fifth at the start of the heat to move into first on lap three and maintain that position across the rest of the run.

The second heat featured Turkington on the outside position of row three, forcing him to tackle a demanding early turn. He dropped to 11th by the end of lap one but battled back up to eighth.

A similar development left Turkington down the pack towards eighth, putting him on row four in the 14-lap pre-final. Contact pushed Turkington to the back of the field but he recovered to race up the rankings for 18th out of 34 starting cars.

Turkington started the main event on row nine and tackled the 21-lap showcase on fresh tyres. He gained three positions to sit 10th by the end of lap one - a pace he managed to maintain across the rest of the final to sit third.

Additional contact disrupted Turkington’s progress despite following the fastest lap of the race. The incident left Turkington with mechanical issues and pushed him down to eighth before climbing back up the field to third.

Turkington finished fourth but a post-race review promoted him into a podium position.

Ten-year-old Cameron Dawson has finished the mini-moto bike season as a double Irish champion - with sponsorship support from Portadown family firm Turkington Windows and Conservatories.

The Dungannon-born competitor was crowned winner of both the pit bike and mini-moto racing titles thanks to a run of 46 wins from 54 outings. Dawson has appearances planned for England and Scotland as the latest motorsport prospect backed by the Turkington family.

“We have a long history in connection with motorsport,” said a Turkington company representative. “Of course, we were happy to be able to support Cameron in his racing.

“Cameron has been racing mini-motos for three years now and he wrapped up both Irish titles with two rounds remaining across the programme.

“In his first year Cameron finished third and was named Best Newcomer.

“A broken wrist prevented Cameron from fighting for first from a position of second in the leaderboard.

“He missed two rounds and came home third.

“In 2014 he was sitting second and a crash on round two resulted in another broken wrist but Cameron still managed to finish as runner-up overall in two sections.”

Dawson has made previous World Championship trips and registered positions of second and fifth. He has also competed in Scotland and England, with the latter trip resulting in some impressive results against an experienced field.

Next year’s schedule will include Irish Championship rounds plus visits to Spain and England.