ADAM Jones was left ruing a missed opportunity after three disappointing races in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship races at the Croft circuit last weekend.
The Solihull driver was a stunning fourth fastest in his bio-ethanol-powered Cartridge World Carbon Zero Racing SEAT Leon, but finished 8th, 16th and unclassified in his three races.
Jones lost ground on the leaders in the overall rankings after the Round Five event and now sits in 9th place overall.
The 28-year-old also sits in 6th place in the Independent Drivers rankings.
Colin Turkington and Fabrizio Giovanardi shared the wins in the weekends races.
Turkington won the opening two races and, heading into the mid-season break, has taken over the championship lead - and comfortably so - from Matt Neal who suffered a tough day which ended in controversy in a clash with Jason Plato.
Just as at Oulton Park two weeks previously, Northern Irishman Turkington was again in near-unstoppable form in his Team RAC BMW, this time dominating both of the first two races from pole position. Each time he was followed across the line by team-mate Stephen Jelley to give the Team RAC squad a pair of dream 1-2 results. Jelley then added a third place in race three to give himself three podium results - quite some achievment as before Croft he had never finished in the top three in the BTCC.
Vauxhall driver Giovanardi’s win came in the day’s third race as hot weather was replaced by heavy rain. It is a result that keeps the Italian maestro firmly in the title hunt as he seeks a third consecutive BTCC Drivers’ crown in 2009.
Neal, meanwhile, could manage only a pair of sixth-place finished in races one and two and eighth in race three after briefly being spun around in his Vectra in a collision with Plato’s Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti.
The two-point lead that Neal had held over Turkington arriving at Croft has therefore turned into a 25-point deficit. Giovanardi is close behind in third while Plato is also very much in touch with the top of the table.