COMMANDING CONSISTENCY FROM TURKINGTON AT ROCKINGHAM
TRIO OF TOP 6 FINISHES FOR BMW STAR AS ROCKINGHAM TURNS UP THE HEAT ON BTCC TITLE
The story of the 2017 British Touring Car Championship unfolded in dramatic fashion over the Bank holiday weekend, as two title protagonists fell back from the running and a new championship leader emerged. It’s been a closely fought contest so far and the lively Rockingham action brought about an unexpected turn of events.
It was Colin Turkington’s consistency that shone through the uncertainty, securing an incredible P5 in Saturday’s qualifying despite carrying 75kgs of success ballast. He went on to record three top 6 finishes in Sunday’s races keeping him firmly in the fight for the 2017 crown. He is the only driver to have qualified in the top five at every event so far and continues to exercise his impeccable ‘clean and fast’ racing technique.
DEFYING THE ODDS
In all it’s spectacular glory, Rockingham Speedway’s blisteringly fast section was always going to present a mammoth challenge for Turkington. Arriving with the maximum 75kgs of championship ballast in his BMW 1 series, the odds were against him from the off.
Twenty seven cars went on to lap within one second of each other in easily the closest qualifying sessions of the season. Colin pulled out all the stops to stun with a time just 0.19 seconds off pole. Emphasising the depth of class of the former champion, it was good enough to line up on the third row of the grid.
READ COLIN’S QUALIFYING REPORT HERE
STEADY YET STEALTH
The sun bleached the sky on Sunday morning, improving track conditions and providing a stunning backdrop at the Northamptonshire Speedway. The fast and furious racing that followed exposed the heated tension of the championship battle, but as controlled as ever, Colin Turkington kept his cool. His ability to deliver a strong and consistent set of results has become a credential that defines him, as his focus and determination remain unrivalled.
It was race 2 that mattered the most, when the option hard tyres were added to the BMW. Renown as the ‘bogey’ option for Rockingham, it could have been a turning point in the weekend for Turkington, but starting 6th on the grid he immediately showed good pace. Biding his time in the early stages of the race, Colin eventually passed race 1 winner James Cole, and reeled in the others one by one. The intensity of his race was a thrill for the crowds and he finally crossed the line in third, just 0.2s behind second place.
RACE 3 POINTS
Race 3 was an opportunity to pick up further points, but it also proved high risk for Championship contenders as the reversed grid mixed up the order. Carefully threading his way through the initial laps, Colin ensured he avoided any contact and clocked up another strong 6th place position.
WATCH THE RACES FROM ROCKINGHAM HERE
“Like always, my goal is to deliver my best and see where we emerge at the end of the weekend. Although I’m no longer the leader, it’s far from disappointing. So much is out of our control in this series and I’m satisfied to have delivered three top 6 finishes.
I’ve been around long enough to know the twists and turns are far from over and I’m hoping my best spell is yet to come.
The 1 series has helped me remain consistent and keep punching out these strong results. I may not be stealing the headlines at the moment, but I am quietly confident that I’m doing everything right and have the best team behind me. Team BMW are continuously working away to ensure we challenge our rivals in whatever way we can. They’ve been here before, they know what they’re doing.
Saturday’s qualifying was critical for my championship hopes. I may have shot a few tyres in clocking that time, but I knew what was riding on that session – I knew what was needed from me.
The BMW was a dream to race in the second outing of the day. We weren’t sure what challenges the hard tyre would throw at us, but the depth of experience in our engineering team ensured the setup was on point.
I loved that race!
I’ll have a little less weight for Silverstone which is good and should help me get closer to where I need to be in qualifying. It won’t be easy though!
I felt the best I’ve ever felt at Rockingham and as the title fight spices up, my enthusiasm grows.
I’m ruling nobody out just yet, and I’ll be doing everything in my control to continue to bring my A Game in just over two weeks time.”