TURKINGTON KEEPING HIS COOL AS TEMPERATURES SET TO RISE AT ROCKINGHAM
There are just three race weekends left in the 2017 British Touring Car Championship as the title battle heats up. With merely 17 points separating the top four, there’s more at stake than ever before and no better location for the next instalment than the spectacular Rockingham Speedway.
Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, Rockingham hosts Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 30 round Championship with tens of thousands of fans expected ringside for Sunday’s main event. With its incredible spectator grandstands overlooking the huge oval section, the former speedway is one of the most dramatic locations on the calendar.
THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE
Currently sitting top of the table with 265 points, Colin Turkington is in a positive position, but one that is in high demand. The top 4 drivers are all within 17 points of each other and any one of them could emerge from Rockingham as Championship leader. There is no room for error and you can be sure that every meticulous detail within Team BMW will be thoroughly reviewed in advance of this weekends event.
Sixty seven points are on offer throughout the two days and Turkington is determined to collect as many as he can. A double race winner here in 2014 with the 1 Series and with multiple podiums from recent times, Colin knows the effort required to ensure a strong set of results.
His trio of podiums at Knockhill hinted at the intent of the former double champion and in doing so moved him up to the top spot of the leader board.
“It’s all came around so quickly and here we are ready to go racing again. I’ve said before that starting the second half of the season in the correct state of body and mind is crucial for the final Championship result. You can easily find yourself a passenger when you need to be the one in the driving seat.
Everything has been coming thick and fast the past few weeks, but I really enjoy the intensity at this stage. I’m relishing the battle.
I’ve been able to immerse myself in my driving and get under the skin of everything. The pressure is certainly on, but I have confidence in my ability and in the car. We can only do our best.
The car was fantastic at Knockhill and we really maximised the results as best we could. Despite the variable track conditions during the practice sessions on Saturday, we had a predictable car to race with on Sunday.
I like racing at Rockingham and in particular the numerous overtaking opportunities the track presents. We’ll be using the hard option tyre for one of the races and I think like last year we’ll see this mix things up.
The hard tyre presents the biggest challenge to everyone this weekend and our choice of when to when the tyre is now reduced.
The 30 race Championship is a test of endurance for the driver and the team. We need to have that extra bit of punch still left to push in the next few meetings. We need to outwork our rivals in every department and leave absolutely nothing on the table.”
BTCC ROCKINGHAM WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Race 1 – 11.37am
Race 2 – 1.57pm
Race 3 – 4.40pm
LIVE ON ITV4
ITV4 coverage LIVE from 10:45am
OPTION – HARD
The BTCC grid will use the HARD compound as the option tyre at Rockingham. Drivers and teams will nominate this option hard tyre for only one of the races on Sunday.
Distance: 1.94 miles
Qualifying record: Mat Jackson 2015 1m22.087s
Race record: Gordon Shedden 2015 1m23.193s