Season Finale Delivers Sensational Showdown
Championship Showdown Brings BTCC Season To An End With Breath-taking Brands Hatch Action
It was always going to get hearts racing, but the spectacular scenes of the weekend were unprecedented as outsider for the title Colin Turkington gave everything he had in order to start round 30 of 30 as one of three contenders for the 2016 title.
Coming so close to one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history, Turkington put on a display of expertise and resolve to bring home a pole position, fastest lap and two race wins becoming the only BTCC driver to win back to back races with 75kg.
In the end it wasn’t meant to be, but not for the effort and passion shown by the Northern Irishman who brought the nation that ‘dared to believe’ to the edge of their seats.
QUALIFYING - SHOWING HIS HAND
In one of the most tense and extraordinary qualifying sessions of the year, Turkington delivered commanding form in changing difficult conditions to secure pole position by only 0.006s!
It was this performance that clearly put his almost unstoppable intent on the map.
Sunday’s Race 1 was the next step in Turkington’s supremacy as he dominated the field with a 5.5s lead and fastest lap to score his 40th BTCC career win, taking the maximum points available so far from the weekend.
With 75kgs success ballast, Race 2 was never going to be easy, but once again the double champion was unstoppable as he defended off fierce opposition. It was the end of lap 14 of 17 when Turkington supporters finally took a breath as Jason Plato backed up the traffic behind and Colin broke free to win the second race of the day by just over one second. A momentous result, he then became one of three contenders going for the crown in the final race of the season.
3 BECOMES 1
The excitement, energy and fear surrounding the final round of the 2016 BTCC season was almost tangible as championship leader Tordoff started 3rd, Gordon Shedden 5th and Turkington 7th. It was going to be a tall order for Colin to overcome the two ahead of him but aiming to give it his best shot, he knew that anything could still yet happen.
Unfortunately, 75kgs in the cool temperatures of a late October evening in the middle of the pack was just too much to ask of the Subaru Levorg; and although he injected his blood sweat and tears, Turkington couldn’t extract anything more than a 12th.
Ultimately it just wasn’t enough to make the fairy-tale come true but it was more than enough to leave the paddock in awe of the incredible title assault they had just witnessed that weekend.
Wobbling with exhaustion Turkington stepped out of the car from race 3, not the 2016 Champion but a Champion of determination and precision, who despite the toughest of race weekends (Thruxton’s withdrawal) continued to prepare and perform like no other.
“I don’t really know where to start in summing up our weekend, it has all happened so fast and I now find myself in China testing a Chinese Touring Car! I am beaming with satisfaction and a phone full of heart-warming messages and missed calls. So something pretty special must have went on!
I knew I was a significant outsider coming into the season finale, but I still wanted to prepare and plan like it was my crown. This has been my approach all season, and I can honestly look back at every weekend and say I give everything I had. I never missed an hour’s preparation and I put 100% into every lap I had the Levorg on track. In the end it just wasn’t meant to be, but I am far from disappointed. Yes I was saddened to know that I couldn’t get any more out of race 3 and my chances were over, but overall it was a near perfect weekend.
It’s been a season of up’s and downs with DNF’s, DNS’s, grid penalties and tough battles but we kept our focus and kept pushing onwards. You can’t start contemplating what if’s or what might have been, all you can do is look back and be proud of the success that we worked so hard for. “
I would like to thank every last member of Silverline Subaru BMR Racing and all my fantastic partners, supporters and fans. 2016 has been a roller-coaster and one that will stand out for me for the rest of my career.
MSA DUNLOP BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
1st – Gordon Shedden – 308
2nd – Sam Tordoff – 306
3rd – Matt Jackson – 292
4th – Colin Turkington – 289