SEASON OPENER SET TO THRILL AT BRANDS HATCH
COLIN TURKINGTON AND TEAM BMW PUT FINISHING TOUCHES TO THEIR PREPARATION AS THE FIRST RACE DRAWS NEAR.
Rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway this weekend as the season roars into life at Brands Hatch. The winter break has brought many changes to the starting grid since October 2016, along with a bigger and wider Dunlop tyre.
With fifty percent of the grid now previous race winners, the strength of the entry list is extraordinary. Hailed by series boss Alan Gow as the strongest field this century; the 2017 season is set to raise the bar once more in quality racing and entertainment.
One such factor that has added to the pre-season buzz is Team BMW. Under the guidance of West Surrey Racing, Team BMW has been a hive of activity lately, as a crew of mechanics and engineers complete the new-for-2017 BMW engine installation to the three 1 Series cars.
TEAM BMW – #4 TURKINGTON
Team BMW were present at the Kent circuit yesterday and the three drivers enjoyed some brief but valuable dry and sunny running. Thursday will see the cars complete a final shakedown, before moving on to Brands Hatch and commencing on-site preparations. The grid of 32 cars will then take to the track for the first free practice on Saturday morning.
Colin Turkington insists the team is in good shape and is keen to open his account with a consistent set of points.
COLIN TURKINGTON COMMENTS
“The focus for this weekend is to be consistent and score well in each race. It’s a long season ahead but I’m confident we can hit the ground running.
One change for this season is the new construction Dunlop tyres and we now use the hard compound tyre at half of the events, compared to just two last season. This is sure to bring about additional challenges to those circuits, but one that our engineering team will certainly get to grips with.
The winter has passed quickly for me but I feel ready to start the season and have prepared to the best of my ability.
Racing last weekend at Goodwood was a great training exercise for me and I had a fantastic time. It was a great feeling to be back in the racing environment and I’m excited to get our BTCC campaign going this Saturday.”
Distance: 1.21 miles
Qualifying record: Tom Ingram 2016 / 47.990s
Race record: Matt Neal 2011 / 48.498s
The BTCC has been going to Brands Hatch since 1958 and currently bookends the BTCC campaign. The Indy circuit used at the curtain opener offers unrivalled views of the live action from various exciting vantage points.