SILVESTONE SERVES UP A THRILLER
TURKINGTON CLOSES GAP ON SUTTON AS TITLE DECIDER GOES DOWN TO THE WIRE
The BTCC season finale gets underway in less than two weeks and in its wake, will rise the 2017 Champion. With only ten points separating the top two contenders, the thrill and anticipation looks likely to go down to the wire.
The relentless action served up at Silverstone was a clear indication of the rising stakes, as the end-of-season tension and pressure increases. There was controversy on track and with a thirty-two car grid separated by less than a second in qualifying, it was easily the most frenetic meeting of the year so far.
KEEPING HIS COOL
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington arrived at the penultimate event twelve points shy of the Championship leader, but despite three incredibly tough races, emerged on Sunday evening two points closer. Continuing his cool, calm and calculated approach, Turkington appeared unflustered throughout, securing his twelfth podium of the season and another top four finish.
It was another strong qualifying performance that kicked off the weekend for Colin. At a circuit that favoured those cars with top straight line speed, P8 was a fantastic result. Working together to use the slipstream effect, the BMW squad maximised the opportunities around the long straights of Silverstone and Turkington made it count when it really mattered.
READ COLIN’S QUALIFYING REPORT HERE
THE RACING ROLE MODEL
In two hotly contested races on Sunday, the BMW driver pulled out all the stops in ensuring he out-scored his rival. Showing grit and determination whilst upholding his intelligent race craft, Turkington edged his way up the field from 8th to 4th in race 1. Race 2 was another intense battle making his way up to P3 in the opening laps and despite a last corner attempt at usurping him from the podium position, Colin eventually claimed 3rd. Confirmation came via a stewards decision that was only decided upon the mouth of race 3.
RACE 3 RESET
Race 3 was an unfortunate end to the day, as contact on lap 1 saw Colin spinning off the track before re-joining in P21. Jammed into a cluster of ‘pin balling’ cars, the BMW suffered heavy damage that forced a visit to the pits for repairs. Turkington emerged to finish the race in P22, scoring valuable manufacturer points.
ONE GOAL – 2017 CHAMPION
It may have been a frustrating end to the day, but on reflection Colin remains fully focused on his 2017 goal. Confident he delivered 100% on every front, the former Champion refused to be affected by the on track turmoil that was out of his control.
“I went back to the hotel on Sunday evening frustrated that I wasn’t able to score any points in race 3 due to the careless driving of others, but content that I’d performed at my best.
My focus is solely on my own performance and in hindsight I couldn’t have done anymore this weekend.
You can’t foresee the drama that was to unfold on Sunday and I’m pretty sure the twists and turns are far from over. Learning to deal with the up’s and down’s is all is par for the course in the BTCC and over the years I’ve learnt how to manage it and turn the frustrations into a positive.
There isn’t time to lick our wounds from race 3 and we’re fully focused on the ultimate goal. It’s game on!
I spent some valuable time at Brands Hatch last week on the BMW Driving Experience Days, so I’m already well into my preparation. Brands Hatch GP is one of my favourite circuits and one where I’ve enjoyed huge success in the past with BMW and West Surrey Racing.
I have full confidence in Team BMW, the 1 Series and myself that we can do this. Second place is not an option for me.
It’ll be great to have Rob back in the car after his incident at Silverstone and along with Andy we want to deliver the Manufacturer Championship for BMW. I’ve no doubt they will be right up at the sharp end with me and together we can make this happen.”