SNETTERTON SURVIVAL KEEPS TURKINGTON IN THE MIX
WET WEATHER PLAYS HAVOC WITH RACE DAY AS TURKINGTON DELIVERS DETERMINED DIAMOND DOUBLE
Colin Turkington dropped back one place in the Championship standings on Sunday evening following a difficult weekend at Snetterton. Despite a successful two-day test and positive signs on Saturday, the weather blew against Team BMW on race day with wet and slippery conditions.
Arriving with 75kgs of success ballast as Championship leader, expectations were in check for race 1 following qualifying, but hopes were high for the second and third race.
As with all good plans the variables remain a threat, and with the weather turning for race day, new preparations were required overnight before the rainfall. Easily the wettest event of the season so far, the start for race 1 was tainted with poor visibility and difficult track position as Colin struggled to make progress with the RWD car. Despite a race long battle to move forwards he eventually finished one place back in 15th position.
Race 2 ended on lap 1 after falling victim to other incidents around him. Heavy impact on the right rear broke a wishbone resulting in eventual retirement.
DIAMOND DOUBLE GRIT
With double points on offer for the ‘diamond double’, tension was building up and down the pit lane. It was easy to see the impact a non-score would have on championship hopes and following the difficult day Team BMW was enduring, it was important to regroup and reset. Starting P8 Colin became locked into an intense 21 lap battle for 6th place with unrelenting rivals. Suffering heavy damage from early contact, it was Turkington’s determination and resolve that got him across the line in P6 inside his battered and bruised BMW.
Despite significant chunks of bodywork absent, the resilience of the BMW 1 series and it’s pilot was nothing short of inspiring. Typically unfazed by the rollercoaster weekend, Turkington maintains that the challenges of the BTCC are what makes the success all the sweeter.
“I never expected to have an easy time this weekend but we were confident of our potential. With a successful test and two strong free practice sessions in stable, warm conditions, we were looking good for race day.
Unfortunately, the rain played havoc with our plans and there is nothing worse than 75kgs in the middle of a 31 car pack in the wet!
We genuinely struggled with the balance in the first race and I didn’t get much of a feeling in race 2 after heavy contact on turn 2 ended my efforts.
The ballast and weather prevented me making progress up the order to start race 2 in a better position.
We’ve seen this happen before and it’s nothing new to the BTCC. You can’t expect to take the lead of the championship and walk into the sunset, it’s just not possible anymore.
I’m mentally prepared for the challenges of this series and more determined than ever to achieve that third crown no matter how difficult it may be.
Despite everything going against us, and at times thinking I wasn’t going to make the end of race 3 I’m now only 6 points behind the lead and a little bit lighter going into Rockingham. It’s an enviable position and one we’ve worked incredibly hard for.
Nothing good in the BTCC comes without blood, sweat and tears but when it does come, it tastes all the sweeter. We’ll be on the hunt for some of that good stuff next time out!”
Qualifying – P14
Qualifying 2 – P8
Race 1 – P15
Race 2 – DNF
Race 3 – P6
Championship position – P2 – 183 points
WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS ON ITV4 – SATURDAY 4th AUGUST 10:30am
NEXT UP: ROUNDS 19, 20, 21
With less than two weeks until the next event, it’s all systems go in the turnaround for Rockingham. Returning to the Northamptonshire speedway for the last time, this visit will be a memorable one for many that have enjoyed the spectacular location for decades of BTCC action.