A typical BTCC rollercoaster of emotions took place at Knockhill as Turkington displayed his race craft and skill in a demanding and intense battlefield.
One of the most fierce and gripping race weekends in recent times, the annual visit to Knockhill provided thrilling viewing as never ending duels and battles captivated the teams and fans. Amazing yet agonizing, the BTCC racing was as close and unpredictable as ever; with Double Champ Turkington experiencing both delight and despair throughout the weekend.
The weather had already threw a curveball at the teams before the on track action had even begun, as gale force winds and torrential rain battered the marquees and awnings on Thursday.
ROUNDS 19, 20, 21
Knockhill qualifying always delivers a nail biting finish and with red flags disrupting the session, the last few laps were left to decide the final grid positions. It was the very last recorded timed lap that settled the top 6 spots with Turkington in P5. It was one of the tightest sessions this season with the gap between pole and P5 just 0.098s! Warmer weather blew in for race day as a hectic schedule lay ahead for the BTCC drivers.
After an incredible duel with Andrew Jordan to regain P5 in Race 1, Turkington then reeled in the leading 4 cars at a remarkable one second a lap pace. It was here that he recorded the fastest lap of the race before picking off the rivals to cross the line in third place.
Thrilled with his pace and enjoying the challenge, Colin was looking set for a strong haul of points.
Race 2 was to demand the most from Turkington as he set off with storming pace. Relishing the challenging circuit in a compliant car, the number 4 Subaru driver was the one to watch showing stunning form. And so began a cat and mouse battle for the lead with team mate Plato refusing to budge.
Turkington spectacularly duelled with the BMW of Tordoff, switching places numerous times as both threw everything they had at the leading car of Plato. It soon became a battle between 6 cars for the win and in the end Turkington had to hang on to fourth position.
It was not the win he was after but with both car and driver showing superior form, it was a positive result.
Turkington started in P3 for the third race of the day and was instantly hunting down Rob Collard for P2. It was only a matter of time before the Subaru would get past the BMW but on lap 8, the battle for the spoils came to an end. Turkington made an impressive move to get down the inside coming into Clarke, but Collard refused to give in resulting in a collision that would then see Collard return contact into the left side of the Subaru. Turkington managed to get the car back on track but crossed the line in 24th place.
“We walk away from Knockhill focusing on the positives and another strong podium finish . This was the best the car has felt all season and we were really able to bring the fight to the table. We’re moving the Subaru forward at a fantastic rate each time and this is bound to be a serious concern for the others [ahead of us in the Championship].
I really enjoyed the intensity of the racing at Knockhill and I had a car that I could push to the limits – there is no better feeling.
The BTCC is probably the most competitive touring car series in the world right now, and I will continue to battle until the very last race.”
I’m confident about the remaining three events and I’m committed to giving my best for the team. We may have lost the points in Race 3 but nothing changes – I’m here to challenge for the title and that is what I will do.” Colin Turkington
The championship has another tight turnaround before its arrives at the Rockingham Speedway on 27th and 28th August. Colin now sits 6th in the Championship with 183 points.
NEXT UP: Rockingham 27th and 28th August 2016 Rounds 22, 23 and 34
ITV4 Highlights show on ITV4 Saturday 20th August at 3.25pm