Claiming pole position, P1, P3 and P7 for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Team, Turkington reaffirmed his status as the most successful BTCC driver at the North Yorkshire circuit.
As the rain poured down the BTCC paddock on Sunday evening and the sea of dedicated teams battled the elements, nothing could dampen the spirits of Colin Turkington .
Arriving at Croft with heavy expectations, the Subaru Levorg driver had a lot to live up to. After being coined the “King of Croft” the pressure was on to live up to the hype and without any doubt he did just that. Displaying a finesse for the circuit and a decorum for circumstance, the Double Champion walked away from the Northern round of the Championship as the man to beat.
Saturday’s qualifying session was as exciting as ever with many lap times being discounted due to track limits, and some last lap wonders from the BTCC rookies. But it was all about Colin Turkington in the end, as he continuously improved his times at the top of the pile and went on to score his second consecutive pole position in the Subaru Levorg – four tenths of a second quicker than the rest of the pack.
Speaking after the session Turkington commented;
“I had a fantastic car underneath me, and it was a real joy to drive. We made important improvements as the day went on – so a massive thanks to the team! I can’t wait to race tomorrow.”
Colin Turkington and his long standing engineer Kevin Berry
It was all to play for on Sunday as the ultra competitive grid of thirty two cars took on the challenging and extremely physical Croft circuit. Even just watching the television coverage of the high speed sweeping corners was enough to wear out the fans, and the lively action on track brought further gasps and cheers.
Turkington put on a show of precision in race one, as he battled three safety car restarts to comfortably lead the pack and win by 1.3 seconds from his Silverline Subaru team mate. Bringing his Croft tally of wins up to 11, Turkington also scored the fastest lap and looked set to repeat the result in race 2.
The second race however brought about a different set of circumstances and on lap eight Turkington suddenly found himself down in P3 after contact with his fellow Subaru driver at turn six. It was a position he was able to hold until the flag and in crossing the line he recorded his fourth podium in five races.
Despite a strong start and some sheer brilliant overtaking moves early in the day’s final race, Turkington was unfortunately hustled down the order in the first wet race since 2014. Starting P6 he ran as high as third in the early stages, but eventually finished the day with P7. It may not have been the result he wanted, but given this was the first wet race for the Subaru Levorg, there was every reason to be satisfied.
The team will now regroup in the forthcoming days before heading to Norfolk next week for a comprehensive two day test at Snetterton.
“I’m walking away from Croft with a spring in my step. We proved once again that the Subaru can run at the front of the field, with or without weight and that we have quite clearly left our demons in the past. Consistently producing strong podium results for the team and my partners is the goal and it’s even more of a bonus to deliver back to back pole’s and wins at this stage.
As much a disappointment as it was not to get another win in race 2, these things are inevitable in touring cars and in many ways it’s always a possibility.
I’m looking forward to the test next week and we can only benefit from another two days development on the car.”
“Jason and I are cut from the same cloth and we both want to win. It’s why we are both Champions. But we also know we have to work together as a Team to keep pushing this project forward. That’s exactly what we will do.”
Colin now sits 11th in the Championship just 62 points off the leader. He has 38 BTCC career wins, 104 podiums and is the 4th most successful BTCC driver of all time.
The second half of the BTCC season commences next month – 30th July at Snetterton