TURKINGTON SHOWS HIS INTENT AT BTCC SEASON OPENER
PODIUM AND POINTS FOR TURKINGTON AS WET WEATHER THROWS A CURVE BALL AT TITLE PROTAGANISTS
Brands Hatch Indy served up an exciting and unpredictable display of BTCC action on Sunday, as the 2018 season burst into life. Challenged by the great British weather, uncertainty was the story of the weekend as nine different drivers took to the podium over Sunday’s three races.
POINTS POINTS POINTS
The lap times of the 32 cars were closer than ever and it appears scoring points in every race will be tougher than ever. The drivers’ and teams’ championship standings have never looked so mixed and fans have been revelling in the return of the UK’s most entertaining motorsport series.
KEEPING THE FOCUS
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington had a weekend of highs and lows but maintained his focus to punch out the results when it mattered. Able to slice through the pack from 27th to 9th in race 3, his BMW 1 series looked a potent force. Leaving the circuit on Sunday night, Team BMW appeared confident in their 2018 package, despite the overall results not completely going their way.
It was another strong qualifying performance that kicked off the weekend for Colin. Blasting out a rapid lap early in the session, he ensured his BMW would be starting on the second row of the grid for race 1, with team mate Jordan just two places behind.
READ COLIN’S QUALIFYING REPORT HERE
THE EXPECTED AND UNEXPECTED
Sunday’s races showcased the typical Turkington ‘class’ and ‘determination’ that has enabled him to be a consistent Championship contender. Declared ‘wet’, the first race of the day provided extremely tricky conditions. Colin made up one place on the opening lap and despite applying intense pressure to race leader Goff, took the chequered flag in second place. It was in P2 that he was to start the second race, but after software gremlins on the green flag lap, Colin returned to the pits before restarting one lap down.
The action ahead of him was heating up with a drying track playing havoc with those who had started on wets. The race turned on its head as the drivers who had struggled early on slicks, came through to lock out the podium and top points scoring positions. Turkington crossed the line in 27th.
RACE 3 CHARGE
Determined to turn it around, Turkington carefully carved through the pack in race 3 to secure the fastest lap and finish the race in 9th place. It was clear to see why, coupled with his West Surrey Racing BMW, Turkington is one of the hot favourites for the 2018 crown.
WATCH BRAND HATCH INDY RACES ON ITV4 HERE
It may not have been the perfect season opener, but the potential was there to see. The BMW / Turkington combination looked fast and capable of overcoming the hurdles that the BTCC so frequently presents.
“Ok, so you look at the standings and we aren’t quite where you would expect to see us, but that doesn’t worry me too much. We found a nice balance with the 1 series this weekend and it worked well.
Race 3 was one of those that leaves a big grin on your face, the BMW was exactly how I wanted it. A huge thanks to my team for that.
What happened on the grid for race 2 was frustrating, but I thrive on a challenge. I pressed every button and switch to reset the car but just needed to get myself back to the engineers. We may not have scored any points in that one, but it was important to utilise the track time and improve the start position for race 3.
Everybody will get their fair share of misfortune throughout the season, but we leave Brands knowing we’ve done an excellent job in developing the package. This is vital.
No-one could have predicted the overall results and the Championship has once again delivered non-stop, thrilling action.
We’re back testing this Thursday at Thruxton and will head to Donington Park later in the month eager to move up the standings.”
SEE THE FULL ALBUM FROM BRANDS HATCH ON FACEBOOK HERE
WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS ON ITV4 – SATURDAY 14th APRIL 8am
BRANDS HATCH INDY RESULTS
QUALIFYING – P3
RACE 1 – P2
RACE 2 – P27
RACE 3 – P9 + FASTEST LAP
COLIN TURKINGTON P6 / 25pts
NEXT UP: ROUNDS 4, 5, 6
It’s a return to Donington Park on the 28th / 29th April for the second event on the calendar after hosting the official media and test day in March.