Turkington praises continued progress of Subaru, as he secures another BTCC podium.
As the season draws close to the penultimate event, excitement and tension within the BTCC tends to heighten. But it was the theatrical weather during Saturday’s qualifying that provided the first drama of the weekend.
Just as the session commenced the black sky rolled in and rain developed from a light shower into a full blown storm. It was more like a winter night race than an August bank holiday weekend afternoon, as the field of cars endured floods with thunder and lightning adding to the sensational scene. Turkington was quick to find his pace slotting into P3, but in the end had to be content with P5.
Considering it was only the second time the car had turned a wheel in the wet; it was an encouraging performance from both car and driver.
TIME TO RACE
The sun bleached the sky on race day as track temperatures soared to that expected of August. Colin made a quick getaway starting on the inside line and was up to 4th position before turn 2. It was a position he comfortably held but could not improve on with team mate Plato just in front.
Running the Dunlop HARD compound tyre in Race 2, Turkington knew it was going to be difficult with the majority of the field on the STANDARD tyre. After a tricky start and an eye popping save at 200kph, Colin found himself in 19th place.
Against the odds he stormed up the pack but on the last lap once again found himself facing the wrong way! P15 was all that could be salvaged from a challenging race.
It was race 3 when the overtaking prowess of the two time BTCC Champion stunned the paddock as Turkington drove his way up to the battle for the lead. Having started 15th on the grid he effortlessly passed car after car, finishing on the podium and securing valuable points to keep him in the Championship title hunt.
It was a display worth celebrating, as a car so new to the series just delivered a show of such brilliance.
“After Saturday we knew that no matter what the weather held on Sunday, I would have a great car to challenge with. Our pace in FP2 topped the time sheets and we also showed considerable promise in the wet. It really was the most extreme of circumstances during that qualifying session and I’m not sure I will ever drive in such dramatic conditions again.
The first race confirmed our strong pace and despite the hard tyre in race 2, I made considerable strides forward after the pretty scary 200kph moment. Some races just don’t go your way, and that was a classic example of such.”
I can hardly recall most of the third race to be honest, but what I do know is that it felt brilliant. We have done an incredible job to turn this year 1 BTCC car, with very limited testing, into a package that allows me to consistently fight for podiums.
SILVERSTONE GRID PENALTY
Following rounds 22,23 and 24 at Rockingham the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver was unfortunately handed a series of penalties that has an impact at the next event at Silverstone. Hitting trouble with race officials twice, Turkington picked up a six-second penalty in race one for overtaking Josh Cook with two wheels over the white line at the edge of the track.
The grid penalty for Silverstone was triggered when Turkington was adjudged to have passed Jake Hill’s Toyota as the yellow flags came out for a safety car in race three. Although both minor incidents, this brings his strike tally to three, meaning Colin has to start the first race at Silverstone from the back of the grid.
“This was certainly not part of the plan and unfortunately nothing can be done at this stage to revert the decisions. It’s disappointing after such a memorable third race and I know my fans and supporters feel the same.
I feel hard done by as both penalties were issued for minor infringements but it’s out of my hands. I promise we haven’t given up on the title fight yet and this will only further inspire me to perform.”
DUNLOP TYRE TEST
Colin and his team were straight back to work on Monday during an official Dunlop Tyre test to assess the new 2017 construction BTCC tyre. After a wet start to the morning Colin performed a series of qualifying and race simulations, adding valuable test mileage and preparation for 2017.
With only a handful of cars testing, the Subaru’s enjoyed trouble free running on the full Rockingham circuit.
Watch a short clip of the car in action here.