Turkington: It’s Been A Really Strong Start


Series leader Colin Turkington summed up a ‘very strong’ first half of his 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season, as he looks ahead to the remainder of the campaign holding a seven-point championship lead after the halfway stage of the season.

The 2009 BTCC champion surged to the top of the standings after four wins from the previous two meetings at Oulton Park and Croft, now leading the championship after the halfway stage by seven points from Honda’s Gordon Shedden thanks to a season-highest total of six wins so far in 2014.

The West Surrey Racing driver will remain a busy man during the summer break before the championship reignites at Snetterton on 2/3 August, and told The Checkered Flag that the first half of the season has already come around quicker than expected.

“I’d like to see that I’ve had a bit of time off but the first half of the season always comes thick and fast, and it’s nice to get you head out of a racing car”, the points leader told TCF.

“But I’ve had plenty of other things to keep my mind occupied; I’m busy at work and I’m getting married next month so I’ve not had much time to relax!”

The Northern Irishman admitted that the first half of the 2014 season has been very satisfying, praising the performance of the WSR BMW 125i which has come on leaps and bounds since its debut last year.

“It is going well. It’s been a really strong start to the year; the car’s been getting faster all the time and we have a very strong, consistent package now.

“We’ve got a much better package than last year. I think it remains to be seen how we are outside the circuits that are strong for the rear-wheel drive cars.

“The first three meetings we were always inside the top 10 but qualifying about sixth with the third fastest car. When we get to Snetterton we’ve just got to see where we are in the pack again, but there’s nowhere that I’m not looking forward to because we know that there’ll be good tracks and bad tracks.”

Turkington and Shedden have been most consistent in 2014 (Photo: btcc.net)
Turkington and Shedden have been most consistent in 2014 (Photo: btcc.net)

Turkington however added a note of caution, knowing that consistency and evading the inevitable mayhem will be key after a faultless weekend at Croft ended in his first non-finish of the season with a clutch problem in race three, after two dominant wins.

The consistency of Turkington and Shedden see them already over 20 points clear over their nearest rival, reigning champion Andrew Jordan.

“It’s just a shame that he had an issue with the clutch at Croft in race three because we’d had such a good haul of points from that visit. I’d had a good day – in fact a really good day – up until that point, but you get bits of bad luck through the season. That’s just how it goes.”

“It’s about scoring points. As you saw from Croft I’d had what was looking like a faultless weekend, but not finishing race three really hurts the points score you take away. Scoring points over every race and obviously staying out of trouble is the most important recipe for success in the BTCC.”

Turkington confirmed also that the team have not formulated any additional testing plans as of yet around the Dunlop test at Snetterton in preparation for the sixth meeting of the season.

“There’s a Dunlop test but we don’t plan to be on the track before that at the moment, so we’ll just manage our remaining test days where we think it will be most helpful.”

Turkington will however unwind at the Silverstone Classic which runs over the 25-27 July, where he will drive a 1975 BMW CSL machine in the Under 2-Litre Touring Car event alongside Sam Hancock.

Current BTCC Championship Standings after 15/30 races:

1) Colin Turkington

West Surrey Racing (BMW)

228pts

2) Gordon Shedden

Honda Yuasa Racing (Honda)

221pts

3) Andrew Jordan

Pirtek Racing (Honda)

200pts

4) Jason Plato

KX Clubcard Fuel Save BTCC Team (MG)

179pts

5) Rob Collard

West Surrey Racing (BMW)

170pts

 

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