Colin Turkington: “Maximum Attack” From Now


Colin Turkington survived a major scare in the seventh Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round of 2014 at Knockhill, culminating in a superb charge through the field to maintain his series lead.

The Northern Irishman held a 23-point lead over closest rival Gordon Shedden heading into the latter’s home event on the calendar, and left with the same cushion at the end of a dramatic Sunday that saw Turkington begin the day being extracted from the gravel trap in his second non-finish of 2014.

The charge that followed was arguably one of the most impressive seen in BTCC history, as soft tyre-shod Turkington carved mercilessly, but cleanly through the field from 27th on the grid up into the top four, picking off more than one car a lap on several occasions as he finished a mere 3.6s behind winner Mat Jackson.

Coupled with a similar drama to Shedden in that race to what Turkington suffered in race one at Scotsman corner, the climb through the pack was one that Turkington felt was vital in staking his claim for potentially a second BTCC title alongside his 2009 success for WSR.

“It was really pleasing to have come through the pack the way that I did and get a good strong finish”, Turkington commented to The Checkered Flag afterwards.

“We were just aiming for a top 10 and the reverse-grid, but we did better than that! It didn’t look like it was on the cards when I was starting 27th, but we’ve done a super job.

“Coming out of the hairpin, that’s where we were strong, but we still have to manage the traction because the track gets really dirty after a few laps with stones on the inside. You’ve got to capitalise where you are strong, and that’s what I was able to do in that race.”

Turkington confirmed his blistering pace on Saturday by storming to what would have been a third pole position of the season by almost half a second, but his eight-place grid penalty from a Snetterton clash with Matt Neal moved him back to ninth on the grid for race one, where he found himself in a battle he would rather not have been part of.

Turkington recovered from race one DNF (Photo: btcc.net)
Turkington recovered from race one DNF (Photo: btcc.net)

The BMW driver climbed up to sixth and soon became embroiled in a battle with fellow title rival Jason Plato over fifth spot. The Triple Eight MG driver defended grimly from the faster Northern Irishman, who eventually slithered by on lap 18 into the first corner, but the subsequent bottleneck effect into Scotsman bunched the marauding pack up where slight contact between Plato and Jackson edged the former into Turkington’s rear quarter and pitched the BMW 125i into the gravel trap.

On the incident itself, Turkington portioned no blame alongside his disappointment, adding: “I was just disappointed not to finish. I don’t really know what happened as I haven’t seen it, but as they say, that’s how it goes.

“It’s nice to have brought myself back in the picture again and show just how good the car is after the disappointment of the first race.”

Turkington was not the only championship contender to have been involved in skirmishes at Knockhill however, his nearest title rival Shedden also a victim of two incidents at Scotsman corner in the opening two races of the day with Andrew Jordan and then Rob Austin.

The results see Turkington lead the Honda Yuasa Racing driver by the same 23-point margin he entered the Fife circuit holding, and says that maximum attack is the best option in the remaining three meetings of 2014.

“The only way is to attack in this series, so I’ll keep trying to go forward all the time if I want to win it”, he concluded.

Turkington’s next challenge comes at Rockingham Motor Speedway on 6/7 September, a place he is yet to have won a race at in his BTCC career.

Championship standings after round 7/10:

1) Colin Turkington

eBay Motors (BMW)

309pts

2) Gordon Shedden

Honda Yuasa Racing (Honda)

286pts

3) Jason Plato

Triple Eight (MG)

270pts

4) Rob Collard

eBay Motors (BMW)

220pts

5) Andrew Jordan

Pirtek Racing (Honda)

217pts

6) Mat Jackson

Motorbase Performance (Ford)

207pts

7) Matt Neal

Honda Yuasa Racing (Honda)

189pts

8) Sam Tordoff

Triple Eight (MG)

143pts

9) Aron Smith

BMR Racing (Volkswagen)

133pts

10) Adam Morgan

Ciceley Racing (Mercedes)

126pts