Dominant Turkington: “It’s Not Over Until It’s Over”


Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Colin Turkington moved a vital three steps closer to a second BTCC crown following a pair of victories at Rockingham, but insists the title fight is nowhere near over.

Lights-to-flag victories in the opening pair of races ahead of the competitive Triple Eight MGs on Sunday helped extend the Northern Irishman’s championship lead, as did a fourth place in the third and final encounter as Turkington beat main rivals Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden in all three Rockingham outings to open up a 55-point cushion with just six of the 30 races remaining.

Having commented to The Checkered Flag on Friday that maximum attack was the best option to take, the results which followed surprised even Turkington himself, who praised his West Surrey Racing squad for a weekend he felt they overachieved in.

“We got a lot more than we expected to achieve”, Turkington told TCF afterwards following two more important victories. “To win here twice – even on Saturday night I didn’t think I could pull that off. We worked hard on it and we really found a step forward, then got our rewards for all that work.”

The 2009 champion split the MGs in qualifying at the Corby circuit for a front row slot alongside Sam Tordoff, a position which allowed the WSR driver to storm into the lead on Sunday with a typically lightning start in the rear-wheel drive BMW 125i heading into the Deene hairpin in race one.

Turkington sustained early pressure from Tordoff to claim race one spoils, before doubling up with his eighth win of the season in race two with a more comfortable victory, eight seconds clear of main rival Plato.

Aware of the threat MG still pose, Turkington added: “MG definitely had the quickest car here, especially over one lap, but we engineered the car well for race distance which in the end was very important. We did some good work this weekend.”

Turkington will have MG for company once again at Silverstone (Photo: btcc.net)
Turkington will have MG for company once again at Silverstone (Photo: btcc.net)

With six races remaining, Turkington almost holds one hand on the trophy with a 55-point lead, but does not believe that he will wrap the title up early at a Silverstone circuit he believes BMW will struggle at more than many visited on the calendar.

“No, I don’t see it that way at all”, commented the points leader, who admits he will not change his mindset or approach to the weekend in Northamptonshire.

“There’s still too many races to go yet and so many points up for grabs these days. It’s not over until it’s over, and Silverstone is the one that we think we’re going to have to work really hard at to get some results.

“We just need to get keep the focus really, keep doing what we’re doing and the atmosphere is good in the team right now. Everybody is putting in the work and it’s definitely not going to change now with the chance to win it getting closer.

The 2014 season has been nothing but pleasurable for Turkington, who says that he feels ‘more in the groove’ than he has in his BTCC career to date, adding: “I’m really enjoying my racing this year. We worked hard to get the car to where we are, so I’m really enjoying driving which is just as important to me.”

Turkington could wrap up the title as early as next time out at Silverstone for rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the season on 27/28 September, leading by 55 points ahead of Plato, while a nightmare weekend for Honda’s Shedden at Rockingham sees him now lie 64 adrift of the top spot.

Championship standings after round 8/10:

1)

Colin Turkington (West Surrey Racing BMW)

366pts

2)

Jason Plato (Triple Eight MG)

311pts

3)

Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing)

302pts

4)

Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing Honda)

255pts

5)

Rob Collard (WSR BMR)

242pts

6)

Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing Ford)

234pts

7)

Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing)

198pts

8)

Sam Tordoff (Triple Eight MG)

184pts

9)

Rob Austin (RAR Audi)

139pts

10)

Aron Smith (BMR Volkswagen)

138pts