Colin Turkington expects a tight Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title fight to get even closer in the next meeting at Silverstone, the top four covered by just 33 points with six races remaining.
The reigning champion closed the gap slightly after a tough Knockhill visit in last weekend’s eighth meeting of 2015 at Rockingham circuit, collecting finishes of seventh and eighth before ending the day in Corby on the podium after following the battling Jason Plato and Tom Ingram home.
Turkington settled for a comfortable podium finish, his seventh of the season for the Team BMR squad, admitting that the points haul that keeps him 33 adrift of Honda’s Gordon Shedden was satisfying to keep him in with a shot of defending his crown with six races remaining, still 134 points on the table.
“Sometimes it’s just better to consolidate what you have”, Turkington told The Checkered Flag after a podium finish behind the battling Plato and Ingram in race three.
“Those guys were having a great battle. I’m pleased to get a podium even though ultimately I would have liked to have had the pace to get involved in the race.
“We were just struggling a little bit for speed and to find the right balance, but that’s how it goes and we scored good points this weekend.”
The consistency of the Northern Irishman means the title fight may now come down to a fight between four former champions, Honda’s Shedden and Matt Neal jostling it out with Volkswagen’s Plato and Turkington.
Next up is Silverstone on 27 September, Turkington and team-mate Plato both hopeful of taking back the advantage in the title chase at a circuit emphasising straight-line speed more so which may help BMR.
“It should be”, Turkington commented on the question of the National circuit suiting BMR’s slippery Volkswagen CC. “I hope the track will play to our strengths, provide a really good opportunity for us and blows it all wide open again like it did today.
“We’ll just keep working hard to score well again, but the Hondas we’ve seen have been fast everywhere. They’re not going to be shabby either.
“Ultimately, there’s a penalty for leading in that you’ve got to carry the ballast. That’s how the championship works so everybody says it’s probably better to be fourth or fifth but you can’t afford to be too many points adrift.
“There’s six more important races to go and it’s nice to be still in the mix.”
|1.||Gordon Shedden (Honda)||4||10||286|
|2.||Jason Plato (Volkswagen)||5||9||-6|
|3.||Matt Neal (Honda)||3||7||-27|
|4.||Colin Turkington (Volkswagen)||3||7||-33|