Colin Turkington said that Saturday was very much a day for finding his feet with the new Subaru Levorg, qualifying a solid 11th place ahead of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s opening race at Brands Hatch.
The double BTCC champion was consistently the quickest of the Subaru quartet during Saturday’s on-track action in Kent, the team hitting the track for the first time the night prior for just 10 minutes.
Saturday became very much one of development for the Team BMR outfit as a result, Turkington improving from just over a second adrift to qualifying 0.463s shy of pole-sitter, Tom Ingram.
“We obviously found a good chunk of lap time”, Turkington told The Checkered Flag, after a late qualifying burst that jumped him up to 11th place for tomorrow’s opening race.
“I just rung the neck of it really. I’m really pleased with where we ended up after the first day out.”
Turkington’s team-mates could not break into the top 20 however, Jason Plato the next best Levorg in 23rd, while James Cole and team boss Warren Scott finished 29th and 27th respectively.
With the car still in its youth, Turkington admitted that handling remained an issue with the Levorg, but was nevertheless flattered by the increase in pace.
“Definitely”, he said. “We’ve made the car faster certainly from this morning, so hopefully we’ll keep going in that direction.
“The car is still difficult to drive”, the Northern Irishman admitted of the Levorg’s handling after its opening day. “I couldn’t do 24 laps at that pace I don’t think. It’s nervous but that’s just early days.”
Reliability remained a strong point for the BMR team however, Turkington concluding that the lack of running meant that finding a set-up that suits the car is a key factor.
“You could count how many laps we’ve done so far, so it takes time”, he said. “We’ve got no idea what set-up will work best for the car yet. We just threw something on there so we’re going in blind. We’re still half a second off pole position, but it could have been a lot worse.
“It’s just about learning, picking up more miles and hopefully we’ll pick up some good points.”