TCF BTCC Fans Top 10 Drivers ’00-’09: Number 1

3 Mins read

So onto the top step of the podium, and with the full 45 kilos of success ballast, is a driver who impressed on his WTCC debut in 2007, taking 3rd in race one and 4th in race 2. The winner, started off in an MGZS in 2002 before moving to the works MG Squad for 2003. 2005 saw this driver take pole for Vauxhall on his debut, and for the Astra Sport Hatch's debut. He then went back to WSR for 2006, under the name of Team RAC, which is where he has been ever since.

The Fans Number 1 driver from the last 10 years, with 38 votes is the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Independent Champion and the 2009 Overall Champion, Colin Turkington.

Colin made his debut in the BTCC in 2002, in an MG under the Team Atomic Kitten banner, and finished 14th overall, qualifying on the front row at Mondello Park, but withdrawing due to illness.

2003 and 2004 – Colin was promoted to the full works MG Squad, and 2003 saw him finish 8th overall with his maiden victory at Brands Hatch Indy, before finishing 6th in 2004, again with a single victory which came at his home round at Mondello Park.

2005 – Turkington moved over to Vauxhall to partner Yvan Muller and Gavin Smith. Colin took pole for the opening race at Donington Park, in the new for 2005 Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch. The 2 wins for Colin came at Croft, in a red flagged race due to a serious accident for Mark Proctor, then at Mondello Park, in the second race of the day. At the end of the season, Colin finished 6th overall.

For 2006, Colin went back to WSR, rebranded as Team RAC. In the MG ZS, Colin took 2 wins on his way to 3rd overall, his first win of the season came in the third race, Colin walked away and won it by 12 seconds. While race win number 2 came at Donington Park, after a brave last lap move on Fabrizio Giovanardi who had taken the lead earlier in the lap.

2007, a new car for Team RAC and Colin, and a new team mate. Due to the S2000 Regulations being introduced, the MG ZS was no longer eligible for outright honours, so Team RAC purchased 2 brand new BMW 320Si's for Colin and new team mate Tom Onslow-Cole.

Colin started the 2007 season by taking pole position at Brands Hatch, and took the first BMW win for 11 years with the race 1 win at Croft, and backed up the win with another at Oulton Park, narrowly beating Fabrizio Giovanardi. The final win came at Brands Hatch. Colin finished 5th overall, and won his first Independents Championship.

2008 – Colin remained with Team RAC and the BMW, but with another new team mate in the shape of former F3 runner Stephen Jelley. Colin won the third race of the season at Brands Hatch, after struggling in the opening race due to a change of gearbox, Turkington held off Mat Jackson all the way to the line.

He secured his first double victory at Croft, holding on after a slide on the final lap to beat Mat Jackson in race 2 after winning the rained off race 1. The final win of the season came at Oulton Park, after passing Jason Plato on the second lap and walked away to an 8 second win.

Colin finished 4th overall with 4 wins and took his second Independents Title.

2009, same car, same team, same driver line up. Colin took his opening win of the season in the fifth race at Thruxton, being the fifth different winner in five races. Colin then took a double win at Oulton Park and followed that up with a double win at Croft, leading home a double 1-2 for Team RAC. Colin's final win of the season came at Snetterton after James Nash, who had won on the road, was excluded. After that, Colin took the points he needed, and the podiums when they came. Rockingham saw a lucky moment as Jason Plato spun Turkington coming out of the Tarzan hairpin before being straightened up by James Nash. Colin recovered to fourth while Giovanardi and Plato both failed to score. Colin had a 13 point lead going to Brands Hatch.

Season finale, 3 drivers – 8 points separated Colin, Fabrizio and Jason. Jason had taken 2 wins out of 2, Giovanardi 2 podiums out of 2, Colin took 3rd in race 2. All set up perfectly, until Matt Neal was drawn on pole. As the race kicked off Matt Neal tried to back Turkington into Giovanardi. Lap 9, Turkington got fed up pushing Neal off the track coming out of Druids damaging his car in the process. As it stood, Turkington would win the title.

He held on and finished second behind Palto, who took the lead around the outside of both Giovanardi and Turkington at Paddock Hill. Tom Chilton also passed Giovanardi before sitting back and defending, Turkington was safe and was in tears on the warm down lap. This title meant that a lifetime ambition had been achieved by Northern Ireland's first BTCC Champion. Colin also held onto the Independents title for a third year on the trot.

347 posts

About author
You can find Matt on twitter at @mattaugerracing
Related posts

Gamble continues superb BTCC rookie season with maiden win at Knockhill

2 Mins read
George Gamble’s superb rookie season continues with a milestone maiden BTCC win for the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport driver to end proceedings at Knockhill.

Superb Sutton seals his first win of BTCC Hybrid Era, Gamble on reverse grid pole at Knockhill

1 Mins read
Reigning champion, Ash Sutton has his first win of the BTCC hybrid era and for NAPA Racing UK in another top battle with Jake Hill at Knockhill, impressive rookie George Gamble is on reverse grid pole in Race Three.

Hill fights back to seal Race One honours at Knockhill in thrilling battle with Sutton

2 Mins read
Jake Hill fought back to deny Ash Sutton in Race One of BTCC’s return to Knockhill as a tin-top tussle of the finest order was served up.