Turkington Buoyed By BMW’s Knockhill Pace

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Colin Turkington says that staying out of trouble will be important as he starts ninth on the grid despite dominating qualifying on raw pace.

The 2009 champion smashed the lap record in the 30-minute session with a pole time of 51.705s, almost half a second quicker than Sam Tordoff‘s MG which will inherit the top spot for tomorrow’s race.

Turkington will however be bumped to ninth place due to his controversial eight-place grid penalty for a collision with Matt Neal at Snetterton, but remained impressed with the pace of the BMW 125i at the Fife circuit.

“The car’s been quick all day really”, Turkington told The Checkered Flag afterwards. “We were really strong in practice in both the wet and the dry.

“[Qualifying] was a great session; the track was getting better and I was giving it all on those last laps. I was really hanging it out there; the car is quick here and obviously we were really strong here last year, so hopefully it’ll be a similar story this weekend.”

The challenge for Turkington – a double winner here last year – will be the task of carving through the pack, something which the Northern Irishman says he needs to play in a canny manner at a circuit notoriously tough to make an overtake.

“It’s obviously going to be tricky trying to work my way through the pack”, he added. “I’ve just got to play it right and make sure not to get caught up in the traffic which can be a bit of an issue around a track this tight.

“We’ve got a good car, so I’ve just got to find the right places to overtake and try and maximize the pace that we know we’ve got and I’m sure we can come away with a good haul of points.” 

Turkington leads the championship by 23 points over the Honda Yuasa Racing Civic Tourer of local hero Gordon Shedden, who starts the race from the second row of the grid tomorrow in fourth.