Colin Turkington says that the West Surrey Racing BMW 125i has continued to improve throughout Sunday’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship action at Snetterton, Turkington taking a pair of second places with one more race to come.
The 2009 champion made it back-to-back second place finishes at Snetterton on Sunday after following pole-sitter Jason Plato home in race one, but gave the double champion a harder battle in the second.
Plato made the decisive pass on Turkington at Montreal on lap nine, Turkington having jumped the Triple Eight MG driver heading into the first corner of the race. Turkington responded and pressured his rival for the remaining five laps, but was unable to usurp Plato who took victory by just over a second and moved to within 41 points of the series lead.
With his 11th podium of the season, Turkington extended his championship lead therefore to 19 points having entered Sunday’s action with a seven-point cushion over Gordon Shedden, the Honda Yuasa Racing man having limited the damage with a fighting third place in race two – after seventh in the day’s opening encounter.
Turkington enjoyed the battle with Plato in race two of the day, telling The Checkered Flag afterwards: “It was a really tight race.
“Jason was just a little too fast for me in the end. He was very strong in the first sector, and he did a good move, so there’s only so much you can do in that situation.
“I was keeping the pressure on, and if there was a chance then I was always going to go for it. But he was just too strong in those last few laps and I started to lose a bit of performance on the front tyres. That was it really from then on.”
Although conceding that he could not beat Plato, Turkington added that the pace of the BMW had felt an improvement from race one, front tyre degradation a key factor in his fight with Plato.
“We were really pleased that we picked up a good chunk of pace that time compared to what we had in race one”, he added.
“We keep making the car faster this weekend, which is not always easily done. The rears were fine on the car, it was just the front tyres that were starting to go off.”
The final race of the day sees the Northern Irishman start from seventh place in the reverse-grid encounter, Aron Smith starting on pole position for the 16:57 race later this afternoon.