Colin Turkington spoke after claiming an emotional second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in race one at Brands Hatch GP, saying that the goal set out back in 2012 has finally been achieved.
The West Surrey Racing driver secured the championship-winning points required with fastest lap and third place, behind the two works MGs of Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff who switched positions on lap eight to ensure title contender Plato took the additional points.
The win puts Turkington clear – penalties aside – in the title hunt with two races to go, and the overjoyed Northern Irishman was ecstatic with his achievement.
“That is what you work for from the start of the year. This has from as far back as winter 2012 when we decided to do this.”
“Just relief and pure happiness”, was the smiling Turkington’s response to The Checkered Flag afterwards.
“That is what you work for from the start of the year. This has from as far back as winter 2012 when we decided to do this, so to finally get it over the line is a great relief for everybody.
“There are never any guarantees that you’re going to win it even with a 50-point lead. You don’t allow yourself to believe it’s going to be an easy task. We drove a good race; the team have given me a strong car, so we got the job done.”
Turkington made sure not to celebrate too early with the scores now meaning Plato cannot beat him based on a wins count back, adding: “The race worked out well for me in the end. I didn’t want to get out of the car and celebrate in case! I wanted to know for sure.
“Then when the team told me that we were drawn level, that was when it really started to sink in.”
The opening race at Brands Hatch GP itself was a dramatic one, Turkington leaping into an early lead with one of the BMW 125i’s lightning getaways to surge around the outside of both Triple Eight MGs into Paddock Hill Bend.
Tordoff quickly addressed the balance a corner later while Plato swiftly followed, the MGs heading home Turkington which – coupled with fastest lap – was enough to seal the championship crown.
The move itself Turkington said had its risks, but was not one to change his philosophy to attack all season long, fending off an early attack from Mat Jackson in the race’s first restart laps.
“I don’t regret it because the philosophy I’ve had this year is to race and go on the attack. I didn’t want to change that, so going around the outside I wouldn’t advise anybody to do that! But I had to in that position because Jason didn’t get a very good start, while Sam got a better one so I couldn’t get to the inside.”
The crown is Turkington’s second in a BTCC career spanning back to 2002, the Northern Irishman stating that his latest triumph is equally as special.
“It’s just as good. 2009 will always be special because it was unfamiliar territory, and you don’t know what is happening throughout the day.
“To do it now with all the family is really special. The support of both my family and the team has been first class.”
Pressure is now off the newly-crowned champion, who admits that he will take the final two races with no different outlook.
“That’s right. My mentality will stay the same, but certainly the pressure is now off.”