A solid start to the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is what Colin Turkington is aiming for, as the Team BMR driver speaks to TCF ahead of Subaru’s maiden assault on the series.
The Northern Irishman enjoyed success four times with BMR in 2015 after joining the squad from his title-winning campaign at West Surrey Racing, handing over a BTCC crown which he aims to regain with an all-new manufacturer to the championship.
Turkington will race one of four Subaru Levorg’s in the Japanese marque’s debut attack on the BTCC, racing alongside Jason Plato, James Cole and team boss, Warren Scott.
When discussing the chances of early success with the Levorg, Turkington told The Checkered Flag on Media Day: “I can’t see any reason why it can’t!
“BMR are an incredibly experienced team and have done an amazing job in putting this Subaru Levorg together. Collectively, between Kevin and Carl, they’ve been down this process before of designing and developing the car. I think we’ve got a really good base package to start with.
“There’s no reason why we can’t be competitive from the word go. I’m yet to drive the car so we’ve got to keep our expectations in check, but we’re all hopeful that we’ve got a game changer here.”
Turkington remains in the dark over how the new car will perform ultimately, team-mate Plato admitting to TCF that he hopes to partake in “two to three days” of testing prior to the season-opening round at Brands Hatch on 2/3 April.
“It’s going to take time to learn and understand the car and see what makes it tick”, Turkington added. “We can’t expect miracles straight away. We’ve been down this road before so we’re not going into this completely blind. We’ve got a good idea on where to start with our base package.
“All the right ingredients are there. The shape and look of the car, along with the boxer engine, makes the package very unique. It’s interesting to see where we’ll fall into the pack and we won’t know that until Brands Hatch.
“I’m pleased I’m going to be turning up to Brands Hatch in this Levorg, even though it’s brand new and straight out of the box. I think it will give us a chance over the next few seasons to consistently fight at the front and try to win championships.
“I think with the introduction of the RML parts, that everyone has to deal with, it makes it a really good time to introduce the new car.”
Cementing a drive has previously been a task made more difficult for Turkington in recent winter seasons gone by, but the Northern Irishman admits that having that security has made for a much more enjoyable preparation for 2016.
“Warren and BMR we’re able to put the deal together towards the end of last year. Although you always want more time, every year it seems the guys are always putting last minute preparations, and this season is no different.
“We’re putting the new suspension straight onto a new car. We don’t have to relearn anything. We can just get our heads down and try to understand what we’ve got straight away.”
With no testing yet for the new Subaru Levorg, question marks hang over the BMR squad’s chances when the series heads to Brands Hatch next month.
Turkington remained buoyant however of his team’s prospects, expecting an enjoyable season behind the wheel as he bids for his third BTCC crown, following a fourth place finish in the Drivers’ Championship last year.
The double champion added: “I’m just looking forward to driving the car. I guess most of my success has come with RWD but I’m just looking forward to getting in and enjoying my driving, that’s the bit we’re all look forward to.
“Until I’ve driven the car I’ve no idea really. We can only do our best and score some good points.”