Colin Turkington said that West Surrey Racing will benefit from a new BMW engine in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after its maiden test at Donington Park.
Having previously run with a normally-aspirated BMW 320si engine, developed since 2007 when the marque returned to BTCC, 10 years later the team will enter with a bespoke factory-developed powerplant for its assault as a Manufacturer entry.
Testing of the latest specification engine was initially cautious for team-mate Rob Collard during the Donington test on Thursday afternoon, Turkington insisting that the upgrade will become a key improvement for WSR.
“We have a new engine for this season and that has been our big development through the winter”, Turkington told The Checkered Flag at Donington’s Media Day on Thursday.
“We haven’t really done any mileage on it prior to today, but it’s like anything new – it will take time to integrate and make everything run smoothly.”
Prior to the Donington outing, Turkington and his WSR team-mates paid a visit to Spain for a number of pre-season tests, the warmer temperatures allowing the BMW drivers to familiarise themselves with a new Dunlop tyre compound for the coming season.
“We’ve had three good days of testing prior to this to re-acclimatise and the car feels as good as I remember it”, Turkington added.
“It helps get the sharpness back and got me familiar with the BMW again, plus we’re also trying to get on top of the 2017 Dunlop tyres. It was important to learn some lessons there. It’s going to take some more time to be fully up to speed, but the car feels familiar.”
The double BTCC champion was also left brimming by factory backing for his return to the outfit that spurred him towards his brace of Drivers’ Championship title victories, rekindling memories of his days prior to racing.
“The car looks absolutely stunning and it makes me really proud. Growing up watching BTCC; 21 years ago and more, I used to watch the likes of Jo Winklehock and Steve Soper racing in those colours, so it’s great to see it back.
“From the end of last season, there was an opportunity with the team because Sam [Tordoff] was moving on. We started to talk but, as you know, it takes time to put the deal and package together.”
Turkington ended the official Media Day test 13th, a spot behind team-mate Collard and 0.8s adrift of Tom Ingram‘s ultimate best.