Turkington’s turning point
The fourth and final former champion in the hunt for the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship going into the final round was Colin Turkington. The eBay Motors driver was crowned overall champion back in 2009, and having not raced in the series since saw this season as his first opportunity to retain his title.
Despite having a brand new and untested car for the 2013 campaign, Turkington had a fantastic mid-season run of form that left him in with a shot of the title going into the final event at Brands Hatch. Before the racing got underway, we asked Colin what his biggest ‘missed opportunity’ of the year had been…
Worst moment: “Silverstone race three”
Turkington’s return to the BTCC has been marked with high points and heartbreak. From his first victory at Donington Park where a reversed-grid draw and soft tyre combination make the Ulsterman unbeatable, to two sensational wins at Croft and two wins potentially lost at Snetterton, Turkington’s season has been fascinating to follow.
Turkington’s five wins prior to the Silverstone meeting made sure he was in the hunt going into the closing stages of the championship. Both Croft and Knockhill, circuits – where historically RWD cars do very well – saw Turkington take double wins, and after Knockhill he said, “The car was really on rails today and it was a strong weekend. It was good to win at Croft and we thought that was something like peak performance but it felt even better today. There’s no feeling like being out at the front! When your car works well at a track you have to capitalise, which we did.”
It was perhaps the first time Turkington allowed thoughts of the championship to creep in, as he concluded, “It’s hard to know how the circuits to come will suit us as it’s the first time we’ll be taking the new BMW to them all, but we’ll keep pushing.”
Silverstone looked set to be a consistent event for the 2009 champion, however in the final race of the day things went dramatically wrong.
On course for his third solid top six finish of the day in the final Silverstone race, Turkington found himself side-by-side with Airwaves Racing’s Mat Jackson going into Copse Corner. The contact that followed as Jackson tried to edge his way up the inside broke the rear suspension on the #29 car of Turkington, sending him spinning out of the race and dropping him from 3rd to 4th in the standings.
His points deficit increased from 38 after race two to 48 points after race three, and although he was still in with a slim chance of catching eventual champion Andrew Jordan in the final three races, it ultimately proved too big a hill to climb in Turkington’s first season back in the BTCC.