TEAM BMW READY TO BRING THE HEAT
Team BMW drivers Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant made a great start to the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign, as the squad tops the Teams’ Standings heading into the second event of the season.
After the longest off season on record, the pair of BMW 330i M Sports kicked off the year with numerous accolades during the opening event, including a pole position, race two win and podium finish.
Here’s what the pair had to say ahead of this weekend’s event two action…
“Donington was a really good weekend,” said Oliphant. “To qualify inside the top five, score a podium, have three top-ten finishes and come away with 32 points is a big success – it’s the level of consistency I’m striving for all season.
“To qualify inside the top five really set up my Sunday and from there we were in the mix. I had some good battles in race one and it was a confidence boost to secure sixth. Then, to go on to grab a podium in race two and limit the damage in race three is the cherry on top.
“Credit has to go to everyone at West Surrey Racing and BMW because they didn’t miss a beat all weekend. The car has been amazing to drive and I’m feeling really confident moving forward in the coming weeks.
“Obviously it was great to get back racing but it was odd not doing so in front of the thousands of fantastic BTCC fans – hopefully we can welcome them trackside soon. We’ve got a quick turnaround, so the focus immediately switched to Brands Hatch.”
“Nothing surprises me in BTCC!” said Turkington. “Donington Park proved that it’s going to be a super-competitive season and the usual big players are all going to be a big threat. In the BTCC you can take nothing for granted and you have to work as hard for 20th position as you do for second.
“You have to just get on with on ballast and approach your weekend with the same pursuit of performance and lap time. It won’t be easy, but we’re well used to adjusting our expectations for qualifying and race 1 when arriving heavy. It’s not so bad if you can get some clear track space and clean air, and in the end, it’s all about scoring points at this stage.
“We’re not used to such tight turnarounds in the series, but like most things, with a bit of extra planning and the desire to make it happen, anything is possible. For me it has been busy, completing my reports and understanding everything from Donington Park before commencing the Brands preparation, but I’m being careful to fully recover as well. We will carry out our shakedown around the Indy circuit on Friday evening so that will give the team back some time.
“The heat will make things more laboured for everyone, and it’s important to ensure we are prepared to stay cool and hydrated. For the cars, the temperatures can have a significant impact on tyre wear. The rear wheel drive cars love the heat and hot temperatures and normally we can manage our tyres better than the front wheel drive cars. This will become a factor on race day.”