Colin Turkington first raced in the BTCC in 2002 after winning the Ford Credit Fiesta Zetec Championship. For his initial three seasons, the Northern Irishman competed for West Surrey Racing in an MG ZS, with factory backing arriving in 2003-04. A single campaign with VX Racing followed in 2005, before Turkington returned to WSR to drive the RAC-liveried MG and BMW 320si machines between 2006 and 2009.
Turkington’s potential was realised in 2009, as he piloted his BMW to six victories and the overall Drivers’ crown, withstanding late-season charges from former champions Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato.
His success made Turkington the only Ulsterman ever to win the BTCC, but he did not come back to defend his laurels the following season. From 2010-12, he contested a number of World Touring Car and Scandinavian Touring Car events before making a highly-anticipated return to home turf in 2013. Behind the wheel of a brand new BMW 1 Series – again run by WSR – Turkington quickly re-established himself as a main championship contender and went on to claim his second title with the team in 2014.
The following year, he joined the fledgling and ambitious Team BMR, and after getting to grips with the front-wheel drive Volkswagen CC, he notched four victories en route to fourth in the final standings and a second consecutive Independents’ Trophy – the fifth of his career.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing had a Jekyll and Hyde 2016. The team endured a tough start to the season as it got a handle on its quartet of newly-built Subaru Levorg GTs for the Japanese brand’s maiden BTCC campaign. Come Oulton Park, though, they found their form. Turkington took a race one win – the first of five (Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton and a Brands Hatch finale double) – which put him in overall championship contention heading into the last weekend of the season, ultimately placing fourth.
Turkington returned to West Surrey Racing for 2017 in the Team BMW 125i M Sport, and it quickly became apparent that the combination would be one to watch. He went on to secure four victories but despite a valiant effort heading into the final weekend, he couldn’t unseat Ashley Sutton from the top of the standings, concluding the season as runner-up and helping the outfit to the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles.
The Northern Irishman did go one better, however, in an ultra-competitive 2018 campaign. His only victory of the season came at Oulton Park, but with the wins shared between a record 17 different drivers, consistency proved to be king and Turkington came out on top to seal his third Drivers’ title – all achieved in West Surrey Racing-run BMW machinery.
For 2019, WSR and BMW entered a trio of new 330i M Sport saloons and Turkington returned looking to seal a record-equalling fourth Drivers’ crown. He did just that, taking five victories throughout the season as well as more fastest laps and pole positions than any of his rivals. He finished just two points ahead of BMW stablemate Andrew Jordan and Honda’s Dan Cammish after a tense title-decider at Brands Hatch GP.
Turkington enters the 2020 campaign as the joint-most successful driver in BTCC history.
Date of Birth: 21st March, 1982
Place of Birth: Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Lives in: Thornton, Milton Keynes
Team: Team BMW
Car: BMW 330i M Sport
BTCC Debut: Oulton Park, 2002BTCC Races: 425
2019 BTCC Drivers’ Champion
2018 BTCC Drivers’ Champion
2015 BTCC Independent Drivers’ Champion
2014 BTCC Drivers’ Champion
2014 BTCC Independent Drivers’ Champion
2009 BTCC Drivers’ Champion
2008 BTCC Independent Drivers’ Champion
2007 BTCC Independent Drivers’ Champion
2001 Ford Credit Fiestas Championship
1998 Northern Irish Metros Championship