Turk­ing­ton stays at BMW

BTCC

Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK -

Reign­ing cham­pion Colin Turk­ing­ton will be back in the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship in 2019, and for the first time the three-time ti­tle win­ner will carry the #1 on a WSR BMW 125i M Sport.

The 36-year-old North­ern Ir­ish­man took his maiden crown with WSR in 2009 be­fore leav­ing the BTCC to pur­sue other drives. He won the cham­pi­onship again with WSR in ’14, but then car­ried the #1 to Team BMR to drive a Volk­swa­gen in ’15.

Turk­ing­ton took just one vic­tory in the 2018 cam­paign but pre­vailed over ri­val Tom In­gram by 12 points in the fi­nal reck­on­ing. “I think we just have to look for the small gains wher­ever we can to push our­selves for­ward,” said Turk­ing­ton. “We will go through ev­ery­thing with a fine-toothed comb, and that in­cludes the driver, to try and ex­tract ev­ery bit of per­for­mance.”

If Turk­ing­ton is cham­pion this sea­son, he will equal Andy Rouse’s all-time record of four BTCC crowns. “Win­ning the third ti­tle was great, but you start ev­ery year with the ob­jec­tive to win,” said Turk­ing­ton. “The fire burns strong within me. Also, what is spe­cial is that we have all three ti­tles to try and re­tain, with the driv­ers’, man­u­fac­turer-con­struc­tors’ crown and the teams’ ti­tle.”

Turk­ing­ton and Tom Oliphant will drive the Team Bmw-en­tered cars, and they will be joined at WSR by Andrew Jor­dan in a Pirtek-sup­ported ver­sion (below). The

2013 cham­pion re­mains with the squad for a third sea­son, and thinks he can build on his work from the ’18 cam­paign to match Turk­ing­ton. “I am re­laxed in the team and I work well with Colin,” said Jor­dan. “I’ve learned that you can’t be fastest all the time – even though it hurts be­cause I want to be – but you have to take what you can from it and use that as an ed­u­ca­tion.

“I’m really ex­cited about the 2019 sea­son. I think I’ve got my en­joy­ment of the sport back. I had some tough times in 2015, ’16 and ’17, but last year I got the spark again. I re­alised how much I love the job that I do.”

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