‘THIS TITLE WAS MY TOUGH EST YET’
Three-time British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington says that this season’s triumph has been taken amid the most intense competition that the category has featured.
The Northern Irishman claimed the title in the second race at Brands Hatch last weekend despite being involved in a collision which pitched him into the gravel. He recovered to the track and finished 22nd and last, but with rival Tom Ingram unable to reach the podium in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis, that meant the WSR BMW man was crowned as the 2018 winner. Seventeen drivers won BTCC races in 2018.
Turkington will add the title to the two others he also collected for WSR in 2009 and in ’14. The 36-year-old said: “By a long way this has been the most intense championship I have been involved with. And as I have said many times, there is no magic, you have just got to keep working hard and fighting back.
“I have won one race all season and I have had 10 podiums but at no stage have I felt like I have had the fastest car. This team hasn’t had a pole since 2015 so we have got this through sheer hard graft. Trying to be clever. It was a good way to try and go about winning it.”
That fact was backed up by his engineer Kevin Berry, who has been alongside the Portadown driver for all three of his championship successes.
“To me it is probably the most satisfying, or at least the title that means the most, because it has been hard work to get here,” said Berry. “The strength of Colin is that he keeps on grafting away and he doesn’t give up. He goes after every single little point that there is. We haven’t been the fastest, but he leaves nothing on the table and the homework he does is incredible.”
Turkington said that he would take a step back from the BTCC after the effort to win this year’s crown, and thought that he might have to refresh his approach to return and battle for another crown.
“I need a big break now,” said Turkington. “It is an amazing feeling to win this. It is just a huge relief and I knew I needed to believe that I was going to win it. That is what I was preaching to myself in the build up to it. I believed in myself a bit more this year and we have done the job.
“But I know how much harder it is going to get to win the next one. It could be even tougher, and I need to stop and have a think about it and think about how you go about winning it again because it is harder and harder.”
Turkington’s success – along with 2018 results from Rob and Ricky Collard and Andrew Jordan, helped BMW to lift the manufacturers-constructors’ trophy and WSR also lifted the teams honours.
Ingram held on to his Independent Trophy, which he had won for the first time in 2017, while his Speedworks team claimed the Independent Teams accolade.