Motor Sport News - - News - Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey By Matt James

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.

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