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Turkington is hoping to turn up the power at Thruxton

By Sammy Hamill

Published 06/05/2016

Harper’s haul: Dromore High School’s Daniel Harper and his impressive trophy collection from his recent outing at Rockington
Harper’s haul: Dromore High School’s Daniel Harper and his impressive trophy collection from his recent outing at Rockington

Thruxton is one of the flattest race tracks in Britain but it promises to present an uphill struggle for Ulsterman Colin Turkington this weekend.

The Hampshire circuit is rated the fastest in Britain, a track where power is king. And for two-time British Touring Car champion Turkington and his BMR team, that is a potential problem. Their new Subaru Levorgs are among the slowest in a straight line.

The decision by team owner Warren Scott to switch from Volkswagens to Subarus came so late in the day they only just managed to have four cars ready for the first round at Brands Hatch last month.

The Levorgs made an encouraging start but their lack of power, and therefore outright pace, was exposed in round two at Donington, leaving Turkington and his record race-winning partner Jason Plato with just one top-10 finish and 13 points between them after six races.

Leader Matt Neal is on 78, five more than his Honda team-mate and reigning champion Gordon Sheddon.

Extensive work is ongoing to boost the power output from the flat-four Subaru engines but it will take time and Plato admits they are likely to struggle this weekend. "It is going to be tough - that is obvious," he said candidly. "Thruxton is predominantly a power circuit and that will hurt us but we will just concentrate on our own programme."

Turkington remains upbeat, pointing to a top-10 finish at Donington and insisting they are making steady progress. He said: "We're still on a big learning curve but there are positives to take from the races so far."

The Thruxton programme also includes the UK Ginetta Junior championship with 15-year-old Daniel Harper hoping for another starring role. The Dromore High School student had a weekend to remember at Rockington, finishing third, second and then first in the three rounds.

With a total of just five races under his belt, Harper, who was selected to drive in the series as winner of the Ginetta scholarship, is third overall and leading the rookie category.

Meanwhile, the Irish supercars headline a two-day race meeting at the Bishopscourt circuit. The packed Car Culture programme also includes Strykers, touring cars, Global GT Lights, Formula Vee and the Seat Leon Supercup. The public can also get involved by taking part in a car care contest with prizes for the best presented road cars.

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