Belfast Telegraph

Turkington on track for World Touring Car series success

By Sammy Hamill

Having been forced to sit out the first half of the year through lack of funding, British touring car champion Colin Turkington returns to the track this weekend.

With his BTCC title gone, Turkington turns his attention to the World Touring Car series, making his 2010 debut at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.

It will be the first of three races pencilled in for him by his 2009 championship-winning West Surrey Racing BMW team after securing backing from the eBay Motors online auction site. He will also race at Brands Hatch and at Brno in the Czech Republic.

But now WSR boss Dick Bennetts has revealed he is aiming to expand Turkington’s programme to include the end-of-season events in Japan and Macau.

Bennetts believes that a few good results will enable WSR, which ran Turkington to the British touring car crown last year, to find the backing to compete at Okayama and Macau.

“We will be contesting the next three rounds and then hopefully be in a position to compete in Japan and Macau at the end of the year,” said Bennetts.

Turkington, who has not raced since October’s BTCC finale at Brands Hatch, does not intend joining the WTCC just to make up the numbers.

“Like always I'm hoping to do well although, obviously, it's difficult to know what to expect,” he said.

“It's my first race of the season but I know the car inside out and although I've only been for a single test day at Portimao I have a good idea of the track and its layout so we should be fine.”

Qualifying is tomorrow with two races on Sunday.

Locally, the Burkes of Cornascriebe Loughgall Historic Rally Car Challenge takes place tomorrow at Loughgall Country Park with Keith McIvor the No.1 seed in his Porsche 911.

The event also includes an autotest and a static historic car display.

On Sunday it is the Thornton Roofing Lough Neagh Stages at Moneyglass where George Robinson in his Impreza WRC heads a 60 strong entry list.

Belfast Telegraph

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