Belfast Telegraph

Turkington out to bounce back and give his title bid a real boost

 

By Sammy Hamill

Oulton Park and the north Yorkshire Croft circuit are among Colin Turkington's favourites on the British Touring Car schedule. They are also where he has been most successful.

But the visit to Oulton Park three weeks ago did not go well, Turkington's West Surrey Racing BMW being dogged by a persistent engine problem and he was fortunate to salvage fifth place from the trio of races.

This weekend it is Croft and, assured the mystery malady has been sorted, the Portadown driver will be confident of adding to his impressive record as he bids to move up from fourth place in the Championship standings.

"We've been able to test the car and put to bed the gremlins of the last round. It was tough knowing the potential of the car was there, but we were unable to do anything with it," he said.

Since his first visit to Croft in 2002, Turkington has racked up 11 victories - nine of them coming with his current WSR team.

"Croft has some good memories for me, like my first podium in the BTCC and double wins in each of my title-winning seasons, and the BMW has traditionally been so good around here that I always enjoy coming back," said the 2009 and 2015 champion.

"Oulton Park didn't go to plan, so it's doubly important to score big points at Croft before we start going to the circuits that aren't usually so good for us. Fourth is a strong place to be in the points and if we can score well, we're likely to be higher up."

Turkington is 26 points behind the leader, Honda's Gordon Sheddon, as the BTCC season passes the halfway mark.

He is joined on the grid again by Carrickfergus driver Chris Smiley in the Ulster-owned Norlin Chevrolet team.

In action, too, will be Daniel Harper, who is second in the UK Ginetta Junior series. The Dromore High School student, though, first has a GCSE exam.

Meanwhile, the all-electric FIA Formula E series moves to Berlin with Adam Carroll hoping for a step up from the Jaguar team.

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