Turkington relishing new Oulton test with BMR team
Oulton Park has been one of the happiest hunting grounds for Colin Turkington. He has won six times at the Cheshire circuit, including two start-to-finish victories last year on his way to a second British Touring Car Championship title.
But those wins were with rear-wheel-drive BMWs and now Turkington faces the Oulton challenge in a front-wheel-drive Volkswagen CC having been forced to end his partnership with West Surrey Racing and make a move to the BMR team.
But the Portadown man has made the switch work and sits second in the BTCC standings, one of only two drivers to score points in all 12 races so far. Eight points behind the leader, Honda's Gordon Sheddon, Turkington heads into the weekend cautiously optimistic.
"Whenever you have a new team/car package it takes a while to get used to and I am still at that stage, but we are doing well and I'm looking forward to finding another level," he said.
"I'm always aiming for the podium. Some tracks suit the car better than others so my first visit to Oulton Park in the Volkswagen is a slight step into the unknown but we are confident.
"This is a track that has favoured me in the past so I have every reason to be optimistic."
In contrast to the quick sprint races of the BTCC, the Le Mans 24-hour marathon offers a totally different challenge for Jonny Kane. He's back at the Le Sarthe circuit with Strakka team-mates Danny Watts and Nick Leventis having missed last year's race after a troubled development year with their new LMP2 Dome.
In 2010 they won the LMP2 class, finishing a record fifth overall, and in 2013 took the LMP1 privateers category in sixth. Now back in LMP2 with the Japanese Dome-Nissan, Kane will aim for the podium again.
Meanwhile, Craig Breen set the fastest qualifying time for the Azores Rally and has elected to run in 15th place to avoid the worst of the loose gravel. European championship leader Breen, in his Peugeot 208 T16, edged out the Ford Fiesta of Kajetan Kajetanowicz, who picked number 14.
Sam Moffet will start third with brother Josh eighth in their Fiestas. Jon Armstrong was 21st in his R2 Peugeot.