Belfast Telegraph

Turkington sets sights on another British title battle

By Sammy Hamill

Colin Turkington is sticking with the tried and trusted as he targets the 2014 British Touring Car Championship.

The former champion from Portadown is to stay with West Surrey Racing and will again drive an eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport in the premier British series which starts at Brands Hatch on March 29.

Turkington was absent from the championship for three years following his success in 2009 but returned last year with WSR to mount a strong challenge before eventually finishing fifth with five victories.

He will be one of seven champions on the grid this season but admits he did consider other possibilities outside the BTCC.

"I did look at my options at the end of last year – Ford in the World series for instance – but I knew what the right thing was for me. The BTCC is on the up," he explained.

Turkington's decision to stay with WSR is based on his belief that, following a year of development, the new generation BMW will be a strong contender.

"I have a long relationship with WSR and we've experienced some great successes together in both the BTCC and WTCC," he said.

"Last season was a transitional period with the new car and returning to the BTCC, but hopefully it's made me a better driver.

"There were only a few occasions last year when we were able to show the full potential of the car. For 2014 we need a better level of consistency and be good everywhere, no bogey tracks.

"I'm confident the team has moved the car on and all the ingredients are there for a successful season.

"We've set our sights on winning the championship again. We're not going there thinking it'd be nice to finish in the top three, we want to win."

But the opposition will be tougher than ever this year with top Europeans Fabrizio Giovanardi and Alain Menu returning to join homegrown champions Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal, Gordon Sheddon, Jason Plato and Turkington on the grid.

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