Colin Turkington wrapped up his official British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) pre-season test activities at Thruxton yesterday with strong performances in both sessions.
During the morning running, the Portadown driver punched in the fourth fastest time around the 2.3-mile Hampshire venue at the wheel of his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport car.
The four-time champion opted to use the three hours available to BTCC drivers after the lunch stop to go on a race run, during which he managed to string together consecutive one minute 16 second laps.
Across Wednesday, the 26 cars amassed over 1,250 laps – the equivalent to 3,000 miles at of the UK’s quickest circuits. Fastest of all, however, was reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton.
His 1:15.607s benchmark was over half-a-second under the current lap record, although the NAPA Racing UK driver left it late as only 10 minutes of the final session remained when he vaulted to the top.
“It was a good day, running through a test plan and making progress,” said Sutton. “We were picking away at it, working at the set-up changes.
“Then we thought we would put a new tyre on at the end – just to get an idea of what the balance was like with the Focus on a bit of a hot lap.
“The hybrid system has been pretty faultless for us, and the hybrid ‘push-to-pass’ seems to be doing the job.
“It’s ticking all the boxes for us, and obviously we’ve had a solid day,” he added.
Turkington is unlikely to read too much into how the timesheets finished at Thruxton given that he set the pace at the first and second pre-season test events at Donington Park and Croft Circuit over the last fortnight.