World Touring Cars: 'Wild card' Turkington claims a podium finish
Colin Turkington has taken the step up to world level in his stride.
The Ulsterman even enjoyed a podium finish on his debut as the World Touring Car Championship came to Brands Hatch.
Turkington, a four-time winner in the British championship this season, was granted a 'wild card' entry into yesterday's two WTCC rounds at the Kent circuit and he made the most of his opportunity by taking third place in the first race and fourth in the second.
The 24-year-old from Portadown, looked totally at home at the highest level of touring car racing, qualifying his Team RAC BMW E90 on the second row of the grid for the first race.
With reverse grid rules in operation for the second race, Turkington started from seventh but shot off the grid to slot into fifth and as World champion Andy Priaulx took the lead in a similar E90 BMW.
Colin even set the fastest lap of the race as he crossed the line just over a second behind winner Priaulx and Felix Porteiro, both in BMWs, and just inches behind the Chevrolet Lacetti of Robert Huff.
"It's been a fabulous weekend," said Turkington.
"The second race was especially pleasing as I made a good start and the car continued to show the speed we've had all weekend.
"Posting the quickest lap of the race was a nice bonus.
"Overall it was a perfect opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of the WTCC set-up and drivers, and to claim a podium and fourth place finish was more than I could have hoped for."
Channel Islander Priaulx's victory took him back to the top of the WTCC standings as pre-Brands Hatch leader, Brazilian Augusto Farfus, endured a pointless weekend.
Turkington now turns his attention back to the British championship for the final rounds next month before heading to the Far East for a second taste of the WTCC on the Macau street circuit.
Turkington's fellow Portadown driver Tim Mullen third place finish in GT2 in the World sportscar championship round at Brno in the Czech Republic.
He and Ecosse Scuderia team-mate Darren Turner actually finished the race in fourth place but moved up to third when the Ruberti/Mediani Ferrari was excluded for a technical infringement.
But it was only justice after Mullen's Ferrari had been knocked into a spin soon after the start and he had to fight his way back to the front.