Colin Turkington secured his third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in late September at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit in Kent.
The Northern Irishman had a fantastic season, completing 28 of the 30 races, finishing in the points paying positions in 24 of those. That meant he finished in the points 85.7% of the time in the races he finished. Turkington only won one race in the entirety of 2018 – that came in race two at Oulton Park. However, he did finish also finish on the podium ten times (including the race win). With these, Turkington also managed four fastest laps adding an extra four points to his overall Championship tally along with three points for leading a lap, adding a further three points to his Championship tally.
All these mean that Turkington finished the Championship on 304 points, helping his BMW team win the Manufactures Championship as well as the Teams Championship.
Speaking on winning the Championship, Turkington commented, “With BMW’s support coming on-board last year, it’s so special to win it for them. It’s an amazing achievement and for West Surrey Racing too – they never give up. We’re always the last in the pits on Saturday evening – we just work, work, work. That’s the secret. We never had the fastest car this year; we just kept at it, scoring points. I’m so pleased for my family. We knew coming into the season that you’ve just got to score points. I’ve had one win, but ten podiums and they are as good as wins in this championship.”
Rather ironically, in a season in which Turkington won the Championship due to his fantastic consistency, he wrapped up the Championship in a race where he finished outside of the points in 22nd.
With Championship rival Tom Ingram making rapid progress up the order in the second race of the day, Turkington realised he had to get a move on if he wanted to wrap up the title. He went for a move up the inside of Dan Lloyd going into Paddock Hill Bend but tagged the rear right corner of the BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic and went through the gravel dropping down to 22nd place. However, with West Surrey Racing teammate Andrew Jordan holding off Tom Ingram to keep third, that was enough for Turkington to wrap up the 2018 Championship.
It was a very uncharacteristic thing for Turkington to do, seeing how the rest of the season had gone for him which shows what a great drive it was by Tom Ingram in the second race to try and take the title fight to the very last race of the season.
I’d like to congratulate Colin Turkington on a fantastic campaign in a difficult year for the Northern Irishman due to a family loss.
By Jordan Hollands