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Colin Turkington: ‘It’s been a while!’

Colin Turkington took his first win in the BTCC in more than three years in the third race at Donington Park, admitting that he was pleased to be able to reward his team’s efforts over the winter.

Using the rear-wheel drive advantage offered by his BMW 125i, Turkington immediately got the jump on poleman Tom Onslow-Cole to lead into the first corner in race three. Thereafter the 2009 champion was untroubled as he took his first win in the UK since Snetterton 2009.

“It’s been a while,” said Turkington to TouringCars.Net after the race. “It’s great to be on the top step and in the second meeting it’s a real good reward and a lift for the whole team. There’s been a huge amount of work over the past six months and it’s nice for everybody to feel that they’ve been rewarded for the hard work.”

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With Turkington’s lead at one point almost six seconds, the eBay Motors driver was never really troubled for the win and admitted that he wasn’t consciously pushing to open up the gap.

“I was just in a good groove and sometimes it’s harder to slow down when you’re going well and you’re feeling the car,” explained Turkington. “It’s just easy to keep doing the same lap times. I did ease it off when the rain shower got a bit heavier but I was just doing my own thing and concentrating hard.

“For us it’s all about small progress each time we’re out and we’re learning about the car. I think in normal conditions we aren’t the quickest car – we’re normally about P8 or P9, but it’s always different when you go into a race. It’s not about who’s the faster over one lap it’s about who’s the fastest over sixteen.”

WSR team Principal Dick Bennetts added that despite the win the team are still having to treat each session as an extended test session due to limited pre-season running. Cold weather in the run-up and first meeting of the season hindered the WSR squad, with this weekend’s milder weather offering an opportunity to collect more meaningful data for the season ahead.

“We weren’t expecting that,” admitted Bennetts. “We’re doing our testing on race weekends because of the lateness of the car and the zero degrees that we had when we did get to test it which made it pretty hard to learn anything.

“We’re very pleased for eBay and for the BMW 125i. We had a lot of bad luck at Brands but now we’re getting some good data to start understanding the NGTC concept, right from tyre pressures through to set-ups for the cars. It hasn’t been easy – you always aim for a podium but to get a win is absolutely fantastic. There’s been a lot of hours put in.”

Bennetts also added that he had not been in contact with Turkington during the race, instead preferring to allow the Ulsterman to do his own thing.

“Colin had opened up a 5.9 second lead which was fantastic – whether he was pushing too hard on the soft tyre I don’t know, but we don’t talk to him on the radio!”

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