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WSR enjoys ‘fantastic day’ at Croft

WSR driver Colin Turkington enjoyed his strongest-ever weekend in the BTCC at Croft at the weekend, collecting two wins and a second to move into championship contention ahead of the summer break.

Speaking to TouringCars.Net, Turkington admitted that the weekend, which also saw the Northern Irishman claim pole position on Saturday, had been ‘perfect’.

“It was the perfect weekend for me: pole, two wins and a second,” said Turkington. “It couldn’t have really got any better really. Three wins would have been exceptional but I’m more than happy with the day’s work.”

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Turkington has now scored 17 points more than championship leader Matt Neal over the past two meetings, to close the gap to 40 points.

“The past two weekends have really kept me in contention,” added Turkington. “I knew there was a good opportunity to score some good points but to be honest I haven’t been thinking really about the championship at all, I’ve just been focusing on trying to improve the car and to keep picking up points. I’m still quite adrift of Matt Neal but we know the unpredictability of the BTCC and anything can happen in the season.”

Having taken two convincing wins in the opening two races of the day, it appeared unlikely that Turkington would challenge again race three after the heavens opened. With the rear-wheel drive BMWs considered to be at a disadvantage in the wet, Turkington put in an impressive drive to finish second, despite having started from eighth on the grid.

“At one stage, particularly early on in race three, I felt quite strong and I was keeping Matt Neal honest. But at two thirds distance I started to lose the edge a bit. I think with the 45 kg in the car I was just losing the tyre life a little. I was clinging on but not taking too much of a risk too – not trying to go too fast. At the end where I saw Matt making a mistake on the last lap it was a chance but I was just too far back at that stage.”

WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts added that he believes the team have now turned a corner in the car’s development and are in the ‘sweet spot’ in terms of finding the optimal set-up on race weekends. Bennetts also explains that recent test sessions at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Mallory Park have further assisted with the development of their first-ever NGTC car.

“We were looking at geometries [at Mallory] and we’ve changed the geometry we had from what we’d been running,” explained Bennetts to TouringCars.Net “Because we had no pre-season testing and then it was cold, dreadful, wet and zero-degrees in the opening races, we learnt nothing. We were doing testing at race meetings which isn’t the way to do it.

“We took Nick up to Donington [testing] but it was wet so we only learnt a bit. Nick was happy with what we did in the wet. Then we took Rob [Collard] and Colin to Brands and we learnt a little bit more which gave us confidence to test something new at Mallory. We went through two or three different options and we’ve come away with something we felt gave the car a better balance.

“Now the car’s in a sweet spot,” added Bennetts. “Early in the year we were making fairly big changes and the car wasn’t responding. Now we’re making little adjustments in that sweet spot area where it’s all about fine tuning.”

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