Colin Turkington ‘pleasantly surprised’ by BMW wet weather performance

Colin Turkington says he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the performance of his BMW 125i M Sport in torrentially wet conditions at Donington Park after previous troubles.

The two-time champion finished second on the road but was later promoted to claim the reverse grid race victory after Gordon Shedden was excluded post-race for failing a ride height scruitineering check.

BMW and West Surrey Racing had anticipated prior to the weekend that Donington would prove to be among the weaker circuits for their package.

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Turkington backed up his victory with a further two-top five finishes to recover to second in the points behind Tom Ingram after a mixed opening round at Brands Hatch.

It also put to bed a difficult qualifying performance after a water leak left him unable to improve on 10th.

“It’s been a really good day for me with three top-fives. We haven’t had the fastest car this weekend but we’ve had a good car in all conditions,” said Turkington to TouringCars.Net.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with the pace of BMW in that third race in really tricky conditions. I’m happy to end another day with a podium and we’ll go home satisfied that we’ve got a good haul of points from this weekend.

“At one stage of the weekend it was looking pretty difficult, especially qualifying, so it’s nice to persevere and get the rewards.”

Turkington admitted previous struggles in the rain at the 1.9 mile circuit curbed his optimism ahead of the race, but paid tribute to the Team BMW package after it held up superbly in the difficut conditions.

He also now believes the 1-series can be competitive at every circuit on the calendar, rather than a select few strongholds, such as Croft.

“I was pleasantly surprised how fast we were. It’s been tough here in the past, in the wet with rear-wheel drive but the BMW package is strong this year in every department.

“That’s two events we’ve had, Brands and Donington, two very different circuits and we’ve seen every condition now and we’ve been there or thereabouts. We’ve every reason to be confident.”

“It’s always good to score consistently, but that’s gotten harder this year because of the level of competition and how close things are.

“It very much depends on what ballast you come into these races with and if things just swing your way. It’s just a matter of trying to gather what points you can – I don’t see any reason why we can’t be strong at the rest of the tracks.”

Turkington did also question the decision of race officials to start the third race amid torrential rain, citing standing water as the main hazard, but clarified the second restart saw much improved grip.

“It was the trickiest conditions I’ve ever been in, on the green flag laps – you touch the brake or touch the throttle and the car just didn’t want to know about it, it was so reactive and there was just so much standing water, the tyre wasn’t getting any purchase with the road.

“On the first start I knew we just had to keep it on the road, it felt like I was driving the slowest lap of my life but so was everybody else. You just have to survive. The second start was fine, there was quite a bit of water cleared.”

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