Colin Turkington admits he was ‘surprised’ to take second on the grid for Sunday’s first British Touring Car Championship race at Snetterton, with the BMW driver doing so with 57 kg of ballast on board.
Turkington put his BMW 1-Series on the front row of the grid for race one, just less than half a second slower than pole-sitter Jack Goff.
The Northern Irishman was surprised to have had the pace he did, given that he was just 12th quickest in the second practice session of the day.
Turkington is also aware that his prime grid position gives him a good opportunity to take the championship lead on Sunday, after points leader Gordon Shedden could only manage 21st on the grid with his ballast-laden Honda.
“It’s a good step forward from where we’ve been in practice, so I suppose I’m a bit surprised with the speed we had there and with second,” said Turkington to TouringCars.Net. “It gives me a really good shot for tomorrow.
“We’re in good shape given where the direct competition is at. I’ve given myself the best chance for tomorrow.”
The four-time Snetterton race winner has stood on the top step of the podium in Norfolk in each of the past two seasons, and doesn’t see any reason why he can’t add to that tally in the races, even though the BMW has historically not been the form car at the circuit.
“I was able to test with the weight in the car and balance the car, so it’s the same for everybody,” continued Turkington. “We’ve just got to try not to think about it too much.
“It’s been really good for me here in the past three years; I was fast here in 2014 with the BMW, where I had a couple of second positions and certainly last year in the rear-wheel drive [Subaru] I was able to win a race, so I don’t see any reason why we’ll not be challenging tomorrow.”
Turkington added that he was unsurprised with Goff’s pace, given his speed in testing and the lack of additional weight in his Honda.
“He [Goff] is very, very fast but we know that they’ve got a quick car as they were quick on the test. You can’t be surprised by anything now in terms of pace, when somebody turns up and does a good job.”
Race one takes place at 11:37 BST on Sunday.