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Colin Turkington believes he can maintain points lead at Rockingham

BMW’s Colin Turkington says he can leave Rockingham still in the lead of the British Touring Car Championship standings, despite initially having to haul maximum ballast around the Northamptonshire circuit.

Having now claimed five podiums in a row since the start of the second half of the season – including four thirds on the bounce – Turkington has risen to the head of the BTCC championship standings.

Although that means the Northern Irishman will have to carry the maximum 75 kg of success ballast in qualifying and race one, he does not feel it will preclude him from remaining at the head of the standings at the end of Sunday.

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Indeed Turkington has had to carry ballast for being in the top four of the championship going into each race meeting since the sixth race of the season, meaning that he has not started a race weekend with less than 48 kg on board since April.

In Turkington’s last title winning year in 2014 he led the championship at the same stage of the season, before going on to lift the title. The 35-year-old therefore knows that he is able to maintain a points lead at this stage of the year.

“Knockhill was a very challenging weekend with the weather and with just how close the competition was,” said Turkington. “It was very good to score three podiums to climb to the top of the championship.

“Of course, that means I come to Rockingham with the heaviest car ballast-wise, and this presents its own challenges.

“But the BMW is one of the best-handling cars in the BTCC and this should give me a very good chance of scoring big points and maintaining the championship lead.”

WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts acknowledged that the Corby circuit has not always been a strong one for the team, which took its first win at the venue in 2014 when Turkington won two out of the day’s three races.

“We’re leading all three championships, which is a credit to the hard work from everybody at WSR and our engine tuner NBE [Neil Brown Engineering] this year,” added Bennetts.

“Historically we’ve had mixed results at Rockingham, but we’ve won there three times in the last three years, so there’s a clear trend that we’re getting towards the BMW’s sweet spot at what’s a very tough circuit to judge the set-up for.

“The plan is to have Colin and Rob in the hunt for more victories this weekend and to stay on top for the trip to Silverstone.”

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