Championship leader Colin Turkington says he is “very satisfied” with his qualifying position of 17th for race one of the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
Carrying the maximum ballast of 75kg into the session, Turkington qualified 17th, six tenths adrift of polesitter Brett Smith.
Crucially, Turkington outqualified championship rival Tom Ingram, who could only manage 19th as he struggled to wrestle his Toyota Avensis around the 2.4-mile GP circuit.
The double BTCC champion told TouringCars.Net that given he was carrying the weight, he was felt he had a “strong balance” in his WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport.
“I’m very satisfied with how qualifying went, the car felt good, we had a strong balance,” said Turkington.
“I put two really good laps in – pretty much identical times. When you’re leading the championship, your expectations of where you’re going to qualify need to shift.
“That’s where we are pace-wise, as we said with how the car is. I’m pleased with the job we’ve done and I’m not far away from the other two BMWs so we have done a good job today.”
With the championship win as his sole aim tomorrow, Turkington says he will be focused on going forward in the races, as opposed to trying to keep Ingram behind him.
“It’s never simple,” he said. “I’m focused on going forward and trying to score points tomorrow in the races.
“I’m not thinking about keeping somebody behind or conservation or anything like that – I just want to score more points.
“I want to move forward and enjoy the racing like I always do. I’ll sleep well tonight knowing we’ve had a good start and done a good job.”
Turkington is no stranger to BTCC finale days – winning his titles in 2009 and 2014 on the GP circuit – before narrowly missing out in race three last season.
With that in mind, he says he is eager to “enjoy” the triple-header of races tomorrow [30 September], as well as wrapping up the title.
“I’m here to enjoy it. I’ve been here before, and it’s not the easiest position to be in,” Turkington said.
“There’s pressure and expectation, but you work hard all year to be here to experience this.
“So I want to wrap it up and enjoy the moment – that’s what we want to do. We’ll just try to go about it in the right way tomorrow and get the job done.”