Reigning champion Colin Turkington says he now feels “more of a connection” with the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series after securing consecutive victories and a top ten in the trio of British Touring Car Championship races at Donington Park.
The Northern Irishman qualified on pole by some sixth tenths in mixed conditions on Saturday [27 April], before doubling up in the opening two races with commanding victories.
After a difficult Brands Hatch, Turkington has bounced back in the standings and now sits third, and believes that his pole was the key to setting up an “excellent” weekend.
“Excellent day. The car has obviously been fast all weekend and it was important to score well still in race three,” said Turkington.
“It’s no good just getting two good results so it’s nice to close out the day with strong points. But my weekend was set up in qualifying.
“Starting at the front, that was really all the hard work done. I think in race two with the weight, the safety cars definitely made it easier for me to manage because I didn’t have to be flat chat for the whole 16 laps.
“I’m really pleased, especially for all the hard work that’s gone in that we’re getting results.”
The three-time BTCC champion was also pleased to have been able to win on maximum ballast in race two, and believes he now has a better “connection” with the 330i M Sport after completing multiple race distances in dry conditions.
“It was nice to win with weight in the car – granted it’s 54 and not 75 kilos – you’ve definitely got to work a lot harder with weight in the car, the whole thing is a lot more cumbersome,” he explained.
“So I definitely had to work harder for that one. We’re learning all the time, especially race three on the hards, [there were] important lessons there.
“Just for me being more familiar with the 3 Series, a bit more of a connection with it. That’s what we lacked going to Brands with no seat time you have no connection with the car and it all feels a bit strange.”
Turkington also pinpointed the Thruxton test as a key turning point to his pace this weekend, and thus heads to the Hampshire circuit with confidence, particularly given he has enjoyed success there in recent seasons.
“For me, just because it was a test it was more time,” Turkington said.
“Had we gone to another circuit and tested I think I still would have learnt the same lessons but it’s nice to have had the car around Thruxton, so I think we’re in a good place.”
“As you say, we had two good podiums there last year, so I think we go there with confidence. But the thing is everybody is fast, you can’t just go and expect to be at the front.
“We’ll have to work hard there but we go there confident.”
The next round of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Thruxton on the 18-19 May.