Colin Turkington believes that WSR are already ‘close to the maximum’ in extracting pace from the new BMW 3 Series, after he left Croft having increased his championship lead.
Turkington, always a strong performer at Croft, had to settle for second-best to team-mate Andrew Jordan over the weekend, with the Pirtek driver taking a double win whilst Turkington stood on the podium only once.
But despite that, the Northern Irishman was in positive spirits after claiming a fourth, second and sixth in the three races respectively.
“It’s been a brilliant weekend,” Turkington told TouringCars.Net. “You’re compromised coming in as championship leader, so the focus then becomes on scoring good points and that’s what I was able to do.
“P4, P2 and P6 is superb given how competitive the championship is – I’m really pleased. Obviously, it feels better to be winning, but it’s really important to score good points.”
Having carried the maximum 54 kg of success ballast into race one, Turkington shed some of that weight for race two, although he was initially bottled up behind the Honda of Chris Smiley before he got through into second.
By that stage, Jordan had opened up a comfortable advantage and Turkington was unable to challenge his team-mate for the win, although he did admit to trying to take the fight to Jordan.
“The pace was really good – that was the first time we’ve been able to take a bit of weight out of the car and it just came alive.
“I had my head down to see if I could pull the gap in, but at the same time I wasn’t taking too many risks, so I was reducing the gap without making myself too vulnerable.
“I could see that I wasn’t able to catch him quick enough, but I kept trying because you never know what happens towards the end.”
After a strong start to his title defence, Turkington admits that the team have probably already got the car in its prime operating window, as he described it as an evolution of the previous BMW 125i M Sport.
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts has previously been keen to point out that whilst the car is new, the engine is exactly the same as the one used in last year’s title winning 125i.
“We’ve obviously got on top of it very quickly. In all honesty we’ve extracted really good pace from the car quickly and I think we’ve probably found close to our maximum.
“This car is an evolution of the 1 Series, so we were quite confident starting off with a good car. I think we’re right at our maximum already.”