Reigning champion Colin Turkington believes being “clever” with tyre strategy was crucial to what he described as an “ideal” British Touring Car Championship weekend at Snetterton.
The standings leader extended his advantage over WSR stablemate Jordan at the Norfolk circuit, qualifying fifth despite carrying maxium ballast and progressing to fourth in race one as a result of Tom Chilton’s puncture.
Turkington then opted for the favoured soft compound rubber in the second contest, immediately charging to fourth at the start before pressurising race one winner Tom Ingram.
When Ingram then suffered a wastegate issue at the midway point, Turkington slipped through for a lead he did not relinquish, seizing a tenth victory for WSR already this season – a record-breaking feat.
He told TouringCars.Net he was not expecting to secure a race victory, but felt he “maximised the weekend” across qualifying and all three races to extend his championship lead.
“Coming into the weekend we weren’t really expecting to win a race so P4, P1 and P10 is ideal,” said Turkington.
“This has never been a great rear-wheel drive track but I think we were clever this weekend with our tyre choices and strategy.
“Considering I started the weekend with weight, we managed that well and maximised the weekend across qualifying and the three races, we got as much out of it as we could.”
Turkington also admitted he wasn’t expecting to have such positive pace on the softer-compound Dunlop rubber after he felt the medium tyres suited the car better at Oulton Park last time out.
“I was around some really fast, particularly in race one when the guys ahead were on softs, they were rapid,” he explained.
“I wasn’t convinced that we would have that sort of pace on the softs because at Oulton we were stronger on the medium than the soft.
“The car came alive in combination with taking some weight out, which sort of just releases the car. So I leave very happy.”
With Thruxton proving a happy hunting ground for the new-for-2019 BMW 3 Series earlier this year, Turkington believes he will face a closer challenge as he feels the “pack is now tighter” than it was when the series visited the Hampshire circuit in May.
“We’ll go back in a good position but everybody else has got faster. The pack is now tighter,” he said.
“I know from experience it only gets harder from here on so we need to try to keep raising the game if we can.”
“There’s still four weekends to go, still a lot of racing to be done. You’re always thinking of the long game but still you have to keep attacking and keep going for good scores.
“In this championship you there’s no room to be conservative, so you’ve just got to keep the pressure on.”