Colin Turkington believes the recovery drive he put in to secure a record-equalling fourth British Touring Car Championship title was the “race of his life” after progressing 19 positions from his grid slot.
The Northern Irishman went into the final contest as the underdog after controversial contact with Matt Neal in the second race put him 25th and out of the points.
He then stormed through the field from that lowly grid slot, progressing ten places on the opening lap alone before pressurising direct title rival Dan Cammish.
After laps behind the Team Dynamics-run Honda Civic, Turkington found a way past, putting Ollie Jackson between himself and Cammish before the later speared off at Hawthorns Bend after a high-speed brake failure.
Speaking to media including TouringCars.Net, he admitted at that point he thought he had no chance after the second race, and noted the dramatic fashion in which he clinched the title only added to his elation.
“To win it only two or three laps from the end is completely different to the other ones that I’ve won,” said Turkington.
“It was just shock when I crossed the line that they told me I was champion. My engineer said that Dan was out of the race but obviously I couldn’t see Andy and I didn’t know where he was.
“So I didn’t know if that was enough but I had nobody left to pass! I’d passed everybody that was in front of me to pass.
“For sure, that was the race of my life. The shock that I’ve come out on top. Obviously I feel for the other guys – for Andy and Dan – you put in a full year’s work to try and win this thing.
“I thought it’d left me after race two, I thought that was me out. It’s a bitter pill for those guys but I’m just so proud of my team.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and as I’ve said before I firmly believe we’ve worked harder than anybody for this.”
Now matching Andy Rouse’s record of four BTCC titles, Turkington admitted he never in his “wildest dreams” believed it could be done, and that he was purely chasing the championship win as opposed to records.
“It’s obviously really cool,” he said. “I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would get close to Andy Rouse, you don’t really think too much about records.
“All I wanted to do this year was to win. Like I said to Louise the drug is when you’re standing on this podium or on your car and you’ve defeated everybody.
“That’s what I was chasing – not records – just that feeling of elation. Nothing else in life gives you that. Four titles is amazing, maybe that’s me done now!”
Turkington continued to note it went down to the wire in similar fashion to his first title a decade ago, but that the conditions this weekend wreaked havoc with his championship aspirations.
He joked: “I think that’s only the second time in my life that I’ve lost my voice – the other time was a night out with Paul O’Neill!
“So that tells you how much it means to me! Whenever you think you’re out of it, there’s still a tiny bit of you that thinks OK there’s one more race and it is possible.
“When I won last year I won it in race two, when I won in ‘14 I won in race one, 2009 was obviously a big final but like I said I couldn’t see Andy Jordan so it was just shock, surprise, elation.
“That’s another thing, it’s still only year one with the car. The car has been fantastic all year but things have gone against us, at Silverstone and here.
“The weather couldn’t have made it any more difficult. I came in with a nice buffer but when you’re on slicks on a wet track in a rear-wheel drive car you’re just hemorrhaging points and you’re completely powerless.
“It doesn’t matter what setup you put on you’re powerless. We stuck with it, and eventually it went our way.”