Colin Turkington says he is ‘feeling sharp’ ahead of this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship season opener at Donington Park, as the Team BMW driver prepares to defend his title.
Turkington goes into the season as a firm favourite for a record-breaking fifth drivers’ title, with the Northern Irishman continuing with the WSR BMW team for a fourth straight season.
Turkington will have just one team-mate in 2019 though, after Andrew Jordan, his main rival for the 2019 title, dropped out during the summer for budgetary reasons.
With the season having been delayed by four months due to the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, Turkington is eager to get back out on track again.
“It feels so good to finally go racing again,” said Turkington. “You can test and prepare all day long, but the buzz of competition and the excitement the BTCC brings is hard to find anywhere else.
“The testing programme we’ve completed the past few weeks has been fantastic in bringing the team back together and provided some valuable seat time.”
In pre-season testing at Silverstone back in March, Turkington was fifth quickest overall, whilst the 38-year-old also completed some testing at Silverstone last week, when he lapped the circuit in sunny conditions together with team-mate Tom Oliphant.
“We had perfect conditions recently at Silverstone and I left there feeling confident in the car and ready for competition.
“I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time out at track days and karting, so I’m feeling sharp and good to go!
“The next five weeks are going to be a very busy spell, but this is motorsport and we’re used to being adaptable.
“I’ve had plenty of time to prepare and make changes to the way we plan to go about our business. Recovery will be key for me and the top priority is ensuring I remain healthy and well.
“A summer of sport awaits.”
WSR team Principal Dick Bennetts believes that Turkington’s extensive BTCC experience will prove to be crucial in the condensed nine-event BTCC schedule for 2020.
“We should be halfway through the season by now, but for reasons we’re all aware of, we’re now ticking down to the opener,” said Bennetts.
“The past few months have been challenging for all teams, but the spirit within Team BMW has never wavered and we have an incredibly talented and motivated group of people at WSR ready to go.
“Colin is a class act and his experience will be invaluable with so many back-to-back events this year.
“Donington gave us some excellent results last year but has traditionally favoured front-wheel-drive cars, so we know that we’ll have to dig deeper than ever to come away with a good points haul this weekend.”