Reigning champion Colin Turkington believes he achieved the best possible qualifying result for the opening British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch.
By virtue of a successful season opener last weekend at Donington Park, where Turkington secured a win and a podium, he carried the maximum 60kg of championship ballast into qualifying and will do the same into the opening encounter.
The four-time BTCC champion set an identical time to his team-mate Tom Oliphant in qualifying, but was able to set it earlier in the session and so will start ahead as the pair line up fifth and sixth respectively.
Turkington was “really happy” to be heading the third row of the grid, especially given the difficulty of setting up the car to operate effectively on maximum ballast at the fast-and-flowing 2.4-mile GP layout.
“I’m really happy with the result,” he said. “We did a lot of work pre-session with the set-up to get the car dialled in as best as we could with full ballast,” he said.
“We optimised the set-up really well and got it spot-on for qualifying.
“You have to balance the set-up for the tight turns on the Indy Circuit and the fast bends on the GP loop, and it’s a lot more difficult with maximum success ballast. I think we did the maximum possible.
As is always the case with Turkington, consistency is at the forefront of his mind heading into the trio of contests at Brands Hatch, aiming to score solid points and take advantage of shedding weight in the latter races.
“The plan for Sunday is to score well in all three races. We’ll maximise Race One and then be as rapid as we can when the weights change around in Races Two and Three.
“Then we’ll just see where we are when it all shakes out.”
The opening British Touring Car Championship race of the day at the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is scheduled to get underway at 10:50 BST.