Colin Turkington is confident of improving his car from last year as the British Touring Car Championship heads to Knockhill this weekend, with the Team BMW driver still atop the drivers’ standings.
Turkington managed to increase his championship lead over rival Ash Sutton last time out in Cheshire last weekend, with the gap now standing at 19 points.
The Northern Irishman believes he can improve on the results he obtained in Scotland last year, when he claimed a best result of fourth in the first visit of the BMW 330i M Sport to the circuit.
But Turkington will first have to contend with carrying the maximum 60 kg of success ballast into qualifying and race one – something he has already had to do twice this season.
“Knockhill is one of my favourite tracks and I have many good memories from my time as an instructor there,” said Turkington, who last won at Knockhill in 2013 in the first year with the BMW 125i M Sport.
“It’s relentless though, and the car is on two wheels at several points. You have to attack to find the laptime, so you’re definitely outside your comfort zone, but that’s why drivers love it.
“At this stage the weather looks stable, so we should have consistent dry running, which will help in practice when dialling the car in.
“Qualifying will be key; finding space and maximising what can be achieved with 60 kg success ballast.
“The plan is to get my head down and leave nothing on the table. I’m confident we can improve the car from last year and I’m happy with that.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts explained that avoiding getting bogged down in the mid-field at the short 2.039 km circuit will be key to the overall weekend performance for the team.
“Four events in five weekends has been a huge task for everyone at WSR, but they’ve done an exceptional job on the Team BMW cars with 100 per cent reliability and some excellent performances by both Colin and Tom [Oliphant],” said Bennetts.
“We stayed on at Oulton Park for a couple of days to prepare the BMWs before heading to Knockhill mid-week.
“We’ve had a lot of success at Knockhill in the past, but we arrive this time with two cars carrying a lot of success ballast.
“It’s one of those tracks where if you get sucked into the midfield, it can be very difficult to work your way through.
“We’ll be glad of the three-week break afterwards, but we have a job to do in the meantime, and our full focus will be on staying ahead in all three championships as we near the halfway point of the season.”