Colin Turkington experienced his worst race day in the British Touring Car Championship for 18 years at Brands Hatch on Sunday, as the Team BMW driver mustered just two points from the three races.
The Kent circuit has never been one of Turkington’s best circuits in the BTCC – he has picked up just four of his 57 career victories around the Indy circuit – and last weekend once again proved that to be the case.
Qualifying in a lowly 14th for race one with 57 kg of ballast on board, Turkington then suffered a spin in the race and crossed the finish line down in 20th.
Free of weight for race two made little difference, as Turkington again finished outside the points in 17th, seemingly unable to make progress on the short circuit.
A 14th place finish in race three provided just two points for Turkington’s title challenge, leaving him to slip to fourth in the drivers’ standings, 39 adrift of series leader Ash Sutton.
Not since Rockingham in 2003 has Turkington endured such a difficult and low-scoring race weekend, highlighting the struggles faced by the Northern Irishman.
“It’s been a tough day for me,” said Turkington. “It was difficult to qualify well with the weight in the car, given such a competitive field, so we were on the back foot.
“The car slowly improved but it was very difficult to make my way through the pack when I wasn’t significantly quicker than anybody.
“We scraped a few points at the end, but I paid the price for my success at Snetterton.
“We were trying to go forward all day, the last race was my best, and the BMW was most competitive then.
“I take two points home, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. Hopefully it swings back at Oulton, and we score some good points.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts pointed to the root of the problem being Turkington’s struggles in qualifying.
“For Colin that’s probably the hardest two points he’s earned in a long time,” said Bennetts. “Carrying weight in qualifying at Brands Indy makes it hard and set the tone for his day.
“Back in the pack with such a small gap in lap times, it’s always going to be hard to overtake, so we have to make sure we qualify higher up.”