Colin Turkington was relieved to claim a victory in the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Donington Park, saying that his main aim was to leave the event ‘with a chance’ of the title.
Having spun out of fourth in race two, where he then finished down in 11th, Turkington’s luck turned for the final race of the day when he was randomly drawn onto pole position.
The Team BMW driver, free of success ballast, then expertly controlled the race to ease to his 60th career win, and keep himself in championship contention.
The northern Irishman admitted with hindsight that he may even have scored more points by making his mistake in race two, which ultimately gave him the best shot at a win in race three.
“The emotion of winning never gets any less,” said Turkington. “And when you get to this stage of the season, it all means so much more.
“The pressure’s on, and starting on pole is no guarantee of winning the race, or even finishing on the podium.
“The guys around me didn’t have much weight in the car either so I knew the start would be important, but the key message is to thank the team for keeping my chin up after race two.
“They could see I was trying, giving it everything, and sometimes these things happen. I took too much inside kerb and the rest is history, but to turn that into a win and fastest lap…
“I might have scored more points with this turnout than had I finished fourth and maybe been at the back end of the top ten.
“So, I much prefer to win the race. My car was superb in that race. The 3 Series has just been blistering around here the past three years. I’ve won every time so big credit to Team BMW.”
Turkington will go into the season finale second in the drivers’ standings, 32 points behind leader Ash Sutton.
Despite the large deficit of more than a race win, the four-time champion knows that if something would happen to his rival, the title could be thrown wide open in the finale.
“I can easily think back to 2014, I think I went into [the final weekend] 49 points ahead of Jason [Plato] and I wasn’t resting easy. You can see it today, big swings in points can happen.
“The main job was to come out of Donington with a chance, and we’ve got a chance.
“Credit to Ash he’s been superb all year and kept scoring points. But we’re hot on his heels and there’s a lot of people chasing him down, me probably being the keenest one!”