Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was relieved to score his first win of the British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch, having earlier struggled for pace in the changing weather conditions.
After WSR secured its first-ever qualifying 1-2-3 on Saturday, conditions changed drastically for Sunday’s races, with rain showers affecting the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
In race one, Turkington dropped from pole to fifth come the chequered flag, having struggled for pace compared to his front-wheel drive rivals.
The second race again saw Turkington slip backwards early on, but the four-time champion held on to claim tenth at the chequered flag.
Luckily for the Northern Irishman, the top 12 were reversed for race three, giving him a second row starting slot for the final race.
From there, Turkington made a strong launch and was up to second at the start, later passing early leader Tom Chilton to gain the lead and eventually pull clear to score a first win of the year.
“You’ve got to be there in race two to get the reversed grid, so I don’t think it was a lucky win by any means,” said Turkington to TouringCars.Net.
“It’s just rewards for the pace we had yesterday – having the fastest car in qualifying you always like to get a result off the back of that.
“The conditions have just been against us – they’ve been in the middle. Everything has been a compromise – the track has been damp, but not properly wet, so you’re burning up the rear tyres.
“In race three we got the car more towards a wet set up and it rained a bit more, and it was so much easier to drive.
“You don’t know what the weather is going to do – we were keeping an eye on the radar and it looked like it’s going to be dry and then it’s wet, so it’s very hard to plan for the race.
“It’s a risk in terms of what you do for setup; you only need to be a little bit away and you’re too far away.
“But we got there in the end. It’s nice to get my first win of the season.”
Turkington feels that his confidence has grown in his car over the weekend despite challenges with the changing conditions.
“It’s been solid. I’ve scored points in all three races. It’s been tough, but it’s been tough for everybody.
“There’s a lot of new things to get used to with hybrid and the cars are just different now. We’re making progress and particularly here I’m more confident with the car in the dry than I was at Donington, so we’re on the right path.
“I think we’ll be in a better place than normal at Thruxton with the developments through the winter we should have a stronger car there. But again, it’s BTCC so who knows what will happen but at least we go with a bit of confidence now.”
Turkington leaves Brands Hatch in joint fourth in the drivers’ standings with 69 points, tied with stable-mate Jake Hill.