Colin Turkington hails ‘fantastic year of driving’

Colin Turkington described the 2022 British Touring Car Championship season as having been ‘a fantastic year of racing with a clear shift towards racing with respect’.

The Team BMW driver missed out on a record-breaking fifth BTCC title at Brands Hatch last weekend, but after ending the year fourth overall in the drivers’ championship, Turkington still felt that it had been a good year.

The Northern Irishman scored three victories over the 30-race season and went into the penultimate event of the year at Silverstone as the points leader.

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However, a costly retirement and weekend outside the top ten ultimately scuppered his chances, and going into the Brands Hatch finale, Turkington was very much an outsider.

His title chances finally ended when he finished third in race two, following up on a fifth in the day’s opening race.

Although he missed out on another championship, Turkington praised new champion Tom Ingram for his performances this year.

“Firstly, I would like to congratulate Tom Ingram on clinching his first British Touring Car Championship,” said Turkington.

“This is the hardest series in the world to win, I know just what it takes to get it over the line and Tom is a worthy champion.

“In Parc Fermé after the second race, I knew exactly how he was feeling and seeing someone take that pressure and deliver – I was really pleased for him.”

The 40-year-old concluded his weekend with a 12th place finish after admitting that he had wanted to stay out of the way of the final race championship fight between Ingram, Ash Sutton and Jake Hill.

That was despite Turkington feeling that the car he had in race two had been the best of the season.

“Race day proved to be a good day in what’s been quite a difficult run-in to the end of the season for me.

“Silverstone did the damage, and it took too long to iron out the hybrid issues for me to have a realistic chance this weekend. The BMW was strong and in race two – that was the best car I’ve had all year.

“After our frustrating qualifying session, I had no idea what to expect from the races, but I really enjoyed them and could race well. That’s a positive way to end.

“Race three was a difficult one, having been through so much heartache myself in season finales, I never wanted to play a role in how the title would be decided.

“Being out of contention, I just needed to stay out of the title fight. Ash was ahead of me, and both Jake and Tom went by – I felt the right thing to do was to let them race it out.

“Overall, I feel we took a step forward with the BMW from what we learned this weekend and it was great to get a final podium of the year.”

Turkington also praised the driving standards which he had witnessed during the 2022 season.

“The competition has been tough, but overall, I think it’s been a fantastic year of racing with a clear shift towards racing with respect.

“Yesterday’s races proved you don’t have to crash people off the track to be in contention for a title.

“I’m still proud of where we finished, as I know, together with WSR, we never let ourselves down and pushed hard to the end.

“Team BMW were once again, a force to be reckoned with, and clinching their seventh consecutive Manufacturers title is a truly impressive achievement.”

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