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Colin Turkington happy with ‘strong’ pre-season testing

Colin Turkington says Team BMW has ‘made as much progress as possible’ in pre-season testing ahead of this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship season opener at Donington Park.

Four-time champion Turkington, 41, is now the second-oldest driver on the grid and heading into his 19th year in the BTCC.

Having last won the championship in 2019, Turkington finished as runner-up in 2020 and 2021, before last year ending the year in fourth – having been a title challenger all season long.

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During the off-season, Team BMW, run by West Surrey Racing, has expanded to three cars, whilst also retaining Jake Hill in a satellite operation.

The team has carried out pre-season testing at several venues, although inclement weather has at times frustrated their progress.

Despite that, Turkington described the pre-season as being ‘strong’ and heads to Donington Park – a circuit where he has won seven times previously including challenging for victory last year – with high spirits.

“We’ve had a strong pre-season and we’ve made as much progress with the BMW as we can reasonably expect given the rain (and even snow) we’ve encountered,” said the Northern Irishman.

“We’ve gone through a big list of test items and settled on a package I’m happy with, so I feel in a really good place in terms of a set-up that should be easy to refine for the demands of each circuit.

“Last year at Donington we were very fast and should have scored more points than we did, so this time the target will be the same as always; maximise the opportunity, take the season one event at a time and get to Brands Hatch in October with a chance of winning the title.”

Team Principal Dick Bennetts says his outfit is eyeing a record-breaking tenth manufacturers’ crown for BMW along with overall drivers’ and teams’ title success.

“Another season is here and, as always, the target is to win the Drivers’, Manufacturers’ and Teams’ titles for BMW, our sponsors, technical partners and loyal supporters,” said Bennetts.

“It’s the first time we’ve started a BTCC season with four race winners in WSR-run cars so that bodes very well for the hopes of both Team BMW and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport.

“We’ve made some steps forward with the BMW 330e M Sport over winter and despite our test programme being affected by the weather, we’re reasonably happy with where we are speed-wise.

“We have been working with Cosworth to improve reliability from the control parts, such as the hybrid system, which will be key as any dropped points will be extremely difficult to recover in such an intensely-competitive series.”

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