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Colin Turkington: ‘Races are getting harder to win’

Colin Turkington says it ‘feels good to be back on the top step’ after winning the final British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Croft, with the four-time champion saying that ‘races are getting harder to win’.

After qualifying as the lead BMW on Saturday, just under three tenths from pole position and four hundredths faster than stablemate Jake Hill, Turkington started the opening race from fifth on the grid.

Losing two places at the start in that opening encounter, Turkington took the chequered flag in seventh, before finishing sixth in race two, gaining a place when Hill made a mistake and spun out ahead of him.

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The top six were reversed for the final race, giving Turkington pole position at a circuit where he had won 13 times previously.

In the end, the Northern Irishman was able to deliver a flawless lights-to-flag win ahead of Tom Ingram and Josh Cook, which also netted him a 180th career podium in the BTCC.

Taking away 41 points from the weekend, Turkington is now up to third overall in the drivers’ championship standings, 34 from the top of the table.

“It was such an important win… and feels so good,” said Turkington. “I really didn’t think it was on the cards.

“The first lap was the critical moment because I knew I had to keep Josh and Tom behind me, they’re super-quick and super-aggressive off the line on us.

“But honestly, on the green flag lap I thought I was a dead man – the track felt so slick from all the oil spillages and clear up – I was not feeling any grip at all.

“I was so glad to see the safety car come out and it gave me a chance to really work the fronts – we’d been sitting on the grid for a very long time with the delay. But once it went in, I had the pace from the off.

“Tom was applying the pressure in the early stages of the race but I could see where he was quick and I felt like I had the legs, I was pleased we could maintain the pace on the hard tyre.

“That’s two events on the bounce where we’ve won on the hard so it looks like we’ve got on top of what used to be our Achilles heel.

“A big well done to Team BMW, we grafted really hard for that one today and kept working for a step forward despite it feeling impossible to go forwards.

“Races are getting harder to win so it feels so good to be back on the top step at Croft.”

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