Northern Ireland’s Colin Turkington insists the 32 point deficit that separates him and British Touring Car Championship leader Ash Sutton is not insurmountable heading to the final three races of the season at Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time.
Turkington – a four-time winner of the BTCC drivers’ title – trailed defending champion Sutton by 40 points going into yesterday’s three races at Donington Park but trimmed the gap slightly by finishing fifth in race one and scoring maximum points in race three by 4.096 seconds from the Honda Civic Type R of Jake Hill.
It was the perfect response from the Portadown man who ventured just a fraction too far off the track in race two as he chased down Rory Butcher for the final podium spot. That uncharacteristic mistake at the Old Hairpin on lap 13 sent his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport saloon into a spin, but he managed to get going again and crossed the finish line in eleventh.
Turkington is one of four drivers still in with a mathematical chance of being crowned the 2021 BTCC champion and he insists he won’t give up until the sums say otherwise.
“That [32 point deficit] is OK, it’s doable,” said Turkington, who equalled BTCC legend Andy Rouse’s sixty wins total at the weekend to the delight of his team and travelling supporters.
“Today there were big swings in points and the main job was to come out of Donington with a chance – and we have a chance. All credit to Ash who has been superb all year and has kept scoring good points – but we are hot on his heels,” he added.
“There are a lot of people chasing him down, me probably being the keenest one, so we have still got a chance. The emotion of winning never gets any less and when you get to this stage in the season it all means so much more as the pressure is on.
“I would just like 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 [disappointment] into a win and get a fastest lap in the final race is great.”