Portadown’s Colin Turkington insists he has nothing to lose ahead of this weekend’s winner-takes-all British Touring Car Championship title finale in England.
Turkington will try to clinch the drivers’ crown for a fifth time on Sunday and, if successful, will surpass the great Andy Rouse to become the most decorated person in the tin-top series.
In order to do that, the Team BMW UK pilot must hope Ash Sutton – the BTCC’s reigning champion who enjoys a healthy thirty-two point lead – hits the buffers early at the Brands Hatch GP circuit.
“The points gap is thirty-two, which does rely on Ash having some bad luck, but as we all know in the British Touring Car Championship, anything can happen,” said Turkington.
“All credit to Ash, because he has been superb all year and has kept scoring good points, but we are hot on his heels.
“I’m going on the attack at Brands Hatch. I’ve nothing to lose and I will be going there fired up to give it absolutely everything. It’s an exciting prospect for me as I’m always the one being chased!
“I plan to go and enjoy it as much as I possibly can,” added Turkington. “The 3 Series is one of the best cars I have driven around the Grand Prix circuit, and I will drive as hard and as fast as I can.”
An uncharacteristic error during race two at Donington Park earlier this month when Turkington veered too far off the racing line through the Old Hairpin appeared to hand the initiative to Sutton.
Turkington made the cut as he chased third-placed Rory Butcher, with the drop in front-end grip sending his car into a half spin. He went on to finish the 16-lap sprint down in eleventh position.
But the complexion of the title fight took another dramatic twist in the third and final race of the day when Turkington stormed to a four second victory to reignite his aspirations of BTCC glory.
“I have to keep pushing and fighting for every point and looking back I wouldn’t do anything differently – there was just something that threw the car on landing from the kerb,” he said. “It’s still difficult to understand the hows and whys but I’m just thankful I recovered and finished in the reverse grid draw.
“At the time it’s hard to accept because I had worked so hard in that race and felt I wasn’t getting the reward, but the reward came with the race three draw which put me on pole. It was another lesson to keep my chin up and keep believing that my dedication and hard work will be rewarded in the end.
“Having a good team of people around you is never more important that on days like those,” he added. “The emotion of winning never gets any less and when you get to this stage in the season it means so much more as the pressure is on. I really felt that win. It has come as a huge boost going to the finale.”