19 January 2007
Q&A: Colin Turkington - EXCLUSIVE.
After finishing third in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings last season with the venerable MG ZS, Colin Turkington will be chasing his maiden title in 2007 as Team RAC switch to the BMW 320si for the new campaign.
The car is already a proven winner on the world stage having carried Andy Priaulx to the WTCC title, and Turkington will now hope to repeat the feat in the domestic British series.
Crash.net caught up with Colin to look at the year ahead...
Colin, a new car for a new season, how much are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, it's really exciting times for Team RAC. We had the MG last year and for four seasons previous to that so it is fantastic for me, knowing I am driving a new bit of kit that has just won the world championship. The cars we are getting are brand new 2007 models so I think that we will be very quick right from the first meeting.
Looking back to 2006, you returned to WSR after a year at Vauxhall and had a fine season to finish third in the standings.
Yeah it was fantastic and I exceeded my expectations to fight for the championship until the last meeting. Even to finish third was better than I had hoped and that is why I am so excited about getting this new car. I know it is slightly different, its rear-wheel drive and left-hand drive, but we have a six-speed sequential box in it and I'm thinking it won't take me too long to switch over to the new car and we want to hit the ground running and be competitive from the start.
You've come into the BTCC through things like the Fiesta's so will be this be your first experience of a rear-wheel drive car?
Really it is, the last rear-wheel drive motorsport I was involved in was karting when I was 14 so this is very different! I drive a rear-wheel drive car on the road every day, whether that will help or not I don't know, but as long as we get enough time to test before the season starts then I'm confident.
Do you anticipate that that switch to rear-wheel drive will change how you approach your racing at all?
I don't think so. It's not a massive change to be honest, it's still a saloon car with four tyres, an engine and a gearbox. It's going to feel a little bit different but we need to wait until we test and see how the car is on the tyres, that will be the key and is the big unknown. The cars in the WTCC don't use Dunlop tyres so that is what we have to focus on for the first few tests.
How challenging do you think it will be going into the 2007 season and the first year for WSR with a S2000 car?
It's going to be different but everyone is in the same boat apart from SEAT. Everyone is turning up with new cars but WSR are such a great team I don't think we will have a problem adapting to the new car and setting up the new car, especially with the support from BMW. We are a hard working team and will do our best.
That support from BMW at the start of the year, how important will be it be?
It's going to be huge, if we were doing it on our own we would feel like we were going in with a blindfold on – a completely new car with no help and no set-up information. The guys at BMW obviously know where they are at and have won the title for the last few years and that experience and knowledge will be key to our success.
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