Colin Turkington had said he is looking to try and secure his position as the leading BMW driver during the final two rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship, although the Team RAC man admits it isn't his top priority.
Turkington heads to the penultimate round of the campaign at Silverstone this weekend in third place in the overall standings, five points head of BMW Dealer Team UK man Mat Jackson, while the defending Independents' title holder also leads Jackson in the Indy standings; albeit by the larger margin of 18 points.
However, while he admits it would be nice to finish the season ahead of Jackson in the standings to secure unofficial BMW bragging rights, Turkington said he wasn't taking anything for granted in the final six races of the year and couldn't afford to get complacent.
“Eighteen points are nothing – last year I turned around a twelve-point deficit with six races to go to win the Independents title by 15 points,” he told BTCC.net
. “But the number of competitive Independent drivers has also kept growing and that can always jumble it up a lot depending on which end of the pack you finish. My team-mate Stephen Jelley should be very strong in these final two meetings as well.
“We tested pre-season at Silverstone so we have some data to go on here and he's obviously now had a taste of the BTCC at Brands Hatch from the opening rounds there in March. Mat is clearly among the very top Independent drivers out there and I'd say Adam Jones is still in the frame.
“Even if I am still ahead of Mat after Silverstone the task doesn't change at Brands – again look at how it all changed towards the end of last year. He'll be thinking it's entirely feasible for him to catch me. Certainly, I'm in no position to cruise.”
Should Turkington maintain his place ahead of Jackson and the remainder of the chasing pack in the overall standings, he would match his best finish of third in the standings – achieved at the wheel of Team RAC's venerable MG ZS back in 2006.
However, with the level of competition having gone up since then, Turkington admitted that third this time around would give him much more satisfaction.
“Jason is too far ahead for me to claw back now unless he has major problems,” he said. “I finished third overall a few years ago, but the field is so much more competitive now so this would be much more satisfying.
“I've got four race wins so far in 2008 and I'll keep trying to add more. Being towards the front usually diminishes the risk of getting caught up in trouble and it's going to be important to keep my nose clean. Finishing on the podium of course guarantees big points for the Independents campaign.”