Colin Turkington says he doesn't expect to be able to clinch what would be his first British Touring Car Championship crown in Rockingham's penultimate round this Sunday.
Northern Irishman Turkington can put the title out of the reach of his rivals at the high-speed Northamptonshire track. He'll arrive there 11 points ahead of nearest rival Fabrizio Giovanardi, the champion for these past two seasons, and 42 clear of third-placed Jason Plato, another former title winner.
There will be a possible maximum of 52 available from Rockingham's three races meaning if Turkington can stretch his 11-point advantage out to 53 on the day then he would provisionally be Champion of the HiQ-backed series.
But the Team RAC BMW star told btcc.net
: "I don't expect the title to be decided until race three at Brands Hatch two weeks later (on Sunday October 4).
“It's just the way it's been this season. The title normally comes right down to Finals Day any way - that's the nature of the BTCC - but this year it's been closer than ever."
For the second event in a row, Turkington will be backed up by two-mates - regular partner Stephen Jelley and recently recalled veteran Anthony Reid - to help counter the support Giovanardi enjoys from fellow Vauxhall drivers Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan. It's a move that's in direct response to Neal having helped Giovanardi gain a spot two rounds ago, but Turkington holds no grudges.
"It's part of the game at this stage of the season, but there's been no foul play from them and likewise from my team towards them. I'm sure there won't be any of that and I think I can speak for Fabrizio when I say neither of would want it to be sorted out like that,” Turkington added.
"We've had some very good races between ourselves on track in the last two rounds and I'm glad it's him I'm fighting against because it's known around the world what a high calibre driver he is. And you'd be mad to rule out Jason as well.
“Winning races is always great but at this stage it's not essential... my main goal now has to be to finish ahead of those two."