Jason Plato and Fabrizio Giovanardi have paid tribute to Colin Turkington after he secured his maiden HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch.
The Team RAC driver came out on top of a titanic three-way battle for the crown on a dramatic final day of the season, with just nine points covering the top three after 30 races over the course of the year.
Plato had gone into the weekend as the rank outside, but three wins allowed him to claim second in the standings and he admitted Turkington had been a worthy winner.
“Colin and Team RAC have done a solid job this year and he is a worthy champion,” he said. “He has gone up a big step now in his career as a driver. He is hard, whereas in the past you could have said he was a little bit soft. He is a proper lad and he deserves it.”
Giovanardi, who relinquished his hold on the crown in the final race for the factory Vauxhall squad also admitted that Turkington had raised his game this season.
“Colin has been lucky sometimes this season, but you need to have the luck [to win the title],” the Italian reflected. “I think he has grown up this season and has been more mature. He didn't make the mistakes that he has done in the past and the future looks good for him.”