BTCC series director Alan Gow admitted it was a 'special weekend' at Brands Hatch after Colin Turkington and West Surrey Racing secured their maiden titles in the 2009 series finale.

Turkington held off the challenge of Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato to lift the crown for the first time at the wheel of his WSR-run Team RAC BMW.

It means the Northern Irishman joins the likes of Plato, Giovanardi, Andy Rouse, John Cleland and Yvan Muller in lifting the title and Gow admitted it that Turkington was a worthy title winner.

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"I think it makes it special that for both Colin and WSR, this is the first championship," he told "People forget that WSR have been in the BTCC since something like 1995 and they have been here for a long time. Colin has been here for a few years as well now and it is more special when you have a new name on the trophy.

"Today had it all with three races giving three different results and the permutations were fantastic. We have a great champion, a new champion - which is always nice to see - and against the backdrop of a major recession we have done very well."

The season finale also marked the departure of Vauxhall from the series as a works team but Gow admitted that the series would continue to be strong despite losing one of its biggest supporters.

"I don't get hung up on the whole manufacturer thing as who won the championship today?" he said. "A non-manufacturer team. Losing Vauxhall of course is sad but I don't think for one moment that they are gone forever. I guarantee they will be back sooner rather than later.

"The strength of the championship is that it is bigger than one manufacturer or two manufacturers and you can look at a graph from the last few years and see the manufacturers decrease but fan numbers increase.

"That isn't because there are fewer manufacturers, but what I'm saying is that the fans don't care whether BMW writes a cheque out to [WSR boss] Dick Bennetts or not as long as they have the right cars and the right drivers on track."