After three seasons with WSR, it's a new team and a new car for BTCC young gun Colin Turkington.

Crash.net caught up with Vauxhall's new star at the NEC in Birmingham for a chat...

Crash.net
Colin, how excited are you with the move to the works Vauxhall team?

Colin Turkington:
Very excited for sure, it's a big opportunity for me. I was with West Surrey Racing for three years so it's a big change for both myself and Vauxhall who have had James [Thompson] and Yvan there for a number of years, and its big boots to fill with James, but I'm really looking forward to this year. It's a big opportunity and I'm going to try and make the most of it.

Crash.net
You had a strong 2004 in a proven car with the MG. This season you're in the Astra, but it's the new model and a car we haven't seen before. How difficult do you think it will be to develop the new car and get it up to speed in what is a very competitive series?

Colin Turkington:
We'll be in the new Astra Sport hatch and it will be a bit different to the car that raced in 2004 but we have a bit of testing before the season starts. I'm sure we will be able to iron out any problems that might arise and we'll be able to hit the ground running by the first race.

Crash.net
Do you think you will be in a position to fight for wins at the start of the season 'straight out of the box?'

Colin Turkington:
Straight out of the box we will definitely be at the front of the grid. This years car is really an evolution of the 2004 car which has been ultra successful so everything is a wee bit better and we'll be running at the front of the field from the word go.

Crash.net
What do you make of your new team-mate Yvan Muller?

Colin Turkington:
To be honest I don't really know Yvan that well as we've been competitors for the last three years, but we seemed to get on well out at the tests and obviously he has a lot of experience and knowledge that I can use. I'm looking forward to working with him and learning as much I can and hopefully we can work together to claim the title for Vauxhall.

Crash.net
This move came about in part because of the uncertainty over the future of WSR and we still don't know if they will be in the BTCC next season. Is it slightly disappointing that you've had to leave the team where you made your name in touring cars?

Colin Turkington:
Not really no, everything kind of moves on. I had three very good years with WSR and at that point they had nothing to offer me and were pleased to see me get the drive with Vauxhall so I'm just moving on to another stage in my career and I'm pleased it's with Vauxhall and a winning team. Hopefully we can on to good things.

Crash.net
Looking to this time next year, could we be sitting here talking to the BTCC champion?

Colin Turkington:
It would be nice, I hope you are!! Its going to be a lot of hard work, obviously I'm new to the team and it might take a while to settle in and get as one with the car but I'm sure that by the first race after lots of testing we'll be at the sharp end of the grid and the aim is to keep doing what I've been doing for the last few years and fighting for podiums near the front.

 

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