Newly crowned triple British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington says his third title in the series is the most special of his career after describing 2018 as the most challenging year of his life.

Turkington wrapped up his third BTCC title with a race to spare despite clattering through the gravel on his way a 22nd place finish in race two, which was still enough to put the Team BMW driver 23-points clear of Tom Ingram ahead of the final race.

"This morning [Sunday] I was only a double champion. You’re never sure it’s going your way. I kept telling myself in the head I would do it. Even when the chips were down, you’ve got to still keep believing,"

"Nobody ever wins this championship by a breeze. It’s never easy for anyone to win. I’m just so satisfied for the team, for BMW and for my family. I’m pleased to have been able to get the trophy and hand it over to them.

"It’s been the most challenging year off my life off the circuit. The BTCC was the one thing that kept us happy. Coming over here, getting some results and building a championship was a ray of light for us.

"It kept me focussed. I’m just so relieved that it’s all over. This past few weeks has been mental torture.

"My goal as a kid was to win it once. You don’t set targets beyond that. I know Andy Rouse has won four titles but I’m so happy three, believe me!"

Although arriving into the final weekend of the year with a 34-point lead, thanks to a supreme level of consistency, even Turkington himself thought the title was going to go to down to the wire following what proved to be a highly dramatic second race.

"It was always going to be a difficult race two. I was in the middle of the pack around a lot of soft tyre runners," Turkington continued.

"I done a lot of good work at Silverstone and came here with a nice buffer. Going through the gravel in race two I thought ‘I’ve got a lot of work to do in race three’.

"I was shocked when the team told me I done enough to win it. I’m just glad it’s over. It’s such a precious thing to win that it’s only until you get to now you know it’s definitely, definitely yours!"

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Having described building a championship winning campaign 'as a ray of light' through what has been a difficult year for the Turkington family, the 36-year old said his third title is the most special, following the death of his mum Mavis earlier in the year.

"You need to have something that consumes your mind and is a distraction. The racing was such a good distraction," he continued.

"I could get my emotion out in the racing. I could train hard for the racing and take my mind off reality. That was so important for me. It is the most special for all those reasons because I did it in the year that my Mum wasn’t here."

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