Defending British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington has hailed his top-three qualifying run as a 'brilliant result' after all three of the new BMW 3 Series machines impressed on the car's debut at Brands Hatch.

Along with WSR team mates Andrew Jordan and Tom Oliphant, Turkington defied the new BMW 330i M Sport's lack of running by qualifying right at the sharp end in the tricky conditions, just 0.171s shy of Ashley Sutton's pole-time.

Turkington was closely followed by Jordan and Oliphant in fourth and fifth, crowning what was a highly positive opening Saturday for the BMW outfit.

"I’m really pleased," Turkington told Crash.net. "Those were really tricky conditions. That was the first time we’ve run the new 3 Series in the wet so it was a brilliant result for all three cars to be up at the sharp end.

"It was an exploration each lap. We improved the car through the course of qualifying. I was able to do my best lap right at the end. It’s a good start for us.

"I can’t say I’m surprised that the car is so good out of the box. The quality of work from this team has always been very good. But you’re always apprehensive of what you’re going to have.

"We’ve had one-and-a-half days testing so there’s still so much more potential in the car that we can look for."

Having described his previous championship winning 1 Series as a bit lively in the wet conditions, Turkington said the longer wheelbase of the 3 Series has given the BMW outfit more stability in those sort of conditions.

"We still have so much to learn. As a driver you’re trying to do the same things in the car. It responds in a similar fashion to the 1 Series, in terms of how it reacts to changes. I think we can use some of that information but we need to keep mind that it’s a completely different car," Turkington explained.

"Aerodynamically it’s very different. I think we have to keep learning race by race.

"I think with it being a slightly longer car gives a bit more stability in those sort of conditions. The 1 Series was very lively in the wet. So hopefully that’s a good sign.

"The Dunlop wet is also a different compound this year so there’s a bit more grip in the tyres. Those are all things that have helped us."

Nevertheless, with the 3 Series yet to complete a race distance, Turkington is refusing to get carried away ahead of tomorrow's opening race.

"We’ll try and digest today and make a plan for tomorrow. We haven’t done a race distance in this car so we’ll take it step by step."

 

 

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