Team BMW's Colin Turkington said he had to 'dig deep' to extend his British Touring Car Championship lead during what the reigning champion described as 'the toughest day of the year by a mile' at Silverstone.

The penultimate race day of the season served up an unprecedented level of drama after a series of rain showers throughout the day threatened to turn what was already a tightening title battle on its head.

For the second weekend in a row, Turkington was forced to recover from the tail of the field after the championship leader's BMW 330i M Sport was tipped into a spin during the opening race.

Despite facing the wrong way on the run up to Woodcote, Turkington salvaged 14th in race one, before taking a podium finish with second in race two.

The Team BMW driver scored further points in seventh in race three, which means he will carry a 16-point lead ahead of Dan Cammish to the Brands Hatch finale.

Turkington’s West Surrey Racing stablemate Andrew Jordan lies just a further point behind in third.

"It’s been the toughest day of the year by a mile," Turkington told Crash.net. "It’s been a really tough weekend. After race one it certainly wasn’t going my way but we stuck with it. That’s when you have to dig deep.

"The car had the pace once we took the weight out in race two. I’m really pleased to have tucked those points away. I feel like I’m in a positive and on the front foot going to Brands.

"I was definitely getting the thick end of a bit of bad luck then. The weather conditions were very difficult in race one. I couldn’t progress and you’re in the pack. It was frustrating to be facing the traffic.

"We didn’t lie down and we fought back so that’s why we got back to a podium position [in race two]."

With a rain shower hitting the circuit just as the reverse grid race got underway, race three turned out to be one of the most astonishing BTCC races on record, which ultimately resulted in Jack Goff taking a shock victory in the Team HARD Volkswagen.

Like 19 others, Turkington made the call to dive into pits and change to wet tyres as the rain continued to persist.

It was a call that allowed the Team BMW driver to crucially outscore his closest title rival Dan Cammish, who opted to remain on the dry tyre and fell down to 12th by the end of the race.

"Those are the most difficult conditions we’ve had. I can’t remember the last time we did a pit stop. The elements threw everything at us this weekend but the team did a great job," Turkington continued.

"We made a big call on the pit stop. It’s more difficult for a RWD car to survive in those conditions. We had to be brave. I don’t think we would have survived on slicks.

"The pace was really strong on the wets. It was nice to feel racy and come back through the pack."

 

 

 

 

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