Article date: 25 September 2009
Colin Turkington goes in search of his first Driver’s Championship crown as the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Brands Hatch for the final race of the 2009 season next Sunday (4 October).
The Team RAC man, having provisionally secured his third successive Independent Driver's title, leads current champion Fabrizio Giovanardi by 13 points following a dramatic final race at Rockingham a week ago when Turkington claimed fourth place and his rival finished out of the points positions.
Turkington has led the Championship since mid-June when the Ulsterman claimed a memorable double victory at Croft. If he does indeed go on to win, he will be the first driver from Northern Ireland to claim the title.
The current man in form is Turkington’s team mate Stephen Jelley. Fresh off the back of a double win at Rockingham, Jelley will be looking to end the season in style at Brands Hatch. The 27-year-old secured his only career pole position at the Kent circuit at the end of last season with a blistering qualifying lap, and will be hoping for a similar performance this time around.
Current Championship leader Turkington comments: “The nerves haven’t set in as yet, although I’m sure I’ll feel slightly differently when it comes to race weekend. Having said that, a bit of pressure isn’t always a bad thing.
“The last race at Rockingham could turn out to be crucial. Sometimes you need a bit of luck and it was good to out-score both Fabrizio [Giovanardi] and Jason [Plato]. I’m glad to have a lead going into the final round, but anything can happen.
“I should by more competitive in qualifying than I was at Rockingham. If I can get the car near the front of the grid I think I’ll have a great chance. The Team have been brilliant all year, and hopefully I can win it for them.”
Stephen Jelley said: “I’ve had two very strong meetings at Silverstone and Rockingham, and it feels great to be on a bit of a roll. Brands is a circuit I enjoy, and hopefully I can be at the sharp end again.
“The Team RAC BMW is always quick round Brands, and the medium to high speed corners should suit us. Although I’ve never driven the full circuit in anger, I’m confident I can be up there challenging. My aim is to finish in the top five in the Driver’s Championship, although the main priority for the team is to ensure Colin comes away with the title.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts said: “Everyone at WSR has been extremely busy with the 100% re-builds on all three cars, but excitement is definitely building ahead of Brands Hatch.
“The BMW should be quick but the Chevrolet’s certainly hold the advantage having had a lot of practice around the full Grand Prix circuit in the WTCC. It will be difficult for Colin to qualify on the front two rows due the 45kgs success ballast he’ll be carrying.
“Stephen can be right up there challenging once more. His recent form has been fantastic, and he’s buzzing with confidence. Hopefully everyone associated with Team RAC can end the season on a real high note.”
Turkington has amassed 249 championship points after nine rounds, while team-mate Stephen Jelley has 132 points. Team RAC currently lead the Independents Championship with 316 points.
For further information please contact:
Steve Stammers / James Knott
Team RAC Press Office
0207 908 6439 / 0207 908 6459
Notes to editors:
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was formed in 1958 and is Britain’s most popular motor racing spectacle. Its race season comprises ten events at top circuits across the UK. It is contested by professional racing drivers in competition versions of every day road cars, giving it tremendous public appeal. Some 325,000 watch the BTCC trackside each year. www.btcc.net
With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs.
RAC is committed to providing the very highest levels of service to its members and has been ranked first for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates' UK Roadside Assistance Study for the last three years and the top named service organisation in the July 2009 UK Customer Satisfaction Index from the Institute of Customer Service.
Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Aviva UK Insurance (formerly Norwich Union Insurance). Aviva is the UK's largest insurer with a market share of around 15%.
RAC is part of Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group which operates in 28 countries.
RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.
HiQ (part of Goodyear Dunlop) became the BTCC's new title sponsor in 2008 in a new three-year agreement. It provides a fast-fit car care service at its 150 centres across the UK. In the next two years, that number will rise to 250 as HiQ embarks on revolutionising the fast-fit industry. It has already taken the lead by offering a unique online service www.hiqonline.co.uk for motorists to buy tyres and arrange a fitting appointment.