Colin Turkington is quite simply one of the greatest drivers in the 62-year history of the British Touring Car Championship. A record-equalling fourth title, achieved with WSR and Team BMW last year made sure of his place in the history books and he’s back for more in 2020 as he aims to put himself head-and-shoulders above the heroes with an unprecedented fifth crown.
Having begun racing in his native Northern Ireland, his talent soon proved worthy of a move to full-UK Championship racing and it didn’t take him long to win the hotly-contested Fiesta Zetec title in 2001.
That was his ticket into the BTCC; his debut coming at Oulton Park the following year in a Team Atomic Kitten MG ZS run by WSR.
It was with WSR that Colin grew as a driver, claiming his first win in an MG in 2003 and then, after a spell that included a year away, returning to scoop the Independents’ crown – the first of four he would win with Dick Bennetts’ team – in his first year racing a BMW 320si in 2007.
His first outright title came in the same car against the odds in 2009 and was followed the next season by a sensational race win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Okayama, Japan – also in a WSR BMW.
After two more years racing outside the UK, Colin returned to the BTCC – and to WSR in 2013 with the all-new BMW 125i M Sport, with which he promptly raced to the 2014 title, and he was back again in 2017 under the newly-established Team BMW banner.
A magnificent season – the highlight of which was an incredible charge from 15th to victory in the penultimate race of the year at Brands Hatch – set up a dramatic title showdown, from which he was eliminated by another car, causing him to miss out on the crown.
He made amends in 2018; consistency paying off as he landed a third Drivers’ crown despite only winning once.
His 2019 title – a record-equalling fourth – came in a totally different manner as he won five times with the all-new WSR designed, built and raced BMW 330i M Sport and secured the crown by just two points at the season finale from his fellow WSR driver Andrew Jordan.
In 2020, the Northern Irishman spends his fourth straight year in Team BMW colours as he aims to become the BTCC’s first five-time champion and add to his 51 wins, 141 podiums, 20 pole positions and 57 fastest laps, as well as helping WSR extend their run of having won titles in four consecutive seasons.