Colin Turkington first raced in the BTCC back in 2002 after winning the Ford Credit Fiesta Zetec Championship. For his first three seasons, the Northern Irishman competed for West Surrey Racing in an MG ZS, with factory backing coming in 2003-4. A single campaign with VX Racing followed in 2005 before Turkington returned to WSR to race the RAC-liveried MG and BMW 320si machines between 2006 and 2009.
Turkington’s potential was realised in 2009, as he piloted his BMW to six victories and the overall Drivers’ crown despite late-season charges from past champions Fabrizio Giovanardi and Jason Plato.
Turkington remains the only Ulsterman ever to win the BTCC, but he did not return to defend his laurels the following season. From 2010-12 he contested a number of World Touring Car and Scandinavian Touring Car events before making a highly anticipated return to home turf in 2013. Behind the wheel of a brand-new BMW 1 Series (again for WSR), Colin quickly re-established himself as a main championship contender and went on to claim his second title with the team in 2014.
The following year, he joined the fledgling and ambitious Team BMR, and after getting to grips with the front-wheel drive VW CC, he notched four victories en route to fourth in the final standings and a second consecutive Independents’ Trophy – the fifth of his career.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing had a Jekyll and Hyde 2016. The team endured a tough start to the season as it got to grips with its quartet of newly-built Subaru Levorg GTs for the Japenese brand’s maiden BTCC campaign. Come Oulton Park, though, they found their form. Turkington took a race one win – a first of five (Oulton Park, Croft, Snetterton and a Brands Hatch finale double) – which put him in overall Drivers’ Championship contention heading into the final weekend of the season as one of eight drivers in with a chance of taking the spoils. He was one of eight in contention but ultimately finished fourth.
Turkington returned to West Surrey Racing for 2017 in the Team BMW 125i M Sport and it became quickly apparent that the combination would be one to watch. He went on to secure four victories but despite a valiant effort heading into the finale weekend, he couldn’t unseat Ashley Sutton at the top of the standings, finishing the season as runner-up and helping the outfit to the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles.
The Northern Irishman did go one better though in an ultra-competitive 2018 campaign. His only victory of the season came at Oulton Park, but with wins spread amongst a record 17 different race winners, consistency proved to be king with Turkington coming out on top to seal his third drivers’ title and third with West Surrey Racing in BMW machinery.
For 2019, WSR and BMW entered a trio of 330i M Sports and Turkington returned looking to seal a record-equalling fourth Drivers’ crown.