4 time BTCC champion
Colin Turkington is quite simply one of the greatest drivers in the 65-year history of the British Touring Car Championship; his place in the history books assured by his record-equalling fourth title in 2019.
At the wheel of the WSR BMW 330e M Sport for a fifth straight season, Colin aims to add yet more silverware to his bulging trophy cabinet this year.
Born into a bike-racing family in Armagh (his grandfather and father having sponsored the road-racing exploits of Isle of Man TT winner Phillip McCallen) in 1982, it was two-wheeled action that the young Colin became obsessed with.
However when he began competing as a teenager it was on four wheels in Autograssing – driving a 1000cc Mini. That later morphed into a title-winning assault in Northern Ireland’s Metro Challenge and then another – this time in the UK’s Fiesta Zetec Challenge.
His potential clear, Colin met WSR’s Dick Bennetts in December 2001 and was quickly signed up to race one of the outfit’s Team Atomic MGs in the BTCC the following year.
It was with WSR that Colin grew as a driver, claiming his first BTCC win in 2003 and then scooping 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 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 raced to the 2014 title, and he was back again in 2017 under the newly-established Team BMW banner.
Second in that year’s points was followed by back-to-back titles; firstly in a 2018 season in which he proved that consistency was key as he won only once, but scored 17 top-five finishes aboard the 1 Series, and then in very different circumstances in ’19.
With the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport, designed, built and raced by WSR he won five times to snatch a record-equalling fourth BTCC crown – by a single point – in the closing moments of the final race of the year.
Back-to-back runner-up spots in ’20 and ’21 were followed by an historic occasion last year as he scored his 63rd race victory to sit equal-second on the BTCC’s all-time winners’ list. It’s surely only a matter of time before he secures that spot on his own.
STATS (CORRECT TO START OF 2023 SEASON)
From: Portadown, Northern Ireland
Lives: Buckinghamshire, England
Car: BMW 330e M Sport
BTCC Debut: Oulton Park, 2002
BTCC Starts: 509
BTCC Wins: 63
BTCC Podiums: 174
BTCC Fastest Laps: 69
BTCC Pole Positions: 27