ColinTurkington is one of the most successful British racing drivers and two-time British Touring Cars Championship title winner. He won BTCC titles in 2009, 2014 and 2018, driving BMWs for West Surrey Racing in all three occasions. Between championship-winning BTCC seasons, he spent some time in the World Touring Car Championship and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, but without any notable success.
Winning championships in the beginning of a career
Colin Henry Turkington was born in March 1982 in the town of Portadown in Northern Ireland. When he was 11, Colin started racing karting in Ulster series and later he competed in autograss racing which is very popular across the United Kingdom.
His first success was winning the title in Metro Championship in 1998 which secured him move to the Ford Credit Fiesta Zetec Championship in 1999. After two years in the series, Turkington became a champion in 2001, securing further progress through the ranks.
BTCC debut in 2002 with Team Atomic Kitten
In 2002, Colin Turkington debuted in the British Touring Cars Championship, driving for the Team Atomic Kitten. The first year in the BTCC wasn’t impressive for the rookie and he finished 14th overall.
Next year, Turkington got the better car driving for the factory-backed West Surrey Racing team. The results arrived quickly as he won his first race at Brands Hatch finishing 8th overall. The same result Colin achieved in 2004. Despite his team lost the backing of MG manufacturer, Turkington won the race at Mondello Park and was 8th in the Drivers’ championship.
First BTCC victory
In 2005, Turkington had to fill big shoes as he replaced the champion James Thompson in Vauxhall team. He did a pretty good job clinching two victories at Croft and Mondello and finishing four times at podium which was enough for sixth place at the end of the season after which Turkington left the team.
Colin Turkington at Donington, 2005
He rejoined West Surrey Racing and stayed with them for four years. Driving an MG ZS, Turkington in 2006 finished third overall which was his best result so far. He again scored two race wins and proved he was ready for bigger achievements. But, next three years Colin Turkington was out of the race for the championship laurels. Switching to BMW 320si, at Croft, he scored first win for the German manufacturer in the series after more than 10 years.
2009 British Touring Cars Championship winner
He finished the season of 2007 at 5th place while next year he was 4th despite winning four races. Finally, Colin Turkington won the BTCC title in 2009. He was on the top of the standings during the whole season, but couldn’t secure the title until the season finale at Brands Hatch. He scored six wins that year and drove consistently, failing to finish only one race.
Colin Turkington 2009 BTCC champion
Colin Turkington moves to WTCC
Sadly, Turkington couldn’t attempt to defend his title in 2010 after his team lost sponsor backing. The Ulsterman then switched to the World Touring Cars Championship in which he already debuted in 2007. For the 2010 campaign, still behind the wheel of BMW 320si, he drove three rounds for the eBay Motors team and two rounds for Team Aviva. He won one race and scored three podiums, finishing 10th in the Drivers’ championship.
Colin Turkington at 2011 WTCC Race of Japan
Next two years, Turkington sporadically competed in the WTCC but he drove the full 2011 season in the Scandinavian Touring Cars Championship for the Flash Engineering team. He couldn’t win a race, but was 5th overall after 18 races.
Turkington returns to BTCC
In 2013, Turkington returned to the BTCC and immediately became one of the title contenders. He scored five wins in his returning season eBay Motors, driving a BMW 125i M Sport. Driving the same car for the same team, Colin won his second BTCC title in 2014. This was probably the best season in his career so far as he clinched eight wins that year, managing to win both rounds at Oulton Park, Croft and Rockingham.
Colin Turkington - 2014 BTCC champion
Two seasons with Team BMR
After winning the title, Turkington left the team and joined Team BMR to drive alongside another two-time champion Jason Plato. The first year with the new team was solid and he scored four wins finishing 4th overall. In 2016, Team BMR switched to Subaru Levorg GT car and Turkington was one of the title contenders until the last round. He won five races and finished fourth in the points.
Rejoining West Surrey Racing for third BTCC title
In 2017, Colin rejoined West Surrey Racing to drive the #4 BMW 125i M Sport, with Rob Collard as a teammate. They won Manufacturers' championship title. In drivers' classification, Turkington finished second after he won four races.
In the 2018 BTCC season, Turkington was a race winner just once in the #2 BMW, at Oulton Park, but showed a consistency with nine more podium finishes and won his third championship title.
Colin Turkington - 2018 British touring car champion