“I don’t need much persuasion to get out on track,” he adds. “It’s all good practice as we don’t get that much running in the BTCC away from the races, so any extra mileage is great.”
So how did the 36-time BTCC race winner find the car, which he was racing for the first time at a circuit where he’s won three times during his day job?
“I loved it,” he says. “You just know when you’re in a racing BMW, don’t you? I was really surprised how quick it was [he lapped in 1m13s, barely two seconds shy of the pole position time for the recent Donington BTCC round], to be honest. Once it was up in the rev range and there was some tyre temperature, it felt great and I was revving it up to 9,000-plus rpm. You had to take your time with the six-speed, dog-leg gearbox – I’m used to a sequential shift – but it was sweet once I’d got used to it. And it makes a great noise!
Turkington put his speed and experience to good use in the race, hounding and passing Patrick Watts’ Peugeot 406 that had outdragged him at the start into Turn 1, to take a debut podium.