Colin Turkington: 'Life runs at a hundred miles an hour'

By Brian JohnstonBBC Sport NI
Colin Turkington
Colin Turkington took part in the official BTCC test, but when will he next get to drive his BMW 3 Series?

Colin Turkington turned 38 last week.

He clinched a record equalling fourth British Touring Car Championship last October, however a few months after that Turkington had a narrow escape in China.

"Once my season finished I did a few guest rounds in the Chinese Touring Car Championship," recalls the Northern Irishman.

"One of those races was in Wuhan of all places, where the coronavirus spread from, so I feel really fortunate to have got in and out of Wuhan and not been affected.

"Wuhan was somewhere I had never really heard of before I went. When you go to China and you go to these cities you realise the scale and the size of the country and the amount of people in it.

"It really is another world from what we are used to.

"I feel really fortunate that I have managed to stay healthy and I got home in one piece, so obviously you feel for anybody that is suffering from this virus - it sounds as if it is really aggressive.

"There was a 21-year-old female who succumbed to the virus from the Buckingham region where I live, so it just shows that it is not just the elderly or those who are already sick who are affected.

"It can be anybody so very scary times and let's hope that we can all stay healthy."

We can race into winter if necessary

Turkington is at home in Milton Keynes with his family knowing that it will be June at the earliest before he'll be able to launch his bid for an unprecedented fifth title.

West Surrey Racing's new look BMW was unveiled at the official Test Day Silverstone on 17 March.

The first five rounds of the Championship have already been postponed but Turkington feels that when the time is right there will be enough time left to complete a full championship.

"We would like to get the season underway in July but that is a moving target, so we'll have to see how the situation develops," added the Portadown native.

I feel fortunate to have got out of Wuhan healthy -Turkington

"BTCC organisers are willing to adapt the calendar and we can race on back to back weekends if necessary.

"We were due to start this weekend and the season would finish in the second week of October, but the season was quite well spread out over that period so it all can become condensed.

"Alan Gow, who runs our series, says we can go beyond October so we can run into the autumn and winter months if we need to.

"I think there is a real desire to still do the full 10 rounds and 30 races - I think the fans will want that too.

"They want to see us out there competing and I think once the season does start there will be a real hunger for it and it definitely will be worth waiting for."

You have to enjoy what you have achieved

In many ways the enforced break gives Turkington a chance to recharge his batteries.

"It is important for me to take stock and reflect on what I have achieved up to this point," he added.

"It has taken a lot of hard work and effort from me and the team to get to four titles. So I don't want to keep looking ahead to the next challenge.

"I think you have to enjoy what you have achieved so this little breather is really important for me.

Lewis, Adam and Colin Turkington
Turkington celebrated his 38th birthday at home with sons Adam and Lewis

"Life just runs at a hundred miles an hour and you never get time to reflect and relax.

"It is important time for me to do things I don't normally get a chance to do like read and watch some documentaries on TV and to look into the lives of other sports people to see what I can learn, so that when the season does start back I will be fully refreshed.

"I am enjoying this bit of quiet time and I know that once the season does start back it will be all guns blazing.

"As I said on Twitter, 'The Earth is getting time to rest right now'."

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