COLIN Turkington will forever remain synonymous with the British Touring Car Championship thanks to his 2009 title triumph.
The Portadown driver steered a West Surrey Racing-backed BMW to glory in the colours of Team RAC.
Now, following three frustrating seasons, he is back on the British roster and keen to record fresh memories with WSR.
Turkington is currently preparing for the 2013 championship as part of the eBay Motors Team, with the opening round scheduled for Brands Hatch on March 31.
It will provide Turkington with a first British return to the venue which, in 2009, served up the scene of his greatest sporting achievement.
“I’ve had a few tough years but it is great to be back with WSR and to see so many old friends still connected from 2009,” said Turkington. “However, even though I was away from the British championship, I kept up my interest and am aware of just how competitive a field we can expect.
“A lot has changed since 2009, in terms of drivers and cars.
“My aim is still to be fighting from the front in a series which has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years.
“It is exciting and rewarding to be able to continue on my relationship with WSR and BMW and I know they will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get the car out in time.
“WSR are currently building a car so it is going to be towards the end of February or early March before I probably get the chance to start working in it towards the first round.
“We want to be as competitive as possible but also have to be realistic in our expectations as any new car takes time until everything clicks into place.”
Turkington can enter the British series with title-winning experience on home soil but also boosted by successful appearances in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship and World programme.
Podium placings in Japan and China – along with five top-three positions across the Scandinavian event – add up to a driver with an old head to sit on top of his youthful enthusiasm for a British return.
“Not having a race at all in 2010 coming off the back of the 2009 title seemed, at the time, a disaster,” said Turkington. “However, it turned me towards positive experiences elsewhere and I feel now is the perfect time for a return to the British scene.
“I feel, absolutely, that racing in the Scandinavian and World championships has added to the levels and that I certainly have more tools at my disposal than in 2009.
“It has been a frustrating few years but now the patience has paid off and I am excited about the future project.”