Rivals say Colin Turkington now in BTCC title fight

Leading British Touring Car figures believe Colin Turkington is now a threat for the title after his impressive weekend at Croft

Rivals say Colin Turkington now in BTCC title fight

The 2009 champion took his WSR-run NGTC BMW 125i M Sport to pole, two wins and a second at the North Yorkshire venue.

The results moved him to fifth in the drivers' table, 40 points behind leader Matt Neal with half the season still to go.

Although WSR played down its title chances at the weekend, citing the suitability of the track to its rear-wheel-drive BMWs, rivals believe Turkington is a championship challenger.

Honda driver Neal said: "He's definitely in it. If you look at the pace he had at Oulton and here, you'd be a fool not to think so."

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden told AUTOSPORT: "We just didn't have the pace of the BMWs in the dry. Colin's a lot closer now and there's a long way to go."

Triple Eight boss Ian Harrison, whose lead MG driver Jason Plato is now only four points ahead of Turkington, agreed.

"You can't dismiss Colin Turkington," he said. "I did in 2005 [when Turkington drove for Harrison] and it was a mistake.

"He's a championship threat and always will be. He knows how to do it, he's a champion."

BTCC DRIVERS' POINTS AFTER ROUND 5 OF 10 1. Matt Neal (Honda) 224 2. Andrew Jordan (Honda) 205 3. Jason Plato (MG) 188 4. Gordon Shedden (Honda) 188 5. Colin Turkington (BMW) 184 6. Sam Tordoff (MG) 148 
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