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Irish star Colin Turkington joining Go Motorsport ambassadors

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Team RAC’s Colin Turkington is the latest big name in British motor sport to join the prominent ranks of Go Motorsport ambassadors. The Northern Irish star who leads the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship adds his name to a distinguished roster of UK stars backing the Motor Sport Association’s new Go Motorsport initiative – a scheme which has been set up specifically to help people of all ages to get involved in all areas of motor sport whether as a competitor, volunteer or spectator.

Established by the MSA, governing body of UK motor sport, Go Motorsport was launched last summer at the McLaren Technology Centre by reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton. The impressive list of ambassadors supporting the Go Motorsport scheme includes: 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours winner David Brabham, F1 championship leader Jenson Button and former FIA F1 World Champion Damon Hill (see below for full list).

Turkington, 27, from Portadown in Co Armagh, is one of the world’s most successful touring car drivers and is currently the man to beat in the UK’s premier BTCC race series. For the past two seasons he has been the Independent Drivers Champion and currently enjoys a sizeable lead in 2009 championship standings. Like so many others, though, Turkington cut his teeth in junior karting, furthered his car control skills in autograss before switching to circuit racing in 1998, winning the Northern Irish Metro Championship on debut. Having won at home, Colin broadened his horizons by switching to the British-based Ford Fiesta Championship, a title he won in 2001. That success paved the way for promotion into the BTCC and he was one of the first year recruits onto the MSA’s Race Elite scheme in 2007.

While Go Motorsport is a nationwide campaign, Colin, hopes that his personal involvement in the initiative will encourage people of all ages will follow in his wheel tracks by taking up circuit racing in his native Northern Ireland.

“I’m delighted to be involved with Go Motorsport,” enthused Colin. “The people of Northern Ireland are very passionate about their motor sport, and hopefully what I’m doing will help encourage people to get involved. Rallying and motor cycle racing have always been very strong but there are plenty of other opportunities as well. I know, for instance, a lot of effort is going into the kart track at Nutts Corner and that’s got to be great news particularly for the next generation of potential competitors.”

Turkington also is keen to encourage more people to extend their passion for motor sport by volunteering to fill crucial roles at events. “It’s no exaggeration to say most motor sport wouldn’t exist without the efforts of these volunteers. More than that, though, volunteering can be a great way into the sport. A good example is one of my engineers at Team RAC – he first got into racing by being a track-side marshal; now, as my data logger, he’s a vital part of our current success.”

Colin Hilton, MSA chief executive, is delighted that Turkington has joined the Go Motorsport campaign. He said: “Colin is one of stars of British motor sport and is a true ambassador in every sense of the word. He has been a leading light in our premier championship for many years and a terrific role model to the 10s of thousands of BTCC fans throughout the country. I know he will be a great asset to the Go Motorsport campaign, particularly to our efforts to inspire those in Northern Ireland to get involved in our sport.”

Turkington currently leads the driver standings with 149 points whilst  team-mate Stephen Jelley is in seventh with 69 points. Team RAC currently lead the ndependents Championship with 170 points.