Colin Turkington believes this season's British Touring Car Championship could be one of the most open in recent years.
The reigning champion clinched his maiden title in a West Surrey Racing BMW, beating Fabrizio Giovanardi's Vauxhall and Jason Plato's Chevrolet in a three-way fight at the season finale.
Speaking at the AUTOSPORT International show this morning, Turkington explained that the performance balance between the cars means that a driver can be competitive in a wide range of machinery.
"Three or four years ago, if you weren't in a SEAT or a Vauxhall, you had no chance of winning the title," he said. "But everybody has a good car now, you can pretty much buy any one of them and you have a chance – especially with the ballast and reverse grids."
Turkington says he is sorry to see Vauxhall leave the series and that many plans for the 2010 series are still to come together.
"It's disappointing to lose a manufacturer and a great driver like Fabrizio, he really set the benchmark. Hopefully the championship can attract good drivers this year, but it's pretty quiet at the moment. The intention is for West Surrey to continue in the BTCC, but nothing is finalized, they are looking at the World and European championships, too.
"At the moment I have no commitment with the team, either. I've been with them for seven brilliant seasons, but it's a difficult time for everybody at the minute and I don't think there are too many drivers out there with drives confirmed."