TURKINGTON SIGNS WITH WEST SURREY RACING
Colin Turkington set to drive BMW 125i M Sport in 2017 BTCC
Colin Turkington will join 2016 Teams Champions West Surrey Racing in a BMW 125i M Sport for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
Announcing their deal today, Turkington and WSR re-ignite an extremely successful relationship spanning over fifteen years. Since his BTCC debut in 2002 Turkington has collected 4 Independent Drivers Championships, 2 overall BTCC Drivers titles, 30 race wins and 86 podiums in their time together. Yet given WSR’s current credentials and the recent form of Turkington, 2017 easily stands out as the most anticipated.
The pedigree of Dick Bennetts’ Sunbury-on-Thames based team speaks for itself and they added to that in 2016 with the BMW 125i M Sport claiming both the Manufacturers / Constructors’ Championship and the Teams Championship.
After announcing himself as a free agent at the beginning of the year, speculation was widespread about Turkington’s future; but it comes as no surprise that the double BTCC Champion has returned to a proven championship winning team, especially one of such calibre.
Colin Turkington is certainly familiar to the BMW, having secured his second BTCC crown with the 125i M Sport in 2014. Nevertheless, various successful upgrades have since been added and the 2017 season will also see new developments to the WSR designed and built BMW; further reinforcing the team’s engineering excellence.
Thrilled to be back with the BMW and WSR family, Colin expressed his delight saying:
“It feels fantastic to re-join WSR for the 2017 season and I couldn’t be more excited about my return. From my debut in touring cars in 2002 right through to winning my second BTCC title, it’s been like a second family for me and my greatest achievements in motor racing have all been shared with them.
I’m confident our rear wheel drive expertise and shared work ethic will be a successful formula and allow us to fight for honours once more. I’m particularly keen to drive the BMW 125i M Sport again and feel the improvements that have come about since 2014.”
Work for this season has already begun and I can’t wait to slip back in and get busy making this year a great success for all involved.
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal of WSR, has every confidence that Turkington will slot straight back in.
“Colin, no doubt, is one of the fastest and most consistent BTCC drivers, and although we were not surprised, his results last year were nothing short of impressive. He continues to push the boundaries and works extremely hard at his racing. To have this passion and ambition in our driver line-up for 2017 is a huge impetus for us and we are looking forward to getting him back in the car and hitting the track.”
GETTING TO WORK
West Surrey Racing begin their pre-season testing later this month at Fast Parcmotor Castelloli in Spain, ahead of the official BTCC media and test day at Donington Park on the 16th March.
Rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will commence at Brands Hatch on 1st and 2nd April.
COLIN TURKINGTON BTCC STATISTICS with West Surrey Racing
Debut with WSR – Oulton Park 21st April 2002
Seasons – 9
BTCC Championships Wins– 2
BTCC Independents Championship Wins – 4
Pole positions – 9
Race wins – 30
Podiums – 86
Fastest Laps – 33
WORLD TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP – TURKINGTON AND WSR
2007 – 2012
During 2007, WSR also a fielded a BMW 320si for Colin Turkington in two rounds of the World Touring Car Championship, at Brands Hatch and Macau. Sponsored by Aviva, Turkington finished on the podium in the first race at Brands Hatch.
The successful pairing then went on to compete in eight different WTCC events throughout 2010 / 2011 and 2012 where Turkington clinched his first ever WTCC win and multiple other podiums.
ABOUT WEST SURREY RACING
West Surrey Racing is a British racing team founded in 1981 by New Zealander Dick Bennetts, who is leading the team still today. WSR started its life in the British Formula 3 Championship, running cars for the future world champions such as Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen, Tom Kristensen, Nigel Mansell, Allan McNish and Andy Priaulx. The team captured five F3 championship titles.
In 1996, WSR moved into the British Touring Car Championship, continuing the streak of extraordinary results for the Factory teams of Ford and Honda.
In 2002, when the BTCC was revamped, WSR designed, built, developed and raced the Works MG Rover ZS’. WSR further expanded into circuit design and prototype engineering. They moved onto running BMWs from 2007 with Colin Turkington taking the 2009 BTCC Driver’s title.
eBay Motors became title sponsors in 2013 when WSR built, developed and raced 3 new BMW 125i M Sport NCTC (New Generation Touring Car) spec. cars. They went on to win the 2014 BTCC Driver’s title with Turkington.
WSR went on to claim the BTCC Teams and Manufacturers Championships in 2016 after also narrowly missing out on the overall drivers’ title to finish runner up.
In the twenty years of BTCC participation, the team have taken 5 outright championship titles, 9 independents’ crowns, 69 race victories and 231 podium finishes (until the end of 2016).