Andy Priaulx won't race in the BTCC in 2016

Three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, who drove for the WSR British Touring Car Championship team in 2015, will not return to the category in 2016

Andy Priaulx won't race in the BTCC in 2016

Priaulx returned to the BTCC in 2015 at the wheel of a WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport and he won twice, finishing eighth in the points despite missing three races due to sportscar commitments.

"I have had a fantastic time in the British Touring Car Championship and I am sad to leave it behind," said Priaulx, who had last raced in the series in 2002 prior to his comeback.

"It is a such a competitive category and I built some very solid foundations through 2015 which would have allowed me to kick on in 2016, but unfortunately I can't make that happen.

"It is a shame, because that was the most enjoyable season I have had for a long time."

Priaulx, who last week confirmed his split with the factory BMW operation after 13 years, has been linked to a programme in GT racing next season with a new manufacturer.

"The BTCC is something I could look at again in the future: never say never," he added.

"[Series director] Alan Gow and his team have done a wonderful job in maintaining the series' success, and Dick Bennetts and all at WSR were a pleasure to work with.

"I will be keeping in touch with the BTCC, that is for sure."

WSR's Bennetts said the squad would run three BMW 125i M Sport cars in the 2016 contest.

He said that 2015 two-time race winner Sam Tordoff would remain with the outfit and Rob Collard was nearing a deal to stay on as well, while the team is in talks with several drivers about the third seat.

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