BMW to make factory return to British Touring Car Championship

BMW will return to the British Touring Car Championship as a fully-fledged manufacturer this season, supporting the three-car WSR attack

BMW to make factory return to British Touring Car Championship

The UK arm of the German firm will provide financial and technical support to the machines of double champion Colin Turkington, 2013 title winner Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard.

The trio will race their 125i M Sport cars under the Team BMW banner, with Turkington and Collard set to run identical factory colours.

BMW last raced in the BTCC as a manufacturer outfit in 1996, and Team Schnitzer took the drivers' championship with German Jo Winkelhock in '93, below.

Graeme Grieve, managing director of BMW UK, said: "The BTCC is undeniably the most significant race series in the UK with a huge and enthusiastic following.

"With a legendary record behind us in the series' history books, and partnering continuously with WSR for a decade, we are delighted to step up as a manufacturer team again after 21 years.

"BMW UK's significant financial investment includes the funding of technical developments on all fronts, focused on the very latest BMW engine derivative."

All three of the team's cars will be fitted with the BMW's new B48 two-litre turbocharged engine, developed by Neil Brown Engineering.

Previously, WSR has used a normally-aspirated motor upgraded to include a turbocharger.

BMW joins Honda, MG, Vauxhall and Subaru on the grid as fully fledged manufacturers, with WSR having run its cars in the BTCC since 2007.

It claimed the drivers' title with Colin Turkington driving the Team RAC BMW 320si in 2009, and Turkington won it again in 2014 at the wheel of the BMW 125i M Sport.

WSR was upgraded by series officials from a privateer to a constructor - within the BTCC's manufacturers'/constructors' championship - in 2015 to reflect technical input from BMW.

"I reckon that working together successfully as motorsport partners for 10 years is the equivalent of a lifelong marriage," team boss Dick Bennetts said.

"It's a tribute to BMW's product and commitment, and we are delighted to once again represent the marque as they return with increased commitment as a manufacturer in the BTCC."

shares
comments
Ex-MG driver Cook replaces Lines at Maximum Ford BTCC team for 2017
Previous article

Ex-MG driver Cook replaces Lines at Maximum Ford BTCC team for 2017

Next article

Speedworks reveals upgraded Toyota Avensis for 2017 BTCC

Speedworks reveals upgraded Toyota Avensis for 2017 BTCC
How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test Plus

How the BTCC's new hybrid era aced its first test

Expectations were high for the start of the British Touring Car Championship’s hybrid power era, and despite nerves and problems to solve prior to its debut the new rules gained widespread approval. Here’s how the first test at Donington Park was passed and the thorough examinations that are to follow

BTCC
Apr 28, 2022
The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions Plus

The Ford BTCC superteam combining two reigning TOCA champions

Reigning BTCC champion Ash Sutton and Porsche Carrera Cup GB victor Dan Cammish form a potent line-up at the Motorbase-run NAPA Racing team as the series adopts hybrid power. With Sutton bringing the key components of his title-winning Laser Tools Racing set-up, and Cammish eager to prove a point on his return, their dynamic is set to be one of the season's major talking points

BTCC
Apr 21, 2022
The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on Plus

The stalwart tin-top boss still shaping careers more than 40 years on

Veteran team manager Marvin Humphries and former Tech-Speed team boss has worked not only with stars of the British Touring Car Championship, but legends including Gil de Ferran, Hans Stuck and Tom Sneva in a long and varied career that has spanned five decades across tin-tops, single-seaters and sportscars

BTCC
Feb 4, 2022
The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star Plus

The grassroots rise that shaped an understated BTCC star

Having started out in club-level competitions alongside his own university engineering studies, Josh Cook's journey to becoming an established frontrunner in the British Touring Car Championship is atypical. But it's these experiences that have moulded the 30-year-old into a humble star, respected throughout the paddock

BTCC
Jan 12, 2022
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Autosport picks out the best performers

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Plus

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Plus

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Plus

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021