BMW will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as a fully fledged manufacturer for the first time in 21 years. The partnership also marks ten years since BMW and West Surrey Racing came together as they look set for a strong year with an experienced line up of Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington.
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.”
WSR team boss Dick Bennetts and all three drivers were present at the launch at BMW Park Lane, London along with Graeme Grieve and BTCC Series Director Alan Gow to showcase the start of a new era in the BTCC and at West Surrey Racing.
Dick Bennetts commented “I reckon that working together successfully as motorsport partners for ten years is the equivalent of a lifelong marriage. 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.”
The wraps were removed from one of the three BMW 125i M Sport team cars in a fresh livery that will contest the 2017 BTCC, with the cars newly-developed, prepared and run by WSR.
The German manufacturer will give WSR full technical and financial support to the team throughout 2017 which also includes the introduction of a new power plant in the 125i M Sport machines. All three cars will be fitted with BMW’s new B48 two-litre turbocharged engine, developed by Neil Brown Engineering.
BMW will now join Honda, MG, Vauxhall and Subaru on the grid as fully fledged manufacturers.