Stephen Jelley has completed Team BMW’s line-up for the 2021 British Touring Car Championship, marking a return to the WSR-run team for the first time in 12 years. The signing of the 38-year-old Leicester racer reunites him with four-time BTCC champion Colin...
Tom Oliphant will return with Team BMW for the 2021 British Touring Car Championship as the WSR-run team today reveals the second member of its three-car line-up. The Leamington Spa-based 30-year-old enjoyed his best BTCC season to date last year as he scored his...
Four-time British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington will spearhead Team BMW’s assault on the series for a fifth successive year in 2021. The 38-year-old Northern Irishman finished as runner-up in the Drivers’ title race last year and aims to go one better in the...
WSR celebrates its 40th birthday this year by heading into what’s sure to be another hard-fought British Touring Car Championship battle as BMW’s manufacturer representative. Those forty years have featured enormous success on a national and international scale with...
A motorsport icon returns to the British Touring Car Championship. Follow Team BMW as they get familiar with the new BMW 3 Series and begin the arduous process of transforming the road car into a motorsport title contender.
Andrew Jordan meets the new BMW 3 Series for the first time, at the MIRA wind tunnel. Team BMW take the new BMW 3 Series into testing to lock down their wing position, while the rest of the cars are having the finishing touches made to the all-important roll cages.
As the beginning of the BTCC Season looms, it’s the final push to get the new BMW 3 Series ready to race. The team work against the odds to get the three cars into shape ahead of their final livery reveal, and their big race debut.
West Surrey Racing
West Surrey Racing, which celebrates its 40th birthday in 2021, is one of the UK’s most celebrated race teams with more than 20 championships and major race wins on their remarkable CV.
Created by New Zealander Dick Bennetts in 1981 and now based in Sunbury-on-Thames on the outskirts of London, WSR is honoured to be the brains behind the ultra-successful Team BMW, the reigning British Touring Car Teams’ and Manufacturers’ champions.
The team stunned the British Formula 3 Championship field by winning their debut race from pole position and going on to that that year’s title with Jonathan Palmer in a Ralt-Toyota.
Four more Drivers’ titles were achieved in the series inside the next decade with Ayrton Senna, Mauricio Gugelmin, Mika Hakkinen and Rubens Barrichello. Senna and Gugelmin also won the category’s most prestigious race, the Macau Grand Prix, with Jordi Gene claiming the International F3 League at Fuji, Japan.
WSR bowed out of F3 at the end of 1995 as the most successful team in the history of the series, both in terms of race victories and titles; its prowess helping it to become Ford’s works team in the following year’s BTCC.
A breakthrough touring car win was achieved with Will Hoy at Silverstone in 1998 while F1 legend Nigel Mansell memorably led ‘the greatest touring car race of all time’ at Donington Park later that year in another of WSR’s Mondeos.
For 1999 WSR began a two-year association with Honda, winning first time out with James Thompson and closing with a double-victory for Tom Kristensen at Silverstone in what was the final BTCC event for Super Touring machinery…
The BMW 330i M Sport
Designed, built and raced by WSR, the BMW 330i M Sport enjoyed an extraordinary first season of competition as it powered Colin Turkington to a record-equalling fourth BTCC Drivers’ crown and helped BMW claim a fourth consecutive Manufacturers’ title. Based on the award-winning BMW 3 Series production vehicle, and powered by the two-litre, four-cylinder BMW B48 engine, the 330i M Sport only turned its first wheel 10 days before the start of the 2019 BTCC season, but blew the competition away from the outset with 11 wins – WSR’s highest single-season victory total in any series.
Colin is WSR’s longest-serving driver; making his BTCC debut with the team in 2002 and winning every one of his four overall titles – plus four Independents’ crowns – with their BMWs. Since his return to the Sunbury-on-Thames team in 2017, he has never finished lower than second in the Drivers’ Championship and last year became only the second man to win the series four times. He returns for a crack at a fifth crown as he seeks to re-write the history books.
Leamington Spa-based Tom Oliphant returns for a third season with Team BMW, having claimed his maiden series win at Brands Hatch in 2020 on his way to a career-best sixth spot in the overall standings – a result that was instrumental in BMW’s record-equalling fifth straight BTCC Manufacturers’ title. Having mastered the rear-wheel-drive BMW 330i M Sport, the former Ginetta GT4 Supercup Champion is going for the big one in 2021.
Returning to WSR in 2021 after 11 years away – and for his first campaign as a Team BMW driver – is Leicester’s Stephen Jelley. A front-running single-seater racer in his earlier years, he switched to the BTCC in 2008 as Colin Turkington’s WSR team-mate, claimed his first pole position in his maiden season and then his first win the following year. Thereafter followed many years in GT racing in Britain and abroad before a return to touring car action in 2017, which has eventually led him back to Sunbury-on-Thames.