West Surrey Racing has a history dating back to 1981, when existing team principal Dick Bennetts was instrumental in the careers of many legends of motor sport including Ayrton Senna.
“WSR” made the move into the BTCC in 1996 to run the factory Ford outfit, with Will Hoy taking a first win for the squad in 1998.
The following year would see WSR enter two factory Honda Accords between 1999-2000 and then a pair of factory MGs from 2001-2003.
With the addition of eBay Motors support in 2012, drivers Rob Collard, Tom Onslow-Cole and Nick Foster piloted WSR to second in the standings. For 2013, the team built no fewer than three BMW 125i M Sport NGTC cars, with Collard and Foster joined by Turkington. The car quickly showed its potential, and the Northern Irishman found himself challenging for the overall Drivers’ championship until the final event of the year.
2014 was an incredible season for the team, as it took every championship available to it. Turkington claimed a second Drivers’ crown and Collard returned to winning ways at Knockhill.
2015 saw a change of title sponsor as Sam Tordoff joined the squad alongside Collard under the Team JCT600 with GardX banner, while three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx brought IHG Rewards Club backing to the third BMW. Running as a Constructor for the first time, the three drivers claimed seven wins between them with Tordoff taking the honours as the highest-finishing WSR runner in sixth overall.
2016 was a vintage year for the outfit as it romped to the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships, with both Collard and Tordoff heading into the final weekend of the season in with a chance of raising overall Drivers’ laurels. The latter had led the pecking order for much of the campaign but couldn’t hold on as a charging Gordon Shedden made his presence felt, with the defining overtaking manoeuvre taking place in the season finale.
BMW aligned with West Surrey Racing for 2017 – running a trio of 125i M Sports. The addition of factory support from the Bavarian giant looked to be a move that would galvanise WSR’s bid to hammer home its authority as a double title-holder. Colin Turkington re-signed for the team – one that made him a double champion in 2009 and 2014. Rob Collard agreed a new deal with the Surrey squad, and Andrew Jordan joined the stable under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.
BMW and WSR enjoyed a strong campaign. Collard notched a victory and six additional podiums, leading him to fifth in the overall standings. Jordan took to the top step at Brands Hatch and added a couple more victories, one at Oulton Park and another at Rockingham – on his way to ninth in the overall standings.
Turkington, meanwhile, enjoyed the strongest season of the bunch. Wins at Donington Park, Thruxton, Croft and Brands Hatch were interspersed by a smattering of podium finishes, giving the Ulsterman’s campaign a consistent push toward the top of the standings tree. It wasn’t to be in the end for Turkington as a puncture ended any potential championship charge in the finale prematurely, despite a storming Round 29 which saw him fire from 15th to victory.
The Northern Irishman did go one better though in an ultra-competitive 2018 campaign. His only victory of the season came at Oulton Park, but with wins spread amongst a record 17 different race winners, consistency proved to be king with Turkington coming out on top to seal his third drivers’ title and third with West Surrey Racing in BMW machinery.
For 2019, WSR and BMW entered a trio of 330i M Sports and Turkington returned looking to seal a record-equalling fourth Drivers’ crown.