BMW and WSR continue their quest for British Touring Car Championship success as the series moves on to one of its most iconic venues, Brands Hatch, this weekend.

As usual, the early-season triple header takes place on the 1.2-mile Indy layout, which has been a happy hunting ground for the organisation behind the Team BMW and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sports.

Having clinched every one of their record-breaking seven consecutive BTCC Manufacturers’ crowns at the Kent track – albeit six of them on a weekend when the longer ‘Grand Prix’ layout was in use, the BMW has often proved the car to have here.

Indeed, WSR-run cars have achieved more BTCC race wins (16) and pole positions (nine), on the shorter loop than any other team currently on the grid.

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington scored his maiden BTCC victory on the Indy circuit 20 years ago and has five victories and four pole positions on the layout.

He is looking to put all that experience to good use this weekend as he attempts to build on a top-five finish at Donington Park and climb from his current sixth place in the standings.

The four-time champion from Northern Ireland steered his BMW 330e M Sport to pole position – as part of an all-WSR top three – and a race win last year.

Team-mate Adam Morgan is another multiple Brands Hatch Indy race winner. Having triumphed in 2016, he scored his first BMW victory at the track two years ago on only his second weekend driving a WSR-built 3 Series.

The Lancashire racer became the 20th driver to score a BTCC podium with WSR as he took second place in Race Two at Donington Park – a result that briefly put him into a shared championship lead.

Adam is fifth in the points and highest-placed of the Team BMW drivers while BMW hold third in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Stephen Jelley has enjoyed some of his most notable BTCC successes on the Indy Circuit including his maiden series pole position – also in a WSR BMW – in 2008 and a podium finish in an independently-run 1 Series in 2019.

An inspired call by the Leicester racer in Race Two at Donington to fit wet tyres on the formation lap paid off handsomely as he climbed from 26th as the lights went out to fourth at the finish.

Stephen will be looking for similarly strong results in Kent as he seeks to improve on his current 13th place in the standings.

Brands Hatch is Jake Hill’s local circuit, the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport driver, who scored the first two of his now 32 BTCC podiums there, living near Maidstone.

As in 2022 he enjoyed an excellent start to the season at Donington Park with a second-place finish in Race One and a superb charge from 16th on the grid to fourth spot – with fastest lap – in a wet finale helping him to third in the Drivers’ standings.

Jake qualified on the front row on the Indy circuit last year and scored a second-place finish as part of a WSR one-two in Race Three.

All the races will be broadcast live from 1115 on Sunday on ITV4 while the ‘Top-10 Showdown’ format, which is being used at five of the 10 events this season, will be screened live on the ITV Sport YouTube channel at 1525 on Saturday.

Brands Hatch notes

The ‘Top-10 Showdown’ qualifying format, which has been trialled at selected events since 2020, is again used at Brands Hatch this weekend, as it was at Donington Park.

At the conclusion of the normal 30-minute session the 10 fastest drivers will have an extra 10-minutes to battle for pole position with their previous times reset.

The use of the series mandatory hybrid-electric power system has also been changed so as to create a greater reliance on strategy from drivers at the front of the field – who have had their access to the 30bhp boost reduced.

At Brands Hatch, owing to championship positions, only Stephen will be able to deploy hybrid power once his BMW reaches 115kph. Colin must wait until 125kph, Adam until 130kph and Jake will be locked out of hybrid deployment until his car has reached 135kph.

Jake will have five seconds of hybrid power available on each qualifying lap with Adam, Colin and Stephen entitled to nine, 11 and 15 seconds respectively.

In Race One Jake will be allowed to use hybrid on seven laps with Adam, Colin and Stephen able to use it on nine, 10 and 12 laps respectively. These amounts will be re-set based on the finishing positions in Races One and Two.

Finally Brands Hatch will be the first track at which the ‘option’ Goodyear tyre is used in 2023, creating an extra strategic question for teams. This did not happen at Donington due to the wet weather on race day.

Cars will predominantly use the control tyre, which is the medium compound this weekend, but must fit the option (soft) for one of Sunday’s three races.



Colin Turkington (Team BMW) said: “Brands Hatch Indy is a circuit I’ve usually gone well at. I had my first career win here in 2003 and pole when we debuted the BMW with WSR in 2007. The BMW’s really strong in the slow-speed traction zones, and how you get out of Clearways, in particular, is pretty key to your laptime as well as your chances of overtaking or defending through Paddock. We had a quick car at Donington in the wet or dry, but circumstances didn’t go our way, and we tested well here at Brands Hatch in changeable weather so I’m confident we can get things back on track.”

Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) said: “The BTCC is so tight right now that it feels like anything can happen, but Brands Hatch has been good to me in the past and we had a one-two-three in qualifying last year, so I think it’s going to be a good weekend. Preparations have gone very well and we had a good two-day test on the Indy circuit pre-season and picked up some really good information. We had excellent wet pace at Donington too so while results weren’t what we hoped for, car performance was a real positive and something we can build on.”

Adam Morgan (Team BMW) said: “Donington was a solid season-opener and obviously it was great to kick off my career at Team BMW with a podium finish. We should have had more points, but the big positive is the speed we showed in the wet and dry. If we can carry that into Brands Hatch – which we should be able to given what we achieved in pre-season testing – we can give it a really good go and aim for the podium again at the very least. I’ve won here on the Indy track a couple of times and qualified on the second row last year, so it’s a realistic aim.”

Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) said: “I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch this weekend. I’m born and bred in Kent, grew up watching races at Brands and then eventually raced here, so it’s always a special weekend. We were quick at Donington, battling at the front all weekend and collecting silverware. Brands Hatch Indy is always exciting, there’s very little room for error and you have to be so precise as the lap times are so close. Last year I started on the front row and got a podium here; so heading back, after a year with the BMW and the team under my belt, I’m more experienced and I’m hoping to channel that into a victory this weekend.”

Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “The Brands Hatch Indy circuit has traditionally been one of the circuits where BMWs have performed very well in the BTCC. Most of the corners are relatively low-speed and that’s where the excellent traction that you get from a rear-wheel-drive car can help you most. We proved that the 330e M Sport is continuing that trend by qualifying one-two-three here last year and getting a one-two finish with Colin and Jake. At Donington we showed that when it’s fully wet or fully dry, the BMW is extremely strong in either qualifying or racing conditions. We should have scored more points than we did, but we have 27 races to make up for it, starting at Brands Hatch.”