WSR are delighted to announce that Stephen Jelley will remain with the team for the 2023 British Touring Car Championship.
The Leicester racer will once again race a BMW 330e M Sport for the Sunbury-on-Thames team, which last year won an unprecedented seventh consecutive BTCC Manufacturers’ title for the German brand.
Stephen made his BTCC debut in a WSR-run BMW 320si in 2008, gaining his first pole position in his rookie season at Brands Hatch and a double win at Rockingham the following year that proved instrumental in the team’s title success.
After a seven-year stint racing GT cars in the UK and internationally, he returned to the BTCC in 2017 and re-joined WSR – under the Team BMW banner – in 2021.
That return season resulted in several podium finishes and he performed even better last year as he returned to the top step of the podium with a dominant race win at Oulton Park during the summer.
Stephen, who has four BTCC wins, 12 podium finishes, one pole position and two fastest laps, has played a vital role in the past two Manufacturers’ title successes; the latest of 16 overall crowns for WSR. Fifteen of those have come since 2014 with BMW race cars designed and built in-house.
Established in 1981 by Dick Bennetts, WSR won five British Formula Three titles, two Macau Grands Prix and several other international events before joining the BTCC in 1996.
With more than 100 race wins and 350 podiums since then, as well as a victory in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, WSR are firmly established as one of the UK’s leading touring-car race organisations.
The 2023 BTCC; the 66th running of the UK’s number one motor racing series, begins at Donington Park on April 22-23.
Stephen Jelley said: “I’m really pleased to be back in the BMW 330e M Sport for 2023. I was a lot more competitive last year, but we didn’t get the results we should have, for various reasons, so I think we can improve. I’ve been working hard to improve all aspects of my driving and want to just treat every race like it’s my last and give it everything. It’s a privilege to be part of the team at WSR as it’s incredibly competitive with some great drivers. It was a pleasure to work with Jake [Hill] and Colin [Turkington] last year, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible to finish as the lead WSR driver. I want to say a big thank you to Jewson, Arthur J Gallagher, Metclad Contracts, and Jelson Homes for their continued support and I’m looking forward to going out there and maximising our opportunities.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We’re delighted to have Stephen on board for another season. He’s an extremely popular member of the team here at WSR and made excellent progress with the hybrid BMW 330e M Sport last year. His average qualifying position in 2022 was the best he’s had in a BTCC season. Coming in a year when the level of competition was as high as I can ever remember it, that’s very impressive. He wants to win more races and score more podiums in 2023, so we’ll push as hard as we can to make that happen.”