Subaru joins the BTCC with Team BMR for 2016 campaign
Team BMR will join up with Japanese car manufacturer Subaru for the British Touring Car Championship this season, bringing a new manufacturer into the championship. The team also confirm that Jason Plato and Colin Turkington will drive the two cars this season.
“We’re very excited to have teamed up with BMR for the 2016 championship, the first time a Subaru has competed in BTCC,” said Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director for Subaru UK & Ireland. “We were keen to enter our new Levorg Sport Tourer as it offers class leading aerodynamics and handling prowess in standard form. It can be easily developed into rear-wheel drive to comply with the BTCC regulations so we can’t wait to see how it goes against very established competition,” said Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director for Subaru UK & Ireland.
The team will run a pair of rear-wheel driven Subaru Levorg Sports Tourers, becoming the third ever estate in the BTCC after the Volvo 855 in 1994 and Honda Civic Tourer from 2014.
“I am extremely delighted that BMR are to become a manufacturer team in only our fourth year of competing in the BTCC,” said team principal Warren Scott. “I have had aspirations of becoming a race winning team with factory support from the very beginning and I am immensely proud of the team for giving Subaru the confidence in partnering BMR.”
The team has confirmed former BTCC champions Plato and Turkington, with the duo hoping to improve on the strong results from 2015 where Plato finished second overall and Turkington fourth.
“Part of my role when joining BMR was to help secure a manufacturer deal,” said Plato. “The iconic Subaru brand has always been right at the top of my wish list. Obviously it goes without saying that I am very excited about our future together and I’m confident that BMR will produce a fantastic package for me to fight for the championship. This really is exciting times for us all. I can’t wait for the season to begin.”
While Plato will be racing a rear-wheel drive car for the first time in the BTCC with the Levorg, it’s known territory for team-mate Colin Turkington, who won the 2009 and 2014 titles in rear-wheel drive BMWs.
“Continuing with Team BMR for the 2016 season was an easy decision for me and represents a great opportunity to build on our strong maiden campaign,” he said. “I can’t wait to get started with the development of the new Subaru Levorg BTCC race car and I’m more motivated than ever to win. This announcement is huge news for the championship and equally for me.”
The contract with Subaru spans over three years and the team is currently working hard on constructing the cars ahead of the first private tests in the coming weeks.