Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Colin Turkington to spearhead WSR entry

Colin Turkington will once again lead West Surrey Racing’s assault on the British Touring Car Championship after extending his time with the team into a 14th season.

The Northern Irishman will be seeking to try and reclaim the championship crown that he lost to Ash Sutton last year, with the 38-year-old going for what would be a record-breaking fifth title.

Turkington, who has 56 career wins to his name, currently sits level on four titles with Andy Rouse.

News of Turkington’s new deal with the team comes at the same time as BMW UK continues to provide its support to the WSR for a fifth successive season, with the team once again running under the Team BMW banner.

“The confirmation from BMW UK to continue its Team BMW programme allows WSR and I to launch our 14th BTCC season together,” Turkington said. “It’s not always easy to put these campaigns together year on year, but to have done so for 14 years and collected numerous titles along the way is something I’m incredibly proud of.  

“We’ve grown together throughout this time, sharing a great deal of ambition, respect and trust along the way.  Every year I want to go the extra mile for this team, and every year they do the same for me.  

“It makes me smile that we get to chase our title dreams together for BMW once again, and I feel extremely fortunate to be the torchbearer for them.”

Turkington added that he felt confident that further improvements to the already strong BMW package would leave him in a strong position going into the new season.

“What we achieved together last season was phenomenal,” he said. “The pace of the BMW was blistering and we really were the ones to beat.  It didn’t have the fairytale ending we all wanted, but believe it or not, you can learn a great deal from defeat, so I’m convinced I will bring an even better package to the table this year.

“We have high hopes for the new season and the series is in great shape. The rule tweaks and driver shuffles over the winter have further spiced up the Championship, so I’m certain it will be as exciting as ever. I’m raring to go!”

Having been forced to downscale to two cars last season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WSR will revert back to a three car programme this year, with team boss Dick Bennetts excited about what could be to come in the team’s 40th anniversary season.

“We’re really pleased to continue with both Colin and BMW in 2021,” he said. “Colin was barely out of his teens when he first raced for us in 2002 and it’s been truly special for us as a team to have been able to support him in winning his four BTCC titles and becoming one of the best drivers the series has ever had.

“Naturally our target is to win the Drivers’, Teams’, and Manufacturers’ titles this year for BMW, our sponsors and technical partners as we mark the 25th anniversary of our BTCC debut and the 40th of WSR. While achieving this gets tougher every year as the level of competition improves, having Colin on-board with his never-say-die attitude, his analytical approach and his searing speed certainly puts us in a strong position.”