Photo: Jakob Ebrey

Stephen Jelley completes WSR line-up

Stephen Jelley will complete the WSR line-up for the 2021 BTCC season after agreeing a deal to return to the team that gave him his series debut more than a decade ago.

Jelley raced for the BMW team in 2008 and 2009, taking a pair of wins in the latter campaign as he helped the team to secure the championship title.

The 38-year-old then went on to race in sportscars before returning to the series with Team Parker in 2017, and has been at the wheel of an ex-WSR BMW 125i M Sport for the past three years.

Jelley’s return to WSR comes as the team converts back to a three car team having been forced to downsize last year when Andrew Jordan stepped down from his seat as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m thrilled to return to WSR as part of Team BMW for 2021,” he said. “There were times over the past few years – even when I was winning and getting podiums in the 1 Series – that I wasn’t sure I’d have an opportunity like this again, so to say that I’m looking forward to the season would be a huge understatement.

“When I walked into the workshop for the first time in over a decade, the first thing that I noticed was just how many trophies there are on the shelves now, and that’s incredibly inspiring. I’ve spent the past few years in a WSR-built BMW 1 Series, so there won’t be an issue adapting to the 330i M Sport, and I’m pleased to have both Colin and Tom in the team because I think we can all work together well to keep pushing ourselves forwards.

“I’ve been given the best possible platform to achieve what I want to in the BTCC and I don’t intend to waste it.”

Team boss Dick Bennetts was pleased to welcome Jelley back into the fold.

“We’re very pleased to have Stephen back at WSR and part of the Team BMW line-up for 2021,” he said. “When Stephen joined us first-time around, he’d come out of single-seaters and was completely new to touring car racing, but he knuckled down and did a good job to score his first pole position in his rookie year and then a magnificent double win at Rockingham in 2009.

“His performances in the WSR-built 1 Series over the past couple of years have shown that he remains a tenacious racer who performs best in rear-wheel-drive cars. Personality-wise, he fits in very well with the whole team as well as Colin and Tom so we’re very pleased with the strength of our line-up heading into the new season.”