West Surrey Racing have announced an unchanged line-up for their three-pronged 2014 British Touring Car Championship assault, with Colin Turkington again joined by Rob Collard and Nick Foster in a trio of similar BMW machines.
The announcement means that an unbelievable seven BTCC champions will grace the grids this year, with Turkington spearheading the eBay Motors team’s line-up having finished fifth on his series return last year with five wins in the developing BMW 125i M Sport.
The Irishman returned to winning ways as early as the second event in 2013 at Donington Park, and is confident that the experience under his belt with the newest BMW will set him in a fine position to fight for the title instantly in 2014.
“I have a long relationship with WSR and we’ve experienced some great successes together in both the BTCC and WTCC,” said Turkington. “Last season was a real transitional period for me with the new car and returning to the BTCC, but hopefully it’s made me a better driver and I am confident I can go even better with the eBay Motors team this season.”
The 2009 champion will once again be joined by Collard and Foster for the new campaign, both ending 2013 without a win despite Collard grabbing a podium at Knockhill during a bright finish to the year, the man himself saying: “We’re a close knit group here in the eBay Motors team and we really value each other as drivers. We’ve all got a great understanding of the car and with it looking even better this season, we can’t wait to get back out there.”
Now entering his fourth consecutive season with the eBay Motors squad, BTCC podium finisher Foster added: “We were pretty happy with how the season went in 2013 and it ignited a real ambition to push on. You can only really be competitive at the highest level with the best people around you and that is what the eBay Motors team offers me.”
Perennial BTCC front-runners WSR finished fourth in the 2013 teams’ championships and were pipped to both the Independents’ crowns by Pirtek Racing and Andrew Jordan, but with a year of experience now tucked into their back pockets with the 125i, team boss Dick Bennetts had a high level of praise for his team as development continues through the winter.
“This season is all about building and the guys at the factory have done a lot of R&D work this winter. We are thrilled to have Colin, Rob and Nick back on-board in our pursuit of winning the BTCC”, said Bennetts, who last won the title with Turkington in 2009.
“It was a very new look team and a brand new car last season and I was pleased with our progress. Considering the other top teams had run NGTC cars for at least a year, five wins was something that everyone should be proud of.”
The team will be present at the BTCC official media day on 18 March, before the hugely-anticipated new season begins on 29/30 March at Brands Hatch in Kent.