Andy Priaulx MBE will make a dramatic return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for 2015, having signed to race with current Teams’ Champions, West Surrey Racing.
The three-time World Touring Car Championship title winner announced the news on Thursday 8 January at the Autosport Interntional Show at Birmingham’s NEC, and will be racing a BMW 125i machine for the 2014 champions, WSR in the coming BTCC season.
Priaulx had made his debut in BTCC for the Egg Sport Vauxhall squad back in 2001, deputising for a suspended Phil Bennett at Oulton Park where he put the Vauxhall Astra on pole position on his maiden outing. A full season with Honda arrived the following year, where he claimed victory in a damp second race at Knockhill before the Guernseyman sealed a hat-trick of World Touring Car Championships between 2005-2007 following a switch to ETCC that warranted a title in 2004.
Priaulx said on his new adventure: “I am very excited about 2015. To have the opportunity to race again in the UK with my long-term partners IHG, alongside race and test programmes in America and Europe, is going to be a lot of fun.
“The BTCC is one of the strongest touring car championships in Europe and unfinished business for me. I am looking forward to joining West Surrey Racing in their Championship winning BMW 125i M Sport and working with Dick Bennetts, whose engineering success speaks for itself.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts added: “What can one say… to have Andy Priaulx and IHG join WSR for the BTCC in 2015 is a real privilege. I have known Andy for many years, so to have him – a three time World Touring Car Champion – in one of our BMW 125i’s is fantastic news, not only for WSR but the BTCC as well.
“We are also looking forward to working with IHG and help them promote the IHG® Rewards Club loyalty programme, with Andy’s car. Having already signed Sam Tordoff, with a third driver hopefully announced in the next week or so, everyone at WSR is really looking forward to another exciting season in the BTCC.”