BMR Racing have announced a fascinating pair of additions to their 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship line-up, announcing two-time champions Jason Plato and Colin Turkington to race for the Volkswagen squad this season.
Both looked uncertain of their places on the 2015 grid remarkably despite their well-known credentials, Plato leaving the Triple Eight Race Engineering squad he has raced for over the past three seasons while reigning champion Turkington was forced to look for another seat after West Surrey Racing lost their main sponsor, eBay, after the Northern Irishman’s ultimately successful 2014 campaign.
Announced via YouTube on Tuesday evening, the dynamic duo will partner already-confirmed Aron Smith and BMR Racing boss Warren Scott behind the wheel of a pair of Volkswagen CCs, the squad having run a quartet of cars last year where Smith earned two victories during their competitive season.
Turkington beat Plato to the championship title in 2014 after securing eight wins with WSR in a BMW 125i, while his rival collected six in an MG6 GT to move onto a tally of 88 BTCC wins.
Turkington said: “I’m delighted to be defending my BTCC crown with Team BMR. Getting behind the wheel of the Volkswagen is a fresh challenge after seven seasons in rear wheel drive machinery. I know that I’ll need to work harder than ever to get up to speed, but I’m extremely motivated to succeed.
“Team BMR is still a relatively young outfit in BTCC, however there is a strong team of experienced personnel behind the scenes working incredibly hard to make sure we can challenge at the front from the off. The collective ambition, motivation and hunger to win made this the perfect opportunity for me”.
New team-mate Plato added: “The decision for me to get involved with the outfit just became easier and easier. It’s a fantastic team of people, it’s well funded and it has the right ingredients to bake the best cake there is! It’s something quite serious that Warren has put together, he’s not playing games.
“The driver line-up is right up there (with any I’ve been in), we’ve got two heavyweights in the same team from a technical point of view and the two guys who were the focus last year on track. I think it’s going to be amazing. The performance push that both of us will give will help everybody.”
Alongside the driver changes, Scott’s team has also signed engineers Carl Faux and Kevin Berry to help their progress, Plato having worked with Faux at MG while Berry, formerly at Triple Eight with Plato in 2012, was Turkington’s engineer at WSR during the last two years.
Scott himself added his delight at the two new signings and is confident of a title challenge, saying: “I am eager to get started on what will be a very exciting year ahead of us in the BTCC, with the strong driver line-up that we have in place along with a superb team of engineers, mechanics and other members of the Team BMR family, I feel confident that we have the potential to be championship contenders in 2015.”
The team’s former drivers Alain Menu and Jack Goff will make way for Turkington and Plato, who are both set to test at Thruxton tomorrow as they begin an extensive programme prior to the new season.