Team Parker Racing switches to BMW for its 2018 British Touring Car Championship campaign.
The Leicestershire based squad, which ran a Ford Focus in its first three season in the series, will field a BMW 125i M Sport this season as it aims to take a step towards the sharp end of the field.
“We’re thrilled to unveil the 1 Series,” said team principal Stuart Parker. “It’s a car that is right among the most successful in terms of both race wins and championship trophies and it’s certainly a great chassis to base things on to move us up the field in 2018.
“We’ve been working hard over the course of the winter to get everything in place and it’ll be great to see it all come together when we get out on track for shakedown.
“As a stable, we’ve a proud history in competing at the very top – counting titles in our name in GT race and running premier teams in some of the very best championships.
“We’re hopeful that in moving from the Ford Focus to the BMW for 2018 we can make a real step forward in what is one of the most competitive series around.”
Team Parker has struggled since entering the BTCC in 2015. Running Alex Martin in its first two seasons and most recently Stephen Jelley, the squad has taken only a handful of points.
Jelley, who continues with Team Parker for a second season, hopes moving to the car he claimed two BTCC wins with will boost his chances this year.
“I really get the feeling that anything is possible this year,” he said.
“West Surrey Racing has put together a real gem with this car. You could eat your dinner out of the engine bay, it’s spotless.
“I still have strong links with WSR and we started talking to them at the end of last season about a BMW. It was the only way I wanted to go. I already feel at home with the car – everything’s where you’d expect it to be.
“In my opinion, the BMW is better suited to a number of different driving styles – it’s a more rounded platform and it’s a marked difference.
“We’re looking to be more consistently in the points and make that push towards the podium spots if possible. I just want to get back to the sharp end.
“This change gives us a chance to be competitive and to battle where we should be battling. I can’t wait to get out there.”