Four-time champion Colin Turkington will return to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) to lead Team BMW‘s title charge for a fifth straight year and West Surrey Racing (WSR) for a 14th season.
Turkington at the helm of the BMW 330i M Sport scored 13 podium finishes in 27 races, the most of any driver and six wins and two pole positions as he fought eventual champion Ash Sutton to the final race of the season.
A record breaking fifth Drivers’ title potentially awaits for the 38-year-old who sits fourth on the all-time winners’ list in the championship and Turkington is glad to return once again with the Team BMW/WSR outfit and is ready for the new season ahead.
“The confirmation from BMW UK to continue their Team BMW programme allows WSR and I to launch our 14th BTCC season together,” said Turkington. “It’s not always easy to put these campaigns together year on year, but to have done so for 14 years and collected numerous titles along the way is something I’m incredibly proud of. We’ve grown together throughout this time, sharing a great deal of ambition, respect and trust along the way.
“Every year I want to go the extra mile for this team, and every year they do the same for me. It makes me smile that we get to chase our title dreams together for BMW once again, and I feel extremely fortunate to be the torchbearer for them.
“What we achieved together last season was phenomenal. The pace of the BMW was blistering and we really were the ones to beat. It didn’t have the fairy-tale ending we all wanted, but believe it or not, you can learn a great deal from defeat, so I’m convinced I will bring an even better package to the table this year.
“We have high hopes for the new season and the series is in great shape. The rule tweaks and driver shuffles over the winter have further spiced up the Championship, so I’m certain it will be as exciting as ever. I’m raring to go!”
“We’re really pleased to continue with both Colin and BMW in 2021,” added Team Principal Dick Bennetts. “Colin was barely out of his teens when he first raced for us in 2002, and it’s been truly special for us as a team to have been able to support him in winning his four BTCC titles and becoming one of the best drivers the series has ever had.
“Naturally our target is to win the Drivers’, Teams’, and Manufacturers’ titles this year for BMW, our sponsors and technical partners as we mark the 25th anniversary of our BTCC debut and the 40th of WSR. While achieving this gets tougher every year as the level of competition improves, having Colin onboard with his never-say-die attitude, his analytical approach and his searing speed certainly puts us in a strong position.”
He will lead a three car outfit for Team BMW/WSR this year with the other two drivers set to be announced in due course before the season opener on 8/9 May at Thruxton.