Turkington heads eBay Motors trio
The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will feature seven champions on its grid after Colin Turkington was named in an unchanged line-up at eBay Motors for the new season.
Ulsterman Turkington will be joined by his 2013 team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster as the West Surrey Racing-run squad believes continuity is key in its quest to win the overall drivers’ and teams’ championships, as well as the Independents’ crowns.
Turkington was a revelation last season in what was his first BTCC campaign since winning the title back in 2009. He took victory in only his second event of 2013 piloting the team’s brand new BMW 125i M Sport, and went on to challenge for the title right up until the final event of the season. The 31-year-old impressively scored five victories on his way to fifth in the standings and the feeling among the team is that Colin, combined with a further-developed BMW in its second season, will be even better placed to challenge for the championship in the year ahead.
“It was a very new look team and a brand new car last season and I was pleased with our progress,” said team boss Dick Bennetts. “Considering the other top teams had run NGTC cars for at least a year, five wins was something that everyone should be proud of.
“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.”
West Surrey Racing is a legendary race team, with Team Principal Bennetts instrumental in the careers of many motor sport greats including Ayrton Senna. Talk of winning the BTCC outright is particularly pertinent seeing as it was the same Turkington/WSR combination that stormed to the championship in 2009, and now they hope to repeat the trick in what looks set to be the most competitive BTCC season in many years.
“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.”
Seven-time BTCC race-winner Collard also showed flashes of speed during 2013, particularly when scoring a superb podium at Knockhill. Foster’s season-high of fourth place at Croft was also a standout moment for the eBay Motors squad, but the duo will be keen to build on their performances further in the campaign ahead.
Rob Collard said: “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.”
Nick Foster said: “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.”
Team sponsor eBay Motors was also delighted with the performance shown by West Surrey Racing last year, particularly as the squad only unveiled its new NGTC car on the eve of the season. With a year of learning the machine behind them, combined with a truly top class driver line-up, Manager of eBay Motors UK, Tony Austin, believes the team is better placed than ever to deliver the main prize.
“With this being our fifth BTCC season, we are delighted that Colin, Rob and Nick will be representing the team again for 2014,” he said. “We have a great relationship with WSR and it’s good to see that our drivers buy into the collective ambition we all have for the team. With a year together under their belts, this is a cohesive team of drivers that we hope can be really competitive this season.”
eBay Motors will now embark on a comprehensive testing programme before rounds one, two and three of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March 2014.
To keep up to speed with all the news on car development, testing and the drivers’ preparations follow the team on Twitter @ebaymotorsbtcc.