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Jelley to jump into Team Parker Racing’s new BMW

Team Parker Racing has today unveiled its 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship challenger, as it switches to a newly-acquired BMW 125i M Sport for the forthcoming campaign.

The outfit also announced that Stephen Jelley would be behind the wheel once again, as the team doubles down on a push towards the podium in the UK’s biggest championship.

BMW’s 125i M Sport is a proven race and indeed title-winning platform in the BTCC. Team Parker Racing Team Principal Stuart Parker believes its addition to the stable is what’s needed to push the operation to the next level.

“We’re thrilled to unveil the 1 Series,” said 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 get out on track for shakedown.

“As a stable, we’ve a proud history in competing at the very top – counting titles to our name in GT racing 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.”

Jelley has himself reached the top step of the podium in the BTCC, in a BMW no less, and the Leicestershire racer is looking forward to jumping into machinery that he sees as a real technical sea-change.

“I really get the feeling that anything is possible this year,” said the 35-year-old. 

“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!”

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