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TURKINGTON TO SPEARHEAD TEAM BMW AND WSR TITLE CHALLENGE

Four-time champion Colin Turkington will spearhead Team BMW’s assault for a fifth successive year in the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

The 38-year-old finished as runner-up in the Drivers’ title race last year and aims to go one better in the upcoming campaign to add to his record-equalling total of championship crowns.

Driving the BMW 330i M Sport, designed, built and run by WSR, Turkington scored 13 podium finishes in 27 races – more than any other driver – an unequalled six wins and two pole positions, as he fought for the title all the way to the season finale. 

Turkington made his BTCC debut with the WSR-run Team Atomic Kitten in 2002 and has spent his most successful years in the series with the team, securing each of his overall Drivers’ titles plus four of his five Independents’ crowns and a World Touring Car Championship win in WSR BMWs.

With 56 BTCC race wins under his belt, the Northern Irishman places fourth on the series’ all-time winners’ list, as well as recording 154 podium finishes, 22 pole positions and 61 fastest laps.

Turkington’s confirmation as part of the Team BMW line-up kicks off a landmark 2021 for WSR, which sees the squad celebrate its 40th birthday and the 25th anniversary of its BTCC debut. The Sunbury-on-Thames team has won 14 outright BTCC titles – including 13 in the past seven seasons with BMW touring cars.

“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.”

The 64th British Touring Car Championship begins on 8/9 May at Thruxton, Hampshire, and takes in eight circuits the length and breadth of the country, with each of the 30 rounds screened live and exclusively in HD on ITV4.

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