West Surrey Racing is a legendary race team with history dating back to 1981. Team principal Dick Bennetts was instrumental in the careers of many legends of motor sport including Ayrton Senna. WSR made the move into the BTCC in 1996 to run the factory Ford outfit, with Will Hoy taking a first win for the squad in 1998.
Running factory Honda Accords between 1999-2000 and then factory MGs from 2001-2003, since 2004, the team has entered the championship independently, winning the Independents’ title at the first time of asking. A move to BMW machinery in 2007 proved very successful, as Colin Turkington went on to clinch the overall Drivers’ laurels in the final race of 2009.
With the addition of eBay Motors support in 2012, drivers Rob Collard, Tom Onslow-Cole and Nick Foster piloted WSR to second in the standings. For 2013, the team built no fewer than three BMW 125i M Sport NGTC cars, with Collard and Foster joined by Turkington. The car quickly showed its potential, and the Northern Irishman found himself challenging for the overall Drivers’ championship until the final event of the year.
2014 was an incredible season for the team, as it took every championship available to it. Turkington claimed a second Drivers’ crown and Collard returned to winning ways at Knockhill.
2015 saw a change of title sponsor as Sam Tordoff joined the squad alongside Collard under the Team JCT600 with GardX banner, while three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx brought IHG Rewards Club backing to the third BMW. Running as a Constructor for the first time, the three drivers claimed seven wins between them with Tordoff taking the honours as the highest-finishing WSR runner in sixth overall.
2016 was a vintage year for the outfit as it romped to the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships, with both Collard and Tordoff heading into the final weekend of the season in with a chance of raising overall Drivers’ laurels. The latter had led the pecking order for much of the campaign but couldn’t hold on as a charging Gordon Shedden made his presence felt, with the defining overtaking manoeuvre taking place in the season finale.
BMW aligns with West Surrey Racing for 2017 – running a trio of 125i M Sports. The addition of factory support from the Bavarian giant has only served to galvanise WSR’s bid to hammer home its authority as a double title-holder. In a move that will surely have sent shivers down the spine of many of the Northern Irishman’s rivals, rear-wheel drive specialist Turkington has re-signed for the team – one that made him a double champion in 2009 and 2014. Collard has agreed a new deal with the Surrey squad, while reigning Independent Drivers’ champion Andrew Jordan joins the stable under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.
2016 BTCC Manufacturers’, Teams’ championships
2014 BTCC Drivers’, Teams’, Independent Drivers & Teams’ championships
2009 BTCC Drivers’ plus Independent Drivers & Teams’ championships
2008 BTCC Indpendent Drivers & Teams’ championships
2007 BTCC Indpendent Drivers & Teams’ championships
2004 BTCC Indpendent Drivers & Teams’ championships
Team: Team BMW/BMW Pirtek Racing
Car: BMW 125i M Sport
Drivers: Colin Turkington, Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan
First Season: 1996
First Win: 1999
Constructors Wins: 1
Championship Wins: 2