Jelley remains with WSR for 2023
WSR has today (25 January) announced that Stephen Jelley will remain with the team for the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
The Leicester racer will once again field one of the Sunbury-on-Thames squad’s BMW 330e M Sports, which last year won an unprecedented seventh consecutive BTCC Manufacturers’ title for the Bavarian marque.
Jelley made his BTCC debut in a WSR-run BMW 320si in 2008, gaining his first pole position in his rookie season at Brands Hatch and a double win at Rockingham the following year that proved instrumental in the team’s title success.
After a seven-year stint racing GT cars in the UK and internationally, he returned to the BTCC in 2017 and re-joined WSR – under the Team BMW banner – in 2021.
While a strong return season resulted in several podium finishes, the 40-year-old improved on his performance last year, returning to the top step of the podium with a dominant race win at Oulton Park during the summer.
Jelley, who has four BTCC wins, 12 podium finishes, one pole position and two fastest laps, has played a vital role in the past two Manufacturers’ title successes; the latest of 16 overall crowns for WSR. Fifteen of those have come since 2014 with BMW race cars designed and built in-house.
“I’m really pleased to be back in the BMW 330e M Sport for 2023,” admitted Jelley. “I was a lot more competitive last year, but we didn’t get the results we should have, for various reasons, so I think we can improve. I’ve been working hard to improve all aspects of my driving and want to just treat every race like it’s my last and give it everything.
“It’s a privilege to be part of the team at WSR as it’s incredibly competitive with some great drivers. It was a pleasure to work with Jake [Hill] and Colin [Turkington] last year, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible to finish as the lead WSR driver. I want to say a big thank you to [my sponsors] for their continued support – I’m looking forward to going out there and maximising our opportunities!”
“We’re delighted to have Stephen on board for another season,” added Team Principal Dick Bennetts. “He’s an extremely popular member of the team here at WSR and made excellent progress with the hybrid BMW 330e M Sport last year. His average qualifying position in 2022 was the best he’s had in a BTCC season. Coming in a year when the level of competition was as high as I can ever remember it, that’s very impressive. He wants to win more races and score more podiums in 2023, so we’ll push as hard as we can to make that happen.”