Stephen Jelley set for 250th BTCC start
Stephen Jelley is set to take his 250th Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship start this weekend (July 29/30), as the series’ six-week summer break comes to a close at Croft, in Yorkshire.
The Leicestershire-based racer made his debut in the BTCC, joining West Surrey Racing in a BMW 320si in 2008, as he moved from the GP2 Asia Series. He scored his maiden two victories at Rockingham the following season, before spending eight years in sportscars.
Returning to touring cars in 2017, Stephen spent four years with privateer outfit Team Parker Racing in a BMW 125i M Sport, giving the squad its maiden overall victory at Oulton Park in 2019. He re-joined WSR as part of Team BMW in 2021, adding another win last season.
The challenging 2.127 mi (3.423 km) Croft Circuit has been a mixed one for Jelley, as he scored three podiums in one weekend back in 2009 and took fourth place in race three last season.
Knowing the speed is in his BMW 330e M Sport machine, Stephen has taken time during the break to refocus and reenergise his efforts – as well as appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with BMW – ready for a strong second half of the campaign.
Stephen and his teammates will head out for two practice sessions on Saturday morning at 09:30 and 11:50, before qualifying at 15:25 that afternoon. After a morning autograph session on Sunday, the three 15-lap races are due to begin at 12:10, 14:35, and 17:00, all of which will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK.
Stephen Jelley #12, Team BMW said:
“It is a real privilege to make it to 250 BTCC races and there have been some brilliant memories along the way. The wins are highlights, but on top of that there have been lots of good times, tough times, and everything in between, and I am grateful that I have had the opportunities to spend so many years doing what I love.
“During the break, Goodwood was a busy four days and we had that, the tyre test, and the British Grand Prix, so actually, there wasn’t that much time off. It was great to drive some nice BMWs up the hill and catch up with a few old faces that I’ve not seen for a while. The break in racing was an opportunity to reset for the second half of the year.
“The BMW has had a lot of success at Croft in the past, but we’ve seen front wheel drive cars have been a bit more competitive since the track surface was changed. I think it will be a very even weekend, but we will be in the mix, and I’ll be right there refreshed, ready to go.”