West Surrey Racing is a legendary race team with a history dating back to 1981. Team Principal Dick Bennetts was instrumental in the careers of a number of motorsport superstars, 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. After fielding ‘works’ Honda Accords between 1999-2000 and spearheading a factory MG effort from 2001-2003, in 2004, the team entered the championship independently, winning the Independents’ title at the first time of asking. A switch to BMW machinery in 2007 proved very successful, as Colin Turkington went on to lift 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 the returning 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 clinched every title available. Turkington claimed a second Drivers’ crown and Collard rediscovered his own 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 World Touring Car 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 proved to be 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 still in with a shot at the outright Drivers’ title. The latter had led the pecking order for much of the campaign but couldn’t quite hold on as a charging Gordon Shedden made his presence felt and overhauled the Yorkshireman at the last.
BMW officially aligned with West Surrey Racing for 2017 to field a trio of 125i M Sports. The addition of factory support from the Bavarian giant looked to be a move that would galvanise WSR’s bid. Turkington re-signed for the team, as Collard agreed a new deal with the Surrey squad and Andrew Jordan joined the stable under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.
It was a strong campaign. Collard notched a victory and six additional podiums, leading him to fifth in the overall standings, while Jordan took to the top step at Brands Hatch and added a couple more successes at Oulton Park and Rockingham on his way to ninth.
Turkington, meanwhile, enjoyed the strongest season of the bunch. Wins at Donington Park, Thruxton, Croft and Brands Hatch were interspersed by a smattering of podium finishes, giving the Ulsterman’s campaign a consistent push toward the top of the table. It wasn’t to be in the end, however, as a puncture prematurely scuppered his championship charge in the finale and even a storming drive from 15th to victory wasn’t quite enough.
The Northern Irishman did go one better, though, in an ultra-competitive 2018 campaign. His only triumph of the season came at Oulton Park, but with the wins shared between a record 17 different drivers, consistency proved to be king and Turkington came out on top to seal his third Drivers’ trophy – all achieved in West Surrey Racing-run BMW machinery.
In 2019, WSR and BMW entered a trio of brand new 330i M Sports for Turkington, Jordan and Tom Oliphant. Turkington and Jordan battled for glory throughout the season, taking five and six wins respectively, with Turkington ultimately emerging on top to secure a record-equalling fourth title.
Team BMW returns in 2020 with a driver line-up of Turkington and Oliphant, as well as an opportunity to make BTCC history, as Turkington targets an unprecedented fifth Drivers’ crown…
2019 BTCC Manufacturers’ & Drivers’ Champions
2018 BTCC Manufacturers’ & Teams’ Champions
2017 BTCC Manufacturers’ & Teams’ Champions
2016 BTCC Manufacturers’ & Teams’ Champions
2014 BTCC Drivers’, Teams’, Independent Drivers & Teams’ Champions
2009 BTCC Drivers’, Independent Drivers’ & Teams’ Champions
2008 BTCC Independent Drivers’ & Teams’ Champions
2007 BTCC Independent Drivers’ & Teams’ Champions
2004 BTCC Independent Drivers’ & Teams’ Champions
Team: Team BMW
Car: BMW 330i M Sport
Drivers: Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant
First Season: 1996
First Win: 1999
Constructors Wins: 4
Championship Wins: 3