BMW have confirmed their official involvement with WSR for the 2017 British Touring Car Championship season, as the manufacturer returns as an official entrant for the first time since 1996.
BMW have been represented on the grid in the Super 2000 and NGTC era predominantly by West Surrey Racing, who first switched to the German machinery for the 2007 season.
The team have continued with BMW ever since, building their own NGTC-specification 1-series in time for the 2013 season.
BMW have now committed to full factory backing for the WSR squad, marking an official return to the championship for the marque for the first time since 1996, when Schnitzer-run 3-series took part.
The entry will be known as ‘Team BMW’ and will again feature Colin Turkington and Rob Collard, who last partnered each other for the 2014 season. Furthermore, the third BMW of Andrew Jordan, which was the first to be announced, will also full under the ‘BMW Pirtek Racing’ moniker.
“The BTCC is one of the most significant race series in the UK and has a huge and enthusiastic following,” said BMW Group UK CEO Graeme Grieve. “With a history of success and the continuous support of WSR for the past decade, we are delighted to step up as a Manufacturer Team again after 21 years.”
BMW UK’s significant financial investment in the BTCC team includes the funding of technical developments on all fronts, focused on the very latest BMW engine derivative.
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts paid tribute to BMW’s commitment and the strength of his outfit’s relationship with the firm.
“I reckon that working together successfully as motorsport partners for 10 years is the equivalent of a lifelong marriage,” added Bennetts. “It is a tribute to BMW’s product and commitment, and we are delighted to once again represent the marque as they return with increased commitment as a Manufacturer in the BTCC.”
Check back with TouringCars.Net later for additional in-depth reaction directly from the launch at BMW Park Lane in London.