West Surrey Racing have announced Colin Turkington will rejoin the team for this year’s British Touring Car Championship.
Turkington, who parted ways with Team BMR’s works Subaru outfit in January, will pilot one of the team’s BMW 125i M Sport machines alongside Andrew Jordan. WSR’s third driver will be confirmed at a later date.
The move sees Turkington return to the squad with which he claimed both of his BTCC titles in 2009 and 2014 respectively, along with 30 race victories, 86 podium finishes and eight independent’s championship titles.
Turkington made his debut with the team under the banner of Team Atomic Kitten in 2002, and has competed in a further nine seasons of the BTCC spanning three separate stints with Dick Bennett’s outfit.
The pairing have also tasted success together with a BMW 320si in the World Touring Car Championship between 2007-2012.
The Northern Irishman believes the combined rear-wheel drive of both driver and team could prove an important factor in their quest for honours this season.
“It feels fantastic to re-join WSR for the 2017 season and I couldn’t be more excited about my return,” he said.
“From my debut in touring cars in 2002 right through to winning my second BTCC title, it’s been like a second home for me and my greatest achievements in motor racing have all come with them.
“Combining our accumulated rear-wheel-drive expertise and strong work ethic is a recipe for success and I’m confident this gives me the perfect opportunity to fight for honours once again.
“I’m particularly looking forward to driving the BMW 125i M Sport and feel the developments that have come about since 2014.”
Team Principal Dick Bennetts pointed to Turkington’s strong record in BMW machinery as a potent threat, highlighting financial reasons as the main cause of their interrupted partnership.
“It’s great have Colin back for 2017. His performances with various WSR BMWs have been extremely strong and he’s been a key part of our most successful seasons in the BTCC in 2009 and 2014.
“There’s definitely a sense of unfinished business as, despite our intentions, commercial reasons meant we weren’t able to stay together to defend our championships. We now head into 2017 with a very strong driver line-up, and we’re aiming for more titles.”