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Team Parker Racing and Stephen Jelley switch to BMW machinery

Team Parker Racing will switch to a newly-acquired BMW 125i M Sport for the 2018 British Touring Car Championship season, with Stephen Jelley remaining with the outfit in the driving seat.

The team ran a Ford Focus for the past three seasons, initially with Alex Martin at the wheel before Jelley returned to the championship last year and took over driving duties.

Jelley, 35, has previous form in WSR-built BMW machinery in the BTCC, having raced for Team RAC for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, including memorably taking a double victory at Rockingham in 2009.

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“I really get the feeling that anything is possible this year,” said Jelley. “West Surrey Racing has put together a real gem with this car. You could eat your dinner out of the engine bay, it’s spotless!

“I still have strong links with WSR and we started talking to them at the end of last season about a BMW. It was the only way I wanted to go. I already feel at home with the car – everything’s where you’d expect it to be.

“In my opinion the BMW is better suited to a number of different driving styles – it’s a more rounded platform and it’s a marked difference.

“We’re looking to be more consistently in the points and make that push towards the podium spots if possible. I just want to get back to the sharp end.

“This change gives us a chance to be competitive and to battle where we should be battling. I can’t wait to get out there!”

Team Principal Stuart Parker hopes that the switch to BMW will bring much more success for his team, which has struggled to make an impression running their previous Ford Focus.

“We’re thrilled to unveil the 1 Series,” said Parker. “It’s a car that is right among the most successful in terms of both race wins and championship trophies and it’s certainly a great chassis to base things on to move us up the field in 2018.

“We’ve been working hard over the course of the winter to get everything in place and it’ll be great to see it all come together when get out on track for shakedown.

“As a stable, we’ve a proud history in competing at the very top – counting titles to our name in GT racing and running premier teams in some of the very best championships.

“We’re hopeful that in moving from the Ford Focus to the BMW for 2018 we can make a real step forward in what is one of the most competitive series around.”

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