Dick Bennetts believes ‘consistency and reliability’ key to 2018 Team BMW success

Dick Bennetts believes ‘consistency and reliability’ key to 2018 Team BMW success

Photo: PSP Images

West Surrey Racing’s Team Principal Dick Bennetts says “consistency, reliability, focus and dedication” were key to Team BMW’s ‘clean sweep’ of titles at the Brands Hatch season finale.

Bennetts, whose WSR-run Team BMW squad has now won the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships for the third year in succession, described the feeling of “big relief” after securing the titles on Finals Day [30 September].

He told TouringCars.Net that despite the BMW 125i M Sport not having the dominant pace this season, regular points finishes and hard work helped them to achieve success.

“It’s a big relief,” said Bennetts. “I was just saying to a couple of other guys we haven’t had a pole position since the middle of 2015.

“Colin only won one race this year, Rob [Collard] has had one race win and AJ has had won race win, and we’ve won the Teams and Drivers and Manufacturers’ so it’s consistency, reliability, focus and dedication.

“We haven’t got the quickest car, so we might have to work a bit harder through the winter, because it’s getting tougher every year.

“You’ve got to cross your T’s, dot your I’s, do everything. Give the drivers reliable cars and competitive cars.”

Bennetts was also keen to point out the success was testament to the drivers he has in the squad, and noted how quickly Ricky Collard – who has substituted for injured father Rob since Rockingham – has adapted to the championship.

“Ricky has come on very strong for the short time he’s been in the car – it might give Rob a headache what’s happening next year!”

While Bennetts was overjoyed at Team BMW’s performance, he admitted he thought Turkington’s title bid was over in race two after the Northern Irishman had contact and dropped out of the points.

“I thought that’s it, we’re gone, we’ve lost it. We had a laptop on the pitwall monitoring who is in what position.

“One of the guys was updating that every lap so we knew what we had to do.”

After losing title sponsors RAC after championship success in 2009 – and the same with Ebay in 2014 – Bennetts is eager to retain the number one on Turkington’s car for next season.

“Hopefully we can generate enough sponsorship so that we can generate enough sponsorship that we can carry on with number one on the car, because we won in ’09 and we lost RAC so we didn’t have number one,” explained Bennetts.

“Then we in 2014 we won it with Ebay and we lost Ebay, so hopefully now in 2019 we can carry number one on the car.

“Last year we were Teams and Manufacturers but this year it’s a clean sweep, so it’s fantastic.”