Tom Oliphant has been confirmed to remain at Team BMW for the 2021 British Touring Car Championship season, where he will line-up alongside Colin Turkington for a third successive season.
Oliphant first joined the WSR-run BMW outfit for the 2019 season when it entered a trio of new BMW 330i M Sport cars, with Turkington eventually taking the title.
Oliphant, who joined the BTCC in 2018, ended his first season with the team in 11th overall in the drivers’ standings, and last year he improved that to end the year sixth overall, including taking his maiden race victory at Brands Hatch.
Oliphant’s tally of four podiums, 19 top ten finishes and 26 out of 27 points scores helped the team to secure both the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ titles, and the 30-year-old now has his sights set on the Drivers’ title as well.
“I’m really happy to be back on the BTCC grid this season and continuing my fantastic partnership with Team BMW and West Surrey Racing,” said Oliphant, who is entering into his fourth season in the BTCC.
“I made great progress last year and I’m now ready to move up to the next level in the championship.
“Over the last two years, I’ve built a great relationship with the team and Colin. Further improvements to the car have been made over the winter months and I’m confident that we’ve got the best package on the grid. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
“I’m determined to not only help the team regain the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ title this season, but also fight for the Drivers’ championship as well.
“This is one of the most competitive series in the world and I feel I’m ready now as a driver to challenge at the front.
“Consistency is key to winning any championship and I need to be regularly scoring more race wins and podium finishes, while getting a first pole position is also a personal target of mine.
“There’s lots to look forward to and I can’t wait to get started.”
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts is predicting further improvements from the Cheshire-born racer in the coming season.
“Tom made a big step forwards in 2020, which I think was largely down to having a year’s experience under his belt with the rear-wheel-drive BMW and feeling ready to push himself to the next level,” said Bennetts.
“We asked far more of him last year and he responded extremely well both on-track and off it. His first win at Brands Hatch – under incredible pressure from behind – was extremely impressive, as was his charge through the field at Silverstone from last to the top five.
“It was obvious to see how much he grew in confidence across the year and his constant improvement was key in enabling us to re-claim the Teams’ Championship for Team BMW.
“I think we’ll see even more from Tom in 2021 and that would be great for both him and us.”