Stephen Jelley will remain with West Surrey Racing for a fourth consecutive season in the 2023 British Touring Car Championship, once again driving a BMW 330e M Sport for the outfit.
Jelley made his BTCC début in 2008 with WSR, competing for two seasons before spending the following seven years racing in GT cars.
The 40-year-old returned to the BTCC in 2017 with Team Parker Racing, initially in a front-wheel drive Ford Focus for a year before spending the following two seasons in WSR-built BMW 1-Series machinery.
In 2020 he returned to WSR under the Team BMW banner, and in 2022 he returned to winning ways with victory at Oulton Park – his first win since 2019.
Last year the Leicester racer finished 11th overall in the drivers’ championship, having scored two podiums, including one win, during a season in which he helped BMW to win an unprecedented seventh consecutive Manufacturers’ title.
“I’m really pleased to be back in the BMW 330e M Sport for 2023,” said Jelley. “I was a lot more competitive last year, but we didn’t get the results we should have, for various reasons, so I think we can improve.
“I’ve been working hard to improve all aspects of my driving and want to just treat every race like it’s my last and give it everything.
“It’s a privilege to be part of the team at WSR as it’s incredibly competitive with some great drivers. It was a pleasure to work with Jake [Hill] and Colin [Turkington] last year, but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible to finish as the lead WSR driver.
“I want to say a big thank you to Jewson, Arthur J Gallagher, Metclad Contracts, and Jelson Homes for their continued support and I’m looking forward to going out there and maximising our opportunities.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, is looking forward to working with Jelley for what will be the pair’s sixth season together.
“We’re delighted to have Stephen on board for another season,” added Bennetts. “He’s an extremely popular member of the team here at WSR and made excellent progress with the hybrid BMW 330e M Sport last year.
“His average qualifying position in 2022 was the best he’s had in a BTCC season.
“Coming in a year when the level of competition was as high as I can ever remember it, that’s very impressive.
“He wants to win more races and score more podiums in 2023, so we’ll push as hard as we can to make that happen.”
WSR, which has four TOCA BTCC Licences [TBLs] for 2023, has already revealed that it will run cars for Adam Morgan and Jake Hill in the 2023 BTCC, the latter under the MB Motorsport banner.
It has not yet confirmed the team names for its other entries, or whether four-time champion Colin Turkington will once again form part of its line-up this season.