Former series champion Colin Turkington will return to the British Touring Car Championship this year with West Surrey Racing. The 2009 series champion will be behind the wheel of a BMW.
Colin Turkington, the British Touring Car Championship title winner in 2009, is set to make his long awaited series return, where he will rejoin his former team, West Surrey Racing (WSR) and will drive 1 of their 3 brand new next generation eBay Motors BMW 1 series.
After becoming Ford Fiesta champion in 2001, Turkington first joined the series in 2002 driving an MG ZS, racing under the banner Team Atomic Kitten as sponsored by the pop group.
The Northern Irishman impressed enough to be drafted into the full WSR works MG squad for 2003 and took one win at Brands Hatch to then become the youngest ever BTCC winner.
Turkington took another two victories in 2005 but at the end of the season returned to WSR to drive under the newly branded Team RAC umbrella, where he enjoyed a hugely successful season taking 2 wins and a further 14 podiums to take 3rd in the points.
Turkington was to continue with the team until the end of the 2009 season driving a BMW 320i, where he went on to take to take 3 consecutive Independent titles and achieved the overall title in 2009 during a dramatic 3 car shot out during the final race of the year at Brands Hatch.
However, for 2010 WSR lost their backing from RAC and Turkington was unable to defend his crown and hasn’t been seen in the BTCC since. During his spell away from the BTCC Turkington has driven in selected rounds of the World Touring Car Championship and competed in a full season of the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship in 2011 scoring 5 podiums and finishing 5th in the standings.
Turkington’s main focus during the last few years never the less has always been to rejoin the series with WSR and now with eBay Motors continued backing, Turkington is set to become the 4th BTCC champion to take to the grid in 2013. Understandably Turkington is delighted to finally be rejoining the series and said, “I’m really excited to be back in the BTCC with eBay Motors for the 2013 season. I have a long relationship with WSR and we’ve experienced some great success together in both the BTCC and WTCC. I am hoping to bring that success once again this year. Getting behind the wheel of the NGTC specification BMW will be a new challenge and I can’t wait to be back on the grid for the opening round at Brands Hatch on 31 March.”
It’s really great to have Colin back on board for the 2013 BTCC season.
The team also confirmed the continued partnership of Rob Collard and Nick Foster to drive the other two new BMW 1 series. For Collard this will be the second time of partnering Turkington as he did with the team in 2006 and is delighted to see the return of his former team mate, hoping to better his best ever BTCC season last year, where he scored 3 wins and finished 5th in the points saying, “Colin and I raced together in 2006 and his addition to the team sees us look stronger than ever. I hope to build on last year’s strong performances and will be looking to win races in the new BMW 125i M Sport.”
For Foster this is his 3rd consecutive year in the championship with the team and is also looking forward to the season ahead and said, “It’s going to be fantastic having Rob and Colin as team-mates this year. I’m looking forward to learning from both of them to building on my success with the eBay Motors team.”
This surely has to be one of the most formidable teams to look out for in 2013 and team principle Dick Bennetts is thrilled to have the 2009 champion back in the team as well as the continued combination of Collard and Foster adding, “It’s really great to have Colin back on board for the 2013 BTCC season. With Rob, Nick and now Colin, I believe eBay Motors have a very strong driver line-up capable of challenging for championship honours.”