Andy Priaulx (GB) has an action-packed 2015 ahead of him.
The BMW works driver will race for the championship-winning West Surrey Racing team in the British Touring Car Championship. Because of this, he is set to race in three series this year. Priaulx’s last appearance in the BTCC came back in 2002, and he can hardly wait to return to some of his favourite circuits in Great Britain with the support of his long-term partner IHG.
The three-time World Touring Car Champion can look forward to a busy 2015: as well as the BTCC, he will also race in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) as a BMW works driver with BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS, as well as appearing for Turner Motorsport in four endurance races in the United SportsCar Championship (USCC) in North America.
Three questions for … Andy Priaulx
You have not driven in the British Touring Car Championship since 2002, so how do you feel about your return?
Andy Priaulx: “I feel I am coming home. The BTCC is at an all time high and to get a chance to come back in a BMW supported by IHG is just a dream come true. Also I couldn’t be in a better team than Dick Bennetts' West Surrey Racing - the reigning champions with a BMW. Dick and myself have spoken a lot over the years and he is somebody I have always admired because he is a great engineer and team boss. I am on a no brainer joining his team for my return to this ultra competitive series. I know there will be pressure, as it is a winning car and team, but I am happy with that and am planning to be fighting near the front.”
This announcement came just a few days after the news you will also be doing some races in America with Turner Motorsport.
Priaulx: “That has been a very nice stocking filler. I really enjoyed America last year and it seemed strange not to go back having learnt all the tracks and having been really strong there. To go back to do the endurance classics starting with the Daytona 24 hours just made sense because of my experience, and it is in a BMW which is even better. This is another team that I know a lot about and I admire what Will Turner has done. To go racing in series in America and the UK with two championship winning teams is pretty special.”
You are also racing in Europe in the ELMS. What is your opinion about this programme?
Priaulx: “This is a programme I am very excited about as I go into my 13th season as a BMW works driver. It is important for BMW Motorsport to do well in the series so we are all very focused on building a competitive package. Having a chance to come back to Europe and be involved in the only works programme there outside the DTM is a privilege. For me that is a really important programme.”