NEW BMW 3 SERIES CONFIRMED FOR TEAM BMW
TURKINGTON TO PILOT NEW BMW 3 SERIES IN THE 2019 BTCC
Colin Turkington will get behind the wheel of a new BMW 3 Series in this year’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship as BMW confirm the return of its best-selling model worldwide back to Britain’s premier motor racing series. A prolific winner virtually from the outset, the story of the BMW 3 Series in the BTCC is a long and distinguished one, yielding five Drivers’ titles and two Manufacturers’ crowns between 1988 and 2009, from Frank Sytner’s success with the M3 to Colin Turkington’s triumph with the 320Si E90.
1 SERIES SUCCESS
The 3 Series was superseded by the 125i M Sport in 2013, since then BMW has clinched two further Drivers’ trophies (both with Turkington – in 2014 and 2018), three more Manufacturers’ laurels and Team honours in each of the last three seasons. Now, the class-leading 3 Series is back, with a refreshed driver line-up for Team BMW and hopes for future glory.
NEW ROAD CAR TO RACE CAR
The new 330i Team BMW race car will join the fray in the 2019 BTCC curtain-raiser around Brands Hatch on 6th and 7th April and complement the anticipated launch of the seventh-generation road-going model in March. It will be piloted by three-time title-winner Turkington – the most successful driver in the brand’s illustrious BTCC history – former Champion Andrew Jordan and new signing Tom Oliphant. Turkington is one of the most decorated touring car drivers in the world, with over 31 of his 46 BTCC race wins coming in Bavarian machinery – including BMW’s milestone 100th victory at Thruxton in 2017.
The cars will be fielded by long-time BMW partner West Surrey Racing who have masterminded BMW’s BTCC challenge since 2007, and is hard at work behind-the-scenes prepping the three new 3 Series ahead of their anticipated track debut at the Season Launch test at Brands Hatch on 27 March.
“As far as pre-seasons go, it doesn’t get much better than this! Back in 2009, I clinched my first Drivers’ title in a BMW 3 Series, and to commence a new chapter with the new model for Team BMW is a dream come true.
This exciting project has delivered a potent dose of motivation into an already dedicated team and we are inspired to get going.
It’s a very busy time for the engineering team back at base as they build and develop the cars for the new season, but the expertise is there to get the job done. The new-look road car is stunning and the race car will be something else!
It’s an amazing time to be involved and I’m honoured to have this role.”
GREAME GRIEVE, CEO, BMW UK
“The BMW 3 Series has a rich and successful history competing in the BTCC and we are extremely proud to see that tradition continue. This all-new BMW 3 Series is the road-going dynamic benchmark and we have a great track record working with our partners at West Surrey Racing, so 2019 looks set to be a very exciting year for us in the BTCC.
DICK BENNETTS, TEAM PRINCIPAL, TEAM BMW
“We are delighted to be bringing the BMW 3 Series back to the BTCC. We achieved a great deal of success with the fifth-generation model between 2007 and 2012, so we are hugely excited to see what the latest version is capable of. A lot of hard work and countless hours lie ahead, but we are all confident of turning this car into a winner and reinstating it in its rightful place – at the front of the field in Britain’s premier motorsport series.”