BMW 3 Series Returns to BTCC in 2019

WSR BMW 330i M Sport BTCC 1.jpg

West Surrey Racing have confirmed they will field three brand new BMW 3 Series cars in the 2019 British Touring Car Championship.


Reigning team and driver champions WSR have confirmed they will be ditching the ultra successful BMW 125i for 2019, leaving behind one of the most successful modern cars in the British Touring Car Championship to return the incredibly successful 3 Series range to touring car racing.

Having developed the 125i in-house as part of a private project by WSR since 2013, the move to develop the new 330i is a joint venture between WSR and the German manufacturer, with the team and cars again racing under the Team BMW UK banner for the new season.

Set to enter the category with a three strong driver line up, including defending champion Colin Turkington, the outfit expect to publicly unveil the new machine at the traditional season opening Media Day in March - for this year to be held at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Team boss Dick Bennetts said:

“We are really pleased 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 hopefully reinstating it in its rightful place – at the front of the field in Britain’s premier motorsport series.”
Alongside the returning Turkington for 2019 will be Tom Oliphant in the BMW UK car, with 2013 champion Andrew Jordan again taking up the reigns in a Pirtek liveried car under the Pirtek Racing banner. Outgoing driver Rob Collard meanwhile has been confirmed in the second PMR Vauxhall Astra, teaming up with the most successful British Touring Car driver on the grid, 51-year-old Jason Plato.

For more from the world of motorsport, head over to the RaceDepartment Motorsport sub forum and get involved in the conversation today.

Like what you see here at RD? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media!


 
 
Last edited:
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

CMGARAGE

500RPM
Nov 27, 2016
746
444
Fantastic news for the series. Another manufacturer getting involved too. The early 3 series entrants are some of my favourite touring cars ever.

I don't think it was covered here but Toyota are backing Ingram with a new Corolla too.

There seems to be a great number of teams with manufacturer backing now. Hopefully it's indicative of the health of the series :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: xon3

Patrik Marek

1000RPM
Premium
Oct 25, 2014
1,961
3,210
40
looks properly good, but I still probably prefer the 1 series though
man, i would love to have a proper new BTCC mod :-/ with cars that are more on par with what AC has to offer

 

jven

75RPM
Aug 16, 2018
86
38
3 > 1 ;)
Seriously, I'll always prefer the 3 to the 1 series. And RWD over FWD, fwiw.
 

suspectmonkey

500RPM
Oct 6, 2017
596
449
Personally I really prefer saloons in touring car racing to hatchbacks, so this news gets a big thumbs up from me :thumbsup: I'll be cheering Colin on once again, and it looks like BTCC will be the only motorsport I get to enjoy on live TV this year.

Anyone know what happened with Collard? If I remember he missed a few races last season with concussion, and his son Ricky stood in for him at one or two rounds. Thought there was something a bit odd going on at the time and then learnt he'd been replaced by Oliphant for 2019.
 

Mr Chip

A lot of gear, little idea.......
Feb 23, 2009
181
87
48


Rob Collard will drive for Power Maxed Racing in the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, completing the outfit’s line-up.

With a record of 15 race wins, 61 podiums and 16 fastest laps over a BTCC career spanning some 18 years, Collard joins Jason Plato in the PMR designed-and-built Vauxhall Astra, and the Hampshireman is as hungry as he’s ever been.

“My desire to win is as strong as ever,” said the 50-year-old. “I’m delighted to form a new partnership with PMR to return to BTCC in 2019. I’ve watched their growth and development from day one and seen Adam (Weaver, Team Principal) and the team build a race-winning package that has gone from strength to strength.

“I’m very pleased to help build on that success, alongside an experienced team-mate in Jason. Returning to front wheel drive is a challenge I relish, particularly having won the Independents’ title in a Vauxhall Astra in the past. As always I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, particularly Duo and Hitachi Construction Machinery, for their continued support for my 2019 campaign.”

“After our breakthrough year in 2018, we have been looking for a driver line up that not only matches our ambitions, but that also has the speed and experience to help us realise those ambitions,” added Team Principal Adam Weaver. “I am delighted that Rob has decided to join PMR to complete what I believe to be an incredibly strong driver line up.

“It is quite surreal for me as the two drivers we have signed are ones that I grew up watching and are a big part of the reason I fell so in love with BTCC in the first place. Celebrating our eventual successes together is going to make all the hard work so worthwhile.”

The outfit finished tied for second spot in the Teams’ running in 2018, in the Astra’s second year in the BTCC, and PMR has ambitions of challenging again in 2019. It’s currently concluding an intensive winter development programme ahead of pre-season testing and will be announcing brand partners and its race livery in due course, with testing to begin next week at Brands Hatch with Collard in the hot-seat.

“It’s not very often I complement Adam, certainly not publicly anyway!” started Martin Broadhurst, Team Manager, jovially. “But he has done a sterling job with the drivers he’s secured for the forthcoming campaign. The plan is really starting to come together and we are ready to cement ourselves as a top team in the BTCC, if we haven’t done so already.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: suspectmonkey

davehenrie

500RPM
Jun 4, 2017
645
420
63
We Yanks got our first looks at BTCC in the mid to late 90's. Jason Plato was a young pup getting abused by his teammate Alain Menu. The Aussie series had the Diet Coke BMW 3's and they were always in the hunt until the tracks got wet. It's been more difficult to view those series the last few years. But good memories.
 

Ben Lee

500RPM
Jan 17, 2011
723
1,081
I too would like to see BMW in TCR, it makes no sense to not allow RWD.

TCR and NGTC are similar in terms of speed, it seems stupid to have both rulesets which are trying to achieve the same thing, but vary wildly in terms of rules.

Having said that, I am looking forward to the BTCC season I already have my Brands Hatch tickets booked, Paddock Hill grandstand... :)
 
Nov 3, 2015
893
286
TCR and NGTC are similar in terms of speed, it seems stupid to have both rulesets which are trying to achieve the same thing, but vary wildly in terms of rules.
Vary wildly in costs, though! NGTC(TCN-1) is a little quicker and a lot more flexible in what you can run than TCR/(TCN-2), the car costs seem a bit more than double. As racecars go that's not awful, and BTCC is oversubscribed, I do wonder why we ended up with TCR everywhere instead of TCN-1...
 

PoopMan

50RPM
Feb 18, 2015
57
26
30
will look a lot better with a real livery, I still think the one series looked better. At least the bmw still has a decent looking front end, more than can be said for mercedes and basic audis
 

suspectmonkey

500RPM
Oct 6, 2017
596
449
So good to see a new four-door saloon on the grid. Proper touring car! I just hope it's as fast as it looks!
 

Mr Chip

A lot of gear, little idea.......
Feb 23, 2009
181
87
48
Anyone going this Sunday?
Any experience of parking on Southbank - specifically how early do I need to get there?
Taking my 5yo girl and this would be ideal :)