Colin Turkington – Tower Corner, Croft – 2022 – Copyright Motor Racing UK/Palmer

By Mick Palmer

Colin Turkington has committed to West Surrey Racing for a seventh consecutive season in the British Touring Car Championship.

The four time champion will return to race the BMW 330e M Sport for a fifth season as he continues in his quest to set a BTCC new record of five drivers titles.

The Northern Irish racer – who has taken each of his titles and has spent 15 of his 18 BTCC seasons with WSR – said in a statement released to reveal the news: “I’m extremely pleased to be a part of the WSR team for the 2023 season and to race the BMW 330e M Sport. This will be my 15th year with WSR and you couldn’t ask for a better team to be a part of. I’ve been in title contention every year since I came back here in 2017 and naturally the aim is to go to Brands Hatch in October with everything to play for.”

Turkington last took the title in 2019 but has been in contention for the crown in every season since. In 2022 three wins were marked before he was spun out early in race one in the penultimate round at Silverstone. Despite the setback the BMW racer was still a mathematical contender at the Brands Hatch finale, but ultimately finished fourth in the championship.

For 2023 Turkington will find himself as part of an expanded WSR squad as team mates Jake Hill and Stephen Jelley return, and Adam Morgan joins after his Ciceley Motorsport outfit called time on operations, bringing his WSR built 330 back into the fold.

“I think it’ll be an even more competitive season than 2022 with the rule changes around the option tyres, the shoot-out qualifying and hybrid deployment use,” Turkington continued. “With Adam joining, I now have three strong team-mates all with the same ambition to win, and that gives me an opportunity to keep learning and improve myself. To stay in the hunt, we’ll have to bring our A-game to every event, and that’s where being with a team like WSR, with its engineering expertise and experience of winning championships, is a huge plus point.”

Turkington turned around at Silverstone – 2022 – Copyright Motor Racing UK/Palmer

Team Principal Dick Bennetts, has overseen 52 of Turkington’s race wins stated: “We’re very honoured to keep Colin with us in 2023. He was a young man when he first raced for us in 2002 and being part of his growth from a promising youngster into a race winner and then into one of the most successful drivers in the history of the BTCC has been very special.

“Naturally, our target is to win the Drivers’, Teams’, and Manufacturers’ titles this year and we have a very strong line-up to help us achieve this. While it gets tougher every year as the level of competition improves and the rules are continually evolving to level the playing field, the way we go about things at WSR has consistently put us at or near the front over the past decade. Having a driver like Colin in our corner, with his never-say-die attitude, his analytical approach, searing speed and loyalty has been one of the cornerstones of that.”

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