The Bavarian manufacturer has notched up a century of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship victories. Here are the highlights

A BMW 125i M Sport driven by Colin Turkington achieved a motorsport landmark at Thruxton on Sunday: the one hundredth British Touring Car Championship victory for BMW.

Only Ford, Honda and Vauxhall have scored more, with the Blue Oval heading the way on 249 outright victories.

Report: BMW and Honda share BTCC spoils at Thruxton

BMW’s early participation in the series largely came through dealer-backed teams or privateers, with Brian Muir claiming the first victory at Silverstone in 1973.

In the late 1980s, the iconic E30-spec M3 was hugely successful, but the championship in those days were class-based and the BMWs had to give best to the fire-breathing Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500s that ruled at the front of the field. Nevertheless, with each of the four BTCC classes eligible for the overall championship, Frank Sytner collected the title in 1989.

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BMW’s win rate jumped up when the BTCC was streamlined into a new single-class ‘Super Touring’ format for two-litre cars in 1991. Will Hoy was champion that year in an M3, while Tim Sugden, Tim Harvey and Steve Soper also won races for BMW. 

For 1992 the M3 was replaced with the E36-shape 318is coupé, and the wins just kept on flowing. A remarkable late-season run of six race wins from eight starts by Harvey put him in contention for the title, and when his team-mate Soper clashed with fellow protagonist John Cleland (Vauxhall Cavalier), Munich’s second title in as many years was assured.

BMW and the BTCC became entwined; the manufacturer drafted in former Formula 1 driver ‘Smokin’ Jo Winkelhock as part of its driving force, with the popular German delivering the crown in 1993. Soper was second in the points in a dominant season for the Schnitzer team that ran the factory-funded cars.

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The 1994 season was less successful as Alfa Romeo stole a march on its rivals with its aerodynamically superior 155 TS. It was mid-season before BMW caught up with its own trick aero kit and the championship was out of reach by then, despite a slew of wins from Soper and Winkelhock.

Schnitzer withdrew to focus on other racing projects in 1995 and the season was a difficult one, with BMW UK failing to win a single race. In 1996, Schnitzer returned with Winkelhock and fellow tin-top racing legend Roberto Ravaglia claiming five wins. With BMW turning its focus the Le Mans and sportscar racing, that was the end of its first golden era in the British Touring Car Championship.

The comeback began in 2007, when West Surrey Racing (WSR) entered two distinctive orange examples of the 320si Super 2000 car under the Team RAC banner. Colin Turkington claimed pole position for the team in its first race at Brands Hatch, but the first win - BMW’s 42nd – had to wait until mid-season at Croft. Win number 50 was achieved by the same driver at the same circuit a year later.

A combination of the BTCC's switch to a three-race format and the rear-wheel-drive BMW’s enduring competitiveness against myriad opposition has meant the second 50 victories have come much more quickly than the first - 35 years for wins 1-50 against just nine years for 51 to 100.

Turkington has proven himself the stand-out performer in recent seasons. Champion in 2009 (in a Team RAC 320i) and 2014 (in an eBay Motors 125i M Sport), he has racked up 28 of BMW’s wins, so it was apt he claimed the 100th at Thruxton last Sunday.

One anomaly remains about BMW’s win haul in the BTCC. During a fraught 1983 season, Frank Sytner’s 635CSi battled for race wins against a gaggle of Rover Vitesses. Many months later, the Rovers were disqualified from the championship entirely for technical infringements. By rights, then, Sytner’s BMW could have been declared winner of as many as five races. However, while the Rovers were expunged from the end-of-season points records, it is unclear whether they were removed from individual race results. The season caused so much rancour at the time that few BTCC sages choose to dredge it up again…  

As for the current day, with the Power Maxed Racing team still finding its feet with its new Vauxhall Astras, the onus is on Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford Focuses, Halfords Yuasa Racing and Eurotech Honda Civics and Team BMW and BMW Pirtek 125i M Sports to add to their manufacturer's respective winning tallies in the BTCC. However, even with the three-races-per-weekend format, BMW would need to win every race for the next five seasons to catch up with Ford in the overall rankings…

BMW’s 100 BTCC victories

Win/Circuit/Year/Driver(s)/Car

1 Silverstone 1973 Brian Muir (BMW 3.0 CSL)

2 Silverstone 1973 Derek Bell/Harald Ertl (BMW 3.0 CSL)

3 Brands Hatch 1973 Brian Muir (BMW 3.0 CSL)

4 Oulton Park 1978 Tom Walkinshaw (BMW 530i)

5 Oulton Park 1984 James Weaver (BMW 635CSi)

6 Silverstone 1985 Frank Sytner (BMW 635CSi)

7 Thruxton 1986 Mike Newman (BMW 635CSi)

8 Donington Park 1987 Frank Sytner (BMW M3)

9 Oulton Park 1987 Mike Newman/Rob Speak (BMW 635CSi)

10 Silverstone 1991 Will Hoy (BMW M3 E30)

11 Snetterton 1991 Will Hoy (BMW M3 E30)

12 Donington Park 1991 Steve Soper (BMW M3 E30)

13 Brands Hatch 1991 Tim Sugden (BMW M3 E30)

14 Silverstone 1991 Steve Soper (BMW M3 E30)

15 Brands Hatch 1991 Will Hoy (BMW M3 E30)

16 Thruxton 1991 Steve Soper (BMW M3 E30)

17 Silverstone 1991 Tim Harvey (BMW M3 E30)

18 Donington Park 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

19 Knockhill 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

20 Pembrey 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

21 Brands Hatch 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

22 Brands Hatch 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

23 Donington Park 1992 Tim Harvey (BMW 318is coupé E36)

24 Silverstone 1993 Steve Soper (BMW 318i)

25 Snetterton 1993 Steve Soper (BMW 318i)

26 Donington Park 1993 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

27 Oulton Park 1993 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

28 Brands Hatch 1993 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

29 Brands Hatch 1993 Steve Soper (BMW 318i)

30 Pembrey 1993 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

31 Oulton Park 1993 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

32 Silverstone 1994 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

33 Knockhill 1994 Steve Soper (BMW 318i)

34 Oulton Park 1994 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

35 Brands Hatch 1994 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

36 Brands Hatch 1994 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 318i)

37 Brands Hatch 1996 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 320i)

38 Thruxton 1996 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 320i)

39 Oulton Park 1996 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 320i)

40 Snetterton 1996 Joachim Winkelhock (BMW 320i)

41 Silverstone 1996 Roberto Ravaglia (BMW 320i)

42 Croft 2007 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

43 Oulton Park 2007 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

44 Oulton Park 2007 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

45 Snetterton 2007 Tom Onslow-Cole (BMW 320si)

46 Brands Hatch 2007 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

47 Thruxton 2007 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

48 Brands Hatch 2008 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

49 Rockingham 2008 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

50 Croft 2008 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

51 Croft 2008 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

52 Snetterton 2008 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

53 Oulton Park 2008 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

54 Silverstone 2008 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

55 Brands Hatch 2008 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

56 Brands Hatch 2008 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

57 Brands Hatch 2009 Rob Collard (BMW 320si)

58 Thruxton 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

59 Donington Park 2009 Rob Collard (BMW 320si)

60 Oulton Park 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

61 Oulton Park 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

62 Croft 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

63 Croft 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

64 Snetterton 2009 Colin Turkington (BMW 320si)

65 Rockingham 2009 Stephen Jelley (BMW 320si)

66 Rockingham 2009 Stephen Jelley (BMW 320si)

67 Thruxton 2010 Steven Kane (BMW 320si)

68 Brands Hatch 2010 Mat Jackson (BMW 320si)

69 Brands Hatch 2012 Rob Collard (BMW 320si)

70 Knockhill 2012 Rob Collard (BMW 320si)

71 Knockhill 2012 Rob Collard (BMW 320si)

72 Donington Park 2013 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

73 Croft 2013 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

74 Croft 2013 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

75 Knockhill 2013 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

76 Knockhill 2013 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

77 Brands Hatch 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

78 Thruxton 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

79 Oulton Park 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

80 Oulton Park 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

81 Croft 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

82 Croft 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

83 Knockhill 2014 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

84 Rockingham 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

85 Rockingham 2014 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

86 Brands Hatch 2015 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

87 Oulton Park 2015 Sam Tordoff (BMW 125i M Sport)

88 Croft 2015 Andy Priaulx (BMW 125i M Sport)

89 Croft 2015 Sam Tordoff (BMW 125i M Sport)

90 Croft 2015 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

91 Knockhill 2015 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

92 Silverstone 2015 Andy Priaulx (BMW 125i M Sport)

93 Donington Park 2016 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

94 Oulton Park 2016 Sam Tordoff (BMW 125i M Sport)

95 Croft 2016 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

96 Rockingham 2016 Sam Tordoff (BMW 125i M Sport)

97 Brands Hatch 2017 Andrew Jordan (BMW 125i M Sport)

98 Donington Park 2017 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

99 Thruxton 2017 Rob Collard (BMW 125i M Sport)

100 Thruxton 2017 Colin Turkington (BMW 125i M Sport)

Our Verdict

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