Two of the front-running drivers in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship are set to race for the same team in 2015 as reigning champion Colin Turkington prepares to compete alongside fellow double champion and 2014 runner-up Jason Plato for Team BMR.
Turkington and Plato have switched from eBay Motors and MG respectively to drive for Warren Scott's team in a four-car line-up, with Aron Smith and Scott himself in the other cars.
The Volkswagen CC will be the first front-drive car Turkington has raced in the BTCC since 2006. Subsequently the Ulsterman has won the top prize in British motorsport in both 2009 and 2014, scoring a total of 32 wins behind the wheel of a BTCC car.
Turkington’s closest rival over the past 12 months will now become his team-mate. Plato scored six wins in 2014, moving his career tally to 88 and ensuring that for the ninth season in succession that he was in contention for the title going into the final event.
Turkington said: “I’m delighted to be defending my BTCC crown with Team BMR. Getting behind the wheel of the Volkswagen is a fresh challenge after seven seasons in rear-wheel-drive machinery. I know that I’ll need to work harder than ever to get up to speed, but I’m extremely motivated to succeed.
"Team BMR is still a relatively young outfit in the BTCC, however there is a strong team of experienced personnel behind the scenes working incredibly hard to make sure we can challenge at the front from the off. The collective ambition, motivation and hunger to win made this the perfect opportunity for me.”
Plato said: "The decision for me to get involved with the outfit just became easier and easier. It’s a fantastic team of people, it’s well funded and it has the right ingredients to bake the best cake there is! It’s something quite serious that Warren has put together, he’s not playing games.
"The driver line-up is right up there [with any I’ve been in], we’ve got two heavyweights in the same team from a technical point of view and the two guys who were the focus last year on track. I think it’s going to be amazing. The performance push that both of us will give will help everybody.”
Team boss Scott said: “I am eager to get started on what will be a very exciting year ahead of us in the BTCC, with the strong driver line-up that we have in place along with a superb team of engineers, mechanics and other members of the Team BMR family, I feel confident that we have the potential to be championship contenders in 2015."
The drivers are due to hit the track for the first time in Team BMR colours at Thruxton on Thursday before the season launch at Donington Park on 24 March officially kicks off the 2015 BTCC championship.