Reigning champion Colin Turkington gets new car for title defence
James Attwood, digital editor
27 February 2019

The new BMW 3 Series that reigning champion Colin Turkington will drive in this year’s British Touring Car Championship has been revealed.

Multiple title-winning squad West Surrey Racing will run three of the new machines in this year’s BTCC, with Turkington joined by rising star Tom Oliphant in the Team BMW racing line-up, and 2012 champion Andrew Jordan racing under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.

The new 330i M Sport race car is based on the recently launched new model, but uses the underpinnings from the 125i M Sport cars WSR ran last year. It returns the 3 Series to the championship for the first time since 2012.

The two Team BMW cars will be run in the Bavarian firm's classic BMW M Motorsport colours. Graeme Grieve, BMW's UK boss, said: "The 3 Series is our best-selling model worldwide, and to bring it back to the grid clothed in the classic M Motorsport colours is very special indeed. We are all very excited to see what it can do.”

BMW has a long history in the BTCC, with many of its highlights coming when fielding 3 Series models. Five drivers have claimed the overall BTCC title driving a 3 Series: Frank Sytner in 1988, Will Hoy in 1991, Tim Harvey in 1993, Joachim Winkelhock in 1993 and Turkington in 2009.

WSR switched from the 3 Series to the 125i M Sport in 2013, with Turkington adding titles in 2014 and last season. Under current BTCC regulations, all cars must use turbocharged 2.0-litre engines, mated to a six-speed sequential shift gearbox. A series of common and control parts are used.

WSR boss Dick Bennetts said preparing the trio of 330i M Sport cars in time for testing was a "Herculean effort", adding: "The attention-to-detail that has gone into the build is second-to-none."

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Turkington said: “I know how hard everybody at BMW and West Surrey Racing has worked to pull everything together over such a short space of time, and to now see this car in the garage and ready to take to the track is a source of immense pride, satisfaction and a job well done."

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Join the debate

Comments
10

27 February 2019
Different headlight design? From the new 4 series perhaps?

27 February 2019

 Let’s get it right here, it may have the body of the new 3series but underneath will be a bespoke race Car with very little in common with the Road Car.

Peter Cavellini.

27 February 2019
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Let’s get it right here, it may have the body of the new 3series but underneath will be a bespoke race Car with very little in common with the Road Car.

As are all racing cars, your point being? It’s more a BMW 3 series than it is any other car...

 

27 February 2019
Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Let’s get it right here, it may have the body of the new 3series but underneath will be a bespoke race Car with very little in common with the Road Car.

Peter, as you post on 99% of Autocar's pieces could I offer a well-intentioned request? The word "car" doesn't need capitalizing!

27 February 2019
sevensixty wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

 Let’s get it right here, it may have the body of the new 3series but underneath will be a bespoke race Car with very little in common with the Road Car.

Peter, as you post on 99% of Autocar's pieces could I offer a well-intentioned request? The word "car" doesn't need capitalizing!

finger slipped and hit wrong button...honest!

Peter Cavellini.

27 February 2019

Great to see a saloon back in BTCC, just like the glory days of the 90s.

27 February 2019
WallMeerkat wrote:

Great to see a saloon back in BTCC, just like the glory days of the 90s.

Yes, proper saloons, not hot hatches. BTW, Tim Harvey won in 1992

27 February 2019

Can't wait to see Turkington drive the thing. 

 

JMax

26 March 2019

Well I suppose at least BMW make and import a 2.0T manual 3 series, anyone seen a manual Corolla 2.0 turbo

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

26 March 2019

I have no doubt that this is a superbly designed and built racing car, but it would be interesting to learn about how much "BMW" it contains. For all I know, it has a standard turbocharged four cylinder engine, sequential gearbox, suspension and brakes; maybe even the weight distibution and downforce level is fixed?

I'd dearly like more of the road cars' attributes (or lack of them) to influence the race cars, even if it means opening up the field a bit. It surely isn't right that a Dacia for example can be just as competitive as a BMW M car or Honda Type-R?   

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