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Defending Champion Turkington returns with BMW for 2019 BTCC

Monday, January 07 2019

Reigning Kwik Fit British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington will return to the UK's leading car racing series in 2019, after confirming he will remain with Team BMW.

The three-time champion has won each of his titles with the WSR-run BMW outfit, but this year marks the first time that he will return to defend his crown with the same team. This means that Turkington can race for a record-equalling fourth BTCC title in 2019, whilst the team is gunning for its fourth consecutive Teams' and Manufacturers' crowns.

Turkington has raced on-and-off with WSR since he made his BTCC debut with the team in 2002, and has sealed four of his five Independents' crowns in BMWs. In total he has won 46 times in the BTCC, placing him fifth on the series' all-time winners' list, as well as recording 133 podium finishes, 17 pole positions and 52 fastest laps.

Turkington will be paired in the WSR line-up with Tom OIiphant, who has joined the squad for his second season in the BTCC.

Turkington said: "My 2018 title was definitely one of my best, and my goal is always to achieve just that; be the best I can in both life and motorsport. Becoming a triple champion felt great, but I'm hungry for much more and racing with Team BMW in the BTCC gives me this opportunity. Now I have to ask myself 'how can I improve for this coming season and how can I be a better driver?'

"I'm thrilled by the commitment from BMW that allows me to stay in one of the most desired seats in global touring cars and with a team who continue to set the benchmark. Team BMW is the place to be and we want to make history together. This is where I'm happiest; with people I trust, and when I'm happy, I perform."

Team Principal Dick Bennetts said: "I'm extremely pleased that Colin will defend his title with us, allowing WSR to carry #1 on a BTCC car for the first time, and equally proud that BMW has chosen to continue its support of our programme.

"Colin is one of the world's best touring car drivers and has spent the majority of his career with us, so we've developed an environment here that allows us all to get the best out of each other. I can't think of a manufacturer who has achieved more in touring car racing globally than BMW, so to continue to be associated with them in 2019 is a great honour for our team.

"We've won 10 overall BTCC titles in the past 10 seasons - all with BMWs - so to have their continued support in 2019 is a reflection of their belief in our team to get the job done."

The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship starts at Brands Hatch on 6-7 April, and tickets are available in advance here.