The three Sequence will return to Britain’s premier motor racing sequence this 12 months, with BMW confirming it’s to deliver its best-selling mannequin worldwide again to the Kwik Match British Touring Automobile Championship (BTCC).
A prolific winner just about from the outset, the story of the BMW three Sequence within the BTCC is a protracted and distinguished one, yielding 5 Drivers’ titles and two Producers’ crowns between 1988 and 2009, from Frank Sytner’s success with the M3 to Colin Turkington’s triumph with the 320Si E90. In-between, there have been back-to-back championships for Will Hoy (1991), Tim Harvey (1992) and Joachim Winkelhock (1993).
The three Sequence was outmoded by the 125i M Sport in 2013; since then, BMW has clinched two additional Drivers’ trophies (each with Turkington – in 2014 and 2018), three extra Producers’ laurels and Groups’ honours in every of the final three seasons. Now, the class-leading three Sequence is again, with a refreshed driver line-up for Workforce BMW and designs on future glory.
Complementing the launch of the seventh-generation road-going mannequin in March, the race-tuned 330i M Sport will be part of the fray within the 2019 BTCC curtain-raiser round Manufacturers Hatch’s Indy Circuit on 6/7 April. Will probably be piloted by three-time title-winner Turkington – essentially the most profitable driver within the model’s illustrious BTCC historical past – and new signing Tom Oliphant, who impressed over the course of his rookie marketing campaign within the sequence final 12 months.
Turkington is without doubt one of the most embellished touring automotive drivers on the planet, with 31 of his 46 BTCC race wins coming in Bavarian equipment – together with BMW’s milestone 100th victory at Thruxton in 2017. With race-winning pedigree within the British GT Championship and Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, Oliphant is extensively thought-about to be one of many sport’s rising stars and tallied 12 points-scoring finishes within the BTCC in 2018.
The automobiles will likely be fielded by long-time BMW associate West Surrey Racing, with a 3rd 330i M Sport for 2013 BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan, who will run out of the identical WSR steady however beneath the BMW Pirtek Racing banner in deference to his title sponsor.
Helmed by the legendary Dick Bennetts, WSR was based nearly 4 a long time in the past and performed an instrumental position within the formative careers of such motorsport luminaries as Mika Hakkinen, Rubens Barrichello and three-time System 1 World Champion Ayrton Senna.
The Surrey-based outfit has masterminded BMW’s BTCC problem since 2007, and is difficult at work behind-the-scenes prepping the brand new three Sequence forward of its anticipated monitor debut on the Season Launch check at Manufacturers Hatch on 27 March.
Graeme Grieve, CEO, BMW UK, mentioned: “The BMW three Sequence has a wealthy and profitable historical past competing within the BTCC and we’re extraordinarily proud to see that custom proceed. This all-new BMW three Sequence is the road-going dynamic benchmark and we have now an important monitor file working with our companions at West Surrey Racing, so 2019 seems set to be a really thrilling 12 months for us within the BTCC.”
Dick Bennetts, Workforce Principal, West Surrey Racing, mentioned: “We’re delighted to be bringing the BMW three Sequence again to the BTCC. We achieved a substantial amount of success with the fifth-generation mannequin between 2007 and 2012, so we’re massively excited to see what the newest model is able to. Quite a lot of onerous work and numerous hours lie forward, however we’re all assured of turning this automotive right into a winner and reinstating it in its rightful place – on the entrance of the sphere in Britain’s premier motorsport sequence.”
Colin Turkington, 2009, 2014 and 2018 BTCC Champion, mentioned: “So far as pre-seasons go, it doesn’t get a lot better than this! Again in 2009, I clinched my first Drivers’ title in a BMW three Sequence, and to start a brand new chapter with the brand new mannequin for Workforce BMW is a dream come true. This thrilling mission has delivered a potent dose of motivation into an already devoted workforce and we’re impressed to get going. It’s a really busy time for the engineering workforce again at base as they construct and develop the automobiles for the brand new season, however the experience is there to get the job executed. The brand new-look highway automotive is gorgeous and the race automotive will likely be one thing else! It’s an incredible time to be concerned and I’m honoured to have this position.”
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