The BMW 3 Series Returns to BTCC Action at Brands Hatch
The first weekend of April ushered in the start of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship and with it came the return of the BMW 3 Series to competitive motorsport action.
The British Touring Car Championship, BTCC, has long been a happy hunting ground for the worlds major car manufacturers. The largest and most popular domestic motorsport series in the UK, the BTCC draws in huge crowds of dedicated fans who line the embankments of some of the UK’s most renowned motorsport venues.
For manufacturers, the mantra of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ has long been the ultimate objective from both a retail and competitive perspective and this is one goal BMW is looking to nail this season.
The all-new BMW 3 Series was launched to the world at the back end of last year and represents a major step up to that of its outgoing predecessor. With dramatic visual changes and an interior that is all new, the new 3 has large shoes to fill. The 3 Series is one of BMW’s most popular model and as a result has proved to be one of the marques most prolific sellers over recent years.
Looking to carry on this momentum BMW have entrusted renowned motorsport team West Surrey Racing with making the 3 Series a regular front runner in the BTCC pack.
With a new car comes new challenges and the team at West Surrey Racing only received the bare shells of the new 3 Series just after Christmas. Whilst a mammoth task in itself, all the key ingredients in this project are there as the team at West Surrey Racing are no strangers to BTCC success.
The team has a long pedigree within the BTCC having previously run the 3 Series, albeit in a former guise way back in the late 2000s. During this time the team swept to championship glory back in 2009 before switching to the BMW 1 Series 135i M Sport, collecting a further two championship trophies along the way.
In 2019 the team and BMW will be looking to repeat on these achievements and add further headlines to BMW’s illustrious touring car history.
With three cars built for the season ahead, these will be piloted by three drivers of tremendous calibre. First up you have multiple BTCC champion Colin Turkington who will be looking to add to his crowns from 09, 14 and 17. Alongside Colin, you have another champion in the guise of Andrew Jordan, who picked up 2013 honours, and relative championship newcomer Tom Oliphant.
At the recent opening weekend at Brands Hatch, the new 3 Series starred in a qualifying set against a backdrop of mixed conditions. The result of the performance was all three cars starting the first race within the top 10.
Come Sunday’s race the team was to fare even better as Andrew Jordan made a bold strategy choice and took a convincing and emotional win for the team in the second race of the day. Brands Hatch provided the much-needed confirmation that the new 3 Series is a formidable weapon and it will be fantastic to see how the car prevails over the rest of the championship campaign.
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