In our final 2021 BTCC Team Preview, our writers look at the reigning teams’ champions and what they can do to grasp another drivers’ title.
The West Surrey Racing outfit continue their BMW manufacturer support but carry a stealthier look on their BMW 330i M Sports. There are now three of these works entries too.
Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant continue with the team but a third car has given the opportunity to Stephen Jelley to return to his all-familiar WSR team.
See our BTCC 2021 Team Previews so far:
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Power Maxed Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: BTC Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: MB Motorsport
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Motorbase Performance
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Ciceley Motorsport
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Team HARD Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Laser Tools Racing
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Team Dynamics
- BTCC 2021 Team Preview: Toyota GAZOO Racing UK
Team BMW come into 2021 after just missing out on the title last year, as Colin Turkington had to settle for second in the championship just 14 points adrift from Ash Sutton.
I think that means the team will be hugely determined to start this year strong and continue like that through the course of the campaign.
Turkington will no doubt be aiming to claim a record-breaking fifth BTCC crown and become the series’ most successful driver, and I think he can do just that. Alongside the 39-year-old is Tom Oliphant who continues with the team, and the exciting return of Stephen Jelley, who makes his way back to the team after 12 years.
The BMW squad have a solid line-up blending consistency with experience, meaning they have what it takes to be a strong contender on this year’s grid.
Jelley has said he hopes he can push forward in 2021, after finishing 16th in the championship last year, he certainly has the tools to do that and I’m confident it will be a strong year for both him and the Team BMW outfit.
Team BMW are looking forward to achieving a record-breaking season once the campaign gets underway at Thruxton. West Surrey Racing has managed to win the constructors championship five times in a row, and this season could see them make that a record beating six times.
To achieve this, Team BMW have expanded their two-car line-up, to three with Stephen Jelley joining Tom Oliphant and BTCC legend Colin Turkington.
Tom was the BTCC’s breakthrough driver throughout the 2020 campaign as the Leamington Spa-based driver managed to score his first ever victory at Brands Hatch alongside his highest ever championship finish of eighth.
For Leicester-based Stephen, he is looking to make a valiant return to the team that he debuted in in 2008. It was then known as WSR BMW in which he won two races before moving onto GT racing.
Colin is one of the BTCC’s all-time greats and will be looking to snatch the driver championship back from Ash Sutton after a very positive phase.
He currently has a record equalling four driver titles and a fifth would make him the most decorated driver in BTCC history.
After missing out on the title last year, Turkington has Ash Sutton on his sights for this year’s campaign.
Needless to say, winning multiple championships puts him in as a well-respected status as a driver who understands how to do so and that was evident with his calm, calculated and largely faultless driving performances. He will be one of the main protagonists before we even enter that Thruxton opening round although it will take a few events to really see what Turkington has in store to reclaim his title.
After getting his first race win last season, Tom Oliphant has made some positive and steady progress so it is no surprise to see him at West Surrey Racing.
I don’t doubt his driving abilities, but I don’t see him as a major title contender; instead as a committed teammate to Turkington’s title efforts and the numerous BMW manufacturer titles as well.
Stephen Jelly is a great addition with the team getting three cars on a line-up, which is quite a smart move considering many competitors have made the move to three and even four cars.
Jelley drove the 1 Series last season to an adequate performance but it will be intriguing to see how he does on return to a familiar outfit he has previously raced with.
Team BMW have one of the best driver line-ups and will be targeting those front spots at the end of every race.