Oliphant departs WSR and steps back from racing for 2022

Tom Oliphant will leave the West Surrey Racing Team after three years at the team following a personal decision to move to Australia.

The two-time race winner in the British Touring Car Championship debuted with Ciceley Motorsport in 2018 before moving to the works-backed WSR outfit for the next three years.

His first victory was at Brands Hatch in 2020, his third amongst 10 BTCC podium appearances.

West Surrey Racing jumped to a three-car line-up for the 2021 season featuring four-time champion Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley as teammates.

In a statement, Oliphant said: “In some ways, this was the hardest and easiest decision to make.

“I’ve worked hard for many years to build my career in motorsport and establish myself as a front-runner in the British Touring Car Championship, so to step back from that is naturally hard.”

The 2015 Ginetta GT4 Champion had driven amongst a number of different series during his career including Formula Renault, Porsche Super Cup, and the British GT Championship.

His efforts at WSR contributed to three Manufacturers’ Titles and one Teams’ Championship, with sixth in the 2020 Drivers’ Standings as his highest position of that kind.

In this year’s championship, he finished 16th after a challenging season which involved scoring no points at the entire Donington Park weekend.

Team BMW
(L to R) Tom Oliphant, Stephen Jelley, Colin Turkington – Credit: BTCC

“None of that would have been possible without Gen (his fiance) though and her incredible support for the last decade.

“She’s made a lot of sacrifices to help me achieve my goals, and the time is right for me to repay that and support her successful career.

“Moving to Australia is a big and positive life change for our family.

“While I may be based on the other side of the world, I will still be working in the TOCA paddock and across UK motorsport with my PR and design company Next Level Motorsport.

“Our team will still be on the ground at all events, ensuring our clients will receive the same fantastic service they always have, and I’ll be making some trips across to the UK through the year to work directly with them all.

“I want to make clear that this is not my retirement or the end of my career.

“While I won’t be racing next year, I fully intend to get back behind the wheel again and will be looking at offers for 2023 and beyond, whether in the UK or potentially Australia.”

Team Principal Dick Bennetts also congratulated Oliphant for his achievements during his time at WSR and wished him well for 2022.

This is the second move for the 2022 driver market and leaves a vacant seat at one of the championship’s most successful teams.