Team BMW head to Snetterton this weekend aiming to maintain their position as Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leaders as the season resumes after its Summer break.
The WSR-run team lead the Teams’ Championship after 15 of 30 races while BMW is ahead in the Manufacturers’ points race thanks to four victories and 10 podiums from Rob Collard and Colin Turkington.
Hampshire racer Rob is enjoying his best BTCC campaign to date with a record number of points and podiums by the midway point. The only driver to score points in every race so far in 2017, he lies second in the Drivers’ Championship.
He claimed his best Snetterton result last year with a second-place finish following a sensational battle in Race Three, and is aiming for a big haul of points, despite heading into the weekend carrying 66kg success ballast.
Northern Irishman Colin has won at Snetterton four times in the BTCC and has been victorious at the 2.7-mile Norfolk circuit in each of the past two seasons.
The two-time BTCC champion was a winner at Croft last time out to move up to third in the Drivers’ points table and carries 57kg success ballast this weekend.
WSR have won three times in the BTCC at Snetterton – the team’s first success coming in 1999 as Peter Kox triumphed in the series’ inaugural night race – and have been buoyed by a positive test at the circuit earlier this month.
The Snetterton triple-header on July 29-30 is the sixth of 10 events in this year’s BTCC, which takes in nine circuits the length and breadth of the country. Each race will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4 in HD.
Rob Collard said: “The Summer break has been far too long and I’m raring to get back into the BMW and continue my challenge for the championship. The first half of the season has gone superbly; I’ve been on the podium at every event and am the only driver to finish in the points in every race. I’m second in the Drivers’ Championship, which is exactly where I was this time last year, but I’m 21 points better off, which shows the continuing improvements of the Team BMW 125i M Sport and my driving. That level of consistency is what wins championships and the aim is certainly to continue that form at Snetterton.”
Colin Turkington said: “I’ve enjoyed my return season with WSR a lot and to be leading the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships is excellent for everyone here. But we’re only at the halfway stage of the season and there’s still everything to play for. I have a little bit of ground to make up because of a bad weekend at Oulton Park, and that proves you need to maximise your points at every event to stay in contention. I’ve won at Snetterton four times so I’m pretty optimistic that I can score well this weekend and continue to close in on the lead of the points table.”
Dick Bennetts, Team Principal, said: “We’ve had a strong season so far and head the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Championships through maximising our performances when we needed to, rather than by having the out-and-out fastest car. Now we come to Snetterton, which has been a good circuit for the BMW since the layout was changed in 2011. Rob and Colin are second and third in the Drivers’ Championship, which means both are heavy ballast-wise, but this is nothing unusual when you’re fighting for titles and we’ll use the information gathered in testing here a few weeks ago to help us this weekend.”