The 3 Series will return to Britain’s premier motor racing series this year, with BMW confirming it’s to bring its best-selling model back to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). A prolific winner virtually from the outset, the story of the BMW 3 Series in the BTCC is a long and distinguished one, yielding five drivers’ titles and two manufacturers’ 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 were back-to-back championships for Will Hoy (1991), Tim Harvey (1992) and Joachim Winkelhock (1993).
The 3 Series was superseded by the 125i M Sport in 2013; since then, BMW has clinched two further drivers’ trophies (both with Turkington – in 2014 and 2018), three more manufacturers’ laurels and team honours in each of the last three seasons. Now, the 3 Series is back, with a refreshed driver line-up for Team BMW and designs on future glory.
Coinciding with the launch of the seventh-generation 3 Series in March, the race-tuned 330i M Sport will join the fray in the 2019 BTCC curtain-raiser around Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit on April 6-7th. It will be driven by three-time title-winner Turkington – the most successful driver in the brand’s illustrious BTCC history – and new signing, Tom Oliphant, who impressed over the course of his rookie campaign in the series last year.
The cars will be entered by long-time BMW partner, West Surrey Racing, with a third 330i M Sport for 2013 BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan, who will run out of the same WSR stable, but under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner in deference to his title sponsor.
Graeme Grieve, CEO, BMW UK, said: “The BMW 3 Series has a rich and successful history competing in the BTCC and we are extremely proud to see that tradition continue. This all-new BMW 3 Series is the road-going dynamic benchmark, and we have a great track record working with our partners at West Surrey Racing, so 2019 looks set to be a very exciting year for us in the BTCC.”
BMW is expecting great things as the 3 Series makes a welcome return to the popular, BTCC Championship this season.