West Surrey Racing (WSR) has run the Team BMW program in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) since 2007 and are the official BMW Motorsport team in the series. The team will be back with drivers Colin Turkington and Stephen Jelley for 2022, as well as newcomer Jake Hill. Turkington has won four drivers titles with WSR and BMW, and has 60 career victories in the series, which puts him in third in the all-time winners list in BTCC. He finished second in the championship in 2021.
One major change for the 2022 season, in what is being called the new hybrid era, is that all of the cars in the series will use a series-mandated electric motor manufactured by Cosworth. The 58-volt electric motor will produce an extra 40 horsepower for fifteen seconds on each lap it’s used, and cars will leave the pits using only electric power. The electric motor will also come into play with the BoP (balance of performance) adjustments, as the series will adjust the electric power each driver is allowed to have based on race results and championship position.
WSR Team Principal Dick Bennetts said that the team had to make several design adjustments to the 330e M Sport they race in the series, but that moving to hybrid power is a positive move for the series. Driver Colin Turkington is also looking forward to the challenge. “Of course, winning the championship is the aim, as it always is, but the move to hybrid technology is going to add an extra challenge,” he said. “Because of the change in technology and weight, it’s going to be like starting with an all-new car for everyone on the grid, so being able to keep calm, maximize every points opportunity, stay reliable and race well will be more important than ever before. It has the potential to create overtaking opportunities that previously didn’t exist and gives us all the chance to race more sustainably – which is something that’s very important to me.”
The BTCC opens its season at Donington Park on April 23–24 and holds all its races within the U.K. For more information, visit the series and team websites.—David Haueter
[Photos courtesy West Surrey Racing.]