BMW team West Surrey Racing (WSR) closed out the 2023 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a double-podium in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch, but it wasn’t enough to win the championship. Ultimately, BMW finished second in the manufacturer’s championship behind Ford. WSR was third in team points and Jake Hill, who won the last race at Brands Hatch, finished third in the driver’s championship, which was won by Ford driver Ashley Sutton.
BMW may not have won a championship this year, but they had a lot of success during the season in the ultra-competitive BTCC with the quartet of 330e M Sport cars run by WSR. In the 30 races run during the season, the BMW team had 25 podium finishes, including ten wins, with six for Jake Hill and four for Colin Turkington. Hill was happy to win the last race. “To win a race like that is a brilliant way to end any season and do to it at my home track – my first BTCC win here – is even better. A huge thanks to WSR and Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport for everything this year. I’m going home happy.”
A high point of the season for BMW was in the three rounds at Oulton Park, where Jake Hill won the first two races. Colin Turkington won the third and was followed by Hill and teammate Adam Morgan for a BMW one-two-three podium sweep. Hill also won two out of three races at Knockhill, with teammate Stephen Jelley finishing on the podium in the third race.
Finishing runner-up is not typical for BMW in the BTCC, as they have won nine manufacturers’ championships in previous years. “It’s always a good feeling to end the year with a win and both Jake and Stephen showed excellent speed in that last one,” he said after the last race at Brands Hatch. “It’s great for both of them to finish off like that, but I’m gutted for Colin because he was looking good in race two. It’s a shame to miss what would have been a record-breaking tenth manufacturers’ title for BMW, but if Colin hadn’t been taken out in race two I’m pretty sure we’d have won that. A huge thanks to BMW UK for their support this year; we’re fired-up to come back stronger next year and become champions again.” —David Haueter
[Photos courtesy WSR]