The BMW 3 Series returns to the British Touring Car Championship for 2019, with reigning drivers’ champion Colin Turkington at the wheel.
BMW has announced the impending return of the legendary 3 Series, its best-selling model worldwide, to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the 2019 season.
The 3 Series has a storied history in the BTCC, picking up two manufacturers’ championships and five drivers’ titles between 1988 and 2009, including back-to-back triumphs for Will Hoy, Tim Harvey and Joachim Winkelhock from 1991-93.
In 2013, the 3 Series was replaced by the 125i M Sport, which has delivered a further two drivers’ trophies and three manufacturers’ crowns. And now, in turn, the 125i M Sport is to be phased out to make way for the latest iteration of the 3 Series, the 330i M Sport.
With the seventh generation of the road-going 3 Series debuting this month, the 330i M Sport will make its bow at the opening event of the new BTCC season at Brands Hatch’s Indy Circuit on April 6th and 7th.
Behind the wheel will be reigning champion Colin Turkington, who can thank BMW for helping to deliver 31 of his 46 BTCC race wins – memorably including the Bavarian marque’s 100th BTCC victory, at Thruxton in 2017.
Turkington’s car, as well as that of his hotly rated teammate Tom Oliphant, will be fielded by BMW’s long-term partner West Surrey Racing.
Due to a sponsorship clash, a third 330i M Sport will be driven by 2013 drivers’ champion Andrew Jordan out of the same stable, but under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.
Graeme Grieve, chief executive of 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.”