The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will feature seven champions on its grid after Colin Turkington was named in an unchanged line-up at eBay Motors for the new season. The news comes after Fabrizio Giovinardi and Alain Menu were confirmed to be returning, joining champions Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan.
Ulsterman Turkington will be joined by his 2013 team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster as the West Surrey Racing-run squad believes continuity is key in its quest to win the overall drivers and teams championships, as well as the independents crowns.
Turkington returned to the grid last season after a three year absence following his 2009 title. He took victory in only his second event of 2013 piloting the team’s brand new BMW 125i M Sport, and went on to challenge for the title right up until the final event of the season. The 31-year-old impressively scored five victories on his way to fifth in the standings and the feeling among the team is that Colin, combined with a further-developed BMW in its second season, will be even better placed to challenge for the championship in the year ahead.
“I have a long relationship with WSR and we’ve experienced some great successes together in both the BTCC and WTCC,” Turkington said. “Last season was a real transitional period for me with the new car and returning to the BTCC, but hopefully it’s made me a better driver and I am confident I can go even better with the eBay Motors team this season.”
Seven-time BTCC race-winner Collard also showed flashes of speed during 2013, particularly when scoring a superb podium at Knockhill. Foster’s season-high of fourth place at Croft was also a standout moment for the eBay Motors squad, but the duo will be keen to build on their performances further in the campaign ahead.
“We’re a close knit group here in the eBay Motors team,” Collard revealed. “We really value each other as drivers. We’ve all got a great understanding of the car and with it looking even better this season, we can’t wait to get back out there.”
Foster agreed with his team-mates. “We were pretty happy with how the season went in 2013 and it ignited a real ambition to push on,” he said. “You can only really be competitive at the highest level with the best people around you and that is what the eBay Motors team offers me.”
Team Principal Dick Bennetts is also looking forward to the year ahead. “It was a very new look team and a brand new car last season and I was pleased with our progress,” Bennetts said. “Considering the other top teams had run NGTC cars for at least a year, five wins was something that everyone should be proud of. This season is all about building and the guys at the factory have done a lot of R&D work this winter. We are thrilled to have Colin, Rob and Nick back on-board in our pursuit of winning the BTCC.”
West Surrey Racing will also embark on their fifth season with eBay Motors on board. With a year of learning the machine behind them, after a late reveal of their NGTC car prior to the 2013 season, combined with a truly top class driver line-up, manager of eBay Motors UK Tony Austin believes that the team is better placed than ever to deliver the main prize.
“With this being our fifth BTCC season, we are delighted that Colin, Rob and Nick will be representing the team again for 2014,” he said. “We have a great relationship with WSR and it’s good to see that our drivers buy into the collective ambition we all have for the team. With a year together under their belts, this is a cohesive team of drivers that we hope can be really competitive this season.”
The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March 2014. To keep up to speed with all the news on car development, testing and the drivers’ preparations follow the team on Twitter @ebaymotorsbtcc.