We love a racing BMW at PH. In fact, it was only last week that we were waxing lyrical about them. From the 2002 to the V12 LMR, we're fans of them all, but it's got to be the tin tops which tug at our heartstrings most forcefully. Great news, then, that the 3 Series is returning to the BTCC.
BMW hasn't been all-together absent from the championship since it departed in 2013, of course, with the 125i M Sport flying its flag since then instead. Pretty successfully too, you might say, with Colin Turkington having won Drivers' titles in 2014 and 2018 on top of Manufacturer and Team honours in each of the last three seasons.
Nonetheless, with the seventh generation of the road-going 3 Series set to hit the UK in March, it's time for it to once again take up the cause on Munich's behalf. Drivers Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant will be the ones aiming to add to its storied history when it takes to the track at Brands Hatch on April 6th and 7th, Turkington of course having enjoyed success in the model previously.
When asked about stepping back into the 3 Series he said: "Back in 2009, I clinched my first Drivers' title in a BMW 3 Series, and to commence a new chapter with the new model for Team BMW is a dream come true. This exciting project has delivered a potent dose of motivation into an already dedicated team and we are inspired to get going. It's a very busy time for the engineering team back at base as they build and develop the cars for the new season, but the expertise is there to get the job done. The new-look road car is stunning and the race car will be something else! It's an amazing time to be involved and I'm honoured to have this role."
As with BMW's previous entries, the 330i M Sports will be run by West Surrey Racing, headed by Dick Bennetts. They will compete alongside a third 330i, also run by WSR but driven by 2013 BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan under the banner of BMW Pirtek Racing, in deference to his title sponsor. Good luck to all three drivers - we'll be looking forward to seeing the cars out on track for the first time at the Brands Hatch test day on March 27th.