Tom Oliphant will stay with Team BMW for a second season as he aims to score his first British Touring Car Championship victory in 2020.
The Leamington Spa-based 29-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season in his first year with the WSR-run team in 2019; finishing second in the Jack Sears Trophy standings and scoring his first BTCC podium finish.
“From the first time Tom drove the new BMW 330i M Sport in March, it was clear he was someone who would really benefit from being back in a rear-wheel-drive car,” commented Dick Bennets, Team Principal. “His progress during the year was strong as he learnt the car and developed the relationship with his engineer.
“Nobody qualified inside the top 10 more often than Tom, he set more fastest laps in the second half of the season than any other driver and led a race for the first time. Taking what he’s learned in 2019 and adding in a winter of development for the 3 Series, Tom will be an even stronger proposition in 2020.”
Getting his hands on the brand-new BMW 330i M Sport just 10 days before the beginning of the season, Tom made a superb start to qualify a career-best fifth at the opening round at Brands Hatch, and recorded his maiden podium finish next time out at Donington Park.
The former Ginetta G55 Supercup champion scored a best-ever second-place finish at Oulton Park – from ninth on the grid –, was victorious in the Jack Sears Trophy 12 times, and qualified inside the top 10 on nine occasions – a figure no other driver could beat.
During the second half of the season, he scored three fastest laps – more than any other driver – as he secured 11th place in the Drivers’ Championship and helped WSR clinch a fourth consecutive Manufacturers’ title for BMW.
Tom will partner reigning champion Colin Turkington at Team BMW, meaning that WSR, who have won 12 titles in the BTCC – including 11 in the past six seasons – have a great opportunity to add to to their growing trophy cabinet.
The 63rd British Touring Car Championship begins on March 28-29 at Donington Park and takes in eight circuits the length and breadth of the country.