Team BMW aim for treble title at Brands Hatch

Team BMW are targeting a treble-title success at Brands Hatch this weekend as the British Touring Car Championship reaches a thrilling climax.

A sensational double victory last time out helped Colin Turkington to reclaim the championship lead; the Northern Irishman holding a vital nine-point advantage with 67 available at the triple-header finale and five drivers still in the title hunt.

With six wins and 17 podium finishes between them, Colin and team-mate Tom Oliphant have put Team BMW on top of the Teams’ points while BMW also lead the Manufacturers’ title race.

“It’s the sixth time in seven years that we’ve come to the final round in with a shout of at least one of the main BTCC titles, and I think that shows the strength of our team at WSR and of the BMWs that we’ve run in that time,” said Team Principal, Dick Bennetts. “We’ve left no stone unturned in preparing for Brands Hatch and the experience we’ve had of being involved in title fights will hopefully help us in this regard.

“As we’ve seen plenty of times, anything can happen in the BTCC when you have so many good drivers in the title hunt and we’ve won some and lost some in past seasons.

“As last year proved, you can never predict what’s going to happen – even up to the last lap, so we’ll need to be on top form to make sure we can get the job done.”

Colin has a strong record on the 1.2-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit. It is where he claimed his first race win in the series in 2003 with WSR and the scene of three further victories.

His status as championship leader means he must carry 60kg success ballast in his WSR designed, built, and run BMW 330i M Sport, making his car the heaviest in the field during practice, qualifying and the first race.

Teams’ title success would be WSR’s fifth in seven years while BMW could equal the BTCC’s all-time record of five consecutive Manufacturers’ crowns.

Team-mate Tom claimed his first BTCC victory when the series last visited Brands Hatch – on the longer Grand Prix circuit – in August.

The 30-year-old has collected four podium finishes this year, has already exceeded his best ever season-long points total, and is on-course to finish inside the championship top six for the first time in his BTCC career.

Leamington Spa-based Tom retains a chance of ending the season as high as third in the points. His current sixth place in the standings means he enters the weekend with 30kg success ballast in his BMW.

In a change to the normal format, there will be just a single 60-minute practice session on Saturday morning with qualifying earlier than normal from 1235-1305.

Sunday’s three races will be screened live in HD on ITV4; with Race One starting at 1000, Race Two at 1232 and Race Three at 1514 to prevent the meeting running into darkness.

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