Team Parker Racing have confirmed they will field a BMW 1-Series in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship for 2018, as well as retaining Stephen Jelley for a second successive season.
Switching from the Ford Focus that they ran in the series last year, the Independent squad have acquired the rear-wheel-drive machine from West Surrey Racing,
“We’re thrilled to unveil the 1-Series,” said Team Parker Racing boss Stuart Parker. “It’s a car that is right among the most successful in terms of both race wins and championship trophies and it’s certainly a great chassis to base things on to move us up the field in 2018.
“We’ve been working hard over the course of the winter to get everything in place and it’ll be great to see it all come together when we get out on track for shakedown.
“As a stable, we’ve a proud history in competing at the very top – counting titles to our name in GT racing and running premier teams in some of the very best championships.
“We’re hopeful that in moving from the Ford Focus to the BMW for 2018 we can make a real step forward in what is one of the most competitive series around.”
Entering into what will be his second season with the team in the BTCC itself, Jelley will be no stranger to driving a BMW. In 2008 and 2009 he competed in the 3-Series under the Team RAC banner, the highlight being a brace of wins at Rockingham in 09.
Keen get back towards the sharp end of the grid after a rough 2017 campaign, the 35-year-old is relishing the prospect of getting back on track in a BMW.
He said: “I really get the feeling that anything is possible this year. West Surrey Racing has put together a real gem with this car, you could eat your dinner out of the engine bay, it’s spotless!
“I still have strong links with WSR and we started talking to them at the end of last season about a BMW. It was the only way I wanted to go. I already feel at home with the car – everything’s where you’d expect it to be.
“In my opinion the BMW is better suited to a number of different driving styles – it’s a more rounded platform and it’s a marked difference.
“We’re looking to be more consistently in the points and make that push towards the podium spots if possible. I just want to get back to the sharp end and this change gives us the chance to be competitive and to battle where we should be battling. I can’t wait to get out there!”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography