West Surrey Racing

West Surrey Racing

Motor racing team

pixels = 95
founded = 1981
country = flagicon|UK United Kingdom
principal = flagicon|NZL Dick Bennetts
current series = BTCC, A1 Grand Prix
former series = Formula 3
driver titles = 1981 British F3 (Palmer)
1983 British F3 (Senna)
1985 British F3 (Gugelmin)
1990 British F3 (Häkkinen)
1991 British F3 (Barrichello)
2004 Independent BTCC (Reid)
team titles = -
folded =
Founded in 1981, West Surrey Racing is a UK-based motorsport team run by New Zealander Dick Bennetts. He is responsible for masterminding the careers of such names as Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, Jonathan Palmer, Rubens Barrichello, Mauricio Gugelmin and Eddie Irvine with his involvement in F3 and a racing academy in the 80s and 90s. WSR has won over 70 races in Formula 3 and over 20 class and outright wins in the BTCC.



WSR moved to the BTCC in 1996 having been chosen to run the works Ford team, their most high-profile moments arguably coming in 1998 when Nigel Mansell drove a third Mondeo at selected events during the season.


1999 and 2000 saw WSR running works Honda Accords, and while they failed to win any championships the team obtained numerous victories, including the last ever Super Touring BTCC race (won by Tom Kristensen).


After a brief hiatus WSR returned to the BTCC late in the 2001 season running the works MG team. 2000 runner-up Anthony Reid and Warren Hughes were signed to drive for the British marque, and despite only contesting six races Reid took a victory in the penultimate race of the year (the only non-Vauxhall win of 2001). 2002 saw the team continue with Reid and Hughes in addition to running Colin Turkington and Gareth Howell in a 'satellite' independent MG squad backed by the pop group Atomic Kitten. MG finished second in the manufacturers and teams' championships, and Reid was the top driver, coming 4th overall. In 2003 "Team Atomic Kitten" was dropped, and the MG works team expanded to 3 cars to accommodate Turkington, although MG slipped to 3rd at the end of the season behind Vauxhall and Honda. 2004 saw the team lose official MG backing but they continued running Reid and Turkington to some success: the drivers finished 4th and 6th respectively overall, Reid took the Independent's title and WSR claimed 3rd in the team's championship.

In 2006 WSR ran two MG ZSs in the BTCC having secured title sponsorship from the RAC. Collard remained with the team, and Colin Turkington rejoined after a year driving for Vauxhall. The team switched to bio-ethanol fuel for the final 9 races of the 2006 season.


In 2007 the team ran BMW E90 320si with Colin Turkington and 2006 Clio Cup champion Tom Onslow-Cole employed as drivers, using the name Team RAC following a continued sponsorship deal with The RAC.

Onslow-Cole left the team at the end of the 2007 season to join rivals VX Racing and in doing-so made reference to the difficulties he had driving the rear-wheel drive BMW [http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vx/vxr/flash/index_main.html News item posted 10-01-2008] .

A possible replacement for Onslow-Cole was Duncan Huisman who raced for WSR alongside Turkington in the 2007 World Touring Car Championship event in Macau as part of Team Aviva [ [http://www.aviva.com/index.asp?PageID=55&category=aviva&year=2007&newsid=3507 Aviva Press Release: Aviva unveils entry into World Touring Car Championship] ] . However, in March 2008, Stephen Jelley was announced as Turkington's partner at WSR for the 2008 BTCC [ [http://www.wsr-racing.com/article.asp?art_id=419 Team RAC Announce Jelley As Second Driver] . Accessed 09 March 2008]

A1 Grand Prix

WSR were selected by A1 Team New Zealand to run their car for the inaugural 2005-06 A1 Grand Prix season, taking the "Black Beauty" machine to 4th overall. Despite New Zealand contracting SuperNova to run their car for the 2006-07 A1 Grand Prix season WSR remained in A1GP running A1 Team USA ["Team USA and WSR announce partnership" [http://www.crash.net/news_view~t~Team-USA-and-WSR-announce-partnership-~cid~83~id~136540.htm crash.net] .] and the new Singapore team ["Murchison's Singapore pledge" [http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/sportsnews/view/229219/1/.html Channelnewsasia.com] .] .

*T.C. = Teams' Championship position.
*2007-08 is the current season.


External links

* [http://www.wsr-racing.com/ www.wsr-racing.com]
* [http://www.btccaction.co.uk/teams/wsr.php Team Profile at btccaction.co.uk]
* [http://www.wsr-fans.co.uk/forum/index.php WSR Supporters Forum]

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