- West Surrey Racing
Motor racing team
pixels = 95
founded = 1981
country = flagicon|UK
principal = flagicon|NZL
current series =
BTCC, A1 Grand Prix
former series =
driver titles = 1981
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 Gugelminand Eddie Irvinewith 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
BTCCin 1996 having been chosen to run the works Ford team, their most high-profile moments arguably coming in 1998 when Nigel Manselldrove 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 TouringBTCC 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 Reidand Warren Hugheswere 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 Turkingtonand Gareth Howellin 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 BTCChaving secured title sponsorship from the RAC. Collard remained with the team, and Colin Turkingtonrejoined after a year driving for Vauxhall. The team switched to bio-ethanolfuel for the final 9 races of the 2006 season.
In 2007 the team ran
BMWE90 320si with Colin Turkingtonand 2006 Clio Cup champion Tom Onslow-Coleemployed 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 Huismanwho raced for WSR alongside Turkington in the 2007 World Touring Car Championship event in Macauas 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 Zealandto run their car for the inaugural 2005-06 A1 Grand Prixseason, taking the "Black Beauty" machine to 4th overall. Despite New Zealand contracting SuperNova to run their car for the 2006-07 A1 Grand Prix seasonWSR 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.
* [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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