This will be Collard’s seventh consecutive BTCC campaign with the West Surrey Racing-run outfit while team-mate Tordoff joined under the new JCT600 and GardX-backed banner in 2015.
Last year saw the team take five overall victories with Collard taking three.
Collard is understandably happy to stay with the team for 2016;
“I am delighted to be continuing with Team JCT600 with GardX and extending my long relationship with WSR. I enjoyed a fast but sometimes inconsistent season in 2015, but there’s little doubting that we have the ingredients to fight for championships again this season. The whole team works well together and I have a good relationship with Sam, so we’re really looking forward to another successful season in the BTCC.”
Tordoff is equally happy.
“I really enjoyed my first season with Team JCT600 with GardX and I can’t wait to get going in 2016. Everyone at WSR is so friendly, experienced and hugely talented, which is why I know this is the best place for my career. It was fantastic to score some wins last year but now we need to do so on a consistent basis in order to challenge for the championship.
We’re all focussed and driven to achieve our goals so bring it on!”
The team will have a new look for 2016 as the blue and white colour scheme of 2015 becomes Silver and white in 2016. Although WSR also run the Orange and white IHG hotels BMW, it is being entered under a different team name.
Even though the team aren’t works supported, they have made further ties with manufacturer BMW appointing Tordoff as an Ambassador for the giant German marque, whilst GardX becomes an official supplier to BMW with its ProtectX protection products.
The team are currently undergoing a winter testing program before the season starts in early April.
Dick Bennetts, WSR Team Principal is looking forward to 2016;
“It is great to have both Sam and Rob continue in the Team JCT600 with GardX WSR BMWs this year. Considering that Sam has only done three years in the BTCC and only one in the RWD BMW, I reckon he’ll really shine this season. Rob really lifted his game in 2015, to the point where three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx acknowledged his pace on race day. The guys have been working really hard through the winter to move the 125i M Sports on to a new level, as we all know just how competitive the BTCC is!”
Also confirmed this week was the second driver for Motorbase with Mat Jackson returning to the team for another season to race alongside new signing Andrew Jordan. Jackson will be sponsored by Duo. Duo supply the construction industry with materials processing systems and are a big supporter of Motorsport, they also sponsor Rob Austin in 2016. Dave Bartrum, Motorbase boss is happy to have Mat back for another season
“We’re obviously delighted to have Mat back on board for his seventh year with us. Hopefully the number 7 will prove to be our lucky number this year with Mat racing back under his number 7 and Andrew as 77!
“We’ve known Mat for a long time and enjoyed one of our best periods together at the end of last season so the aim now is to carry that momentum on into this year and to focus on challenging at the front as soon as the first flag drops. There’s work to be done, particularly around the new suspension, but I can honestly say that if I was asked to pair two drivers together then Mat and Andrew would be my first choice all day long. They both tested with us at the end of last year and worked well together; there’s a great dynamic between them so I’m looking forward to seeing how they will bounce off of each other’s experience as time goes on.
They may be in different coloured cars but they are very much team-mates and equal parts of the Motorbase stable. We have a great team behind them, so now is our time to shine.”
He also commented on the return of Duo to the team;
“It’s great to welcome back DUO for a full challenge on the BTCC,” continued Bartrum. “DUO has a great outlook on business and combines it well with motorsport and I’m looking forward to our relationship growing stronger as the season progresses. It’s thanks to DUO’s support that Mat will become Motorbase Performance’s longest serving driver.”
Mat Jackson is keen to get going and return to the front running pace he set in the second half of 2015;
“It is great to be returning with Motorbase for 2016 and to be able to carry on from last year’s performance and mount our assault on the championship. I have to say huge thanks to DUO and to Motorbase for their continued loyalty and it’s fantastic to be able to bring DUO in for a full season this year.
“We’ve got an extensive testing programme planned which starts today, and with the new regulations it will be more important than ever before to get a head start as the season kick off at Brands in April.”
Lots of the BTCC teams have been testing in the past few weeks with cars seen at Donington, Brands and several teams made a trip out to Spain for some warm weather testing. Next week (17th and 18th February) sees several teams head to Thruxton in Hampshire for a rare testing opportunity at the fast Hampshire circuit. By Marc Waller