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Subaru enters BTCC with Team BMR

Tuesday, January 12 2016

Japanese manufacturer Subaru will make its Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship debut in 2016 with title-challengers Team BMR. Both Jason Plato and Colin Turkington will race the Levorg Sports Tourer, starting at the opening rounds at Brands Hatch on 2/3 April.

Team BMR launched a serious assault on last season's title, having signed then-reigning champion Turkington and rival Plato. Both drivers were in contention until the Brands Hatch finale, with Plato missing out by just a handful of points. The team hopes that the manufacturer tie-up will bring them the 2016 championship.

Previously associated with rallying, Subaru will be joining the BTCC for the first time this year. Like most of its range, the Levorg uses the manufacturer's all-wheel-drive transmission, but to comply with championship regulations BMR will engineer the cars to run rear-wheel-drive, a layout that powered Turkington to the 2014 title with WSR.

The Levorg will be the first estate car to race in the BTCC since the Civic Tourer in 2014. The new car will be powered by Subaru's famed four-cylinder boxer engine, and is expected to be the only car in the series to run this configuration.

Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director for Subaru UK and Ireland, said: "We're very excited to have teamed up with BMR from the 2016 Championship - the first time a Subaru has competed in BTCC. Although the Levorg features the Subaru famed all-wheel drive system, the car can be easily developed to compete with rear-wheel drive in order to comply with the BTCC regulations, so we can't wait to see how it goes against very established competition."

BMR Team Principal Warren Scott added: "I am extremely delighted that Team BMR are to become a manufacturer team in only our fourth year of competing in the BTCC. I have had aspirations of becoming a race-winning team with factory support from the very beginning and I am immensely proud of the team for giving Subaru the confidence to partner with BMR."

Jason Plato revealed that he worked hard to introduce Subaru to the BTCC: "Part of my role when joining BMR was to help secure a manufacturer deal. The iconic Subaru brand has always been right at the top of my wish list. Obviously it goes without saying that I am very excited about our future together and I'm confident that BMR will produce a fantastic package for me to fight for the Championship. This really is exciting times for us all - I can't wait for the season to begin."

Team-mate Turkington said: "Continuing with Team BMR for the 2016 season was an easy decision for me and represents a great opportunity to build on our strong maiden campaign. I can't wait to get started with the development of the new Subaru Levorg BTCC race car and I'm more motivated than ever to win. This announcement is huge news for the championship and equally for me."

Tickets are available for 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at Brands Hatch Indy on 2/3 April, Oulton Park on 4/5 June, Snetterton on 30/31 July and Brands Hatch Grand Prix on 1/2 October. Entry is free for under-13s. For more information click on the links.