BMR Racing will be celebrating yet another British Touring Car Championship milestone this weekend at Oulton Park in Cheshire as the Subaru Levorg takes to the track for its 100th appearance in the BTCC during Sunday’s opening race.
BMR initially entered the championship back in 2013 as an independent entry and following on from its successes in those early years, Manufacturer status became the next step up the ladder after gaining backing from the Japanese Marque with the all new Subaru Levorg GT Sports Tourer.
It seems like only yesterday that we rolled out the first of the four brand-new Levorg’s at the Donington Park media day ahead of the 2016 season and here we are 100 races later.
As with many new NGTC spec machines we had our fair share of teething problems, with the lowest point coming at Thruxton just three rounds in when we were forced to withdraw all four machines due to a failing fuel rail. Since that fateful day the team has never looked back and to bounce back from that with a maiden win for Subaru with Colin (Turkington) behind the wheel the following weekend at Oulton Park was a day we as a team will never forget. Sunday the 5th of June 2016. From that moment onwards the success just kept on coming with a further 5 race wins for the Levorg in only its maiden season along with a further 14 podiums.
With Colin departing at the end of the 2016 season, Ash (Sutton) joined the fray for 2017 which would prove to be the icing on the cake after he took outright championship honours with him being crowned 2017 BTCC Champion. In the process he racked up a staggering 15 podiums, which included 6 race wins. Two of his teammates James (Cole) and Jason (Plato) also scored a further five podiums between them, which included a pair of wins, taking Subaru’s victory tally to 14 and a further 26 podiums from just 60 races.
With Ash back behind the wheel in 2018 and now carrying the elite #1 on his Levorg, it was all to play for and although he could only manage 4th place at the end of the season his statistics prove that the Levorg/Sutton combination is a marriage made in heaven, after he took another 6 wins and a further brace of podiums. Jason also picked up a podium at Croft taking Subaru’s tally to a staggering 20 race wins and a further 29 podiums.
2019 is yet to see Ash or Senna (Proctor) stand on the top step of the podium although both drivers have fought hard and wrung the neck of the Subaru’s on many occasions, with Ash already picking up 4 podium finishes in what can only be described as his best start to a season to date. For Senna his start to his season has been about adjusting to the rear wheel drive Levorg and although he has shown great pace the results he deserves haven’t followed mainly due to a lot of bad luck, although he is finishing races consistently in point scoring positions and he’s well on is way to grabbing his first Subaru podium. Prior to us heading to these last three rounds in Cheshire before the halfway point of the season, Ash currently lies 3rd in the overall championship standings just 13 points shy of Turkington at the top of the tables, whilst Senna sits 19th.
The Subaru BTCC statistics are quite remarkable as the BMR and Subaru partnership having celebrated no fewer than 10 pole positions, 20 race wins and a further 33 podiums, which equates to a podium strike rate of over 50% of our total races.