It's fair to say that Stephen Jelley
endured a tough debut season in the BTCC in 2008 as he came to terms with the move from single-seater competition into tin-tops.
As a result, the ex-F3 race winner was keen to step up a gear in 2009 as he again competed with the West Surrey Racing-run Team RAC outfit alongside Colin Turkington.
While understandably overshadowed by his more experienced team-mate, Jelley made a solid start to the year to score in five of the first six races before suffering a large accident at Donington Park which left the team racing to repair his car for Oulton Park – where he picked up another points finish.
Jelley then came of age as a BTCC driver at Croft with three podium finishes in three races despite treacherous wet weather conditions to head to the half-way stage of the season in buoyant mood.
A testing shunt at Snetterton was followed by another heavy accident on race day but Jelley continued to battle hard to aid Turkington's title challenge and secured his first victories in the series at a pivotal stage of the year with double success at Rockingham – aiding his team-mate no end in the process.
Jelley ultimately ended the season in seventh place in the standings, just eight points behind Rob Collard
– who had been a championship contender in the early stages.
As a result, you voted him ninth in our poll to find the top ten drivers from the 2009 season.Statistics:Team:
BMW 320si (S2000)Championship position:
137Independents' Championship position:
5thIndependents' Championship points:
3NB: Pole position refers to qualifying, not to grid slot for race two or three on a weekend, decided by earlier race results
Podiums does not include race victories