Stephen Jelley will race an ex-West Surrey Racing BMW for Team Parker Racing in the 2018 British Touring Car Championship.

The former Porsche and single-seater racer will continue with the Team Parker squad he returned to the BTCC with in 2017 following a long spell in sportscars. 

Jelley could only manage 34th place in the drivers’ standings in what was a difficult year in a Team Parker Ford Focus, which prompted the outfit to switch to an ex-WSR BMW 125i M Sport for this season.

BMW’s 125i M Sport is a proven race and title-winning machine, and Jelley, who claimed two victories in the BTCC while driving a BMW for WSR in 2009, is confident the switch will help Team Parker move up the order in 2018. 

“I really get the feeling that anything is possible this year,” the 35-year-old said. “West Surrey Racing has put together a real gem with this car. The engine bay is spotless. 

“I still have strong links with WSR and we started talking to them at the end of last season about a BMW. It was the only way I wanted to go. I already feel at home with the car – everything’s where you’d expect it to be.

“In my opinion the BMW is better suited to a number of different driving styles," he added. "It’s a more rounded platform and it’s a marked difference. We’re looking to be more consistently in the points and make that push towards the podium spots if possible. 

“I just want to get back to the sharp end. This change gives us a chance to be competitive and to battle where we should be battling. I can’t wait to get out there!”