Belfast Telegraph

Colin Turkington may lose place after Priaulx signing

By Sammy Hamill

British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington's future with West Surrey Racing - and indeed his future in the championship - has been thrown into further doubt with the announcement that triple world champion Andy Priaulx has signed to race for the team.

Channel Islander Priaulx, WTCC champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007, joins Sam Tordoff in a new-look team for the 2015 BTCC series which begins in March.

Turkington won the title for a second time last season driving a West Surrey BMW and was named the UK's National Driver of the Year but soon afterwards commented that his place in the team was under threat in the wake of the withdrawal of major sponsor eBay Motors.

Since then WSR boss Dick Bennetts has revealed the signing of Tordoff, grandson of former Circuit of Ireland winner Jack Tordoff, from the MG team and yesterday at the Autosport International Show he unveiled Priaulx along with a new sponsor, IHG.

A long-time BMW driver, Priaulx also has sportscar commitments with the factory team in the European Le Mans Series and the North American Endurance Cup which will mean he misses at least two BTCC rounds.

Bennetts plans to run a third car and has previously said he wants Turkington to remain with the team, however, it would depend on finding the necessary funding.

The Portadown driver also attended the Autosport Show yesterday but did not comment on his prospects of defending his title.

There was, however, better news for another Ulster driver with Bentley confirming Steven Kane would remain with their team in the Blancpain European Endurance Series - and will contest one of the southern hemisphere's toughest races, the Bathhurst 12 Hours at Mount Panorama in Australia.

Kane, from Ballynahinch, will continue alongside team-mates Guy Smith and Andy Meyrick in the Bentley Continental GT-3 which is prepared by Malcolm Wilson's M-Sport organisation in Cumbria.

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