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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Oliphant’s Australia transfer leaves prime BMW BTCC seat open

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The 31-year-old bought engaged through the summer time, and is making the transfer to the Sydney space to assist the profession of his fiancee, whose household enterprise has a base Down Beneath.

After a rookie BTCC season in 2018 with a Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes, Oliphant moved to WSR for 2019. He scored his first win in 2020 within the reversed-grid race on the Manufacturers Hatch GP Circuit, after which claimed one other in 2021 within the opening race of the Manufacturers Indy Circuit spherical.

“I had 5 or 6 groups that phoned me up and provided me aggressive offers that I may have taken for subsequent season,” Oliphant instructed Autosport.

“However I wish to assist Gen [Oliphant’s fiancee] how she’s supported me – with out her I’d by no means have made it to the BTCC and turn out to be a race winner.

“For me and Gen it’s a very thrilling and Positive subsequent step. It’s all the time unhappy to go away one thing behind, however it’s good to take a step away and do one thing else.

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“Racing is in my blood and it is going to be a part of my future perpetually – it is going to be very tough to get away from it, and I’ve bought to take a bit of little bit of time to see what choices come my means.”

Oliphant is shifting to Australia to assist his fiancee’s profession

Photograph by: Jakob Ebrey Images

WSR boss Dick Bennetts described Oliphant as “a very good bloke, no actual hassle in any respect”.

“In yr one with us he completed eleventh, and that’s leaping from a front-wheel-drive Merc to a rear-wheel drive BeeEm,” Bennetts instructed Autosport.

“12 months two, he did an awesome job to complete sixth, and I stated, ‘Proper, for those who can soar from eleventh to sixth, then in yr three you possibly can soar from sixth to second and even first.’

“He had a implausible weekend at Manufacturers Indy, however I can’t put my finger on what went improper after that – he was the sufferer of dangerous luck quite a lot of occasions, however he did a very good job to assist us win the producers’ championship.

“I stated to him that if he plans to remain down there and needs to get a V8 Supercar take a look at in Australia simply give me a name, as a result of I do know three or 4 workforce homeowners down there.”

Oliphant, who will maintain an involvement within the UK scene via his PR agency Subsequent Degree Motorsport, added that his future could possibly be “in BTCC, in Europe, in America or in Australia”.

“My dream has all the time been to race a V8 round Bathurst, so if I get that chance I’ll fortunately welcome it,” he stated.

“I’m packing my helmet and racesuit, let’s put it that means.

“Dick has been very variety and provided to assist me kind one thing out in Australia – it’s been a pleasure to race for the legend that’s Dick Bennetts and WSR, and in the event that they ever had an area for me sooner or later I’d all the time look to return.”

WSR is keen to keep Turkington and Jelley

WSR is eager to maintain Turkington and Jelley

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

WSR is known to be eager to retain four-time champion Colin Turkington plus Stephen Jelley, who returned to the workforce in 2021 after 11 seasons away. However there’s a lot hypothesis over who will fill the seat of the remaining BMW 330i M Sport.

“There’s numerous folks knocking on the door, however it’s weighing up who can signal on the dotted line,” Bennetts added.

“It’s the busiest month of the yr, however in some methods essentially the most irritating month of the yr.

“We’re shut on all three drivers, however we’re not completed but.”

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