New Zealander Dick Bennetts, team boss of West Surrey Racing (WSR), is sitting on a possible trifecta at the last round of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). At the end of the three races at Brands Hatch this weekend, Bennetts' WSR outfit could leave with the drivers' championship, the teams' championship and the manufacturers' title.

The BMW factory-backed team's three drivers - Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan - are all inside the top eight with Turkington sitting in second place, 10 points back from Ashley Sutton.

"I still, even after all these years, get a bit nervous when it comes to the last race weekend of the season," said Bennetts from his race factory base at Sunbury-on-Thames in England.

"In 2014 [won championship], we just had to stay ahead. This time we have to catch up as we're 10 points behind Sutton.


"There are 67 points up for grabs, but the most anyone has every grabbed is 55, I think. Again, it has come down to the wire and should be getting easier these days, but it certainly isn't."

Bennetts has been in the motor racing game since the early 1980s - first in Formula 3 and them moving on to the BTCC, with a four-year stint in the now defunct A1 Grand Prix series thrown in.

Over the years, he has built a solid reputation in being able to spot talent and nurtured the likes of Ayrton Senna, Mikka Hakkinen, Jonathan Palmer, Rubens Barrichello, Mauricio Gugelmin and Eddie Irvine.

On moving to the BTCC series, Bennetts signed, among others, over the ensuing years Will Hoy, Nigel Mansell, Tom Kristensen, Gabriele Tarquini and New Zealanders Paul Radisich and Craig Baird.

Turkington has driven for WSR on and off since 2002 and helped the team win the BTCC Independent's trophy four times and the overall championship twice, most recently in 2014.

"We won our first outright championship with Colin in 2009 and again in 2014. We've got Colin back on board this year as we couldn't afford to keep him in 2015 and 2016.

"We first had Colin in the team back in 2002 when he was the Ford Fiesta champion and we put him in a car sponsored by Atomic Kitten [English pop group]. He has been with us on and off for many years and he's top draw stuff, that's for certain.

"If you're a champion in a one-make category like Cleo Cup or Ford Fiesta you've got talent because there's not much difference in the cars.

"His attitude and approach was very good back then and he's just got better. He doesn't push and shove people and is the cleanest driver on the track, which can sometimes go against him," said Bennetts.

The BTCC series has odd balance of performance handicap and reverse grid mechanism for two of the races to try and keep the racing close and exciting.

This weekend Turkington has been slapped with a weight handicap and despite Bennetts reckoning Brands Hatch isn't the team's favourite track, he's upbeat about gaining a good result.

"Brands hasn't always been our best track, but with the new engine this year we should be better.

"The chassis handles well and in the past as the track is up and down hill we lacked a bit of power. Now though, with the extra torque with the new engine we should be okay.

"There is also the weight factor to consider as we are carrying an extra 66kg in qualifying and race one.

"For race two, the first 15 change weight penalties according to how they finish and the same for race three. On top of that, there is a reverse top 10 with a blind draw from sixth to 10 to find out who is on pole after race one.

"To get manufacturers' points we have to nominate just two cars before practice whereas in the teams' championship the first two cars home count.

"We are leading these two and as Rob now can't win the championship he'll be our rear gunner [for Turkington]," he said of the challenge ahead at Brands Hatch.


BTCC points

1. Ashley Sutton 338
2. Colin Turkington 328
3. Gordon Sheddon 272
4. Tom Ingram 271
5. Rob Collard 256
6. Jack Goff 215
7. Matt Neal 214
8. Andrew Jordan 200