Three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx has parted company with German manufacturer BMW, ending their 13-year association.
Priaulx established himself as one of the leading touring car drivers in the world with BMW, claiming the WTCC title in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
The Briton also raced for BMW in the European Touring Car Championship, DTM and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 and 2011, finishing on the GTE Pro class podium once.
On Friday at BMW’s end of year Motorsport Awards event in Munich, Priaulx confirmed that he would be leaving the brand after 13 years.
“I am saying goodbye not just to a company, but to a family,” Priaulx said. “Over the years I have been lucky to have driven some of the best racing cars there are and have stood on podiums in all parts of the world thanks to BMW.
“However, sometimes it is time to move on and for me that time has come. I cannot thank all the teams I have been involved with enough. They have all been not only highly professional, but also a lot of fun to be with.
“While we will all go our separate ways for 2016, nothing can ever break the bonds of friendship we have. I wish them all a very successful future.”
BMW motorsport director, Jens Marquardt thanked Priaulx for his time with BMW and wished him the best for his future endeavors, tipped to be a role with Ford’s GT programme in the FIA World Endurance Championship next year.
“Thanks to Andy Priaulx for all he has done for the BMW brand,” said Marquardt. “His name and his fantastic successes will always remain a part of BMW’s motorsport history.
“We at BMW support his decision to leave us after so many successful years. We do not want to stand in the way of our drivers should they wish to pursue new challenges. We wish him all the best, and will remain in contact as friends.”