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Rob
23rd March 2013, 14:47
All the F1 and Sportscars going on totally forgot that we kick off new season soon....

ITV extends BTCC agreement
The ITV network will continue to broadcast live free-to-air television coverage of the MSA British Touring Car Championship until at least 2017, it was announced today (Thursday 21 March).

With one year of the current agreement remaining a new three-year addition to the existing partnership has now been signed. This secures the BTCC’s vast ITV broadcasting agreement for the next four seasons.

All BTCC race days will continue to be broadcast live on both ITV4, ITV4 HD and online at itv.com. Live coverage from each event will be screened for seven hours (11am-6pm) and is unique in UK motor sport... in fact the BTCC enjoys a level of quality free-to-air TV coverage that is the envy of many high–profile international series.

The 60-minute race highlights programmes will also continue on ITV, ITV HD, ITV4 and ITV4 HD in the week following each live event. These will be repeated three times and are also available to view for 30 days after broadcast via the online ITV Player. The itv.com website will again include live streaming of the Saturday afternoon qualifying session and will have a comprehensive catalogue of race highlights available throughout the season.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “ITV’s commitment to the BTCC is unrivalled in British motor sport. I’m absolutely delighted to have signed this new contract, which maintains the same vast level of free-to-air coverage the series currently enjoys until at least 2017.

“The determination from both parties to finalise this deal, more than a year before the expiration of our current contract, is testament to the strength and huge appeal of the BTCC. Many of our teams have been able to sign long-term deals with partners during what’s become a record-breaking age for the BTCC and this new broadcasting agreement will enable them to further build for the future.

“ITV’s commitment means that more than 230 hours of each BTCC season will be broadcast… and, of course, a great many more hours if we include ITV’s ‘+1 hour’ rebroadcast stations to those figures. This new deal further validates the unrivalled popularity and strength of the BTCC and our incredibly strong relationship with ITV is something that I’m immensely proud of.”

Niall Sloane, Director of Sport at ITV said: "The British Touring Car Championship has been a hit with viewers on ITV4, and ITV Sport is delighted to have secured the rights until at least the end of the 2016 season. We look forward to more great racing and stories in the years to come as the BTCC continues to evolve."

Rob
23rd March 2013, 14:48
BTCC announces record entry
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) has today (Thursday 21 March) announced both a record – and capacity – 32-car entry list for the upcoming 2013 season.

An incredible 13 models from 11 different marques are entered, including both Honda and MG as official Manufacturer teams. In total this amounts to the biggest BTCC season entry list in its 2-litre history. No fewer than 26 of the unprecedented 32-car grid will be entering with the BTCC’s NGTC-spec machinery, whilst a further six competitors will contest the Jack Sears Trophy for S2000 cars.

The BTCC also boasts four champions on its 2013 grid plus a new multi-year television contract with ITV – securing the current vast ITV coverage until at least 2017. A new ‘soft compound’ Dunlop tyre has also been introduced to add a new strategic element to each team’s race weekend. This year’s BTCC will again comprise 30 races across ten events at nine venues around the UK, with the season commencing at Brands Hatch on 30/31 March.

Record Grid
The UK’s most popular national motor sport series is preparing for one of the biggest and most competitive seasons in its illustrious 56-year history with a record 18 teams entering a total of 32 cars. This figure eclipses the largest grid in recent BTCC years, which stands at the 30 cars entered into the final round of the 2011 season at Silverstone. The BTCC limits the maximum number of entries to 32 cars, in accordance with the MSA track-licence for Brands Hatch (Indy), Oulton Park and Knockhill circuits.

Four Champions
There will be four champions on the 2013 grid, with returning 2009 victor Colin Turkington joining reigning champion Gordon Shedden and multiple title winners Matt Neal and Jason Plato.

Turkington spearheads the three-pronged eBay Motors line-up in the promising new BMW 125i M Sport prepared by former champion outfit West Surrey Racing. Shedden and Neal return for the all-conquering Honda Yuasa Racing Team which clinched Drivers’, Manufacturers’ and Teams’ Championship in 2012. Despite taking his record BTCC wins tally to 74, Plato had to settle for third place overall in 2012 in what was an impressive debut season for the new MG KX Momentum Racing team.

As well as the four BTCC champions, a chasing pack and growing contingent of young guns have also set their sights on championship glory. Arguably leading this challenge are former runner-up Mat Jackson in his Airwaves Racing Ford Focus and last year’s Independents’ Champion, Andrew Jordan, in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.

Makes and Models
With 13 different models from 11 different marques, the BTCC has one of the largest and most varied touring car grids in the world. Official manufacturer entries from Honda Yuasa Racing and MG KX Momentum Racing are joined by a host of independent teams entering cars from Audi (WIX Racing), BMW (eBay Motors), Chevrolet (BTC Racing, M247 Racing, Team Club 44), Ford (Addison Lee Motorbase, Airwaves Racing, Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp), Honda (Pirtek Racing), Proton (Welch Motorsport with Sopp + Sopp), Seat (Team BMR Restart), Toyota (Ciceley, Dynojet, Speedworks), Vauxhall (RCIB Insurance Racing, Wheel Heaven/Houseman Racing) and Volkswagen (PPCGB.com/Kraftwerk Racing) – the latter two will be represented by their respective Insignia and Vectra and Golf and Passat models.

ITV Coverage
Having broadcast the BTCC since 2002, ITV has announced its further commitment to covering the championship until at least 2017. ITV will continue to screen around seven hours of live free-to-air coverage from each event on both its ITV4 and ITV4 HD channels as well as the itv.com website, which also streams qualifying sessions live. Adding to the coverage are 60-minute edited race highlights repeated three times after each event on ITV and ITV4 as well as their respective HD channels and ‘simulcast’ on itv.com. In total more than 230 hours of the BTCC will be broadcast across the ITV network each season.

Dunlop Tyres
The Goodyear Dunlop group begins its tenth year of title sponsorship and official tyre supplier to the BTCC. Dunlop is also celebrating its own 125-year anniversary in 2013. At nine of this year’s ten events (the exception being Thruxton), drivers in NGTC-spec cars will have one set of a new ‘soft compound’ Dunlop tyre at their disposal, which will offer a variation in performance to the standard compound tyre. These tyres must be used in one of the three races at each event and teams must nominate, prior to Saturday's qualifying session, which particular race they elect to use them.

Jack Sears Trophy
The BTCC will present a special cup to the highest S2000 finisher in each race, with the driver who claims the most victories over the course of the season winning the inaugural ‘Jack Sears Trophy’. The trophy is named after racing legend Jack Sears who won the inaugural BTCC title in 1958, before adding a second crown 50 years ago in 1963. S2000 cars will no longer enjoy strict performance parity with the greater number of NGTC machines, so the introduction of this trophy is seen as a tangible reward for drivers continuing their progression through the BTCC ranks.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “The record entry list that we've announced today is a great validation of NGTC technical regulations and real testament to the continued success, growth and stability of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

“The current health of the BTCC is absolutely fantastic and even more staggering, perhaps, with the challenging economic climate. Our teams have worked incredibly hard and have demonstrated real commitment to this championship – particularly as the majority have invested in the latest specification NGTC machinery. We continue to evolve this bright new era of the BTCC and all the teams have benefitted from the success of the championship.

“Our trackside attendance has increased year-on-year over the last decade. The ITV audience figures and airtime reached all-time highs last year and we have now proudly announced an important new contract with them until 2017. We’d also like to thank our other partners, not least of which is our title sponsor Dunlop – these companies recognise the importance and value of being involved in the BTCC.

“We have a huge grid – including four champions in the line-up – culminating in fresh colours, cars and stars in the BTCC. The strength in depth continues to rise along with the undoubted professionalism and turnout of our loyal and committed teams. That is why the BTCC is so firmly cemented as the UK’s premier and most popular motor sport series.”

Rob
23rd March 2013, 14:48
Jordan sets the pace
Andrew Jordan set the pace at today’s (21 March) official BTCC pre-season test, recording the quickest time on Dunlop’s new soft compound tyre in extremely cold conditions at Donington Park.

The reigning Independents’ Champion has set his sights on challenging for overall honours in 2013, and the 23-year-old laid down a marker by pipping double title winner Jason Plato and reigning champion Gordon Shedden.

With Series Director Alan Gow having confirmed a capacity grid of 32 cars during the morning’s media conference, the teams and drivers went on to demonstrate the hugely competitive nature of the championship during the test, as the top three cars were eventually separated by just 0.102s.

Toyota Avensis duo Adam Morgan and Dave Newsham fired their own warning to the rest of the field by claiming fourth and fifth respectively. Matt Neal and MG newcomer Sam Tordoff followed close behind, whilst the new Airwaves Racing Ford Focus of Aron Smith completed the top eight.

Frank Wrathall clocked the ninth fastest time in his Avensis, whilst the highly anticipated return of 2009 Champion Colin Turkington saw him close out the top ten in the striking new BMW M 125i Sport.

Ollie Jackson, who was the last driver to be confirmed on the grid after a late deal with Speedworks, promptly became the first racer to endure an off during the session. Jackson recovered however, whilst Rob Austin's Audi A4 had to be retrieved from the gravel after his own lurid moment. Addison Lee Motorbase driver Liam Griffin damaged the front end of his Ford Focus after a spin, but ended up fastest of the S2000 competitors, as he edged out James Kaye’s VW Golf by just over a tenth of a second.

Andrew Jordan said: “It has been a really good day. We completed a lot of running and if qualifying for Brands Hatch was happening tomorrow, then we’d be really confident. We’re not overly concerned by the times at this stage of course, but I’m really happy with the changes we made to the car, which definitely improved things towards the end of the day.”

Jason Plato said: “We’re really happy with the running we completed today. Sam and I were on different programmes, which is good, and we got through everything we needed to. We certainly weren’t sandbagging, but I am confident we could have gone as quick as Jordan and we regularly set 1m10.4s throughout the session. We set our best time on used tyres too so we didn’t see the full potential of the car, but none of that really matters until Brands Hatch.”

http://www.btcc.net/html/generalnews_detail.php?id=3352&month=3&year=2013&form=browse&searchterm=

Rob
29th March 2013, 09:56
Champions target Brands glory
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s 2013 season opens at Brands Hatch this weekend (30/31 March), with four champions lining up on the grid amongst a huge entry of almost 30 cars. Here they are photographed with Jack Sears, winner of the first BTCC title way back in 1958.

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing Team) embarks upon his first title defence alongside team mate Matt Neal, who is chasing a record fourth BTCC crown. “I guess it takes the pressure off now my name is on the trophy,” admitted Gordon. However he expects a tough fight this year: “There’s a good half a dozen in with a chance and there could even be 12 drivers able to win races.”

Shedden also aims to emulate his team mate in the long term: “I think it’s got to be a goal to pursue year on year. Both Matt and Jason (Plato) are in their mid 40s and I’ve got 10 years on them. I’ll try and maximise the opportunities.”

“Of course we are each our best ally but also biggest threat,” warned Neal. “He's definitely on form and I am also very focused so it should be interesting. With the closeness of racing an element of luck always helps so could go either but I will be pushing hard.”

Matt also has a few words on the subject of age for his team mate: “The fire still burns brightly inside me yes, obviously my approach and attitude have changed since my early days but my motivation to win races and potential of a championship is still there as strong as ever so bring it on!”

This year the previously-dominant Honda pairing face a returning adversary in 2009 champion Colin Turkington (eBay Motors), who also has a brand new BMW 1-Series to acclimatise to. “It could be the best car we’ve ever built or it could take a bit of work,” he said. “If it goes as well as it looks it’ll be a great package.”

Colin’s looking forward to his comeback: “It’s going to be great, I’m very much looking forward to it. The buzz and excitement about a BTCC race is something you never forget, especially at a theatre like Brands Hatch.”

However all three will have to beat Jason Plato (MG KX Racing Team), who as ever, is relishing the prospect of a title fight, especially in a new car that was edging closer to the opposition during 2012. “In actuality 888 developed the MG into the quickest BTCC car in dry conditions from mid season onwards last year.”

Jason also has a new team mate, with rookie Sam Tordoff tipped for wins. Far from feeling threatened, the double champion is hoping to emulate Honda’s successful partnership in the MG garage: “Genuinely, I will assist Sam as much as I can to help him to produce his maximum performance. It is in my interest to have a quick team mate. With regard to watching my back...that’s an absolutely vital skill in the BTCC!”

With arch rivals Jason and Matt no longer the only champions on the grid and with at least a dozen pretenders to their throne, there’s a good chance that this weekend’s opening race will mark the dawning of a new era in the BTCC. Jason’s response to this idea is characteristically dismissive: “Dream on... ”

Rob
29th March 2013, 09:58
Think this year going good year. With Turks back, in BMW, that maybe surprise this year. Just need Gio back :pray (couple of Alfas would be amazing again)

Rob
29th March 2013, 09:59
Surprise package?
Adam Morgan caused a real stir when clocking the fourth fastest lap time in the official Media Day pre-season test.

Now the Toyota Avensis ace is looking to turn that confidence-boosting performance into some serious points, and who knows perhaps even a maiden podium finish, at Brands on Sunday. To date his best BTCC result is an eighth place finish at Silverstone last autumn.

“I’m really looking forward to the BTCC season opener at Brands Hatch,” admitted an upbeat Morgan. “It’s a circuit that I really enjoy and have proved to be quick on in the past, hopefully we can have a little more luck there this year.”


Though Morgan didn’t enjoy the best of good fortune during what was his debut BTCC campaign last season, he certainly knows what it takes to win. Back in 2011 he notched up three victories plus 20 podiums en route to the Ginetta G55 Supercup crown – impressive results he’s keen to emulate now he’s reunited with his family run Ciceley Racing team. Resplendent in its new blue livery, the Toyota certainly looks every bit a font-runner.

“Ciceley Racing has done a brilliant job with the preparation of the car, it feels great to drive,” he continues. “I just want to go out there and get some strong results for the team on its first outing in the championship.”

Rob
29th March 2013, 10:04
Few pictures from the Media day..
http://i47.tinypic.com/11sclmv.jpg
http://i46.tinypic.com/21ct3z4.jpg
http://i45.tinypic.com/2evg4ya.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/xfaw0o.jpg

Rob
29th March 2013, 17:43
BTCC on the box
As the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship roars into life once again, so another year of fantastic coverage on ITV4 HD begins. Having just secured a three-year extension to the existing contract, BTCC will be broadcast on ITV until at least 2017 – an unprecedented commitment for a national motor sport series.

The Easter Weekend coverage kicks off online, with BTCC qualifying streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc/ . This will be the first chance we get to see the 2013 cars on track in competitive action, and nobody is sure how the grid will line up on Sunday morning.

BTCC on ITV4 HD starts at 10:45 on Sunday, and brings you all three BTCC races live throughout the day, as well as a whole host of support series action. The programme runs all the way through to 18:00 and features all the usual suspects from BTCC on ITV, with the addition of David Addison to the commentary team. Here is a brief preview to whet your appetite https://player.vimeo.com/video/62830137 .

For information on the highlights programmes that follow every BTCC race weekend, click here: www.btcc.net/html/tvtimetable.php

Rob
29th March 2013, 17:44
Pundits predict BTCC champion
With the season opener just around the corner, it’s almost time for the talking to stop and the racing to start. With 11 marques and 13 different models making up the record grid, this is looking like one of the most unpredictable BTCC seasons in years. That hasn’t stopped us asking some of our esteemed cast of commentators and reporters for their bets on who will be crowned outright champion…

Kevin Turner: Autosport
In theory, it should be Jason Plato’s turn to win it and he will certainly be a contender again with MG. But I think the Honda Civic will still have an edge. After winning the title last year, Gordon Shedden will have more confidence and I reckon he’ll seal back-to-back crowns, but it will be a close one!

Matt James: Deputy Editor - Motorsport News
I think Gordon Shedden will be this season's champion because he now knows he can do it and the Honda will once again be the car to beat. The subplot of the season is going to be how the balance of power plays out between Shedden and his team-mate Matt Neal. As long as they can avoid taking each other off, then it is going to be fascinating.

Dean Gibson: Auto Express
For me, the man to watch is Matt Neal. His broken hand spoilt his title hopes last year, but the team has got to grips with the Honda Civic and has a season of development under its belt, which could prove crucial at the start of the year. What’s more, he still has the motivation to win, because he’s got the target of matching Andy Rouse’s record four titles in his sights.

David Addison: ITV Commentator
Predict a champion? Pah! You’ve got four guys that have won it before and a big number who should have so this year will be about being consistency and keeping out of trouble.

So? I’ll plump for Jason Plato. Why? Well, he’s a bit of a magician, a conjurer if you like. He’s like Fernando Alonso in F1 or Garth Tander in V8 Supercars, in that he can haul a car to a result it shouldn’t get. He can conjure a result out of the gloomiest circumstances and never gives up and if he can keep out of trouble, the title should be his.

Tim Harvey: ITV Co-commentator
Predicting the 2013 BTCC Champion is harder than I can remember in any previous year. There are at least 10 potential champions this year any many unknowns and imponderables going into the first race. The obvious choices would be Matt Neal, Gordon Sheddon or Jason Plato who have dominated the last three year's results. They have the experience, the knowledge and the backing of excellent teams but I'm going to stick my neck out and say that Colin Turkington will be the 2013 Champion. If WSR can get on top of the NGTC regulation quickly and the weather hots up to suit the BMW, he has all the skills to pull it off.

Louise Goodman: ITV Pitlane Reporter
I’m expecting the usual suspects to be battling (and bashing!) it out for the title this year - Shedden, Neal & Plato. But who's going to be top dog? That's a difficult one. The Honda is a proven machine but that MG was darned quick last season - if a little fragile. If they've ironed out those reliability issues I think it could go Plato's way.

Ian Titchmarsh: BTCC Circuit Commentator
It would be more than my life is worth to suggest anyone other than Jason Plato otherwise the harmony of BRDC Board meetings might be seriously disrupted! Seriously, although there are three very quick Honda drivers in Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan and the Civic is a very strong car, Triple 8 have had a year to develop the MG, Jason is as quick as ever and in Sam Tordoff he has a young team mate who should be well able to mix it with the front runners.

Alan Hyde: BTCC Pitlane Reporter
It's all too easy to answer this question with ‘it's too close to call’. For the past few years it's been close to impossible to predict a winner before 30 rounds of BTCC commence, so it's even easier to sit on the fence when faced with a record-breaking entry, four former champions, and some impressive young challengers all lining up. But following a run of successful predictions, I think I'm equal to the job. Gordon Shedden will successfully defend his title in 2013.

Summary
So of those ‘allegedly’ in the know, three pundits each have plumped for Shedden and Plato, whilst Neal and Turkington received a solitary vote. The fact is, nobody knows, and that what makes the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship all the more exciting. Maybe all our pundits will be wrong and we’ll be talking about a new champion come October – let battle commence!

Rob
29th March 2013, 17:48
Matt Neal interview..
http://www.itv.com/btcc/matt-neal-new-tyre-regulations-suit-me-84753/

Rob
29th March 2013, 17:56
:Hmm Dont know to to predict for crown this year. Heart says Andrew Jordan. Also Turks, but that could be long shot, new car. But as i said before, think the new BMW could be a surprise. Of course the Hondas be right up there again. I have always liked Matt Neal. Plato will be right there again. I know he plays the bad guy alot, and moans about other drivers (Matt Neal mainly) hitting him, but then does it to others fairly often, i have grown to like him. Mainly through the fifth gear programmes.

All i know is this, BTCC 2013, is going to be cracking racing, again.

Rob
27th April 2013, 21:43
Bratt after more power
The opening two rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship have been challenging for Will Bratt in his WIX Racing Audi A4. A fuel pump issue at Brands Hatch put the driver from Oxfordshire on the back foot all weekend, although there were a lot of positives to take away as Bratt’s team-mate Rob Austin showed fantastic pace before his huge race-three crash.

At Donington Park both Bratt and Austin struggled to find the optimum setup for their cars, and both were down on straight-line speed all weekend. Bratt had a failure on his left rear wheel in race two but still managed to get the car across the line. He then bounced back in race three to score a solid points finish in 14th place.

We caught up with him to talk about the first couple of rounds and where the team are looking to improve the car:

“At Brands Hatch we had lots of problems with the reliability that meant we missed the practice sessions and went into qualifying without any testing which isn’t ideal! Then the snow came, so the first time we got any decent laps in the car was race one. Sometimes you can get lucky with the setup straight out of the box, but that didn’t really happen. Basically it felt like the weekend never really got going, but we did find something in race three and came through from the back of the field to 14th.

“The car actually felt really good at Donington. Rob and I were running the same pace, and both had exactly the same problem in that the car was really down on power in a straight line. Going through the corners the car was amazing – compared to everyone around us we were much stronger on corner entry and mid-corner. It was just so frustrating having your foot flat to the floor and still losing out by four or five car lengths by the end of the straight.”

Bratt has been testing his NGTC A4 around the Silverstone International circuit this week. Team principal and driver Rob Austin told btcc.net, “It was a reasonably productive day. We were working on our ducting to try and reduce charger temperatures as well as develop our set up for the unique long fast corners of Thruxton. Field Motorsport are also working tirelessly to give us some more power and bridge the power gap to the other teams.”

Bratt added, “We made some good progress with the turbo cooling and handling, and we’ve got some engine work planned between now and the next race. Hopefully they will find us some extra speed, as Thruxton will really show up any disparity in power against the other drivers.”

http://www.btcc.net/html/generalnews_detail.php?id=3399

Rob
1st June 2013, 16:46
BTCC YouTube channel grows
In addition to the superb coverage ITV provides of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, you can now find even more exclusive content on the Official BTCC YouTube Channel. From on-board drifting with Andrew Jordan to a flying lap of Thruxton in a golf buggy, the 'btccdotnet' channel provides essential viewing for fans of the championship.

Click the following link to take you straight to the action, and hit subscribe to get all the latest video updates from the UK’s premier motor sport series: www.bit.ly/1auuSuW

Here’s a quick round-up of what you can already find on the channel, and what you can expect over the coming months…


Race Highlights:

Need your racing fix but are short on time? Our highlights videos, which have been a part of our channel since the start of the 2012 season, are the perfect way to catch up on all the big news from the weekend. With bespoke commentary from ITV’s David Addison, they’re perfect for getting you in the mood to watch the full highlights on the ITV Player.

btcc.net behind the scenes:

For 2013, the Official BTCC media team is bringing you a series of behind the scenes videos where we give you a slightly different angle on the world of the BTCC. Each weekend we’ll be finding a different way to pester the drivers and give you a glimpse of what they’re really like when they’re out of the car. We even did a lap of the track at Thruxton in a golf buggy!

Team video:

For the first time ever, team-produced video content will be available to view on the Official BTCC YouTube Channel. More and more BTCC teams are taking the time to document what they do, and give their fans the chance to get to know their favourite cars and drivers better than ever before. To make life even easier for you, we’ve opened up the Official BTCC YouTube channel for any of the teams to submit their video content.

We’re now hosting the popular ‘Paddock Pass’ series from Welch Motorsport – a fly-on-the-wall documentary that brings you the highs and lows of a small independent team competing in the tough world of the British Touring Car Championship. The series is a great way to get a closer look at the dedication and commitment of our teams and drivers, and just how much effort goes into making the BTCC the fantastic spectacle it is today. Click this link to check out the latest episode: www.bit.ly/18ws15z

Look out for some great content from Airwaves Racing, who are having fun with action cameras this year to bring you exciting on-board footage and brilliant time-lapse videos.

Got any feedback or ideas for videos we could produce at race weekends? Leave us a comment on any of our videos – we read them all!

Rob
1st June 2013, 16:49
Maiden run for new NGTC Focus
http://i43.tinypic.com/s5utt5.jpg
The third Motorbase-run NGTC Ford Focus broke cover at Snetterton yesterday (28 May) with team
stalwart Michael Caine carrying out driver duties on the day.

The squad completed an encouraging test day with all three of its NGTC cars, but it was the arrival of the new Focus that grabbed most of the attention.

Team boss David Bartrum confirmed pre-season that Motorbase would be building three cars to the latest specification but admitted to a slight delay when the Wrotham-based outfit placed its main focus on further developing the completed cars of Mat Jackson and Aron Smith.

Plans to run the third Focus during a BTCC round are yet to be confirmed but the team made use of Caine’s experience to help unlock further potential in the car. “It was just a shakedown but in truth the car ran pretty faultlessly all day long,” said Caine. “I think I’m the crash test dummy of the team so they were happy to get me out there for the first test! As I say though, the car ran great so from a build point of view the team has again done a fantastic job.

“I went down a different set-up route to Mat and Aron so that we could try and attack the development with three people rather than two. Having not driven the car before I obviously didn’t know any different either, so from a team perspective it was probably good to be able to have a fresh pair of eyes looking at the car.

“I was on the pace with both the other guys, which was great, but obviously our main focus was to make the car faster in general rather than simply trying to match each others speeds.”

The reigning British GT champion – won in a Motorbase-run Porsche – raced briefly for the team in the BTCC back in 2011. While admitting that he’d relish the chance to do so again in the new Focus, his main goal is to play his part in helping the team return to winning ways.

“I would love to be doing some racing in it but the final plans are yet to be decided,” concluded Caine. “I consider myself a real team player to be honest and that was my aim today – to help Motorbase move forward. I absolutely loved my time racing in the BTCC and of course if the opportunity arises again then that’d be great. If it happens it happens but if I can play any small part in helping the boys win races again then that’ll be fantastic.”

Rob
1st June 2013, 16:50
Anticipation builds after test
The last few weeks have been a hive of activity for many of the teams in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship as they gear up for one of the most anticipated events on the 2013 calendar – Oulton Park (8-9 June).

The general test day at Donington Park (30 May) saw no less than five teams out on-track making the most of an opportunity to test in both wet and dry conditions. Both Honda Yuasa Racing drivers were present, and reigning BTCC champion Gordon Shedden commented via the team’s video round-up, “It was a little bit wet this morning then dry in the afternoon, so we managed to work through quite a lot of our programme. Obviously it’s a general test day so traffic made things quite difficult. It was nice to get back in the car - it feels like ages since Thruxton and I can’t wait to get started for Oulton Park next week.”

His team-mate Matt Neal added, “It was a mixed day – there was a lot of traffic around. We’ve been working a lot on the rear end of the car, and the wet set-up. We’ve got quite a bit of data to go through, so there’s plenty of work to do yet.”

Two of the three independent Toyota teams were also making use of the track time. Ciceley Racing’s Adam Morgan, and Speedworks Motorsport’s Dave Newsham and Ollie Jackson all pounded round the Leicestershire circuit in anticipation of what is a home event for both teams at Oulton Park in just over a week’s time.

Speedworks are confident that they have made big steps forward after a successful test last week at Pembray (read full interview with Dave Newsham here: www.bit.ly/13QybfS). Jackson said at the end of the day, “The level of wet grip is amazing, but the car got better again in the dry session after lunch. I think we have found a thing or two in these two tests.”

After running a three-car test earlier in the week at Snetterton, Airwaves Racing concentrated on the two current cars of Mat Jackson and Aron Smith at Donington Park and will be back there again on Monday to further improve the NGTC Ford Focus. Likewise eBay Motors are working hard on the BMW 125i M Sport cars, as Nick Foster was out at Donington Park following a test for Colin Turkington and Rob Collard at Silverstone last week.

All this testing and development stands as testament to the commitment of the current BTCC teams. We will, however, have to wait until the lights go out on Sunday at Oulton Park (9 June) to find out the result of all their efforts.

You can see Honda’s video round-up of the day here:www.bit.ly/11sO5rl

Rob
7th July 2013, 19:22
Tandy tests for Motorbase
Another new face has joined the growing list of drivers to try their hand in 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship NGTC machinery with Nick Tandy getting a run at Brands Hatch today (5 July).

The factory Porsche GT driver has been testing the third Motorbase-prepared Ford Focus, and according to team principal David Bartrum, it is possible that he could race in the BTCC at some stage this season.

The 28-year-old has previously driven for the Kent-based squad in the British GT championship, and Bartrum is hopeful that the experienced racer can bring a reversal in fortunes to what has been a difficult season for the team so far.

The team sees this as a shakedown for the former F3 race winner and McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC finalist, and plans to run Tandy in the car at next weeks’ Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton (9/10 August) where it will be possible to gauge the pace of both car and driver against the rest of the packed BTCC field.

More details are set to follow but it is expected that both he and Michael Caine will get a run in the No.4 Focus during the two-day test

Rob
7th July 2013, 19:23
Warren Scott to race VW Passat
Warren Scott will contest the remainder of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in an NGTC-spec VW Passat after a partnership was agreed between Team BMR Restart and Team HARD.

So far in his maiden BTCC campaign Scott has raced in an S2000 SEAT Leon run by the Team BMR Restart squad, with the plan always being to move up to NGTC machinery before the end of the season. Those plans have since been brought forward slightly after a challenging time in the Leon, and Scott will now complete the second half of the year in the NGTC class ahead of a full assault in 2014.

The former British Superbike racer will now drive the second Team HARD built and prepared VW Passat CC, which has proved to be a very capable car in the hands of Tom Onslow-Cole – the 26-year-old having scored three podium positions so far in 2013. Scott’s car, however, will be run and managed on race weekends by Team BMR Restart with full support and assistance being provided by Team HARD.

Scott will get his first taste of NGTC machinery at the two-day Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton next week (9/10 July) when he will drive a Team HARD-run Vauxhall Insignia, before he makes his race debut in the newly purchased Passat at the same venue next month (3/4 August) for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the championship.

Team BMR Restart manager Mark Turner said: “This is a very exciting time for our team and a huge step forwards within the BTCC. We are thoroughly enjoying our racing in this series and we feel moving now to the NGTC shows our commitment to the BTCC long term. We have chosen the VW Passat CC NGTC and Team HARD because they fitted in with our future plans and we believe the support will be valuable to our team’s development. Team BMR will continue to keep its own identity, but will be in association with Team HARD.”

Warren Scott added: “We are really keen to work with Team HARD. Tony and his team are a great bunch of guys, we love their philosophy of enjoying the racing alongside being a highly professional, motivated team.

“In the first half of the season running a newly built and undeveloped NGTC car they have achieved some amazing results. The car has shown great pace off the mark and has unlimited potential, with further development under Tom Onslow-Cole, to be a consistent top running car in the championship.

“I realise that we still have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I am positive that in working alongside Team HARD and driving the VW Passat CC NGTC, not only will we become competitive in the championship, but we will also have great fun achieving it.”

Team HARD boss Tony Gilham said of the venture: “Warren has shown some real potential in the SEAT Leon this year so it will be very interesting to see how the transition to a full NGTC car pans out. Warren will get his first outing in NGTC machinery when he gets behind the wheel of one of our Vauxhall Insignia’s at the Dunlop test at Snetterton next week.”

Rob
15th July 2013, 21:08
'Best ever test' for Plato
MG KX Momentum Racing turned the most laps out of any two-car team at the recent Dunlop tyre test at Snetterton (9/10 July). Sam Tordoff and Jason Plato completed no less than 304 laps between them across the two days, with Tordoff churning out more than anyone with an impressive 182. Eleven of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship teams were in attendance for the two days.

For Plato it was an important opportunity to further improve the handling of the NGTC MG6. Speaking about his recent mixed fortunes across the last few race weekends he told btcc.net after the test: “We had a fire at Oulton Park which cost us valuable points, then a bad tyre choice at Croft which was unlucky on reflection. There’s nothing we can do about those things now. The main thing is we’ve got the pace.”

After giving best to his young team-mate on the first day of testing, Plato hit back with the faster times than anyone on the second day. His time of 1:57.248s was set in the final session on the standard compound Dunlop Sportmaxx tyre. His time was 0.347s quicker than Frank Wrathall’s qualifying lap record set in 2012.

The two-time BTCC champion continued: “We’ve had a very good test over these last two days – we’ve achieved good race runs and we understand both the soft tyre and our car in the development path we’re going on. If you look at the times for both myself and Sam we’ve been up there pretty much all day long it hasn’t just been one-off pace.

“We’ve stuck to our plans – we’ve not been going out trying to show off, we’ve gone through the process that we had before we arrived and it’s important to do that and not get stuck chasing lap times. It’s been an important test actually – probably the best we’ve ever done.”

Main championship rivals for MG are currently Honda Yuasa Racing and the Pirtek Racing Honda of Andrew Jordan. Jordan was at the test, and together with his father Mike (deputising for Jeff Smith who had work commitments) turned in just one lap fewer than the manufacturer MG squad. Jordan wasn’t quite on the pace of the MGs, but was happy with the performance of the car over race distances.

Honda Yuasa Racing were absent from the test, so we will have to wait until qualifying at Snetterton on Saturday 3 August to see how much the Dunlop tyre test has benefitted Plato and Tordoff in relation to the other front-runners in the BTCC.

Rob
5th August 2013, 21:28
Andrew Jordan gets six-place grid penalty for Knockhill BTCC round
By Kevin Turner Monday, August 5th 2013, 15:46 GMT

Jordan gets Knockhill grid penaltyBritish Touring Car title contender Andrew Jordan will have a six-place grid penalty in the next round at Knockhill.

Under new regulations for this year, any driver who gets points on their licence for three on-track offences will be hit by a grid penalty.

Jordan was given two points for contact with Gordon Shedden in the second race at Snetterton last weekend and it has now been confirmed he will have a six-place grid penalty for race one in Scotland.

Although Jordan feels Shedden braked early approaching Oggies, he accepted the penalty.

"You can't get away from the fact I hit the back of his car," said Jordan, who is only nine points behind points leader Matt Neal. "You've got to take it on the chin."

The Eurotech Honda driver still believes a good result at Knockhill is possible.

"I think the Honda will struggle there a little bit because of the [low turbo] boost [the Civics are allowed], but it's action-packed there and I think we'll be OK.

"It's probably better to have it at the start of the weekend, when there's time to recover.

"I think we'll be able to fight our way back to where we would have been.

"We've had this hanging over our heads so now we can get on with things and try and be clean for the rest of the year."

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109192

Rob
5th August 2013, 21:29
Trio of winners at Snetterton
MG KX Momentum Racing driver Sam Tordoff secured the first victory of his BTCC career in Sunday’s opener at Snetterton, before the Hondas of Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden claimed a win apiece in races two and three respectively.

Proving something of a Snetterton specialist, having won there previously in both the Clio Cup and Carrera Cup, Tordoff stormed to his maiden BTCC pole position on Saturday and then duly backed-up his pace with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one.

Plato followed Tordoff home to secure MG’s second one-two finish of the season, whilst Shedden had to fend off late challenges from both Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan to secure the final podium position.

While the first contest was relatively incident free, the final two races provided enough drama to last a whole season.

Jordan won an action-packed race two after he passed Turkington when the two made contact late on. Matt Neal blasted from ninth on the grid to finish second, and the ever-improving Ford Focus of Aron Smith took the first podium of the season for the Motorbase-run squad.

Plato had led the early running before his car ground to a halt with an engine problem, but his day was to take an even bigger twist in the final showdown. Fighting his way through the order on the opening lap of race three, his MG6 spun wildly on the run down to Hamilton before making heavy contact with the barrier, which tipped his car into a dramatic barrel roll. The two-time BTCC champion walked away unharmed from the spectacular incident although his championship hopes were obviously dented.

The drama continued after the restart and when Shedden honed in on early leader Turkington, the pair touched while racing for position. Turkington spun down the order as Shedden nipped through to take a comfortable win. The Scotsman's victory proved to be the second success of the day for the Dunlop Sport Maxx Soft tyre after Jordan's earlier race win.

Airwaves Racing enjoyed its best race of the season so far as Irishman Aron Smith took his second podium of the day behind team-mate Mat Jackson, who scored his first rostrum of 2013 with second place.

Honda Yuasa Racing’s Neal maintains the championship lead after his podium and a further two top ten finishes. Jordan is now nine points in arrears with Shedden a further 13 points adrift. Turkington has moved into fourth ahead of the MG pairing of Plato and Tordoff, who will feel they could’ve made more of their superior performance in Norfolk. Honda extended its points advantage over MG in the Manufacturers’ standings.

Lea Wood claimed the first ever hat-trick of wins in the Jack Sears Trophy as his Vauxhall Vectra ran faultlessly throughout, whilst his main class rivals suffered myriad of issues.

Sam Tordoff said: “The first one is always special. I knew that if I got away well I’d have a great chance of winning and thankfully I did. A one-two is great for the team and it feels like I have ticked an important box with this maiden win.”

Andrew Jordan said: “It was a frenetic race win. Colin was driving very very well, defensively but fair, and then he made a little mistake. I put my car up the inside - he closed me down a little bit and I couldn't go anywhere else. It was a great race and a good win, but it’s typical of Matt Neal to come through to finish second, so I only got a few points back on him.”

Gordon Shedden said: “It was a nice way to finish. It looked like it was going to be a tough weekend, and that’s how it turned out. It’s always good to finish on a high, and it’s just reward to all the effort that Honda and Team Dynamics have put in to try and get our little Civic on the case this weekend.”

Mat Jackson said: “Everybody at Airwaves Racing has worked really hard to get to where we’ve got to, and it’s all credit to them for the results this weekend. We’ve turned a corner – we’re back. We’ve obviously found something in the car, and for a change I'm really looking forward to the next round!”

Aron Smith said: “It’s unbelievable – this is the weekend our efforts deserved and it’s like our championship has finally started. The pace Mat and I had all weekend shows that all the work that we’ve put in is now starting to pay dividends, and we now have a package that can challenge at the front. I'm sure it made for some entertaining TV, but it was certainly frantic in the car!”


2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton race results:

Race 1
1 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 12 Laps
2 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +2.514
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +3.564
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +3.829
5 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.313
6 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +8.908

Race 2
1 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 14 Laps
2 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +2.770
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +3.467
4 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +4.158
5 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +6.822
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +7.207

Race 3
1 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 15 Laps
2 Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +3.090
3 Aron Smith (Airwaves Racing) +10.656
4 Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +11.995
5 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +12.578
6 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) +12.991

Championship Standings:
1 Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 256
2 Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) 247
3 Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) 234
4 Colin Turkington (eBay Motors) 219
5 Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 206
6 Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) 182

Penalties:
Andrew Jordan received two penalty points for an incident relating to driving standards in race two. As this is his third infraction of the season, Jordan will receive a six-place grid penalty in qualifying at the next round

Gordon Shedden received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

Rob
10th August 2013, 18:04
Just watched last weeks Snett race, as missed it and didnt record it :furious Also reading a letter in this weeks Autosport about the driving standards in the BTCC now. I know it touring car, and bit of rubbing and bumping has always been part of touring cars. But, should Shedden of been penalised for his move on Turkington? There was alot of incidents during the day.

Rob
10th August 2013, 18:04
yes...
Paul O’Neill returns
Paul O’Neill is back in the BTCC after Team HARD confirmed the two-time race winner will drive one of its Vauxhall Insignia’s at Knockhill later this month (24/25 August).

The deal, which is currently for the Scottish round only, is set to delight the tens of thousands of spectators making the trip to the tight and twisty circuit and the many more watching on TV, as O’Neill has long been a fans’ favourite in the BTCC.

Having made his debut in the Production Class back in 2001, Paul moved to Vauxhall a year later where he famously scored a tearful first BTCC win at Oulton Park. Another victory followed in 2003 for the works VX Racing team before O’Neill was diagnosed with diabetes, which immediately halted his tin-top career.

Bit-part seasons followed before Paul made an emotional return to full-time BTCC racing with Tech-Speed in 2009, where he stepped on to the podium for the first time in six years with a hard fought third place at Snetterton. Six more rostrums followed across 2010 and 2011; before he went on to contest just two rounds of the championship last season in a Speedworks Toyota Avensis.

Having sat out this campaign so far, the 33-year-old has now been handed an opportunity by Team HARD boss Tony Gilham, which will see an all-new line-up in his squad’s Insignias. After Jack Goff’s decision to miss the next round it has been confirmed that Scotsman and Knockhill specialist Kieran Gallagher will now drive his car, whilst O’Neill will race the RCIB Insurance Racing machine most recently driven by American Robb Holland.

“I am delighted to be back in a Touring Car and to be invited to do so is even more flattering.” said O’Neill. “My ITV commitments come first this season but they’ve been really supportive about this opportunity. We all feel it should provide an insightful spectacle for the TV viewers too, so I am really thankful to Tony [Gilham] and everyone involved.”

“It’s going to be extremely tough as I haven’t driven the car before and I haven’t had any testing this year, so it’ll be different and more challenging than say when I jumped in the Toyota last season. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself in terms of results but seeing what Robb Holland did with the car last weekend then I’d like to think I could be knocking on the door of the top ten. Obviously if I could do that in race two then I’d stand a chance of being up front for the final race, which would be absolutely fantastic.”

Gilham has given a number of drivers their first opportunity to race in the BTCC over the last few seasons, but he’s equally delighted to hand a drive to one of the series’ more experienced and well known racers.

“Hopefully it’s the start of a longer relationship,” said Gilham. “It’s great having someone like Paul in the car and we’d love to work with him in the long-term. He’s a real fans’ favourite and Team HARD has a good following too, so we believe it will be a perfect match. It’s only a one-off deal at the moment but let’s see what the future brings.”

Tony said he expected a real ‘feel good factor’ surrounding the signing, which he feels will provide an extra buzz around the BTCC’s visit to Scotland. “We’re sure this will delight the fans as Paul offers a great blend of talent and showmanship. The fans can look out for some fun stuff from us in the run-up to Knockhill and now that our line-up is complete we’re all really looking forward to the trip.”

Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place on the 24/25 August. Fans can watch the action live and exclusively on ITV4 or purchase tickets to the event at www.knockhill.com.

Rob
10th August 2013, 18:05
The soft tyre story so far
The new Sport Maxx Soft tyre has proved an exciting introduction to the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, and the Dunlop experts are delighted having seen two race winners run the compound on Sunday at Snetterton.

Having been set the challenge over the winter by BTCC organisers, TOCA, to supply a soft tyre that produces greater initial grip with less overall durability, Dunlop duly delivered in time for the opening round at Brands Hatch in March.

In order to provide an extra element to both the strategy and overall excitement of each BTCC race, every driver must use the soft compound in one of the three contests at nine of the ten events in 2013 – Thruxton being the exception.

The tyre met all expectations on its debut weekend, particularly when Rob Austin charged from seventh on the grid in his Audi A4 to take the lead on the soft compound in the opening race of the season. As manufactured, the medium tyre performance gradually became stronger than the soft and Austin had to settle for third at the finish, highlighting the sort of display that could be expected over the course of the season.

“We’re absolutely delighted with how it has gone,” said Dunlop Motorsport’s Michael Butler. “Due to the timescale and extreme weather conditions over the winter it was a huge challenge to get everything ready for the first round, we did it, but we had confidence going into it based on our experience running the compound in endurance racing.”

“We knew the family history of the compound well and so we were pretty confident where it would stack up. The nature of certain compounds requires heat in the tyre to make them perform as desired, but despite the extremely cold temperatures we went away from Brands Hatch really pleased.”

Similar performances followed up and down the order over the next few events, although with little pre-season testing the majority of the so called established teams tried to negate the performance difference by replicating the same strategy – usually running the soft tyre in race three.

There were signs, however, following Colin Turkington’s race one win at Croft in his Dunlop Sport Maxx soft-shod eBay Motors BMW that tyre tactics were coming into play at the top order. Similarly, a two-day tyre test at Snetterton prior to last weekend’s race event armed teams and drivers with myriad of data, giving them a better understanding of how best to use the compound.

And so it proved on Sunday when for the first time this season, cars running the soft tyre won two out of the three races. The soft tyre took the honours in races two and three. Andrew Jordan hauled his Honda Civic from fifth on the grid to take the win in the second contest in Norfolk, whilst Gordon Shedden went from seventh to the top step of the podium in the final showdown.

Of the 15 races so far where the soft tyre has been made available, we have seen an interesting split in race results. Cars using the Dunlop Sport Maxx medium compound have won eight races so far compared to six victories for the soft, with the final race at Croft being won by Matt Neal on the Dunlop BluResponse wet tyre.

Michael continued, “We’ve continued to learn about the characteristics of the soft tyre on certain cars and conditions and we went to Snetterton with more data after a successful two-day tyre test we held there in July.

“The drivers’ understanding and obviously confidence has grown too so now we’re seeing it coming into play more often. It was an unknown quantity to the teams initially so they tried to cancel each other out by running the compound in race three, but that seems to be changing, and we’ve now seen two winners on the same day using the Sport Maxx soft, so it’s clear that you can win on both compounds if teams make the right call.

“The whole programme has been a great challenge and very rewarding, we’re delighted to add another dimension to the BTCC story.”

As the championship moves into its last four events of 2013 there’s absolutely no telling how the story will unfold, but what is for sure is that BTCC drivers will be confident of challenging for honours whatever compound of Dunlop tyre they have underneath them.

Rob
10th August 2013, 18:06
Goff to skip Knockhill
Reigning Clio Cup UK champion Jack Goff will miss the next event in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after deciding to focus on the final three rounds of the season.

Team HARD confirmed it had taken everything into account following lengthy discussions between sponsors, Jack and the team, and believes the decision to skip Knockhill will ultimately benefit Goff’s progress in the long run.

Goff has shown impressive pace recently, including third position in the pre-Snetterton tyre test before going on to score his best qualifying result of the season with eighth in Norfolk last weekend. The 22-year-old has never been to Knockhill, however, and feels it would be best to concentrate on a final push at Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch to close out his maiden BTCC campaign.

“Jack has shown some astonishing pace at times already this season and we know the car is very quick,” said Team HARD boss Tony Gilham. “There is plenty more to come from Jack and the Insignia and we look forward to seeing what he can do when we get to Rockingham in a few weeks time.

“I'm sure he will be back better than ever and finally get the positions he deserves. I am confident that we will still see Jack on the podium this year - he has the pace and just needs to get that little bit of luck that has been missing so far this season.”

Gilham has already confirmed to btcc.net that Scotsman Kieran Gallagher will fill the team’s second RCIB Insurance Racing Vauxhall Insignia at Knockhill, and now the Dartford-based squad is set to announce a replacement for Goff imminently.

Rob
5th September 2013, 22:02
BTCC heads to Rockingham

With just three events on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship calendar remaining, the UK’s premier race series arrives at Rockingham next weekend (September 14-15) with five drivers leading the charge for silverware.

The Northamptonshire circuit will again play a crucial part in the outcome of this season’s title race with Pirtek Racing’s young challenger Andrew Jordan going head-to-head with four BTCC champions.

Jordan is currently second in the standings just six points behind championship leader Honda Yuasa Racing Team’s Matt Neal but he will need three strong performances at Rockingham if he is going to have any chance of clinching his first title.

Neal will not make it easy for the 24-year-old Pirtek Racing driver, as the three time former champion still needs just one more championship crown to match Andy Rouse’s record of four BTCC titles.

Reigning champion Gordon Shedden occupies third place and is still very much in contention and will not want to relinquish his BTCC crown to his Honda Yuasa Racing team-mate, or anyone else for that matter!

Colin Turkington has certainly made an impression on his BTCC return with EBay Motors; the 2009 champion collected two race wins at Knockhill Circuit last month, and will be looking to continue his charge up the standings.

Double champion Jason Plato, who always performs well at Rockingham, occupies fifth spot but three solid performances from the MG KX Momentum Racing driver will certainly boost his hopes of securing a third BTCC title.

Who will win the 2013 title is still anyone’s guess with a number of drivers still mathematically in with a shout of becoming champion, but the atmosphere at Rockingham is guaranteed to be tense as the push for silverware continues.

In addition to the BTCC showdown, there will also be 11 races from the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, Renault UK Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Ginetta Junior and Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup.

BTCC fans will know that the track action is non-stop, and visitors to the Northamptonshire circuit can expect a great day out for the family in addition to the bumper-to-bumper racing as there will be plenty of off-track entertainment.

Away from the racing, Sparky Stunts will be performing his Dunlop Motorbike Stunt Show on Saturday and Sunday lunchtime on the main straight. There will also be the chance to learn how to do the perfect wheelie on his special motorbike simulator machine in the trade stand area.

Younger member of the family will have lots of things to do, including amazing bungee trampoline, small fun fair rides, obstacle course, Rodeo Bull, riffle range, shooting gallery, bouncy castle and face painting.

Rockingham lets you get closer to the action with free access to the touring car paddock and pit roof together with a free pit lane walkabout. With the best trackside views of the season, fans won’t miss a minute of the action from one of the free grandstand seats which overlooks every corner or every lap.

Advance tickets can be booked online at www.rockingham.co.uk or via the hotline on 01536 500500, option1, until midday on Friday, September 13. Weekend passes cost £40, which includes a free BTCC programme and Sunday race day tickets are £27. Tickets will also be available of the gate priced £32 (Sunday race day) and £15 (Saturday).

Rockingham prides itself on providing access to all motor sport fans, and those who are registered disabled can apply for a complimentary* admission ticket for their carer, while children aged 16 and under get in FREE.

Rob
11th October 2013, 21:23
Neal cleared to race at Brands
Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal, who currently sits second in the championship standings, has been cleared to race for the final three rounds of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend (12/13 October) at Brands Hatch.

Neal’s participation has been in doubt since he broke a finger during a martial arts training session prior to the Silverstone event. After racing in Northamptonshire, Neal had an operation to correct the break which left him in significantly more pain than he had been previously.

Following an inspection at Birmingham City Hospital yesterday, Neal was cleared to race and made his final decision after further assessment this morning. He will be looking to close the 34-point gap to championship leader Andrew Jordan over the three races on Sunday.

Rob
11th October 2013, 21:23
Neate to miss BTCC finale
Andy Neate – team owner and driver for Team Club 44 – will miss the final round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend at Brands Hatch (12/13 October).

Neate, who has raced the newly built NGTC Chevrolet Cruze since Snetterton, has contracted pneumonia and has been instructed by medical staff not to contest the final three races of the year. There will be no replacement driver in the car for this weekend, and the team is now focussed on its development programme looking ahead to the 2014 season.

Neate comments, “As a team we've been through a lot of disappointment, faced some huge technical and financial challenges and we have come out the other side together. Our sponsors have shown a rare loyalty in this business and I can only thank them for that and make a public apology that our season has ended without the shindig at Brands Hatch we hoped for.

“The car has shown undeniable promise with its competitiveness and perhaps the biggest challenge, technical reliability. Without the on track dramas of recent weeks where I have been the unfortunate victim of other's accidents, I have no doubt we would have succeeded in our year one goal of consistent top ten finishes."

Rob
11th October 2013, 21:24
Home-run for Hollamby
AmDTuning.com team owner Shaun Hollamby will contest the final three rounds of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend at Brands Hatch. He will drive the S2000 specification VW Golf raced by James Kaye in the first half of the year.

It is the first time Hollamby has entered the BTCC fray since a one-off outing at Croft in 2011, and he is to give the VW Golf a final BTCC send-off since it’s first appearance in the series back in April 2010. Having been at the wheel for that first outing, Hollamby is looking forward to bringing the car full circle, and said, “I’ve had the chance to do a shakedown in the car ahead of the weekend, and it’s great to be able to get back behind the wheel one last time.

“This is the end of a four year journey with the Golf and it’s kind of appropriate that we go full circle with me back behind the wheel on its final weekend. I’ve not been racing this season so will be a little rusty when practice gets underway, but I don’t think it will take me long to get back up to speed and I’m really looking forward to it.”

The AmDTuning.com squad go into the weekend for more than just fun, however, and Hollamby is aiming at Jack Sears Trophy silverware before season concludes. James Kaye took two class wins earlier in the year driving the Golf, and although Lea Wood has an unassailable class lead, the local team is looking to be in the hunt this coming Sunday.

“It’s had a full rebuild since it last raced at Croft before the summer break and has been fitted with new suspension, and we want to try and send it out on a high,” continued Hollamby. “It’s a mark of how popular the Golf has been in the series that we’ve been able to gain support from Scorpion Exhausts for its final appearance in the series, and we’ll have a lot of people coming along to cheer us on at our home circuit.

“On track Lea Wood has been a deserving winner of the Jack Sears Trophy this year as he’s been the most consistent driver and he won’t be easy to beat, but I’m confident that we can challenge him for class honours.”

While we won’t be seeing the S2000 VW Golf in the championship next year, Hollamby is hopeful that the Thurrock-based team will be back to challenge in 2014, and concluded, “This year has been a rollercoaster one for us and hasn’t really gone as we planned, but there is no doubt that the BTCC remains the place to be – and we want to be part of going forwards. From the moment we joined the grid back in 2010, the support we have had from [series organisers] TOCA as well as from the fans has been absolutely fantastic. In my eyes, this is the best touring car championship there is, and we’re keen to stay involved in the series in 2014.”

Rob
30th November 2013, 15:15
Honda reveals BTCC Civic Tourer for 2014

http://i39.tinypic.com/dlib0j.jpg
Thought you had seen the death of the station wagon in touring car racing? Think again. The Honda Yuasa Racing team will campaign a stunning racing version of the brand new Civic Tourer in next year’s British Touring Car Championship.

While many among the motorsport fraternity were blindsided by the announcement, the rationale behind Honda’s intriguing motorsport project is perfectly understandable. The Japanese marque is preparing to launch its brand new Civic Tourer next month, and the British Touring Car Championship will unlock a goldmine of publicity.

Built and prepared by the Worcestershire-based Team Dynamics, the longer-bodied Tourer will feature the same wheelbase and suspension as this year’s championship-winning Civic Hatch. We can expect the eagerly anticipated machine to make its track debut early next year, leaving just enough time for skeptics and admirers to debate the factory squad’s latest undertaking at the water cooler.

Three-time BTCC champion, Matt Neal, and 2013 series runner-up, Gordon Shedden, will once again represent the works outfit next season. Interestingly, yesterday’s announcement effectively means that there will be two Honda Civic variations on the grid next year, with Eurotech Racing remaining loyal to the championship-winning hatchback.

Gordon Shedden does not expect a drop in competitiveness next season despite the physical deviation from Honda’s highly successful hatchback racer.

“It might be a Tourer, but it’s still a Civic, the car that has won every championship in BTCC for the last three seasons. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of next season, and to seeing what the Tourer can do on race day,” said the 2012 champion.

Shedden’s team mate, Matt Neal, echoed the factory squad’s optimism, and is looking forward to running at the front of the field next season.

“We’re all confident that the car can continue the long-standing success of the Civic in the championship and very much looking forward to putting it through its paces. Although we’re racing a new model, the inherent advantages of the Civic hatchback from the past two years remain so there’s no reason why this car can’t be a winner straight out of the box! We’ll be testing the car early in the New Year and I can’t wait to see it on track.”

Volvo was the last manufacturer to launch an estate-based touring car entry, and the famed 850 wagon remains a prominent topic in nostalgic motorsport conversation. Fittingly, when the Civic Tourer lines up on the grid next year, it will mark exactly 20 years since the Swedish marque made a splash with their iconic station wagon in Britain’s premier touring car series.

Next year’s British Touring Car Championship is shaping up to be one of the most diverse in recent history. The category will descend on Brands Hatch for the opening round of the season in late March next year.

Rob
30th November 2013, 15:15
United Autosports targets BTCC
United Autosports ran its newly purchased Toyota Avensis at Donington Park last week as the team hopes to make its bow in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship next season.

The Yorkshire-based squad is well known for running GT racing projects in particular, but is keen to add the BTCC to its growing portfolio. Bosses Zak Brown and Richard Dean visited a number of rounds during the 2013 season and made immediate plans for an expansion into the series if the team is able to gain a TBL Licence from TOCA – a requirement in order to compete as of the 2014 campaign.

“The BTCC is a major championship so of course we want to be involved, but there is a stringent new entry process and we aren’t making any presumptions about being granted a slot on the grid. Priority is given to existing teams, but we hope that we can fit in somewhere,” said Dean.

Former Formula Ford champion James Cole carried out testing duties at the Derbyshire circuit and is one of a number of drivers who will be evaluated over the winter.

“We will be testing a few drivers before the circuits shut for the winter break,” continued Dean. “It is important that we do our groundwork so that if we are granted a licence to be on the grid next season, we will be ready. It was a day of getting James fitted in the car and us learning about it. I'm hoping to get two cars and James could be one of the drivers.”

If granted a place on the grid United Autosports has suggested it would look at building its own NGTC machine in future seasons. Dean believes that in the first instance, however, an existing car will help the squad through the steep learning curve of a maiden BTCC campaign.

"We bought the Wrathall car and we want to go to touring cars,” he added. “We're out testing as we should be and we're serious about it.”

Rob
30th November 2013, 15:16
Gow hails 'fantastic' year
Series Director for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Alan Gow hailed the successes of the 2013 season at last week’s TOCA Awards ceremony.

The ‘Night of Champions’ saw all the stars of the BTCC and its supporting classes honoured, and was an opportunity to reward all the hard work put in by everyone involved in the series over the course of the year.

Gow said during the awards: “2013 has been an absolutely fantastic year for the BTCC. It was another high-water mark for us and underlined why we are the UK’s biggest, most popular and most successful motor racing championship. Being in such a dominant position for over two decades, it would be pretty easy for us to slip into complacency – but clearly, we don’t do that.”

Even before the 2013 season had begun, key contracts with sponsors – including title sponsor Dunlop – as well as championship broadcaster ITV were secured on multi-year deals, and the whole TOCA team is unanimous in its resolution to continue moving forwards.

Gow continued: “One figure I’m rather proud of is that our championship sponsors and partners have been with us for a combined total of some 33 years, which is an extraordinary amount of time in this sport.

“This championship is on an almighty roll, and those that were in the BTCC in the early nineties often say that it feels like the same inertia now as we had back then. We have our truly superb ITV deal, our great sponsorships, tyre supply and partnership deals and our regulations and teams licensing arrangements all locked-in for another three years. Unlike many other championships, we simply don’t have any clouds on the horizon. Together we are actually making those ‘good old days’ that people in years to come will refer to.

“So to all the team at BARC, my own TOCA team, ITV, Porsche, Ginetta, Ford, Renault, the circuits, the officials, volunteers and the literally millions of supporters that help make this the great championship it is – thank you.”

You can already book your tickets for half of the events in 2014 – and once again the afternoon testing session on Media Day (18 March) will be open to the public to get a first glimpse of the cars and drivers for the coming season which promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Rob
2nd December 2013, 19:40
Capacity entry confirmed

The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will have a capacity entry list after all 32 entries and available TOCA BTCC Licences (TBL) were allocated during the pre-registration process, which closed on Saturday (30 November).

Series organiser TOCA recently announced the introduction of TBLs, which are required by teams in order to compete in the championship from 2014 onwards. The overall aim is to provide teams with longer-term stability and security, and take up during the registration process was immediate.

Existing teams that applied and competed in at least 50 per cent of the 2013 BTCC season with NGTC machinery received automatic entry for the same number of cars in 2014, whilst existing teams with two or more NGTC cars had priority for one additional entry subject to validation by TOCA. Existing NGTC cars in the hands of new or other current BTCC teams were next to receive priority, whilst completely new teams would have been given the final slots on the entry list if available.

Such was the huge number of applications received from current BTCC teams and other entries running existing NGTC cars, however, that the opportunity for completely new teams to sign up was not forthcoming.

TBLs have now been issued to successful applicants, which will secure each entry until at least the end of the 2016 BTCC season. Teams may sell, gift, lease, assign or loan their TBL to other existing teams or eligible new entries on a season-long basis only, subject to the approval of TOCA as to the integrity of both recipient and transaction.

Possession and retention of a TBL includes an obligation from each entrant to contest all BTCC events for each season entered. An entry that is unused for one event in any season will void its TBL, and an entry that misses two events will have its entry rescinded for the balance of the season. In addition each entrant cannot make more than one change of driver per car during the course of a season except in genuine cases of force majeure.

As well as the capacity entry, there are currently three cars on a ‘reserve list’ that were unable to meet the strict entry requirements at this stage, but would be in a position to compete should an opportunity arise.

In conjunction with the BTCC, successful entrant will make announcements on their participation over the coming weeks and months, although the official entry list will only be published by TOCA on the pre-season Media Day at Donington Park on Tuesday 18 March 2014.

Rob
4th February 2014, 22:11
Brilliant news, great for the BTCC, and also he my all time touring car fav.....

AIRWAVES RACING CONFIRMS TWO-TIME BTCC CHAMPION FABRIZIO GIOVANARDI

Latest News posted 4th February 2014
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Airwaves Racing has ignited its most ambitious Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship programme to date by revealing multiple touring car champion and BTCC legend Fabrizio Giovanardi as the Motorbase Performance-run squad’s new signing for the 2014 season.

Team Principal David Bartrum chose to officially unveil the news during a one-off special edition of the Tin-Top Tuesday radio show earlier this evening (4 February), and the news was simultaneously published on the official BTCC.net website.

“This is a very important year for Airwaves Racing. This is going to be the one when we really do underline the product we’ve built here at Motorbase Performance and Fabrizio is the man to show you how it should go,” said Bartrum. “I tried to get Fabrizio on board a couple of years ago, we’ve talked a lot about touring cars and this year I decided just before Christmas that was the right way to try and go. It was something that Airwaves set out in their criteria; they wanted us to up our game, and I was very happy to meet it.”

With former champion Giovanardi behind the wheel of the Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST NGTC, the Wrotham-based squad’s sights are set firmly on a return to winning ways after a challenging start to the 2013 season. “The intentions are the same as last year, the team wants to win” continued Bartrum. “We want to win races and we want to go after the championship and if you’re going to go after the championship this is the year to do it. There are thirty cars on the grid and possibly seven guys that have won it before; so I think it’s a fantastic year for Giovanardi to come back and join us.

“A lot of work has gone into the car over the winter. I’m really pleased with what the team has done, they’ve worked very hard. As I’ve said before, you need to take a step back and look sometimes, that’s what we’ve done and now we’re hoping to get the reward.

“We’ve always been proud of our driver line-up and no more this year than last year, but this year it’s got a little Italian spice to it that might take the team forward that bit more.”

With back to back 2007/2008 championship titles to his name; Giovanardi has an impressive BTCC pedigree. With 122 appearances, 41 podiums and 24 race wins already under his belt, the twice crowned BTCC champion was last seen in the championship in the 2010 season, where he celebrated two race wins and two podiums during the opening weekend at Thruxton.

Following his four year break from the championship Giovanardi is delighted to be joining the Airwaves Racing squad and relishing his highly-anticipated return to the illustrious BTCC grid. “I am really looking forward to coming back to this special championship. For the last four years I have done long distance racing and for me, it’s quite boring! I need to be fighting for championships and this is the best place to find that, so I’m really happy to be back. Obviously, I have to respect the other guys out there but I want to come here and try to win another championship; I need to win the third one!”

Giovanardi’s union with the Airwaves Racing team has been a long time in the making, with behind the scenes talks with the Motorbase Performance Team Boss going as far back as 2010. “When I stopped racing with Triple Eight I had a chat with David Bartrum and we tried to find a deal, but there wasn’t the condition to do that, so now after four years, David has given me the technical effort to win the championship.”

“In 2008 and 2009 I had a big battle with this team and they were one of the teams to beat then. After four years I believe they’ve got good experience, they’ve grown up and they are right at this time to give me the winning chance,” added Giovanardi. “These are passionate guys, it’s a small team but with people that work well together. Good people and the right people make the right target and I believe straight away that we can be one of the teams fighting for the championship.”

The Airwaves Racing squad will be embarking on its winter testing programme in the coming weeks ahead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s official Season Launch to be held at Donington Park on 18 March. The 2014 BTCC season opener takes place at Motorbase Performance’s local track, Brands Hatch on March 29/30.

Rob
4th February 2014, 22:13
ALAIN MENU: “IT’S LIKE COMING BACK HOME”

Latest News posted 4th February 2014
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After the dust settled on the sensational announcement confirming Alain Menu’s return to the BTCC in 2014, we caught up with the Swiss superstar from his home in Monaco.

“It has been a long time – 14 years,” said Menu on his return to Britain’s biggest motor sport series. “I’m very happy about it but I’ll keep my feet on the ground. It’ll be very nice to be back – I lived in the UK for 18 years and the bulk of my career I drove in the UK, plus I have many friends there, so for me it’s like coming back home in a way.”

News of Alain’s comeback sent shockwaves around the motor racing world when it was revealed here on btcc.net last week, so we asked the man himself how the deal came about to race a VW Passat with new tin top squad – BMR Restart.

“The first call I got was from Geoff Kingston, the Chief Engineer, who I worked with back in 1992 – my first year in the BTCC,” Menu continued. “He told me what it was all about, what the plans are, and I liked it. I called Warren [Scott] and organised a meeting in the UK. The fact that Geoff is there is very important for me but after meeting Warren I have faith in him, his ambition and his will to get to the top of the BTCC. There are a few unknowns for sure but it looks very promising, so I decided quite quickly after that meeting to do it.”

Menu will always be linked with the Super Touring era, having secured two titles in 1997 and 2000 with Renault and Ford respectively, but the former champion is now excited about the BTCC’s current generation and the thriving championship that he’ll be racing in this season.

“It’s part of the attraction for my return,” he beamed. “I spoke to a few people like Tim Harvey. The crowds are there and it’s live on TV and there will be at least six former champions on the grid. I’m not a young guy any more – it will be nice to go up against younger drivers and I am told there are quite a few who are promising. I just want to have fun and win a race again in the BTCC.

“It’s nice in life to find some new challenges and this one is. I know I’m going to back to the UK and to circuits I know, up against some drivers from the past, but there will be some new drivers, new teams, new people, new fans… all of this is part of why I’m coming back.”

Taking time to mention his excitement about returning to circuits like Thruxton, Oulton Park and Brands Hatch in particular, Menu is not concerned by his relative lack of running in an NGTC car and believes his wealth of experience will be the most important factor for his comeback.

“I did a test a few days before the last BTCC round last year in Matt Neal’s car, so I know what to expect and how the car behaves. It will not be an unknown – a front-wheel touring car is a front-wheel touring car.

“I still want to compete – this is my life and it’s what I’ve done for the last 30 years and what I dreamed about as a kid. I’m lucky enough to still be doing it and that in itself is more than enough incentive to do what’s needed to be ready for the new season.”

Menu’s preparation for the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will of course include some significant testing, although plans are yet to be finalised.

“It will be very early March,” he concluded. “We will have more testing than what Warren originally thought of at Christmas, which again proves his commitment, dedication and will to get there sooner rather than later.”

Team boss Warren Scott will also drive for his squad throughout the 2014 season – starting the campaign in a Vauxhall Insignia before a planned switch to a third VW Passat. Exciting young guns’ Aron Smith and Jack Goff, who will drive a Passat and Insignia respectively, complete the squad’s promising line-up.

Rob
4th February 2014, 22:14
TEAM BMR ADDS SMITH TO THE MENU


Team BMR made a splash last week with the announcement that two-time BTCC champion Alain Menu would be returning to the BTCC to race one of its VW Passat CCs. At the same time it was announced that lining up alongside the Swiss ace would be young Irishman Aron Smith in the team’s second VW.

Smith scored his first win at the final race meeting of 2012, and went on to score four podiums last season at the wheel of an Airwaves Racing Ford Focus. For the coming season Smith will race alongside both Menu and team owner Warren Scott under the Team BMR banner, and identified some of the team’s key engineering staff as a reason for making the switch for 2014:

“I’m really excited to be joining team-owner Warren and of course Alain for the 2014 season,” said Smith. “The team itself is relatively new, but the people within the team including Chief Engineer Geoff Kingston and Team Manager Alan Cole are certainly very experienced and this was a major attraction to the team for me.”

Smith announced his intentions during the landmark video announcement and made it clear that he’s hungry for more race wins. He continued: “With Team BMR and the resources behind us, I feel I can challenge for wins straight from round one. Choosing to change teams was not a decision made lightly, however, the quality of my team-mates proves how serious the team is about performing at the highest level and I feel this move is something that will help further my career.

“I have a quality car beneath me, a professional team behind me and arguably the best engineer in the business. This is my year to be at the front of the greatest touring car championship in Europe.”


http://youtu.be/sAzdUy-G77I

Greig
4th February 2014, 22:24
BTCC is gonna be awesome :-D

Rob
5th February 2014, 20:15
BTCC is gonna be awesome :-D

Think it is this year. Just, 1 thing still missing though. Alfa Romeo. :pray

Rob
6th February 2014, 18:23
REIGNING CHAMPION JORDAN MAKES FIRST TRACK APPEARANCE OF 2014
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2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan has undertaken his first test of 2014 this week at Brands Hatch. The Pirtek Racing squad, which this year includes new signing Martin Depper in the second Honda Civic, tested at Brands Hatch for two days (4-5 February).

The Kent circuit was the scene of a sensational season finale back in October, with five drivers going into the weekend mathematically capable of winning the title. After some heart-stopping moments, it was the 24-year-old Jordan that fended off the opposition to take his first BTCC crown, and he’s now enjoying being back at the iconic circuit without having to worry about winning a championship.

Speaking at Brands Hatch, Jordan said, “It’s a bit more relaxed today, it was tense last time we were here, but this time we’ve got a plan we’re working through. I’m looking forward to it and we’re excited. The car’s very good and it’s been very good for the last couple of years, so we’re just trying to hone certain areas and just trim little bits here and there that we think we can. Likewise with my driving, so we can improve the whole package.”

Jordan will be reigning champion for what is sure to be one of the most competitive seasons ever in the BTCC. With six champions confirmed on the grid, Jordan and the team have been putting in the hours during the off-season to try and ensure that they’re up to the task of defending the title. Jordan continued, “It’s been a busy winter. I had a week’s holiday after and then it was straight back to it really, so I’m hungry to do it again. I’ve been doing lots of training, trying to improve myself for this year. It looks to be very competitive this year, that’s why I’ve been working hard to make sure we’ve done all we can.

“It’s going to be competitive, but it doesn’t really make a difference to our approach. The number of champions doesn’t make a difference to us – we want to win and beat whoever is there. If we’re able to go up against all of those guys, then we’ve done a good job. The championship’s got a real buzz about it and I’m really proud to be part of it.”

Rob
8th February 2014, 12:52
:-E

Frank Wrathall sentenced to 21 months for careless driving
Friday, February 7th 2014, 14:30 GMT

Frank Wrathall has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to careless driving.

The 27-year-old British Touring Car driver was involved in a fatal collision with a cyclist on May 14 2012.

Wrathall was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but the case was postponed after it was first scheduled to be heard in July last year.

Last month Wrathall pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving at Liverpool Crown Court, where he was today sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.

He was also disqualified from driving for four years.

Wrathall has driven for his family-run Dynojet Racing team in the BTCC for the past three years.

The team had already sold its assets to United Autosports, which will make its series debut this season.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112452

Rob
11th February 2014, 09:46
Matt Neal says new BTCC Honda Civic Tourer needs work
By Kevin Turner Monday, February 10th 2014, 13:50 GMT

Neal says new Honda needs work

British Touring Car star Matt Neal believes there is work to do to get the new Honda Civic Tourer up to speed for 2014.

The works Honda team has switched from the successful hatchback to the new estate model for this season and Neal tested it at a wet Rockingham last month.

"In the wet it's about 0.7s off the old hatchback," the triple champion told AUTOSPORT.

"It's got a few niggly bits with it so we're working on it."

With much of the new car sharing the same parts as the hatchback, which privateer squad Eurotech will continue to run in 2014, the issue has been the new bodywork.

"We're just trying to get it set-up with the different weight distribution and centre of gravity," added Neal.

"It's not there yet, but we're working on it."

Neal is also expecting to undergo further surgery to his hand as he continues to recover from his martial arts accident last September.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112472

Rob
11th February 2014, 09:47
TIM HARVEY: “BRING ON 2014”

Latest News posted 10th February 2014
Tim Harvey Trackspeed Porsche 997 GT3 R
Former BTCC champion and ITV commentator Tim Harvey is brimming with excitement in anticipation of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Speaking to btcc.net after the recent announcements of returning former champions Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi, Harvey is adamant the championship is as strong as it’s ever been, and said:

“I think we are getting back to the quality of drivers and grid that made the championship so successful in the 1990s. We’re going to have a really top class, international, professional driver line-up which is unparalleled in UK racing. Add to that the fact that every car on the grid will be NGTC, and we’re looking at some fantastic racing in 2014.

“It’s an incredible line-up – it shows that the commercial viability of the championship is allowing the teams to have professional drivers in the cars. This will keep raising the standard of driving, and in doing so create an even bigger spectacle. There are some real battles to be had between the top drivers – they’re all champions, so when you put them together on the circuit the results are going to be brilliant.”

Picking a champion from the huge 2014 entry is a tall order, but Harvey feels that reigning champion Andrew Jordan, who remains in the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic that was both fast and reliable throughout 2013, is going to be one to beat. He continued:

“Andrew Jordan is going to start off in very strong form. He’s the youngest of the champions at 24, with the returning guys being a lot older the conflict of youth and experience is going to be a fascinating one this year. Whoever wins in 2014 will have beaten a huge depth of talent, but Andrew still has to be one of the favourites.

“It’s not just former champions that we’ve got to watch out for either. Marc Hynes is going to be an interesting addition to the grid in the third MG, and at 35 he’s got plenty of time to get his head around the BTCC and apply the raw pace we know he has. Sam Tordoff is another one to watch. He’s every bit a touring car driver – he’s got the right attitude, he knows how to be patient on track and his race craft is very good. His single-make experience in Clios and Porsches has given him the best possible preparation, and his pace is really strong. There are plenty of other drivers out there that can win races, but winning the championship is going to be a much harder task.

“Consistency is absolutely key – Jordan only had one retirement all season in the penultimate race, but even then he only won the championship by seven points from Shedden! It’s undoubtedly going to come down to the wire again, but there are plenty of drivers that can win races. We’ve got new cars coming in too like Adam Morgan’s Mercedes which will be one to watch, so there’s plenty of new stuff for 2014 and it’s all good.”

With the return of some of the BTCC’s big names, the draw of the championship is better than ever for prospective drivers, but Harvey is quite content to take up the best seat in the house as a commentator once again for the coming year. He concluded:

“The commentary box is certainly the next best thing to being in a car – I have a grandstand view of how the whole race pans out, and I really get into the whole of the race. I can see a situation building and I can see what’s going to happen as if I was there, because at some point in my life I’ve either been in that situation or watched it. If we go back to my first touring car race in 1987, I’ve either driven in or commentated on almost every race since, so bring on 2014!”

Rob
11th February 2014, 17:08
TURKINGTON HEADS EBAY MOTORS TRIO

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The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will feature seven champions on its grid after Colin Turkington was named in an unchanged line-up at eBay Motors for the new season.

Ulsterman Turkington will be joined by his 2013 team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster as the West Surrey Racing-run squad believes continuity is key in its quest to win the overall drivers’ and teams’ championships, as well as the Independents’ crowns.

Turkington was a revelation last season in what was his first BTCC campaign since winning the title back in 2009. He took victory in only his second event of 2013 piloting the team’s brand new BMW 125i M Sport, and went on to challenge for the title right up until the final event of the season. The 31-year-old impressively scored five victories on his way to fifth in the standings and the feeling among the team is that Colin, combined with a further-developed BMW in its second season, will be even better placed to challenge for the championship in the year ahead.

“It was a very new look team and a brand new car last season and I was pleased with our progress,” said team boss Bennetts. “Considering the other top teams had run NGTC cars for at least a year, five wins was something that everyone should be proud of.

“This season is all about building and the guys at the factory have done a lot of R&D work this winter. We are thrilled to have Colin, Rob and Nick back on-board in our pursuit of winning the BTCC.”

West Surrey Racing is a legendary race team, with Team Principal Bennetts instrumental in the careers of many motor sport greats including Ayrton Senna. Talk of winning the BTCC outright is particularly pertinent seeing as it was the same Turkington/WSR combination that stormed to the championship in 2009, and now they hope to repeat the trick in what looks set to be the most competitive BTCC season in many years.

“I have a long relationship with WSR and we’ve experienced some great successes together in both the BTCC and WTCC,” said Turkington. “Last season was a real transitional period for me with the new car and returning to the BTCC, but hopefully it’s made me a better driver and I am confident I can go even better with the eBay Motors team this season.”

Seven-time BTCC race-winner Collard also showed flashes of speed during 2013, particularly when scoring a superb podium at Knockhill. Foster’s season-high of fourth place at Croft was also a standout moment for the eBay Motors squad, but the duo will be keen to build on their performances further in the campaign ahead.

Rob Collard said: “We’re a close knit group here in the eBay Motors team and we really value each other as drivers. We’ve all got a great understanding of the car and with it looking even better this season, we can’t wait to get back out there.”

Nick Foster said: “We were pretty happy with how the season went in 2013 and it ignited a real ambition to push on. You can only really be competitive at the highest level with the best people around you and that is what the eBay Motors team offers me.”

Team sponsor eBay Motors was also delighted with the performance shown by West Surrey Racing last year, particularly as the squad only unveiled its new NGTC car on the eve of the season. With a year of learning the machine behind them, combined with a truly top class driver line-up, Manager of eBay Motors UK, Tony Austin, believes the team is better placed than ever to deliver the main prize.

“With this being our fifth BTCC season, we are delighted that Colin, Rob and Nick will be representing the team again for 2014,” he said. “We have a great relationship with WSR and it’s good to see that our drivers buy into the collective ambition we all have for the team. With a year together under their belts, this is a cohesive team of drivers that we hope can be really competitive this season.”

eBay Motors will now embark on a comprehensive testing programme before rounds one, two and three of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship get underway at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March 2014.

To keep up to speed with all the news on car development, testing and the drivers’ preparations follow the team on Twitter @ebaymotorsbtcc.

Rob
11th February 2014, 17:11
BTC Racing raring to go with “spectacular” Chevrolet Cruze.
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BTC Racing boss Bert Taylor says the team’s “spectacular” new Chevrolet Cruze is almost ready to hit the track – and believes it’s the best car he’s ever worked on.

The team took delivery of the ex-RML shell in December 2012, and started working on it around March 2013. And it has since become a labour of love for the boss’s son, Ben, who has been working on it from 6am to 4pm, three days a week, for six months.

Taylor said the team has spent 640 man hours working on the shell and subframe alone, and estimated the cost so far to be in the region of £450,000.

But now the Cruze is just waiting for its engine before it runs for the first time – and TouringCarTimes understands the team is also set to unveil a title sponsorship deal in the coming days.

The #28 machine will be driven by Chris Stockton, who returns for his first full season in the BTCC since a giant-killing year in the recalcitrant Lexus IS200 in 2007.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Taylor said: “We bought the shell, but we have had to build and design the rest of it. It has been a long journey. There is so much of it we didn’t give consideration to, like the bodywork – that’s a six-month job, four if you’re lucky.

“Trying to build a car to replicate a works car has been difficult. But Peter Riches, and the other [TOCA] guys who have seen the car, say it is one of the best built they have seen, if not the best.

“It is encouraging, and when you see the livery, it is pretty spectacular. The whole thing is RML. I have been involved in a few cars, and nothing comes close to this one.”

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Thoughts will soon switch to the Cruze hitting the circuit for the first time, ahead of the season opener at Brands Hatch.

Taylor said: “We are almost ready to go. We’re just waiting for the engine from RML, and should have it back by Wednesday or Thursday.

“We will then get out [testing] as soon as possible, as soon as the weather turns, in mid-February or the beginning of March.”

Taylor said the team is once again joining at a time when the series is on the up, as it was in 2007, but added: “We’re not scared of a challenge.

“We always set out to win a race, and that is still our goal.”

http://www.touringcartimes.com/2014/02/11/btc-racing-raring-to-go-with-spectacular-chevrolet-cruze/

Rob
11th February 2014, 17:12
Will we be doing another year of the fantasy driver league?:-)

:clap

Rob
12th February 2014, 13:51
Ginetta champion Tom Ingram gets Speedworks Toyota BTCC chance
By Kevin Turner Wednesday, February 12th 2014, 09:30 GMT


Multiple Ginetta champion Tom Ingram will join the British Touring Car Championship grid this year, driving a Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis.

The 20-year-old has won titles in both the BTCC-supporting Ginetta GT Supercup and Ginetta Junior championships.

He graduated from the KX Akademy, in which he was mentored by double BTCC champion Jason Plato, at the end of last season and has now signed a deal with Speedworks.

"To finally join the BTCC really is a dream come true for me," said Ingram. "When I started out in karting more than 12 years ago, not for one second did I ever believe we would make it this far.

"It's been a long winter trying to put everything together. The BTCC is a colossal leap financially - pretty much the cost of four years' Ginetta racing all rolled into one! There were times when I genuinely didn't think it was going to happen."

Ingram has no experience of front-wheel-drive and is being cautious about his targets for 2014.

"It will be a tremendous challenge and we need to remain realistic," added Ingram, who is due to test the car at Silverstone this week. "It's shaping up to be the toughest season in BTCC history, I'll be up against a lot of seriously accomplished rivals.

How the BTCC got its stars back

"Looking at the calibre of the field, simply getting into the points will be an achievement all in itself, but I'm determined to do the best job I possibly can and I'd love to think that by mid-season, we can be targeting some decent finishes.

Tom Ingram

"It's up to me to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. I don't merely want to be on the grid - I want to make a really positive impression and forge a professional career for myself in the BTCC."

Team boss Christian said: "Tom has stood out as one of the brightest young talents rising up through the ranks for a few years now.

"We will give him as much assistance as we can and everything he needs to feel relaxed and comfortable inside the car and get up to speed as quickly as possible.

"We ended last season with quite a good package, so hopefully we can really hit the ground running.

"We are adopting a sensible approach and won't be putting Tom under any pressure to go out there and deliver immediate results."

Confirmed 2014 British Touring Car line-up so far:

Team Car Drivers
Eurotech Honda Civic Andrew Jordan/Martin Depper
Honda (Team Dynamics) Civic Tourer Gordon Shedden/Matt Neal
MG (Triple Eight) MG6 Jason Plato/Sam Tordoff/Marc Hynes
Ciceley Racing Mercedes A-class Adam Morgan
Motorbase Performance Ford Focus Fabrizio Giovanardi/TBA/TBA
AmD Ford Focus Dave Newsham
Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 Rob Austin/TBA
Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2 Dan Welch/Ollie Jackson
United Autosports Toyota Avensis James Cole/Glynn Geddie
Rotek Racing Audi S3 Robb Holland
Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis Simon Belcher
Team BMR Vauxhall Insignia Jack Goff
Team BMR VW Passat CC Alain Menu/Aron Smith
WSR BMW 125i M Sport C Turkington/R Collard/N Foster
Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis Tom Ingram

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112486

Rob
17th February 2014, 22:20
POWER MAXED RACING CONFIRMS BTCC ENTRY

Latest News posted 14th February 2014
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Chris Stockton will race a Chevrolet Cruze under the Power Maxed Racing banner in this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after his squad sealed a partnership with the vehicle cleaning and additive brand.

The team will be racing an RML designed and powered Cruze Hatchback, the only one in existence, with an all-new Power Maxed Racing livery. The new title sponsor is part of the Automotive Brands group, which has already been heavily involved with the BTCC having backed Tom Onslow-Cole with its Steal Seal brand, before Power Maxed powered Aiden Moffat’s switch to a VW Passat late in 2013. While Power Maxed Racing is a spin off from its core business activity, the brand has committed 50% of all Power Maxed profits into sponsorship and youth development in motorsport moving forward.

Cheshire-based Stockton and his BTC Racing squad have been hard at work for a number of months preparing the car for the new season and the team has confirmed that the machine will be ready to make its public debut at the BTCC Season Launch on 18 March at Donington Park.

“It will be great to be back in the BTCC and in a car that has the reliability and power to give the front runners a run for their money,” said Stockton. “I’m thrilled to be working with Power Maxed Racing – both of us have worked tirelessly to create a true partnership and a great platform that will perform on the track but also provide a fantastic marketing platform for Power Maxed.”

Adam Weaver, Managing Director of Automotive Brands, owners of the Power Maxed brand said: “We have had a lot of experience with motorsport and Touring Car sponsorship and know that Chris and his team are the best people to work with in 2014. They have a great car produced by a proven manufacturer in RML and have acquired a fantastic hospitality unit. To top it all off we have been so impressed by the professionalism and desire of not only Chris, but all of his team to be the best, which is also the ethos behind the Power Maxed brand.”

Rob
17th February 2014, 22:22
PRODUCTIVE FIRST TEST OF 2014 FOR BELCHER

Latest News posted 17th February 2014
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Simon Belcher enjoyed a highly productive first test run of 2014 at a wet and blustery Silverstone National Circuit on Friday (14 February), as preparations for his maiden season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship begin to gather momentum.

Appearing on track for the first time since officially unveiling his KÄRCHER-liveried Toyota Avensis at the Autosport International Show in early January, the Swindon driver worked on a variety of set-up changes throughout the day.

Although Belcher wasn’t able to get the benefit of some desired dry running at the wheel of his Speedworks-built Handy Motorsport machine, he was still able to complete around 200 kilometres.

“It was a full day of wet testing and it went well, we made some good progress,” said the Wiltshire driver. “The changes we applied to the car made it better and better, even though the conditions were getting worse the times weren’t dropping off. We just need some dry testing now!

“We did another 200 kilometres in the car and it was good to be back working with the Speedworks guys again. We were also able to share data with Tom Ingram who was out testing for the first time – with two people out there trying different things it means you can push forward at twice the speed.”

Belcher’s next pre-season test will come at Cheshire’s Oulton Park in early March before additional visits to Brands Hatch and Donington Park – the latter, of course, set to host the BTCC Season Launch and officially timed test on 18th March.

“It’ll be all systems go the next time we’re out at the start of March, everything ramps-up then as we get towards the first round,” added the double Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ Champion. “Both runs we’ve had at Silverstone so far have been positive, getting plenty of mileage in at Oulton Park, Brands and Donington is going to be really important before the start of the season.”

Kent’s Brands Hatch Indy Circuit will host the opening three rounds of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship over the weekend 29/30 March.

Rob
22nd March 2014, 17:53
REIGNING CHAMPION TOPS PRE-SEASON TEST
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Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan posted the fastest lap time of the day in the only official pre-season test ahead of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Jordan, who clinched the title in the final round of last season, was just 0.001s ahead of Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden.

The incredibly close times were set early on in the four-hour session that made up the afternoon of the Season Launch at Donington Park. Following a morning of media activity, the public streamed in to watch a test that was run in ever-changing conditions.

The vast majority of the 31 entries immediately went out on circuit, with the top twelve covered by just over a second in the early running, before a heavy rain shower brought everyone back into the pits. Intermittent rain showers for the rest of the day ensured that no faster times were set, with Jordan and Shedden followed in the times by returning double-champion Alain Menu who lapped the Donington Park National Circuit in 1:11.226s to go third fastest. While the limited dry running means that the outright pace of the 2014 field remains unknown, Menu’s competitiveness bodes well for the Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad as fellow VW CC driver Aron Smith also posted a strong time to go seventh quickest.

Adam Morgan’s brand new WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A Class impressed on its first official outing in the BTCC. The Lancastrian put in the fourth quickest time ahead of the newly-liveried MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save MG6 of Sam Tordoff, and Honda Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal in the eye-catching Civic Tourer. Colin Turkington headed up the eBay Motors trio of drivers in eighth, three tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Rob Collard, with BTCC rookie Tom Ingram taking tenth for Speedworks Motorsport.

While Ingram’s tally of 59 laps was impressive, Marc Hynes completed the most mileage of any driver – 64 tours in total – and ended the day just 0.006s outside the top ten.

With five of the seven champions occupying top ten slots, the 2014 season remains almost entirely unpredictable. Fabrizio Giovanardi is getting to grips with the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus on his return to the series and went twelfth fastest; with fellow double champion Jason Plato not putting in any competitive dry running.

The teams now have less than two weeks to prepare for the opening rounds of 2014, to be held at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March.

Andrew Jordan said: “It was a little bit frustrating. We were about to put a new set of tyres on when it started to rain – it’s always nice to end up quickest, but it wasn’t really a proper day because of the weather and we had quite a lot to try out that we haven’t been able to do. It means that we’ve still got some unanswered questions going to Brands Hatch, but we know we’ve just got to get on with it. The car felt fabulous in the wet, so it was a case of trying a few things and then parking it up. If that had been free practice or qualifying I’d have been very happy with the car. It’s been a busy day, and the amount of people here just shows what the championship is like at the moment. There’s a real buzz about it – it’s one thing talking about it but to see the turnout we’ve had here today is just really good. I’m proud to have the number one on my car and I’m looking forward to the excitement starting in a couple of weeks!”

Gordon Shedden said: “You need things to go your way, and with 31 cars on the grid you never know what’s going to happen this year. All I hope is that come race 30 at Brands GP I’m in with a cracking chance of winning the title back. I know what an amazing feeling it was to win it in 2012 – I know it’s going to be harder than ever but without a shadow of a doubt I’m going for it this year. We’ve had a lot to do with the car, there have been a lot of new challenges but from an engineering point of view it was important to push the boundaries. I’m sure we’ll be in the mix, we’ve just got to keep working. This year we’ve got 31 cars on the same tyres with a lot of levellers to keep things close. Seven champions and a whole host of other race-winners means this is going to be one hell of a season.”

Alain Menu said: “The times don’t mean too much – it was mixed conditions and we don’t know what the other guys were doing. I actually only did three proper timed laps in the dry, and we didn’t do any wet running because we’re testing tomorrow. The guys have worked really hard though and have done a great job. It’s good to be back – there was a really good turnout and the atmosphere is great. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been very excited about this year, and the number of fans here for the test was really impressive also. It’s going to be a good season!”

Rob
22nd March 2014, 17:55
KNOCKHILL ATTENDS BTCC SEASON LAUNCH AHEAD OF JIM CLARK CELEBRATIONS
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Our friends from Knockhill made the long trip south to attend this week’s Season Launch at Donington Park, and left the event even further fuelled ahead of its own BTCC round later this year.

Not only is the Fife venue looking to build on one of its biggest ever BTCC crowds, which it attracted in 2013, but there’s also spectacular plans to celebrate Jim Clark’s 50th anniversary since he won Britain’s premier motor sport series.

Clark’s famous Lotus Cortina from that wonderful 1964 season was present at Donington, alongside one of Jim’s road cars – a bespoke Cortina that had been developed by his then Team Lotus boss Colin Chapman.

Fife born Clark is regarded as one of the greatest racing drivers of all time and his amazing achievements are to be marked on 21st August with a Forth Road Bridge crossing of a selection of his race cars and also at the Knockhill 40th Anniversary/Homecoming Scotland 2014 BTCC meeting on 24th August.

The Jim Clark celebrations start on Thursday 21st August at 9am with a static display of his cars in the former Lorry Park at the Forth Road Bridge HQ in South Queensferry. Then at 11am the parade of cars will make its way across the Forth Road Bridge, from South to North. This historic sight, including a Grand Prix winning Lotus 32B, Lotus 43, Jim’s championship winning Lotus Cortina and his own road Lotus Cortina will be accompanied by some of the 2014 crop of BTCC machines.

The same cars and a gathering of Cortinas will parade Knockhill at the BTCC event on the Sunday and there will be a marquee of exhibits from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s, marking the amazing four decades of Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland’s National Motor Sport Centre.

20% of all BTCC tickets sold using the code JIMCLARK50 will go towards the development of the Jim Clark Room, planned for 2018. Visit www.knockhill.com for more details.

Rob
22nd March 2014, 17:57
Be good to see modern F1 drivers, do couple BTCC races. I know would never happen, but imagine Button, Lewis or even Massa entering races. Be good.

Rob
22nd March 2014, 17:58
BRANDS HATCH SET FOR BTCC SEASON OPENER

Latest News posted 21st March 2014
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Fabrizio Giovanardi (ITA) Airwaves Racing Ford Focus ST
A record 31-car grid is set to blast off at Brands Hatch next weekend (29/30 March) for the opening three rounds of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

One of the most eagerly anticipated seasons in the championship’s illustrious history boasts a line-up that includes seven champions, a further half dozen BTCC race winners and a significant batch of rising contenders.

The appeal of Britain’s premier motor sport series is not just about driver talent, however, as 14 different flame-spitting models of car – based on popular road going family models – represented by 11 of the world’s largest car manufacturers will take to the track throughout the 2014 season.

What’s more, the battle will be played out in front of hundreds of thousands of trackside spectators over the course of the campaign and millions more who will watch every race live on free-to-air television.

As in recent years, the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent will bookend the season with the final event of 2014 taking place on the legendary Grand Prix layout in October, but first up is the challenging 1.2-mile Indy configuration.

Circuit owner MotorSport Vision is expecting one of the biggest crowds for a season-opener in recent history, with fans making their way from London, the South East and further afield.

Talking point: Seven wonders of the BTCC
The BTCC line-up features an unprecedented seven champions in its ranks, headed by reigning supremo Andrew Jordan who took his maiden title during an unforgettable 2013 season. Jordan fended off four former champions in the last race of the year, also at Brands Hatch, and the 24-year-old will be looking to get his title defence off to the best possible start in the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic next weekend.

2012 champ Gordon Shedden fell short of retaining the crown by just seven points last season after a stellar last gasp effort at the Kent venue. The Scotsman and his three-time champion team-mate Matt Neal both remain with Honda Yuasa Racing for 2014, but the duo will be piloting the all-new Civic Tourer model.

Jason Plato has won more BTCC races than any other driver in history and produced a sensational performance last time out at Brands Hatch. The MG driver won two of the final three races of 2013 and came close to scooping his own hat-trick of titles, which will now be his aim for the year ahead.

Colin Turkington returned to the BTCC in 2013 after a three-year hiatus and produced a stunning effort. The Ulsterman remained in title contention until the final day of the campaign, despite his BMW 125i M Sport only breaking cover on the eve of the season. His eBay Motors squad has a year with the car under its belt and a strong pre-season behind it, so Turkington is confident of contending again.

The biggest announcements in the off-season proved to be the return of two double-champions in Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Menu, a legend of the much loved Super Touring-era will be driving a VW Passat run by Team BMR this time around, whilst Giovanardi will spearhead the challenge from local team Airwaves Racing.

Local heroes: Season to start with a home win?
Wrotham-based team Motorbase Performance has an international touring car star in its ranks this season, plus a BTCC race winner and a local rookie who will make his tin-top debut next weekend.

Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi is hoping to bring the squad its first drivers’ title and he’ll be joined by Mat Jackson in Motorbase’s Airwaves Racing line-up. The team will also run a new entry for Crabbie’s Racing which has Surrey-driver Jack Clarke piloting its Ford Focus. Clarke has won at Brands Hatch during his single-seater career but this event will represent his BTCC baptism in front of a huge home crowd.

West Surrey Racing will bring its trio of eBay Motors’ BMWs to Brands Hatch next weekend, looking every bit championship contenders. Multiple race winner Rob Collard and podium visitor Nick Foster have both made huge strides during winter testing, but the team’s biggest hope lies arguably with the aforementioned 2009 champion Colin Turkington.

Thurrock’s AmDTuning.com will add a fourth Ford Focus to the grid with its new signing Dave Newsham looking to repeat his race winning form of 2012.

One man who is no stranger to winning is BTCC debutant Marc Hynes, who brings with him a fascinating story.

Back in 1999, London-based Hynes became the British F3 champion – a series famed for promoting drivers directly to Formula 1 – when among others he saw off the challenge from a certain Jenson Button. The rest, as they say, is history as Button went on to grab F1 glory while Hynes failed to get the breaks he deserved to reach the highest level of single-seater racing. After a lengthy sabbatical, however, Hynes has chosen the BTCC to make his long-awaited comeback and he’ll pilot a highly competitive MG6 run by multiple champions Triple Eight Race Engineering.

“I’m loving it so far – the cars are great to drive and I can’t wait for the racing to start,” said Hynes after completing his pre-season testing programme. “The championship provides great racing in front of lots of spectators, who always create a fantastic atmosphere.

“I’m competitive and I’ve won races throughout my career, and clearly I want to do so again in the not too distant future. This will be a different challenge altogether, however, as first I’ll need to get on the pace and then I’ll need to establish myself in the hustle and bustle of the action. I’m just really excited about the whole thing and I’m really looking forward to getting underway at Brands Hatch.”

Timetable and Tickets
Three BTCC races will take place on Sunday, with the entire race day being broadcast live and in high definition on ITV4 from 10:30am.

In addition to the BTCC, there’ll be a plethora of races on the support bill. The Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain – the series that launched the careers of a host of top drivers including Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button – represents single-seater racing. Sportscar racing fans will get their fix with races from the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Ginetta Junior Championship, whilst the Renault UK Clio Cup – often seen as a stepping-stone to reaching the BTCC – will also feature on the huge bill of British racing.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season-opener at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.brandshatch.co.uk. All admission includes access to Sunday’s lunchtime autograph session with the BTCC drivers in the pit lane as well as free parking.