View Full Version : BTCC 2015 news thread.

12th January 2015, 18:23
Wonder where Jason Plato will be driving this year??????

12th January 2015, 18:24
Triple World Champion Andy Priaulx MBE will make a sensational return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2015 after agreeing to join multiple title-winning squad West Surrey Racing.

The long-time BMW driver has previously won the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for the German giant and will now be looking to add a BTCC crown to his illustrious list of achievements.

Having last raced in Britain’s premier motorsport series during the 2002 season, taking one victory, Priaulx later joined BMW’s assault on the ETCC. The Guernseyman claimed the title the following year before going on to take a hat-trick of World Touring Car Championships between 2005-2007. His unparalleled triumphs were then officially recognised in 2008 when he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

A move to the DTM followed and in recent seasons the factory BMW driver has competed in top-level sportscar racing across the globe, winning legendary races at both the Nürburgring and Sebring.

Priaulx’s adaptability in driving many different machines throughout his career will stand him in good stead during the upcoming season where he will dovetail his BTCC campaign with his ongoing sportscar commitments.

In a return that the man himself has hailed ‘unfinished business’, the IHG-backed driver will race one of WSR’s all-conquering BMW 125i M Sports in 2015 – a car that claimed all four BTCC titles it was eligible for last season.

Following today’s (8 January) historical announcement at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, Priaulx will commence an intensive BTCC test programme before the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch on 5 April.

The BTCC is enjoying one of the most successful eras in its long history with capacity grids and record trackside attendances. TV viewing figures are also at an all-time high with every race being screened live and free-to-air across the UK. No fewer than seven former champions entered the bumper-to-bumper action last season, where WSR driver Colin Turkington eventually claimed overall honours.

With the level of competition being greater than ever Priaulx recognises the challenge that lies ahead in 2015, and it’s a challenge that the tin top legend is looking forward to immensely.

Andy Priaulx MBE said: “I am very excited about 2015. To have the opportunity to race again in the UK with my long-term partners IHG, alongside race and test programmes in America and Europe, is going to be a lot of fun. The BTCC is one of the strongest touring car championships in Europe and unfinished business for me. I am looking forward to joining West Surrey Racing in their Championship winning BMW 125i M Sport and working with Bennetts, whose engineering success speaks for itself.”

Adrian White, Director Brand Partnerships IHG, said: “IHG are the Official Hotel Partner of the BTCC and have supported both Andy Priaulx and BMW UK since 2007. The opportunity to work more closely with all three together to promote the IHG® Rewards Club loyalty programme was too good to miss. We anticipate another competitive race series with Andy in 2015 but look forward to seeing him, and WSR, back on the top step of the podium very soon.”

Bennetts, WSR Team Principal, said: “What can one say… to have Andy Priaulx and IHG join WSR for the BTCC in 2015 is a real privilege. I have known Andy for many years, so to have him – a three time World Touring Car Champion – in one of our BMW 125i’s is fantastic news, not only for WSR but the BTCC as well. We are also looking forward to working with IHG and help them promote the IHG® Rewards Club loyalty programme, with Andy’s car. Having already signed Sam Tordoff, with a third driver hopefully announced in the next week or so, everyone at WSR is really looking forward to another exciting season in the BTCC.”

Peter Walker, General Manager – Partnerships & Sports Marketing – BMW UK, said: “I am delighted triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will be competing again in the BTCC in a BMW with the 2014 Championship winning team West Surrey Racing, sponsored by one of our key partners, InterContinental Hotels Group.”

12th January 2015, 18:26
Andrew Jordan will mount a bold new bid for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship success in 2015 after securing a lead place in the works MG team with Triple Eight Racing.

Jordan, the 2013 BTCC champion, and his prime sponsor Pirtek will move to the car and team that took the 2014 manufacturers’ title in a major new phase of his British Touring Car Championship career and Jordan says he is excited about his prospects for the coming season.

“We looked at a lot of different options for 2015 and it came down to deciding on the package that gave us the best chance of winning the championship,” he said. “It is a complete change for all of us and I’m really positive about it. This is a fabulous opportunity for me and my loyal sponsors to race a manufacturer-backed car from an iconic brand.”

Triple Eight is the most successful team in the BTCC field and the MG6 GT is a proven race-winning package. The 2015 season will be the squad’s 19th year in the BTCC, while MG is the fastest-growing automotive brand in the UK.

Andrew raced for the Triple Eight team in his second season in the BTCC back in 2009. “Now I’m going back with a lot more experience to try and lead the team to the championship,” he added.

For the 25-year-old racer from Lichfield, who has already taken 14 BTCC wins and 41 podiums, the move away from a family-run team is a major step. “I want to be more prepared than I have been in the past and this package will allow me to focus 100% on the job of driving. From my pre-event planning to my mental approach and fitness, I need to make sure that I am more prepared than ever in every aspect.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of moving to a different team and am very open to take on board as much as possible from their NGTC knowledge. I believe, with what Triple Eight has learnt over the last three years of NGTC and what I have learnt myself, we will be able to make gains through our winter testing programme.”

Jordan will be one of the stars of this weekend’s Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC (8-11 January). He will be unveiling his 2015 MG on the BTCC stand in Hall 6 on Thursday at 10:00 – keep an eye on btcc.net and our social media channels for the latest images.

12th January 2015, 18:40
Honda yet to decide which car to use in 2015 BTCC

Honda remains undecided on the final form of its new British Touring Car Championship challenger, according to 2012 champion Gordon Shedden.

The Japanese manufacturer's Civic Tourer became the first estate car to win in the BTCC last year, but its UK arm revealed last September a switch to the new Type R was possible for 2015.

Honda is yet to formally announce its plans but is expected to continue with Team Dynamics, which has run its programme since 2010, and Shedden confirmed the car would be in hatchback form.

"The Tourer was only ever a one-year programme," he said on the main stage at AUTOSPORT International. "We're going to go back to another Civic but exactly how it's going to look still is a little up in the air at the moment.

"A lot of people are going to expect us to use the Civic Type R, which looks fantastic as a road car.

"The only problem is it doesn't exist at the moment so we can't actually build a racecar out of it.

"But there's a new facelifted Civic out, the Civic Sport, and that looks pretty exciting as well.

"Whatever we end up with on the track, we'll take the heartbeat of what we've learned [about NGTC] from 2012 onwards and hopefully transplant that into the new car."

The hatchback version of the Civic won a hat-trick of BTCC titles from 2011-13 in the hands of works drivers Matt Neal and Shedden and then the Eurotech-run Andrew Jordan.

Although Colin Turkington ended Honda's run last year in WSR's BMW 125i M Sport, both Shedden and Neal believe the Japanese marque made the right call to switch to the Tourer.

"To go and create a little bit of history with the Tourer was pretty cool," said Shedden, who earned the estate's landmark win at Donington Park and was Turkington's main challenger for much of the season before eventually finishing third in the points.

"When we announced we were going to use the Tourer a lot of people thought we were mad.

"I think we've proved a lot of people wrong. There were a lot of positives from that car."

Neal added: "It was a bit of a handful to start with, it was quite a different beast, but then we got our heads around it and it worked really well.

"We got wins with it and we got him [Shedden] onto the [championship] podium at the end of the year, which with an estate car was amazing."