JHS18

Generic Btcc Thread

86 posts in this topic

So, instead of slowly cluttering up the forum year on year with yearly topics, I thought I'd just do a generi-thread for BTCC. Possibly other forms of touring car racing like WTCC too. Feel free to contribute anything else.

The last BTCC round of the year at Silverstone attracted a record grid of 30 cars as the NGTC rules start to take effect. That's the most there's been since 1992. Already there's been quite a bit of winter news, so here's a helpful run down of who could be driving what in '12.

Honda Racing (Honda Civic)

Matt Neal (confirmed)

Gordon Shedden (confirmed)

MG KX Momentum Racing (MG6 GT)

Jason Plato (confirmed)

Andy Neate (confirmed)

AmD Tuning (VW Golf)

Ollie Jackson (confirmed)

Rob Austin Racing (Audi A4)

TBA (Rob Austin? Chris Swanwick?)

TBA (possibly Turkington)

Dynojet (Toyota Avensis)

Frank Wrathall (confirmed)

Pirtek Racing (Honda Civic)

Andy Jordan (confirmed)

Jeff Smith (confirmed)

Welch Automotive (Proton Gen 2)

TBA (most likely Dan Welch)

TBA (expansion to second car possible)

Thorney Motorsport (Vauxhall Insignia)

John Thorne (confirmed)

Rob Hedley (confirmed - from Oulton onwards)

ES Racing (Vauxhall Vectra)

Chris James (confirmed)

Dave Newsham (confirmed)

Speedworks (Toyota Avensis)

Tony Hughes (confirmed)

Adam Morgan (confirmed)

eBay Motors (NGTC engined BMW 320si)

Rob Collard (confirmed)

Nick Foster (confirmed)

Tom Onslow-Cole (confirmed)

Tony Gilham Racing (Honda Civic)

Tony Gilham (confirmed)

Central Group Racing (Vauxhall Vectra)

Lea Wood (confirmed)

Motorbase Performance/Airwaves Racing (Ford Focus)

Mat Jackson (confirmed)

Aron Smith (confirmed)

Liam Griffin (confirmed)

Tech Speed (TBA, reportedly an NGTC engined Chevrolet Cruze)

TBA (likely to be Paul O'Neill)

TBA (most likely John George, seeing as he part funds the team)

Geoff Steel Racing (TBA, most likely an NGTC engined BMW)

TBA

Special Tuning Racing (SEAT Leon)

TBA

TBA (Phil Glew?)

TH Motorsport (confirmed, Skoda Octavia - recently lost major backing, but still trying to make the project happen)

Matt Hamilton (in doubt)

Already looking like it could be an exciting season, with lots of announcements still to come.

EDIT:

Confirmed - 25

Edited by JHS18

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MG look set to return as a manufacturer with the MG6, with either Triple 8 or WSR, Motorsport News reports. Personally, I hope it's WSR. I have fond memories of WSR running the MG ZS, just as I properly started to follow BTCC.

mediaday2.jpg

Additionally, early rumours suggest Paul O'Neill could move to Triple 8. I'd love to see that.

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Ah, silly season. Wouldn't be complete without the odd Volvo rumour here and there.

It appears there's a rumour doing the rounds that Motorbase could in fact be building a Volvo NGTC car, which could be unveiled at Autosport International next month.

We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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The Motorobase-Volvo rumours seem to be gathering pace. However, on the basis of rumours taken entirely from the interwebs, you'd be forgiven for being confused as to what Motorbase are actually supposed to be doing.

  • First, they were building an NGTC Mondeo
  • Then they were supposed to be leaving BTCC entirely, to race GTs.
  • After that they had allegedly bought AON's cars from this year
  • Now they're supposed to be building NGTC Volvos to race in the BTCC next year, with a big announcement expected at Autosport International.

Edited by JHS18

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Okay, so I was wrong about the Volvo thing. That was a total disaster, it turned out Jackson was actually testing a Volvo truck and something got totally misunderstood.

But never fear, for there are some developments.

Dave Newsham has switched from STR and will race for ES Racing this year. The team hope to run up to 4 cars, but with what is unclear.

Furthermore, AmD Milltek will confirm their driver for this year at Autosport International, it looks most likely to be between Martin Byford, who drove the car for the second half of this year, and Stefan Hodgetts.

It also seems likely that there will be some big news at Autosport involving Jason Plato, most likely on Thursday. There's a rumour that Triple 8 have secured MG manufacturer backing and that Plato has signed for them, with Neate being a possible team mate. Where that leaves RML is unclear. All will be revealed soon.

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Some more developments - it seems as if RML and Chevrolet is not pulling out as some fear - there's talk that they have in fact built an NGTC version of the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback:

chevy-cruze-hatchback-geneva-reveal.jpg

Elsewhere, it seems as if Rob Collard could be on his way to Rob Austin Racing. It'll certainly be interesting to see how he does in a newer car than the BMW, with the Audi having come on so much towards the end of last year. It's unclear as to who will be the second driver in that team, it could be Rob Austin again, or Chris Swanwick, who did the last two rounds for the team.

Also, keep your ears open for some big news coming from Autosport International in the next few days. The identity of the Golf driver will be revealed, and it seems likely a Plato-related announcement is due as well.

Now I'm not busy revising, I'll tidy up the first post to include all the latest signings/rumours.

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Ollie Jackson has been confirmed as the driver of the VW Golf.

Quite a surprise, not what I was expecting, but great to see him back after a couple of strong outings for Triple 8 at the end of last year.

More to come...

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Adam Morgan confirmed in a second Avensis for Speedworks, again, a surprise, considering many had tipped him to go to Dynojet and partner Wrathall.

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Something's brewing. This from Ollie Jackson on another forum.

As for big news, there is indeed some fairly ground breaking news about to appear in the TOCA paddock although I'm told it won't surface this weekend!

Interestingly, Jason Plato was interviewed at ASI today. He confirmed he'd be back in the BTCC, but never once hinted about recommiting to RML.

Place your money on the Plato/MG thing now.

Edited by JHS18

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No news today, but just thought I'd share this great video from ASI. If only the majority of F1 drivers could be this fun. :P

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The Tripe 8/MG/Plato rumour continues to do the rounds. One "insider" at another forum says the reason why the announcement has been delayed was that one of MG's most important people from China couldn't make it to Autosport International in time.

However, it is believed that MG have signed a three year deal with Triple 8, and that an announcement should be made, possibly within this next week.

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ES Racing will take delivery of their cars later this week. Some fairly cryptic messages coming out of Chris James, seems like it could be anything from Skodas, to more likely, Vectras.

Additionally, recent rumours have linked Lea Wood to a Vectra.

Lastly, two times BTCC champion Chris Hodgetts had this message on the BTCC forum, confirming what we essentially already know.

Chinese...Longbridge.....Touring car champion.....16% down over Christmas....all the eights plus one...=NGT factory cars.

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Wait, was he confirming Plato in an MG for Triple 8?

The chance of Plato being in a new car, and the new car being a bust, excites me. ;)

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Essentially, yes. It's pretty much the worse kept secret in BTCC at the moment. It also seems likely that one of JP's sponsors, Tesco, could be the title sponsor. That explains the 16% down over Christmas - Tesco had one of their worst Christmases on record.

Haha, I'm afraid to say this, but I actually might start to support MG. As I said earlier, they were my favourites when I first started following the BTCC, but I hope in the next few days the Plato negotiations break down meaning that Warren Hughes and Anthony Reid are the drivers again! :P

I'm kidding, it's great to see a manufacturer back, with seemingly lots of new cars for the season, or at least lots of teams with different cars anyway. 2012 could be one of the most open championships in recent memory with so many big changes.

Still a lot of to come before Media day on March 19th no doubt., like who will be in the second car at MG - it looks to be between Neate and Nash at the moment, with Neate the favourite. Nash could be on his way to Motorbase. Who could be driving the Chevy (or either should AM be dropped and as long as the team remains in the BTCC) is a complete mystery.

Edited by JHS18

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I wouldn't call more manufacturer teams making the title race "more open," personally. You know as well as I do how this works...one car dominates, the rest b*tch about it, the rules get d*cked around with, teams quit, ???, we get back to real racing again, then we complain how the series will never survive without flashy manufacturers even though the racing is better without them, then they come back, then we're so excited they're back, then we complain that the racing is boring and they're too entitled and they're running the sport and we wish them out and then when they leave we get upset that our favorite drivers have no rides and then...

;)

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I completely agree on your sentiments about manufacturers, but I was more saying that even without MG returning, it'd still be very open. The current top two teams, Chevrolet and Honda either look very certain to switch to a new car or have confirmed they'll switch to a new car, then you've got Pirtek racing - Andy Jordan could be a real threat for the title. Then there's either car/driver changes or both for the likes of Motorbase, WSR and Triple 8...

Then there's new NGTC cars from Thorney and TH Motorsport (should the latter actually happen), and consider that the team's with a year of NGTC experience like Dynojet, Speedworks, RAR and Welch will be right up to speed and competitive from the get go.

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So the worst kept secret in the BTCC is now official: MG RETURNS.

Jason Plato has joined MG for the marque's new assault on the British Touring Car Championship. MG has announced a three-year programme in the series and has signed double champion Plato and Andy Neate to drive its MG6 GT cars for 2012. They will run under the MG KX Momentum Racing banner.

Triple Eight Race Engineering, which scored over 100 BTCC wins when it ran the works Vauxhall squad, will prepare the NGTC-specification cars, which will run the TOCA engine this year.

Plato, who has already taken BTCC victories for Renault, Vauxhall, SEAT, and Chevrolet, said: "It's really exciting to be involved in a brand-new all-British team and it's just brilliant that the iconic name of MG will be back on track.

"I think it's going to be fantastic and it's great for British motorsport."

MG Motor's sales and marketing director Guy Jones said: "We are delighted the new MG6 will be seen by millions of fans in Britain and beyond. This continues the famous sporting lineage of the brand."

Although MG is Chinese-owned, the five-door MG6 GT was designed and engineered in the UK.

MG's last BTCC win came in 2006, when Colin Turkington scored two victories in a West Surrey Racing-run MG ZS.

btcc12012502.jpg

Way too much going on with the livery, but the early look of the car I like.

Interestingly, the lack of Silverline sponsorship hints to Chevrolet staying in the series for another season, which is great news too. But I guess we'll find out on that soon enough.

Some other news since I last updated this forum - ES Racing finally confirmed they've secured two ex Triple 8 Vauxhall Vectras, which basically put the nail in the coffin for TGR motorsport who say the aim to get something in place for '13 instead.

Newsham has revealed what his livery could look like on the Vectra as his sponsors stay loyal to him:

Whilst lastly, Aron Smith, who made a brilliant debut for Triple 8 at Knockhill is believed to have secured a deal for this year. He is managed by World Touring Car racer Rob Huff and is listed as a "2012 BTCC driver" on their management website.

Edited by JHS18

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Some joke about the car being as ugly as Plato's attitude or it being so highly visible that it makes it easier for his rivals to put him in the grass or something. I don't know. :P

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Someone joked on another forum that they were tempted to do a photoshop of one car with damage all over it (Plato's car) and one in the gravel (Neate's). :P

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RML and Chevrolet pull out of the BTCC. Shame, but predictable really.

RML say they want to return to the BTCC in the future, so that's something I guess.

Still, 2012 looks like having a really strong entry list anyway, so let's not focus on the negatives.

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Small amounts of news today, and it looks as if a team is planning to run the ex-RML Chevolret Cruzes with NGTC engines. They may even end up getting a bit of help from RML anyway.

Haven't put them on the list, as not much is known and it might not even happen. We'll see.

James Thompson has signed with Lada for the WTCC. However, a duel campaign with BTCC is still possible as Lada are only entering two WTCC rounds this year (I know, strange), neither of which clash with any BTCC dates.

Meanwhile, Rob Austin has offered Colin Turkington (who currently doesn't seem to have a drive in the STCC/TTA/whatever) a drive in one of his Audis over the source of all things good and true, Twitter. It is not impossible Turks could make a BTCC comeback. We'll just have to see how that goes.

Elsewhere, James Nash says he hopes to reveal his future plans "soon", whilst it is believed that Alex MacDowall, now without a ride, could make a switch to WTCC. However, it is still more likely he'll remain in the BTCC. Tony Gilham has posted on the BTCC forum saying that his plans will be revealed soon as well, and it sounds like he's pretty confident that he'll be back in the BTCC again this season. Plenty of open seats still, especially at the newer teams. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in an Insignia or a Proton...

On the Insignia front, another interesting news story is that is looks as if Thorney Motorsport could be receiving some kind of support from Lola, as this picture shows:

AkmQ_DmCQAEsq0-.jpg

Lastly, a rendering of Adam Morgan's livery for this year has been released:

1328192109.jpg

Edited by JHS18

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A few small tidbits, then a properly exciting rumour.

After two seasons and one win in the BTCC, Tom Boardman has confirmed his switch back to the WTCC. That leaves now two open seats at STR. The team have confrmed they'll be back with at least two cars, so I don't think that entry is really in doubt. With Newsham at ES Racing though, it leaves two good seats open for the likes of someone of the calibre of Phil Glew, who I'd love to see back in the BTCC.

Alex MacDowall could follow him. He'll test for Motorbase later this week, but it is believed that he could drive for RML in the WTCC.

Now for the big news...

The Turkington to RAR rumour seems like it could actually happen. Team boss Rob Austin has confirmed that the two have been in talks over a deal, but as ever with motorsport, money remains an issue. Saying that though, Austin still seems very confident he can get a deal together.

I'd love that to happen. It was a real shame Turkington never got a chance to defend the title he won so brilliantly in '09. It'd be great for the BTCC to have him back, so everything crossed!

Now go watch the race where Turkington was crowned champion. Possibly one of the best races I have ever watched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOaJPS1yOuc

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Hmm...

Tony Gilham today posted this teaser image for his plans this season:

432082_10150786347149741_579489740_12423802_961336559_n.jpg

Which is, of course, a photoshop of this image:

2011-VW-Jetta1.jpg

Purely coincidental Gilham's used a VW image? Possibility of an NGTC VW?

Guess we'll soon find out. Stay tuned.

Edited by JHS18

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