Discuss one of the most popular, competitive Series in the Touring Class - the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship here...
So far over the winter break, Sam Tordoff has signed for a spot with West Surrey Racing in the BMW 135i, as well as Andy Prialux making his return to the BTCC - also in one of the WSR BMWs. Andrew Jordan has moved to the Works MG 888 Racing Team - but shall remain under the Pirtek Racing Advertising. Infiniti have brought a Works Team into BTCC, alongside the current Hondas and MGs of previous years; and are a charity-based Racing Team who aim to raise awareness as well as raise money for the 'Support our Paras' Charity.
The upcoming Season looks, by far to be the most exciting Season of the NGTC Era yet!
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Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship: Official 2015 Thread
Looking very much forward to this seasons BTCC, it's great to see even more known names in the way of Prialux coming to the grid and I really do hope Turks is in a BMW with him. Missing out on a grid slot after winning the Championship last time was unlucky but to do it again would put the spotlight on him as the reason it seems to happen. Jordan with 888 was an interesting move I thought but given the skill and that he is a former Champion I can't see it being a bad one, where Plato is going to end up is afaik still up in the air! If there's one thing I like better than seeing more drivers in, it's more cars and that Infiniti is a belter to make it's introduction and is showcasing such an amazing charity so it will always be a car that will get people behind it. This will be a pivotal year I reckon for Neal, he's a big part of the team but it will need to be seen if he still has the *pun intended* drive to push for the championship or help out Shedden who is imo a truly incredible driver -- and not just because he's scottish! -- as you can really see him throwing the car about when he has a sniff of a place or the win. I know he gets a lot of stick from people about sometimes being too aggressive, and I do agree that he can be a right annoying muppet when it comes to an incident against him compared to when he may be the aggressor but I rally do enjoy watching him race and there is no way you can doubt his ability in car control if you've been watching him for the last number of years.
I hope the parity is well and truly in place within the first few races, want to see BTCC 2015 being a well fought out championship than hear about boost or straight-line speed, no doubt the RWD vs FWD moaners will still be around complaining when they're losing but silent when winning. And I don't know about anyone else but I wish there was more dates on the calendar, 10 race days is too little imo and the HUUUUGGE breaks in between make it incredibly hard not to cry particularly that 6+ weeker in the summer!!
Finally, how about we find at least one track in each of Wales and Northern Ireland and make this a proper British championship?I'm a bit mental.
Looking forward to seeing those guys ^ and also how Nic Hamilton gets on
Also looking for a new source since a lot of the YT channels were taken down mid-2014.
As always, should be a cracking season! :nods
I'm doing the full race weekend this time when they head on up to Knockhill, Friday - Sunday track side camping. Expect drunken tales and photos...
If any of you guys get the chance to make it to any of the races, even if it's just for Sunday. I fully recommend going as it's a fantastic experience and not that expensive for what you get!
I will actually watch it this year!
Missed out big time last year as I only saw half a days racing. Hoping to make it to Donington for the weekend too.
I also recommend going to the race too. Went to Silverstone a couple of years back and the noise they make and action is insane.
I already have an idea of the sort of noise these things make - not the NGTC Equipment but the old S2000-Spec Cars, when I met dear old Martin Johnson with his Astra Coupe... Let's put it this way, the seating position in them cars are.... Snug!
Weekend tickets booked. =D Might also be going to Silverstone later on in the year.
Take your idea of the noise and then times it by 20 and you'll be there
ProTip: To make the noise even louder...have a lingering hangover from the night before when the first BTCC race of the day happens. Made all the louder by the Ginetta's & Formula Ford's that had been round beforehand.
My aim for the year is to have a chat with, and get my photo with Plato! Managed with Neil in 2013 and 'Flash' last year. Also see if I can get Dan Welsh to sign my Welsh Motorsport onsie (yes, such a thing exist's, it's epic).
New Motivation for Jordan at MG
Andrew Jordan’s recent announcement that he will switch to race an MG for the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship came as a surprise to many. Having won the prestigious drivers’ crown in dramatic fashion in 2013 for the family-run Eurotech driving a Honda Civic, the familiar livery will now adorn the side of a manufacturer-backed MG6.
“I think it looks great,” said Jordan. “We’ve taken the fantastic Pirtek Racing livery and made the MG look the part!”
Despite the news only breaking a couple of weeks ago, it turns out that the 25-year-old had been in discussions with Triple Eight Racing team boss Ian Harrison since the middle of last year.
“Ian Harrison actually approached me on the Friday of the Oulton Park meeting last June,” continued Andrew. “He asked me to come to the truck, kicked everyone else out of the office and basically asked if I’d be interested in driving for Triple Eight! It was a very surprising conversation. We discussed how we could achieve it – my priority was to bring Pirtek with me, I already had the contract with them for this year  anyway so I needed to make sure. We thrashed a few different ideas out and finally got to where we are now. We were talking on and off throughout the season but once it was all over we kicked it up a gear and were chatting most days and it all came together pretty fast. I actually really enjoy the negotiation side of things!”
While Jordan’s BTCC car is a change, the Pirtek backing remains as strong as ever. “Myself and my dad went down to Pirtek’s offices, we sat with the directors and marketing managers and presented the options we had on the table and they said that whatever we decided was best they’d back,” explains Jordan. “That’s what a long term relationship gets you – to have trust like that is a really nice feeling and they are fully behind it. They’ve grown from a very small sponsor to now being a primary sponsor on a works car – it’s a big step for them.”
While Jordan raced for Triple Eight in 2009, the move marks a departure from a five-year stint at Eurotech. Speaking about the move, he explains, “If I’m honest it’s given me new motivation and a different sort of motivation. I’m taking myself out of the comfort zone of the family team and some people might question why that is. I discussed it a lot with my dad as you can imagine, and I feel like the time is right for everything. Ultimately the decision came down to what was going to give us the best chance of winning the championship. Whether that had meant staying with Eurotech or making the move, that’s what it came down to.”
The 14-time BTCC race winner is confident that he can bring a wealth of experience from his time racing the proven Honda Civic package, and concludes, “I’ve got my race engineer and number one mechanic coming with me to Triple Eight Racing so there will be people I know there. I already know Ian [Harrison] well and the technical director from when I raced there before. It’s my job to go in there to see what changes I can make, what information I can bring from the Honda to this car.
Let’s face it, this was the quickest front-wheel drive car last year. I think the BMWs are going to be pegged back a bit this year and I think our aim is to make the weaker circuits stronger, especially with my knowledge around places like Thruxton where the Honda has always been strong I can make a real difference. If I didn’t think I could win the championship in the MG I wouldn’t be driving it.”
Tickets for Donington ordered.
Handy Motorsport Believes Winter Updates will Bring Points
Following a rollercoaster debut season in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Simon Belcher and Handy Motorsport are hoping that updates to the car plus changes to engineering personnel will bring a host of points-scoring finishes in 2015.
Preparation for the coming campaign is underway, and speaking to btcc.net driver Belcher commented, “Once the Autosport Show is out of the way it really feels like the season is up and running. When last season was over there was a big sigh of relief that we could have a couple of months rest, but it’s all systems go and we’re getting everything ready for 2015. This time last year it was the first time I got to experience the BTCC, the fans and what it was all about which was very humbling. Now having been in it for a year I’m just as excited but a lot more experienced!”
Belcher’s most memorable moment was undoubtedly and unfortunately his huge accident at Thruxton:
“The fans were absolutely amazing after Thruxton,” Belcher continued. “That was only my third ever touring car meeting and to end up on the roof in the trees really wasn’t the plan! We ran with the idea of the t-shirts and I just couldn’t believe how many great fans there are out there who really care about the series. We’ve met so many people throughout the year – everyone and everything to do with the championship is great, from the officials to the media and the fans, it’s great to be a part of it and I can’t wait to be a part of it again this year.”
The 41-year-old had hoped to score points in his first season in the BTCC, and although this didn’t quite materialise he is confident that with a year’s experience under his belt he can achieve that goal this year. “The level of competition didn’t surprise me,” said Simon. “I knew I was coming into the toughest championship in the UK and probably in the toughest year ever with so many champions and the depth of quality throughout the grid. Last year was always going to be my learning year, and with the crash at Thruxton that put some financial constraints on us that had an effect on our performance. We couldn’t quite break into the top 15 and the one time it looked time we were going to I got turned around on the last lap at Rockingham, but when it comes, boy are we going to celebrate. We’ve learnt so much – the first time you go to a BTCC meeting and line up on that grid it’s just mind-blowing. With two or three races under the belt you put that behind you and everyone is fair game! It’ll be tough this year, but compared to where I was last year I’m in such a different place in terms of experience and pace. We have a new engineer on board – Geoff Kingston – who is renowned in touring cars and has been for many years.”
It’s not just personnel changes that Belcher is hoping will bring success in 2014. He concluded, “We’re making a lot of changes to the car as well. We’ll have a new, lighter shell in the early part of the year, we’ve made a lot of changes to aero and the dampers, and it should all help make the car a lot more competitive. A couple of tenths of a second can be 15 places on the grid! We want to come away at the end of this year with a fistful of points.”
Looks like Black liveries will be fairly plentiful on the grid this season, first race is so far away though!I'm a bit mental.
The Plato/Turkington is going to be interesting to keep any eye on! Team order's going to play a part of drivers going to take change? Can't wait!
Also, good to see Jack Goff taking the second seat over at MG/888! Hoping they can carry on the success for MG!
And they're driving a veedub. Sign me up! (Just need somewhere to download races).
Gallagher Joins Team HARD for BTCC Return!
Series Organiser TOCA can confirm that Team HARD has completed a deal to purchase a Toyota Avensis and a TOCA BTCC License (TBL) from United Autosports and subsequently plans to enter the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The Kent-based outfit, which is operated by Tony Gilham, has promoted Kieran Gallagher to the driving seat having worked with the young racer for the last two seasons. Gallagher has already sampled BTCC machinery having contested the event at Knockhill in 2013.
“I am over the moon to be fulfilling my lifelong dream of competing in a full BTCC season,” said Gallagher. “After driving the Insignia for Team HARD at Knockhill in 2013, I made it my ambition to someday race again in the series – to do it with Team HARD is awesome. As soon as Tony offered me the chance to join them for their return, I immediately said yes and literally cannot wait to get going. I know this is a big jump, but at the same time I feel I can learn very quickly and will want to get up to speed and fight as high up the grid as possible. It will be a huge learning year but I am more than up for the challenge”
Gilham plans to expand the operation and said that the team wants to build a long-term future in Britain’s premier series.
“This is a very exciting development for us and we plan to be in the BTCC for many years to come,” said Gilham. “Initially we will run the Avensis and we’ve seen glimpses of how quick the Toyota can be. We have a development programme planned, as well as the introduction of the TOCA control engine, so we feel you should see a marked improvement in results for the car.”
Team HARD first joined the BTCC back in 2012 in a privately run S2000 Honda Civic. The squad entered two Vauxhall Insignias the following season, as well as building and running two VW Passat CCs. The team has scored podiums with all three models.
“This is a totally new approach from us,” said Gilham. “We have gone back to being a family-run team and there are no outside influences this time. We are building this for the future.”
Good to see another face joining the ranks and hopefully Team HARD will have a good showing this season. It's really not that long away now which seems nuts when the finish of 2014 didn't seem too long ago.I'm a bit mental.
As stated in the Chatbox: BTCC BTCC BTCC BTCC
Just started on ITV4 and I'm ready for 6 hours of racing. Good preparation for my weekend at Donnington in a fortnight.