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Blog Post
11th April 2017
BTCC is back!

After 6 month break the first round of the 2017 British Touring Car Championship takes to the track, this weekend, at Brands Hatch in Kent. This year is looking to be one of the most competitive years yet, as all cars have to use the latest NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) components.

ITG development engineer Paul, attended the BTCC Media day at Donington earlier this month, as he rarely gets to see the completed cars in their race-ready livery.

ITG have numerous technical partnerships with championship winning race teams, including Team Dynamics Racing.

Gordon Shedden took the Team Dynamics Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type R to overall championship victory in the British Touring Car Championship in 2016, ITG were pleased to play a small part in his success. The engine was a Civic Type R road car derivative, (K20C) prepared by Neil Brown Engineering, within BTCC constraints, producing an output “in the region of 370bhp”. The engine was recognised as Race Engine Design of the Year at the 2016 RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium.

Although Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden are longstanding, successful and formidable drivers within Team Dynamics Halfords Yuasa Racing, this year a third Honda Civic Type R will be competing. Still part of Team Dynamics the car will feature Simpson Race Exhausts livery and be driven by Matt Simpson.

For 2017 both Halfords Yuasa Racing Hondas are visibly different, displaying a stunning black and orange Halfords livery, reversing the colours of previous years, proving orange is the new black…

Vauxhall, have re-entered as a manufacturer for the first time since 2009 with the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra. Power Maxed Racing will be running Senna Proctor and successful Vauxhall Astra BTCC stalwart Tom Chilton. Recognised by his “big hair” out of the car, Chilton enjoyed considerable success in the BTCC winning the 2010 Independents Trophy. After 2011, he moved up to World Touring Cars, where he will contest a duel campaign in both series throughout 2017.

BTCC rookie, teenager Senna Proctor was runner-up in the Ginetta Junior Championship in 2015 and finished eighth in last years BTCC “feeder series” – the ultra close, door banging, Clio Cup Championship. Senna is acutely aware of the highly competitive nature of the BTCC as his father ran the Fast-Tec Motorsport team in the BTCC during 2005 and 2006.

Both Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astras will be using the latest incarnation of the Swindon Engines BTCC TOCA engine.
Árón Taylor-Smith has moved to the manufacturer backed Triple Eight MG RCiB Racing team, with former BRDC Rising Star 25 year old Daniel Lloyd alongside. The combination of Taylor-Smiths no fear determination and the proven MG chassis backed by Triple Eight will be worth watching – expect some fireworks!
Daniel Lloyd is quick too, he raced three rounds of the BTCC in 2016, unfortunately withdrawing due to sponsorship issues. Undoubtedly he proved his pace, as he qualified on the front row of the grid in two of the three rounds.

Another manufacturer, BMW, has returned to the BTCC after a (not so seemingly) brief 21 year gap!

WSR (West Surrey Racing) are running three works supported BMW 125i M Sport cars, featuring the very latest iteration of the B48 two-litre turbocharged BMW engine (by Neil Brown Engineering). The 2017 M car drivers will be: Rob Collard, Colin Turkington (2014 BTCC Drivers Champion) and Pirtek supported Andrew Jordan (2013 BTCC Drivers Champion and triple independent BTCC champion).

Past Jack Sears Trophy winner 25 year old Josh Cook  has secured a deal to replace Stewart Lines at Maximum Motorsport. Team Principal, Stewart Lines fell from his mountain bike earlier in the year unfortunately leaving him immobile with muscle and ligament damage.

“I’m elated to be back on the grid for 2017 – it all turned around in the space of 24 hours,” said Cook, who will drive a Maximum Group-liveried Ford Focus, prepared by Team Parker Racing.

Ashley Sutton (2017 BRDC Superstar) has joined four-car Team BMR, in the controversial Subaru Levorg, alongside Jason Plato and James Cole, with BMR Academy Clio Cup youngster, Josh Price joining the fold. (Josh secured his maiden Clio Cup race victory at Brands last year).

Team BMR surprised all in 2016 with their brand new, innovative and oddly attractive Subaru Levorg estate car. The car was chosen as the low, horizontally opposed engine benefitted weight distribution. Considering it was a ridiculously late deal to build 4 cars, they had to be created from scratch. It was a monumental task by BMR to even arrive the first event. The untested cars worked incredibly well later in the 2016 season, following a few (significant) teething problems.

For 2017, it seems the potential advantage gained by the low boxer engine and the resultant centre of gravity benefit may be removed by the championship organisers – via raising the ride height of the Levorg and additional weight to the mid dash/bulkhead of the car to restrict the benefit. (A well known front running BTCC driver commented on the Subaru as “Frankenstein” in regard to the spirit of the NGTC regulations)…

Team Hard have signed rookie Will Burns to their squad, the proven fast 26 year old finished runner up by the slimmest of margins in last years highly competitive Ginetta GT4 Supercup.

More rookies entered the BTCC foray for 2017: Ant Whorton-Eales – reigning Renault UK Clio Cup Champion and BRDC Rising Star, the 22 year old joined AMDTuning.com with an Audi S3 saloon. Apart from taking overall UK Clio Cup honours, last year Ant won 9 rounds of the Renault UK Clio Cup.

Fourth 2017 BTCC rookie Luke Davenport is competing in the third Motorbase Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO car. The association of a three car team rather than two with Shredded Wheat branding had to happen – three Startling yellow cars emblazoned with popular breakfast cereal branding, the bright red wheels are almost missed.

A former British GT rookie of the year Luke competed in last years British GT Championship driving a Factory Team Ginetta G55 GT3.

A further, sensible, safety alteration this year is a mandatory lifting system to reduce the loss of track time and increase the speed of recovery of immobile cars. A similar concept has been used in the Porsche Carrera Cup, the lifting gear on the recovery vehicle attaches through the cars windscreen/bodywork to the front roof hoop of the roll cage. (Look for the bright green location points).

With plenty of fresh young talent, rulebook parity, packed grids of 30+ cars, exceptionally close racing from a proven race format, live TV coverage, live web timing, almost instant accessibility of drivers and teams via multiple social media platforms the draw of the British Touring Car Championship will continue to rise in popularity worldwide.

It isn’t providing “just” a race series, showcasing constructors or manufacturers engineering excellence. It’s not “just” about the fastest driver or the best team strategist. The BTCC excels in all of those areas and many more, but first and foremost, the Championship hasn’t lost sight of throughly engaging and entertaining its audience. It understands them and wholeheartedly embraces them. (Formula 1 please note).

2017 British Touring Car Championship driver/team line-up:
  • Ant Whorton-Eales -> AMD Tuning <- Audi S3
  • Jason Plato -> Team BMR <- Subaru Levorg
  • Ashley Sutton -> Team BMR <- Subaru Levorg
  • James Cole -> Team BMR <- Subaru Levorg
  • Josh Price -> Team BMR <- Subaru Levorg
  • Chris Smiley -> BTC Norlin Racing <- Chevrolet Cruze
  • Dave Newsham -> BTC Norlin Racing <- Chevrolet Cruze
  • Adam Morgan -> Ciceley Motorsport <- Mercedes Benz A-Class
  • Jeff Smith -> Eurotech Racing <- Honda Civic Type R
  • Jack Goff -> Eurotech Racing <- Honda Civic Type R
  • Rob Austin -> Handy Motorsport <- Toyota Avensis
  • Aiden Moffat -> Laser Tools Racing <- Mercedes Benz A-Class
  • Josh Cook -> Maximum Motorsport <- Ford Focus
  • Mat Jackson -> Motorbase Performance <- Ford Focus
  • Martin Depper -> Motorbase Performance <- Ford Focus
  • Luke Davenport -> Motorbase Performance <- Ford Focus
  • Senna Proctor -> Power Maxed Racing <- Vauxhall Astra
  • Tom Chilton -> Power Maxed Racing <- Vauxhall Astra
  • Matt Simpson -> Simpson Racing <- Honda Civic Type R
  • Tom Ingram -> Speedworks Motorsport <- Toyota Avensis
  • Gordon Shedden -> Team Dynamics <- Honda Civic Type R
  • Matt Neal -> Team Dynamics <- Honda Civic Type R
  • Mike Epps -> Team HARD <- Volkswagen CC
  • Will Burns -> Team HARD <- Volkswagen CC
  • Jake Hill -> Team HARD <- Volkswagen CC
  • Stephen Jelley -> Team Parker Racing <- Ford Focus
  • Aron Taylor-Smith -> MG Triple Eight Racing <- MG6 GT
  • Daniel Lloyd -> MG Triple Eight Racing <- MG6 GT
  • Andrew Jordan -> West Surrey Racing <- BMW 1-Series
  • Colin Turkington -> West Surrey Racing <- BMW 1-Series
  • Rob Collard -> West Surrey Racing <- BMW 1-Series


NEW PRODUCTS

To add to the huge Profilter range of direct replacement air filters, ITG have introduced the following: HMP-897 and HMP-899 (x2) for Jaguar XE and F-Pace (3.0 V6 petrol).

 

NEW PRODUCTS / AMENDMENTS

To add to the huge Profilter range of direct replacement air filters, ITG have introduced the following: HMP-897 and HMP-899 (x2) for Jaguar XE and F-Pace (3.0 V6 petrol).

Below are two images of the very latest improved / re-design of the extremely popular Profilter BH-262ST for Ford Focus 2/3 including ST, STDCi and Focus RS.

Also, part number WB-567 now supercedes HMP-858 for Audi S1, new VW Polo GTI.


WRC – RALLY MEXICO

Kris Meeke took his first 2017 World Rally Championship win in Mexico, the third round of the Championship. The term “Flying Finish” should not be taken literally…

The Irish WRC driver was at the sharp end from start to finish. The Citroen C3 WRC arrived at the final stage with a 40 second advantage over Sebastien Ogier. Attacking a right hander 750m before the stage finish, the Citroen slid wide through a hedge into a car park, narrowly avoiding spectators cars. A heart stopping haphazard drive around the maze of vehicles followed by a hurried scrabble back onto the stage he crossed the line.

Meeke and Citroen won the event with a margin of just 13.8 seconds. Mildly understated Meeke commented: “I’m a lucky, lucky boy”…

WRC Rally Mexico
1. Kris Meeke | GBR | Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi
2. Sebastien Ogier  | FRA | M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC
3. Thierry Neuville | BEL | Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
4. Ott Tanak | EST | M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC
5. Hayden Paddon | NZL | Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC


IN MEMORIAM

John Surtees CBE  | 1934-2017

The only racer to have won World Championships on two wheels and four.

An incredibly talented motorcycle racer, he was almost unbeatable, amassing 7 world titles. He moved to cars and won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1964, often smiling he frequently said” The first car race I ever saw was the one I was in”.


 

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11th April 2017
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