2017 BTCC season preview - 60th edition of British premier competition
The British Touring Car Championship celebrates big anniversary this year. The 2017 BTCC season would be the 60th edition of the most popular British racing competition, which was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and renamed to BTCC in 1987.
The 2017 season will kick-off, for the seventh year in a row, at iconic Brands Hatch, at the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit. On April 2, thirty-two drivers will confront at the famous track, driving the race cars of eleven different manufacturers.
Thirty races at ten different race tracks
The 2017 BTCC calendar features, as usual, thirty races, across ten events at nine venues. The season will start and finish at Brands Hatch Circuit. The 1.2-mile Indy Circuit wil host the season-opening round on April 1-2 while the season’s finale will take part at the 2.4-mile Grand Prix Circuit on October 1.
2017 BTCC calendar
|1. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||April 2||Brands Hatch Indy Circuit|
|2. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||April 16||Donington Park|
|3. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||May 7||Thruxton|
|4. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||May 21||Oulton Park|
|5. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||June 11||Croft|
|6. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||July 30||Snetterton|
|7. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||August 13||Knockhill|
|8. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||August 27||Rockingham|
|9. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||September 17||Silverstone|
|10. Race 1, Race 2, Race 3||October 1||Brands Hatch GP Circuit|
Vauxhall returns to the BTCC grid
On the list of manufacturers, the biggest news is a much-anticipated return of Vauxhall, which left BTCC at the end of 2009. Vauxhall chose Power Maxed Racing as manufacturers’ entry with Vauxhall Astra. Together with Vauxhall, Tom Chilton is also returning to BTCC, after a five-year absence, announcing a double programme this year, with Vauhxall in the BTCC and with Sebastien Loeb Racing’s Citroen in the WTCC.
Another manufacturer who returns to BTCC through the factory support is BMW. West Surrey Racing competed last year among Constructor entries with BMW 125i M Sport car but this time, the team is backed by BMW. Because of that, the team will run two cars under the name Team BMW WSR while the third car, the #77 for Andrew Jordan, will compete under the BMW Pirtek Racing banner.
Other entries eligible to score Constructor’s points are Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics (Honda Civic Type R), Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR (Subaru Levorg GT) and MG RCiB Insurance Racing/Triple Eight Racing (MG6 GT). On the independents’ side of a grid, eleven teams will fight for trophies. Six more cars on the grid will be Toyota Avensis, Ford Focus, Volkswagen CC, Audi S3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Chevrolet Cruze.
Half of a grid already tasted BTCC victories
Among the drivers listed for the 2017 BTCC campaign, there are five BTCC champions and five rookies. Five entrants who already clinched championship titles are Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Jason Plato, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan.
In total, sixteen drivers from current grid previously recorded BTCC race victories, collecting 329 wins between them. The rookies eligible for the Jack Sears Trophy points are Senna Proctor, Josh Price, Luke Davenport, Ant Whorton-Eales and Will Burns.
2017 BTCC entry list
|2||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||Tom Chilton|
|3||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||Mat Jackson|
|4||Team BMW/West Surrey Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||Colin Turkington|
|5||Team BMW/West Surrey Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||Rob Collard|
|7||Team Parker Racing with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus ST||Stephen Jelley|
|10||AmD Tuning||Audi S3 Saloon||Ant Whorton-Eales (R)|
|11||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||Rob Austin|
|12||Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing/Team HARD||Volkswagen CC||Michael Epps|
|16||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||Aiden Moffat|
|17||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||Dave Newsham|
|18||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||Senna Proctor (R)|
|20||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||James Cole|
|22||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||Chris Smiley|
|23||MG RCiB Insurance Racing/Triple Eight Racing||MG6 GT||Daniel Lloyd|
|24||TAG Racing/Team HARD||Volkswagen CC||Jake Hill|
|25||Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type R||Matt Neal|
|28||Team BMR Racing Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||Josh Price (R)|
|30||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||Martin Depper|
|31||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Jack Goff|
|33||CiceleyMotorsport with MAC Tools||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||Adam Morgan|
|40||MG RCiB Insurance Racing/Triple Eight Racing||MG6 GT||Aron Taylor-Smith|
|48||AmD Tuning||Audi S3 Saloon||Ollie Jackson|
|52||Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type R||Gordon Shedden|
|55||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Jeff Smith|
|61||Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing/Team HARD||Volkswagen CC||Will Burns (R)|
|66||Team Parker Racing with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus ST||Josh Cook|
|77||BMW Pirtek Racing/West Surrey Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||Andrew Jordan|
|80||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||Tom Ingram|
|99||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Jason Plato|
|116||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Ashley Sutton|
|300||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus ST||Luke Davenport (R)|
|303||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Matt Simpson|