The celebratory BTCC season is ready to start, look who's in
The British Touring Car Championship is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018. The celebratory season will kick-off this weekend at Brands Hatch with three races on the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit.
The entry list for the championship features 32 drivers/cars, representing eleven manufacturers with twelve different cars. Four brands (BMW, Subaru, Honda and Vauxhall) will fight for Manufacturers’ title while other teams will participate in a battle for Teams’ trophy or Independents’ trophy.
Among the drivers, there are 17 race-winners from the previous BTCC seasons, making one of the strongest line-ups in the series’ 60-year history. The reigning champion Ashley Sutton will stay in the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Levorg GT, only replacing the number 116 with number 1 on his car.
The most of the top-runners from the 2017 season stayed with their respective teams but there are also some significant changes. Last year’s vice-champion Colin Turkington will race again in a West Surrey Racing’s BMW 125i M Sport. Tom Ingram, who was third overall in 2017 and the best among independent drivers, will stay for the fifth consecutive season in Speedworks Motorsport’s #80 Toyota Avensis.
Rob Collard (fifth in 2017) stays with Team BMW, Jack Goff (sixth in 2017) remains in Eurotech Racing’s Honda Civic while Matt Neal (seventh in 2017) will spend his ninth consecutive year in Team Dynamics Honda.
BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan (ninth in 2017) and Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan (tenth in 2017) also will stay with the same teams and cars. Two drivers from last years’ Top 10 will be missing – Gordon Shedden moves to the WTCR FIA World Touring Car Cup while Mat Jackson stays without a drive.
What about the rest of the grid? BTCC legend Jason Plato will chase his victory number 98 in the #99 Subaru Levorg GT. Last year’s best rookie and Jack Sears Trophy winner Senna Proctor stays with Power Maxed Racing to drive a Vauxhall Astra. His new teammate is Josh Cook who moved from Triple Eight Racing to PMR.
Tom Chilton left PMR to join Motorbase Performance in a Ford Focus RS. Chilton’s teammates would be James Cole who moved from Team BMR to Motorbase, and returnee Sam Tordoff who spent one season in GT racing.
The biggest name among 2018 rookies is Dan Cammish, a two-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion who will spend his maiden BTCC season with Halfords Yuasa Racing as a replacement for Gordon Shedden. Two more rookies with a championship-winning pedigree are Tom Oliphant in Ciceley Motorsport’s Mercedes A-Class and Bobby Thompson in Team HARD’s Volkswagen CC.
This year, not only rookies will be eligible to fight for the Jack Sears Trophy but also the drivers that have never scored an outright BTCC podium position. In total, thirteen drivers will collecting points for the Jack Sears Trophy in 2018.
This year’s British Touring Car Championship will again comprise 30 races across ten events at nine venues, starting and finishing at Brands Hatch. A plenty of anniversary celebrations are planned throughout the year, with the event at Snetterton in July set to be a particular highlight.
The third race at Snetterton will be an extended to 60 miles, with all cars competing without any success ballast and with double championship points on offer. There will be a separate qualifying session for this showpiece race, with all cars qualifying at their base weights.
2018 BTCC entry list
|Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||1||Ashley Sutton|
|Subaru Levorg GT||99||Jason Plato|
|Autoglym Academy Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||28||Josh Price|
|Team BMW/West Surrey Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||2||Colin Turkington|
|BMW 125i M Sport||5||Rob Collard|
|BMW Pirtek Racing/West Surrey Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||77||Andrew Jordan|
|Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||Senna Proctor|
|Vauxhall Astra||66||Josh Cook|
|Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type R||25||Matt Neal|
|Honda Civic Type R||27||Dan Cammish|
|Team Shredded Wheat/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus RS||3||Tom Chilton|
|Ford Focus RS||20||James Cole|
|Team GardX Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||600||Sam Tordoff|
|AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing||MG6 GT||6||Rory Butcher|
|MG6 GT||12||Tom Boardman|
|AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3 Saloon||23||Sam Smelt|
|Audi S3 Saloon||48||Ollie Jackson|
|Duo Motorsport with HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||11||Rob Austin|
|BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||14||James Nash|
|Honda Civic Type R||22||Chris Smiley|
|Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||Tom Oliphant|
|Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||33||Adam Morgan|
|Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||Aiden Moffat|
|Team HARD||Volkswagen CC||19||Bobby Thompson|
|Volkswagen CC||21||Mike Bushell|
|Volkswagen CC||24||Jake Hill|
|Volkswagen CC||44||Michael Caine|
|WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||31||Jack Goff|
|Honda Civic Type R||39||Brett Smith|
|Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||303||Matt Simpson|
|Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||60||Stephen Jelley|
|Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||80||Tom Ingram|