2019 British Touring Car Championship entry list and preview
The 2019 British Touring Car Championship season kicked off with a special promotional event at the historic Hever Castle in Kent and then with the official test at Brands Hatch circuit while the first race will follow this weekend (April 6-7) at Brand Hatch Indy Circuit.
It would be the 62nd season of British major racing championship and the first with a new naming sponsor – Kwik Fit, UK’s car servicing and repair company. Dunlop will stay with the series as an exclusive tyre supplier.
The championship organiser, TOCA, announced a high-class 30-car grid that will represent ten different manufacturers with twelve models of cars. Five manufacturers (one more than in 2018) will fight for Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship – BMW, Toyota, Vauxhall, Subaru and Honda. Two of them, BMW and Toyota, have produced all-new cars for the forthcoming campaign, BMW 330i M Sport and Toyota Corolla GT.
The other manufacturers represented at 2019 BTCC grid will be Ford, MG, Audi, Mercedes and Volkswagen. Parallel to West Surrey Racing’s campaign with new BMW 330i M Sport, Team Parker Racing will run BMW 125i M Sport. Honda will also have two models on the grid because two independent teams will run old Civic Type R while BTC Racing will have new Civic Type R, the same as factory-supported Team Dynamics.
On the list of drivers, there are five former champions, eighteen race winners, plenty of young stars and several rookies. Among rookies, there is even an ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Blundell. In his long and successful career, he never raced in the British Touring Car Championship and now he will fight for Jack Sears Trophy in the #8 TradePriceCars Audi S3 Saloon.
Blundell is also the oldest driver on the grid, he will celebrate the 53rd birthday on Monday, April 8, just a day after his BTCC debut. There are three more 50+ drivers on the grid – Matt Neal, Jason Plato and Rob Collard. While Neal will continue to drive Honda Civic Type R for his family team under Halfords Yuasa banner, Plato and Collard both changes teams and now they will be teammates in two Vauxhall Astras of Power Maxed Racing.
The reigning champion Colin Turkington will have number 1 on his new BMW 330i M Sport. His new teammate is Tom Oliphant who moved from Ciceley’s Mercedes to WSR’s BMW. West Surrey Racing will also run the third BMW for Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan.
Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport, last year’s runners-up, secured official support from Toyota ahead of the 2019 season, meaning that they replaced old Toyota Avensis with brand new Corolla GT. Corolla is returning to the BTCC for the first time since 1986.
Among other manufacturer-supported entries, Honda retained Matt Neal and Dan Cammish, Vauxhall will have veterans Jason Plato and Rob Collard, while Team BMR/Subaru will have the youngest line-up, adding 20-year-old Senna Proctor to 25-year-old former champion Ashley Sutton.
Among independent teams, one of the favourites will be the Motorbase Performance stable with three Ford Focus RS machines. The leading driver is Tom Chilton, he will be supported by Ollie Jackson and Nic Hamilton, the brother of five-time F1champion Lewis Hamilton. The younger Hamilton made his BTCC debut back in 2015, then raced in the Renault UK Clio Cup and now he’s ready for a full-time campaign.
Essex-based outfit AmD will run again four cars in 2019, two Honda Civic Type Rs and two Audi S3 Saloons. Mark Blundell and Jake Hill will race in the Audis, whilst Sam Tordoff and Rory Butcher will have Hondas. Matt Simpson is another Honda racer who already has BTCC race victory on his account and he is hoping to win again. Just a day before season launch, fans’ favourite Jack Goff secured a last-minute seat in one of Team HARD’s four Volkswagen CCs. His teammates will be Bobby Thompson, Carl Boardley and Michael Crees.
The calendar of races has been changed compared to the previous years. There will be ten racing events with three races each but two venues will have BTCC events twice.
Rockingham Motor Speedway has been removed from the schedule and it will be replaced by Thruxton Circuit, which will host two race weekends in May and August. Brands Hatch also has a double date, with season-opening and season-closing rounds scheduled at Kentish circuit.
2019 BTCC entry list
|Team BMW/West Surrey Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||1||Colin Turkington|
|Team BMW/West Surrey Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||15||Tom Oliphant|
|BMW Pirtek Racing/West Surrey Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||77||Andrew Jordan|
|Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||9||Rob Collard|
|Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||11||Jason Plato|
|Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||18||Senna Proctor|
|Adrian Flux Subaru Racing/Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||116||Ashley Sutton|
|Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type R (FK8)||25||Matt Neal|
|Halfords Yuasa Racing/Team Dynamics||Honda Civic Type R (FK8)||27||Dan Cammish|
|Team Toyota GB/Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Corolla GT||80||Tom Ingram|
|Team Shredded Wheat with Gallagher/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus RS||3||Tom Chilton|
|Team Shredded Wheat with Gallagher/Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus RS||48||Ollie Jackson|
|ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||28||Nicolas Hamilton|
|Excelr8 Motorsport||MG6 GT||4||Sam Osborne|
|Excelr8 Motorsport||MG6 GT||37||Rob Smith|
|Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R (FK2)||6||Rory Butcher|
|Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R (FK2)||600||Sam Tordoff|
|TradePriceCars.com/AmD Essex||Audi S3 Saloon||8||Mark Blundell|
|TradePriceCars.com/AmD Essex||Audi S3 Saloon||24||Jake Hill|
|Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||12||Stephen Jelley|
|Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||Aiden Moffat|
|Team HARD/GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||19||Bobby Thompson|
|Team HARD/GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||777||Michael Crees|
|Team HARD/RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||31||Jack Goff|
|Team HARD/RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||41||Carl Boardley|
|BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R (FK8)||22||Chris Smiley|
|BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R (FK8)||66||Josh Cook|
|Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||32||Daniel Rowbottom|
|Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||33||Adam Morgan|
|Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R (FK2)||303||Matt Simpson|