MG 6 GT - Defending British Name on British Race Tracks
The MG 6 GT is a race car that has been participating in the British Touring Car Championship since 2012, run by Triple Eight Racing. The biggest success was the 2014 Manufacturers’ Championship title for MG, in a season when the drivers were Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff.
The MG 6 GT is a hatchback version of the MG’s mid-size car which was introduced in 2010. The GT version came in 2011 and then, in January 2012, the manufacturer announced that the car would enter the British Touring Car Championship.
Prepared according to NGTC rules
The 2012 BTCC season was the second season with a race car produced to conform to the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) specifications. It meant that MG 6 GT was also prepared under NGTC rules, with two-litre turbo petrol engine which produced 300hp. That power went to the front wheels through the Xtrac 6-speed sequential gearbox.
The Triple Eight Racing entered the competition with two cars through the MG KX Momentum Racing team. The driver of the #99 car was the BTCC legend, Jason Plato, the second driver in the #44 car was Andy Neate.
Victory for MG 6 GT in the opening round of debut season
As usual, Jason Plato was among the front-runners, catching the first victory with MG in the third race of the opening round at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit. The next win came in the fifth round, at Croft Circuit. Byl the end of the season, Plato scored single wins at Snetterton and Rockingham, adding two wins at Silverstone and he entered the last round as one of the championship contenders.
In the season’s finale at Brands Hatch GP Circuit, Honda drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal were more successful, so Plato finished third in the drivers’ standings, collecting six wins and ten podiums in thirty races. Neate’s best result was the sixth place at Croft and he finished 16th in the points.
Eight wins for Plato in the 2013 BTCC season
For the 2013 BTCC season, Sam Tordoff joined the team as a replacement for Neate. Tordoff was driving the #88 MG. Plato increased the number of wins to eight during the season, adding five podiums. That was not good enough for the title, so he was third in the championship again, behind Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden. Sam Tordoff recorded his first BTCC victory, at Snetterton, finishing sixth in the points at the end of the season.
In the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ classifications, MG/Triple Eight Racing and MG KX Momentum Racing took second places in both categories, behind Honda/Team Dynamics and Honda Yuasa Racing Team.
2014 BTCC Manufacturers’ title for MG
In 2014, MG finally broke Honda’s four-year reign, winning the Manufacturers’ Championship. The drivers were the same, Sam Tordoff in the #88 car and Jason Plato in the #99 MG. Due to a new sponsorship, the team changed its name to MG XK Clubcard Fuel Save, taking the second place in the final standings behind eBay Motors.
In the drivers’ classification, Plato was again close to the throne, finishing second in the points behind Colin Turkington. Plato scored six wins and eight podiums. Tordoff added one victory and five podiums and finished seventh in the points. During the season, Marc Hynes participated in the championship with third MG, entering the #888 car for the Quantel BiFold Racing. In his debut season, Hynes’ best result was the 8th place at Silverstone.
Completely new driver line-up for 2015
For the 2015 BTCC season, the MG Triple Eight Racing entered the championship under the original name, with a completely new driver line-up. Andrew Jordan took over the #77 MG, Jack Goff joined the team in the #31 car.
Jordan was more successful in the final standings, finishing sixth in the points, although Goff scored the only victory for MG that season, in the sixth round at Snetterton. Jordan reached the podium five times, Goff was on the podium three more times, finishing ninth in the final classification.
Among manufacturers’, MG was second behind Honda. In the Teams’ championship, MG Triple Eight Racing finished in third place.
The best rookie in 2016 was driving MG
Another change in the cockpits of two MGs followed in 2016, for the 2016 BTCC season. The 24-year-old Josh Cook and 22-year-old rookie Ashley Sutton joined the team. Sutton clinched a sensational victory with #116 MG in the third race at Croft. He finished 13th overall and won the Jack Sears Trophy as the best rookie. Cook was driving the #66 MG, scoring two podiums and he finished 12th in the points.
The young crew wasn’t competitive against stronger teams, so MG finished fourth in the classification while the team was fifth in the Teams’ championship.