SINCE the final chequred flag fell at the 2016 British Touring Car Championship, all has been quiet. It was a record breaking season that saw Gordon Shedden snatch back to back Championships for Honda Yuasa Racing. Now we look to 2017 as it begins to take shape.
First is Ginetta GT4 Supercup runner up Will Burns. After a strong season in GT4 Will confirmed he has penned a deal with Team HARD to run in the next season of the BTCC. The announcement also confirmed the team will be a three car entry of VW CC’s. Although ageing, they are a race winning package that may benefit from the RML kit upgrade.
The next confirmed entry came from Andrew Jordan, 2016’s Independent Champion.
Shortly after the season finale it was confirmed he and Motorbase Performance had parted ways. Stating that himself and his sponsor, Pirtek fluid solutions, struggled to tick all the admin boxes with David Bartrum’s team, resulting in an amicable split. Fast forward a few weeks and we get the news that Andrew and Pirtek have signed to WSR to run in a 1-Series BMW for two years. Speaking to BTCC Crazy he said: “WSR is a team that has enjoyed huge success in the past with some of the most famous names in Motorsport, and my aim is to be part of the successes they still have to come”. Although he has experience with rear wheel drive racing, this will be his first RWD BTCC challenge.
Aiden Moffat confirmed that he has retained his drive with Laser Tools in the Mecrcedes. After earlier having a successful test in a Subaru Levorge, the rumour mill was rife before the announcement. Moffat explained he had also tested various GT machinery before opting to remain with his long term team in the BTCC.
The latest confirmed entry for the 2017 season was the move from Matt Simpson. After a maiden season running a Civic Type R for Speedworks, he will join forces with the Team Dynamics duo; Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
“Their track record and pedigree speaks for itself, and we know we have a great package in the Honda Civic Type R they have developed. I can’t wait to go testing with them in the New Year” he enthused. It has been confirmed he will still run under the ‘Simpson Racing’ banner alongside the Halfords backed Honda’s. An interesting move after Honda failed to run a three car team successfully at the start of the 2016 season.
Many teams are set to run intense winter testing programmes in a bid to be quickest as the lights turn green at Round 1 on Sunday 2nd April. There are many anouncements still to come and with The British Touring Car Championship you should always expect the unexpected.