Touring Cars 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - The 60th Anniversary

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Furinkazen, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Furi

    Furi Premium

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    For 60 years the British Touring Car Championship has provided some of the best tin-top racing on the planet. 2018 is the 60th anniversary year and promises to be as spectacular as ever. Known extras this year include extended reverse grid to potentially 12, and a double points "feature" race at Snetterton as part of the 30 race calendar. A capacity entry of 32 cars has already been confirmed by ToCA, and the driver reveals and news have been happening quite often recently. So where to begin?​

    Jack Goff resigns for Eurotech, a combo that netted a race win and 4 poles last season.

    Fan favourite Dave Newsham retires, as the ever improving Chris Smiley returns to BTC Norlin who now have Honda's.
    Ollie Jackson and Sam Smelt (Who?) drive the duo of Audi S3's in 2018.
    Michael Caine is back, with Team HARD.


    Autosport International at the NEC this week should see some more announcements and reveals. Dynamics, Simpson, WSR, Motorbase, HMS (with the new Alfa, first since 2001) are amongst the confirmed teams in attendance.


    Whilst my Silly Season Chart (of which this is V2, with updates on one I posted elsewhere in bold) i'll keep updated until Media Day at Donington is also below.



    DYNAMICS HONDA – Honda Civic – Neal/Shedden
    Pretty much all confirmed here. Rumours persist of a switch to the new Civic. Releasing Simpson is perhaps a sign. Neal has mentioned in a magazine interview it is the new Civic for 2018.

    BMR SUBARU – Subaru Levorg – Sutton/Plato???/Cole???/Price???
    Sutton returns after a fantastic second season and takes #1. Arguably that title win has helped keep the BMR programme and Subaru funding… but who else would be driving? JP had his 3rd season and often does 3 year contracts...

    888 MG – MG6 – Cook???/???
    Looks like final season for the ancient MG6. Cook moving back into the team perhaps with future plans after his transfer back from Maximum Motorsport? Taylor-Smith has gone to British GT.

    WSR BMW UK – BMW 1 Series – Turkington/Rob Collard???/Ricky Collard???/Jordan
    Turkington pretty much guaranteed, Jordan probably staying if for the fact that he won’t have any more teams to drive for if he leaves. Rob’s son Ricky tested in the off-season. 4th car was under consideration I hear, but funding dictates staying at three.

    EUROTECH – Honda Civic – Brett Smith??/Goff???/Simpson
    Brett Smith maybe taking over his dad Jeff’s seat full time? Jeff won’t return this year as he recovers from Croft injuries. Goff likely to resign (and he has), Simpson brings his TBL over from Dynamics and his car - midfielders beware once more!

    CICELY – Mercedes A-Class? – Morgan
    Heard whispers Cicely changing car for a new manufacturer, but news has gone quiet. Otherwise, don’t expect any great changes. Team are doing Dubai 24 so won't be at Autosport Show.

    SPEEDWORKS – Toyota Avensis – Ingram
    Not expecting any changes here, just a stronger title push from “TIngram”.

    AMD – Audi S3 – Ollie Jackson/Smelt
    Ollie might return (and he has, which is actually a surprise to me with £££). No luck for AWE. Tordoff tested the Audi and Moffat visited the team but nothing came of it, with Sam Smelt (who?) in the second car.

    LASER – Mercedes A-Class? - Moffat?

    If LASER & Moffatt keep going (not exactly a big-budget outfit), potential equipment change? Moffat tested a Subaru before start of 2016 season, and who knows if Warren has any spares lying about.

    HMS – Alfa Giulia – Austin
    Rebranded squad of Simon Belcher bring Alfa back, and keep Austin after taking the teams maiden win at the last race of 2017.

    PMR – Vauxhall Astra – Proctor???/Rullo???/Tordoff???/???

    JST winner Proctor surely has to be a favourite for a seat. Rullo tested after a less than stellar VASC campaign. Tordoff tested as well. The programme’s relative success, and Chilton leaving, could have freed up some £££ for a very big name…

    MOTORBASE – Ford Focus – Mat Jackson/Depper???/Butcher???/Chilton
    Will be back with Shredded Wheat sponsorship and a car that's almost as old fashioned. Chilton joins Jackson, Butcher was decent when he replaced injured Davenport, Depper less so…

    PARKER-MAXIMUM – Ford Focus – Lines/Jelley???
    Maximum and Lines return after a torrid 2017. All gone quiet on Parker Racing front.

    HARD - VW Passat - Thompson/Hill/Bushell/Caine
    Major steps made in 2017, and that was just in designing a livery that didn't burn retina's. Hill returns, always quite impressive. Thompson comes over from VW Racing, Bushell finally gets back in BTCC after a Clio spell, and Caine blow's the bloody doors off the 4th car (well, they better not hope that happens). Brisky Racing help run the new 4th car (Bushell), and the engineering side has had some progress. Burns leaves for British GT.

    BTC-Norlin - Honda Civic - Smiley/???
    Arguably the feel-good story of 2017. Newsham retires as do the veteran Chevrolet Cruzes. Smiley 's rewarded for his transformation from lapped traffic to consistent points scorer with a second season with the ex 2016 works Honda's.

    WELCH - ??? - Welch??? Aside from testing TCR, Dan's been very optimistic about getting on the grid. When you've got a 6 year old car, haven't got correct suspension kit or an engine, "Optimistic" is a good way to describe the car, not "Optimus". Unless you build a new car on a budget of 25p... or put that 25p into TCR UK.

    PRO MOTORSPORT - Infiniti - ???
    Team looked ready for a 2017 return but didn't get a TBL. Gone quiet since then. They did have engines as well (albeit old-spec)...

    Michael Epps
    Out of Team HARD and maybe £££? TCR UK is around though and he did test there.

    Ant-Whorton-Eales
    Out of AMD after spending 2017 generally glued to VW bodywork. Deserves a seat.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  2. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Infiniti coming back would be nice.
     
  3. Furi

    Furi Premium

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    No manufacturer budget (Indeed until after couple races of their attempted season) sadly. Shame as I thought the cars looked quite nice.
     
  4. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    Aww, that was only one season with the Armed Forces(?). Made me think back to when a Lexus was in the series. Yeah, the Q isn't in. I thought it was a good look, especially with the VW, Audi, Mercedes and BMW brands.

    I'm missing something here, is that James Thompson in the HARD VW? I remember him in Hondas.
     
  5. Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

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    Not quite, it's Bobby Thompson, won the VW Cup last year and has been part of their programme for a while so has made the step up to BTCC. Will be interesting to see how he gets on. Would be great if James made a return one day, though last I heard he was racing in WTCC but that was 2 years ago, haven't heard much since.

    Otherwise it looks like it's going to be another fantastic season. No surprise to see WSR keep their line-up unchanged, one of the strongest teams with one of the strongest driver line-ups.

    Do hope the rumours of DYNAMICS switching to the new Civic are true, as if the TCR Civic is anything to go by, an NGTCC rendition would look fantastic, even more so in an inverted Halfords livery :drool:.

    Can't wait for Austin to reveal the Alfa, their return is welcomed for sure, so it'll be interested to see HMS develop that car as it's a great squad. Sutton will the man to beat of course, wonder if he'll be able to do the double? He'd be the man to do it if so. I would expect Plato to sign back on, but one can never be sure with him, would be a big shame if he was to go without a drive, though I find that unlikely.

    The extended Snetterton feature race special throws a spanner into the works, especially given how race 3 is always where things get turned up to eleven anyway, means your typical race 3 tactics have to be re-thought.

    But yeah, I can't wait the new season can't start soon enough, it's always a long winter without the BTCC :D.
     
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  6. jake2013guy

    jake2013guy

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    Cook in the PMR Astra
     
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  7. Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

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    AMD have announced they'll be ditching the S3 and switching to a pair of MG6's for this year: http://www.btcc.net/2018/01/11/amdtuning-com-expands-btcc-programme-with-mg-deal/

    In theory it's a sound idea given the pedigree of the MG with it being on the most successful NGTC spec cars of the era, but it's so old-hat compared to the rest of the rapidly advancing competition, that I'm not sure it'll be that much of an improvement from the S3's they'd been using. Still it's great to see them put more of their focus in the BTCC this year, as their a team that have slowly been crawling up the order, so props to 'em.
     
  8. Furi

    Furi Premium

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    Nope. They're forming a 4 car team. They've got the 888 TBLs.
     
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  9. Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

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    Makes more sense, as since the article didn't didn't give any mention of 888 I wondered what was occurring. Suppose as part of AMD's greater focus towards the BTCC, it makes for a good idea to expand to a 4 car team. Though with the MG6's being rather aged, it begs the question whether it'll help much.

    Also begs the question as to what 888 will be doing, as I haven't heard much news about or from them, unless I've missed something; which is highly likely :lol:.
     
  10. Furi

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    AMD have said one of the MGs will have a BTCC race winner. Interesting, who's without a drive and a race winner? Unless it someone like James Cole (forgot he's won a race).

    Harrison left under "interesting" circumstances day before Oulton (lets just say he was pushed), and Warren Scott tbh who bought the team a couple years back basically just left them to die it seems.

    Equally interesting was a rumour that the reason Cool returned to MG last year was to base it for his own Clio team as a potential stepping stone (Cooksport). Which makes his addition to PMR interesting as I've heard 4 drivers linked with seat 2, if seat 2 is still open (and a race winner hasn't taken that over as initially rumoured). I also see PMR expanding to 3 cars a possibility.

    Sad end to a 20 year story in BTCC tho for 888.

    Also Motorbase stuck at 2 cars. That TBL they had for car 3 originally came from Welch and now is the 4th Team HARD Brisky car.

    Norlin in talks with a driver with plenty sponsors I hear as well. Yet the one name I heard linked with them doesn't hmmm.

    Will update the silly season chart if you don't al mind after ASI.
     
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  11. jake2013guy

    jake2013guy

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    James Nash?
     
  12. Furi

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    Moffat? Wrathall? I have heard Nash linked with a drive a couple months ago though.
     
  13. Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

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    Course, forgot Harrison "left" last year, as Nico Ferrari took his place didn't he. I thought that decision was a bit "fishy" to say the least as Ian seemed reluctant to leave his post to start with, but then again since 888 fell beside the wayside in recent years, it always felt that was more than meets the eye going on behind the scenes so as to speak. And like you said, Scott hasn't really done much to support them in recent times, though 888 are hardly a small squad. That said, it'd be sad to see the end of 20 odd year saga if that's the case, as they've been quite a downward spiral. Only hope is they get another new manufacturer deal or something of the sorts, though that seems massively unlikely now.

    Will be interesting to see who AMD pick as their 2nd driver, if they saying race winner then the only other one I can think of in recent times would be Tom Boardman. Or really long shot; Rob Huff, technically cheating at 2 wins I know, but I know hes entertained the idea of a BTCC return. Would have doubted it'd be Wrathall given he served that prison sentence for death by dangerous driving a while back IIRC.

    Also unrelated to above, but Norlin could really be a bit of a dark horse this season, what with the ex-works Civic with Smiley at the helm. Just have to see who this "sponsorship plentiful" 2nd driver is.
     
  14. Yellowbeard

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    J.P. driving a Honda would be an amusing plot twist :lol:
     
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  15. Furi

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    Oliphant to Cicely, interesting. Bet TBL is from BMR.

    Also who's going to Flash's replacement?
     
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  16. jake2013guy

    jake2013guy

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    Could be from Maximum Motorsport.
     
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  17. Furi

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    @jake2013guy yup, that's right. In the meantime, updated in bold, silly season.

    DYNAMICS HONDA – Honda Civic – Neal/Tordoff???

    Pretty much all confirmed here. Rumours persist of a switch to the new Civic. Releasing Simpson is perhaps a sign. Neal has mentioned in a magazine interview it is the new Civic for 2018. Shedden gone, car a month behind on development, replacement allegedly confirmed. But who? Tordoff keeps making tweets about Honda recently, and honestly who else is available to drive?

    BMR SUBARU – Subaru Levorg – Sutton/Plato/Cole???/Price???
    Sutton returns after a fantastic second season and takes #1. Arguably that title win has helped keep the BMR programme and Subaru funding… but who else would be driving? JP had his 3rd season and often does 3 year contracts... But was indicated according to reports to be close to re-signing (and he has), Adrian Flux are a personal sponsor of his... & heard that Plato/ Sutton would be only two cars, then again who knows? Autosport indicate maybe 3 cars.

    WSR BMW UK – BMW 1 Series – Turkington/Rob Collard/Jordan
    Turkington pretty much guaranteed, Jordan probably staying if for the fact that he won’t have any more teams to drive for if he leaves. Rob’s son Ricky tested in the off-season. 4th car was under consideration I hear, but funding dictates staying at three. All confirmed.

    EUROTECH – Honda Civic – Brett Smith??/Goff/Simpson
    Brett Smith maybe taking over his dad Jeff’s seat full time? Jeff won’t return this year as he recovers from Croft injuries. Goff likely to resign (and he has), Simpson brings his TBL over from Dynamics and his car - midfielders beware once more!

    CICELY – Mercedes A-Class – Morgan/Oliphant
    Heard whispers Cicely changing car for a new manufacturer, but news has gone quiet. Otherwise, don’t expect any great changes. Well, a second Mercedes, the original chassis (2017 was a new build) is being put back into duty for Tom Oliphant, respectable Porsche driver. TBL acquired from Maximum Motorsport.

    SPEEDWORKS – Toyota Avensis – Ingram
    Not expecting any changes here, just a stronger title push from “TIngram”. Livery unveil at media day, that's literally the only change.

    AMD – Audi S3/MG6 – Ollie Jackson/Smelt/Moffat???/Whorton-Eales???
    Ollie might returns(actually a surprise to me with £££). No luck for AWE (Or is there?). Tordoff tested the Audi and Moffat visited the team but nothing came of it, with Sam Smelt (who?) in the second car. Or was it nothing Mr Moffat? - AMD acquired two MG's and TBL's from what was 888, paid for by canning the British GT programme. AWE's been quiet, as previously mentioned...

    LASER – Mercedes A-Class? / Subaru Levorg - Moffat?

    If LASER & Moffatt keep going (not exactly a big-budget outfit), potential equipment change? Moffat tested a Subaru before start of 2016 season, and who knows if Warren has any spares lying about. Is Cicely going to two cars a sign of less input into LASER / the team not existing in its current guise anymore? Worth noting the Mercedes is their own.

    HMS – Alfa Giulia – Austin
    Rebranded squad of Simon Belcher bring Alfa back, and keep Austin after taking the teams maiden win at the last race of 2017.

    PMR – Vauxhall Astra – Proctor/Cook/Rullo???/Tordoff???/???

    JST winner Proctor surely has to be a favourite for a seat. Rullo tested after a less than stellar VASC campaign. Tordoff tested as well. The programme’s relative success, and Chilton leaving, could have freed up some £££ for a very big name… And they wound up with Josh Cook after all that alongside Proctor. Probably stuck at 2 cars but don't think there has been total confirmation of this.

    MOTORBASE – Ford Focus – Mat Jackson/Chilton
    Will be back with Shredded Wheat sponsorship and a car that's almost as old fashioned. Chilton joins Jackson, Butcher was decent when he replaced injured Davenport, Depper less so… However latter two out of luck, Confirmed that the TBL has gone to HARD.

    PARKER – Ford Focus – Jelley???
    Was Parker-Maximum - Lines gone, Parker had gone quiet but today teased news coming.

    HARD - VW Passat - Thompson/Hill/Bushell/Caine
    Major steps made in 2017, and that was just in designing a livery that didn't burn retina's. Hill returns, always quite impressive. Thompson comes over from VW Racing, Bushell finally gets back in BTCC after a Clio spell, and Caine blow's the bloody doors off the 4th car (well, they better not hope that happens). Brisky Racing help run the new 4th car (Bushell), and the engineering side has had some progress. Burns leaves for British GT.

    BTC-Norlin - Honda Civic - Smiley/???
    Arguably the feel-good story of 2017. Newsham retires as do the veteran Chevrolet Cruzes. Smiley 's rewarded for his transformation from lapped traffic to consistent points scorer with a second season with the ex 2016 works Honda's. Second driver announcement due soon.

    WELCH - ??? - Welch??? Aside from testing TCR, Dan's been very optimistic about getting on the grid. When you've got a 6 year old car, haven't got correct suspension kit or an engine, "Optimistic" is a good way to describe the car, not "Optimus". Unless you build a new car on a budget of 25p... or put that 25p into TCR UK. Also good luck getting the TBL you loaned to Motorbase back, it's now with Gilham and Team HARD.

    PRO MOTORSPORT - Infiniti - ???
    Team looked ready for a 2017 return but didn't get a TBL. Gone quiet since then. They did have engines as well (albeit old-spec)...

    Michael Epps
    Out of Team HARD and maybe £££? TCR UK is around though and he did test there. Clio Cup UK, look out.

    Ant-Whorton-Eales
    Out of AMD after spending 2017 generally glued to VW bodywork. Deserves a seat.

    Martin Depper
    Spent first half of 2017 testing tyre walls, and next half of 2017... wait, he was racing? Didn't notice!

    Rory Butcher
    Likely to return to GT racing after his part-season with Motorbase.

    Gordon Shedden
    TCR International.

    MAXIMUM MOTORSPORT
    Sold the Focus (the first NGTC Ford chassis!) which is being cannabilised by Cicely, and focus on TCR and VW Cup now. Track marshals across the country suddenly have 50% less work to do in 2018.

    888
    Ded.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  18. AudiMan2011

    AudiMan2011 Contributing Writer

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    Plato confirmed staying at BMR.
     
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  19. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    That's cool. He has some place to put the walker.
     
  20. jake2013guy

    jake2013guy

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    Cammish replaces Shedden.
     
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  21. Furi

    Furi Premium

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    What. A. Signing.
     
  22. AudiMan2011

    AudiMan2011 Contributing Writer

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    Cammish has some big shoes to fill as Shedden's replacement. But looking at the resume, its looks like a sound signing.
     
  23. Michelin Man

    Michelin Man

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    Yup, as far as replacements for Shedden go, that ain't bad at all. Can't wait to see how Cammish takes to touring cars, that Honda line-up will be mighty.
     
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  24. Furi

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  25. _ApexPredator

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    Yeah this needs a big up date, I think?

    Tordoff announced, GardX sponsorship, and now Jackson out.
    http://www.btcc.net/2018/02/13/sam-tordoff-returns-to-btcc-with-motorbase/

    Can't wait to see Cammish in the BTCC though, great signing, and as much as Sheddon will be missed, looking forward to seeing how he gets on in WTCR.
     
  26. Furi

    Furi Premium

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    I'm going to wait until start of next week for an update, Stephen Jelley is announcing his plans then...
     
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  27. Guffaluff

    Guffaluff

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    Been wanting to get into watching the BTCC. How do people watch this, any online streams? Is it paid streams or free?

    Any input? :)
     
  28. TheCracker

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    BTCC's own website does livestream the events - http://www.btcc.net/live/ - i have no idea whether it's region-locked or not. You may need a VPN to watch it outside of the UK.
     
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  29. Guffaluff

    Guffaluff

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    Ah that's great. Thanks! :)
     
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  30. jake2013guy

    jake2013guy

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    In Team Parker news.