A capacity 32-car entry list for the 2018 British Touring Car Championship has been formally ratified by series organiser TOCA.
Confirmed at the official Season Launch at Donington Park this morning [27 March], it marks the fourth consecutive season the UK’s headline tin-top category has begun the campaign with a capacity field.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton headlines the entries after re-signing with Team BMR to race his title-winning Subaru Levorg GT in 2018. Jason Plato similarly returns, as does Josh Price as the outfit shrinks from a four-car entry to three.
Team Dynamics announced arguably the shock of the off-season as triple champion Gordon Shedden departs for the FIA World Touring Car Cup with Audi Team WRT. Multiple Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Dan Cammish is his replacement alongside series stalwart Matt Neal.
West Surrey Racing announced an unchanged programme, with Colin Turkington and Rob Collard racing under the Team BMW banner alongside Pirtek-backed 2013 champion, Andrew Jordan.
Motorbase Performance have switched to a Ford Focus RS model for 2018, with Tom Chilton returning to the outfit he won the 2010 Independents title with alongside 2016 runner-up Sam Tordoff, who returns after a year away in the British GT Championship. James Cole moves from Team BMR to complete the Kent-based squad’s line up.
Adam Morgan has a new stablemate in rookie Tom Oliphant at Ciceley Racing, with Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat – who recently announced a dual campaign in TCR UK – completing the Mercedes Benz A-Class trio.
Independent Driver and Teams’ Champions Speedworks Motorsport will once again field Tom Ingram in the ever-present Toyota Avensis, with the High Wycombe-based racer looking to secure a hat-trick of opening day victories at Brands Hatch in April.
Eurotech Racing retain the services of Jack Goff, who racked up the highest number of pole positions in 2017 (4), and Brett Smith who impressively deputised for injured father Jeff and secured the MINI Challenge JCW title last year. Matt Simpson aligns his Honda Civic Type-R after a year with Dynamics.
Alfa Romeo have a presence on the grid once again this year with Rob Austin at a re-branded HMS Racing, whilst BTC Norlin Racing switch from a pair of Chevrolet Cruzes to Civic Type-Rs with Chris Smiley and the returning James Nash.
AmD Tuning have expanded to field a four-car lineup after acquiring both MG6 GT machines from Triple Eight. Rory Butcher and Tom Boardman will pilot the race-winning machines, with Ollie Jackson and newcomer Sam Smelt in the team’s existing Audi S3 challengers.
Team.HARD have equally expanded, adding reigning Renault UK Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell, VW Cup racer Bobby Thompson and GT racer Michael Caine alongside Jake Hill, now in his third consecutive season with Tony Gilham’s outfit.
A switch to a BMW 125i M-Sport for Team Parker and Stephen Jelley rounds out the grid.
The new season kicks off with a curtain-raising triple header at Brands Hatch (Indy) on 7-8 April.
“Our capacity line-up for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with a remarkable record 17 race-winners, yet again underlines the championship’s strength and depth,” commented Series Director, Alan Gow.
“Last year saw the incredible rise-and-rise of eventual champion Ash Sutton, and he is just one of an ever-growing number of emerging talents in the BTCC. The mix of young guns taking on the established stars has been one of the fascinating stories in recent years, and that looks set to continue in 2018.
“Once again, we expect to see battles throughout the field with the Manufacturers’, Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy providing as much entertainment as the fight for the overall Drivers’ title.
“Whilst firmly focussing on the future we are also immensely proud of the BTCC’s illustrious 60-year history, which we will be celebrating throughout 2018. We are delighted to have confirmed the ‘Diamond Double’ race at Snetterton as part of these diamond jubilee celebrations, and look forward to a number of other 60thanniversary activities during the year.
“This is a truly phenomenal period for the BTCC. The continued and unrivalled support from Dunlop, ITV, IHG and our host of loyal partners remains the envy of comparable motor sport series’ around the world. Add to this our incredible fanbase, the media interest that you see here today and of course the unparalleled excitement provided on-track… the BTCC remains the greatest show in British motorsport.”
1 – Ash Sutton– Team BMR – Subaru Levorg GT
2 – Colin Turkington –West Surrey Racing – BMW 125i M-Sport
3 – Tom Chilton – Motorbase Performance – Ford Focus RS
5 – Rob Collard – Team BMW – BMW 125i M Sport
6 – Rory Butcher – AmD Tuning.com – MG6 GT
11 – Rob Austin – HMS Racing – Alfa Giullietta
12 – Tom Boardman – AmD Tuning.com – MG6 GT
14 – James Nash – BTC Racing – Honda Civic Type-R
15 – Tom Oliphant – Ciceley Racing – Mercedes A-Class
16 – Aiden Moffat – Laser Tools Racing – Mercedes A-Class
18 – Senna Proctor – Power Maxed Racing – Vauxhall Astra
19 – Bobby Thompson – Team Hard – Volkswagen CC
20 – James Cole – Motorbase Performance – Ford Focus ST
21 – Mike Bushell – Team HARD – Volkswagen CC
23 – Sam Smelt – AmD Tuning.com – Audi S3
24 – Jake Hill – Team Hard – Volkswagen CC
25 – Matt Neal – Team Dynamics – Honda Civic Type-R
27 – Dan Cammish – Team Dynamics – Honda Civic Type-R
28 – Josh Price – Subaru Team BMR – Subaru Levorg GT
31 – Jack Goff – Eurotech Racing – Honda Civic Type-R
33 – Adam Morgan – Ciceley Racing – Mercedes-Benz A-Class
39 – Brett Smith – Eurotech Racing – Honda Civic Type-R
44 – Michael Caine – Team Hard – Volkswagen CC
48 – Ollie Jackson – AmD Tuning.com – Audi S3
60 – Stephen Jelley – Team Parker Racing – BMW 125i M-Sport
66 – Josh Cook – Power Maxed Racing – Vauxhall Astra
77 – Andrew Jordan – Team BMW – BMW 125i M Sport
80 – Tom Ingram – Speedworks Motorsport – Toyota Avensis
99 – Jason Plato – Subaru Team BMR – Subaru Levorg GT
303 – Matt Simpson – Simpson Motorsport – Honda Civic
600 – Sam Tordoff – Motorbase Performance – Ford Focus ST