Norfolk-based outfit Excelr8 Motorsport will join the British Touring Car Championship grid in 2019, running a pair of ex-Triple Eight MG6 cars recently acquired from the AmD Tuning team.
As well as the cars, which first appeared on the BTCC grid in 2012, the team has also acquired the TOCA BTCC Licences [TBLs] to run them in the championship next year.
Although no details of the driver line-up have yet been released, the team has confirmed that it has one driver already signed up, who will be announced in due course, and assessments are ongoing for the second seat.
The team graduate to the BTCC from the MINI Challenge, where as well as running drivers in three classes in the series, the team has also been responsible for building more than 75 of the Challenge race cars for both the UK and overseas markets.
“We’ve been looking towards the BTCC for a few years now and when we got the chance to get hold of the MG GTs it was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up, especially as it fits with our ‘Great British’ theme,” said Team Manager Oliver Shepherd.
“The BTCC is the highest-profile championship in the country, with some incredible drivers and very high-calibre teams, so we know we will have our work cut out to learn about the racing and the new cars.
“However, we have no doubt that we can compete at this level, and we’re currently working hard to finalise an exciting driver line up for 2019.
“This is a sizeable investment for Excelr8, and we’re acquiring all-new specialist equipment to make sure we have everything we need to hit the ground running next season and deliver the professionalism and presentation that we are known for in the MINI Challenge.”
The team are planning to use the cars, which will be eight years old in 2019, to assess the NGTC platform with a view to securing opportunities with other automotive brands in the future.
“It’s always great to see new teams joining the BTCC,” said BTCC Series Director Alan Gow. “Excelr8 has certainly proven its capabilities and professionalism in the MINI Challenge – a series which has already produced many current or recent BTCC drivers.
“Keeping the MG GTs on the grid is great news and ensures the BTCC retains a good diversity of manufacturers.
“I look forward to seeing how quickly Excelr8 and its new drivers can acclimatise to the BTCC and wish the team the best of luck ahead of next year.”