The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is speeding into 2017 with its most successful grid in history, as an extraordinary 16 race-winners and a whole host of eager challengers prepare to go head-to-head for the most coveted crown in UK motor sport.
For the second year in succession, a capacity 32-strong grid was unveiled during yesterday’s annual Season Launch at Donington Park. Half of the drivers on the entry list are previous visitors to the top step of the podium, totalling an astonishing 329 victories between them – testament to the strength-in-depth of the series and proving that the BTCC continues to attract the crème de la crème of driving talent.
There are two new manufacturer entries on the list – with Vauxhall making an eagerly-anticipated comeback with Power Maxed Racing and BMW bolstering West Surrey Racing’s bid. These two marques will do battle with Honda, Subaru and MG for manufacturer glory, with 11 independent outfits joining the fight for outright Teams’ honours.
The BTCC is renowned for its close competition, bumper-to-bumper action and delivering drama and excitement by the bucketload. The 2016 campaign was no different, as the scrap for supremacy went right down to the wire in a three-way final race showdown between Gordon Shedden, Sam Tordoff and Colin Turkington, with the Scot digging deep to successfully defend his Drivers’ title.
The 2017 season sees the advent of the second phase of the current generation of NGTC rules – as all 32 cars will now run with common RML Group components – a new TOCA engine and new Dunlop tyres.
All of the high-octane entertainment will continue to be broadcast live, free-to-air and in high-definition on ITV4, with the championship’s loyal long-term partner additionally producing extensive highlights programmes.
This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will again comprise 30 races across ten events at nine venues around the UK, with the season commencing at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April and concluding on the legendary Grand Prix circuit at the same venue on 30 September/1 October 2017.