BTCC: Autosport Preview
The Autosport Show is one of the largest shows of its kind in the world
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
Each January motorsports kicks back into life at the annual Autosport Show held at the NEC in Birmingham where industry professionals, media and fans come together to witness teams and drivers showcase their new machinery. It is also often the location where teams reveal this season’s and driver announcements are confirmed and in the BTCC, 2017 is no different. Here is a brief look at what to expect at this year’s show next week as well as all the latest news leading up to the event.
There will be a whole host of livery unveilings throughout the weekend, most notably from WSR BMW and Andrew Jordan, who will reveal their 2017 car on Thursday morning. Jordan will be hoping to mount a championship challenge this season after winning the independents championship with Motorbase in 2016.
Incidentally Motorbase will be announcing who their second driver will be in the Shredded Wheat backed Ford Focuses. Mat Jackson has already been confirmed for another year and with the team expanding to three cars this year.
Other liveries being unveiled will be reigning champions Halfords Yuasa Racing, and Simpson Racing. Previously, Matt Simpson has confirmed that he will be racing in 2017 with the assistance of Halfords Yuasa Racing, so there may be some similarities with these two, especially since both run Honda Civic Type-R’s.
AmD Tuning will also be taking the wraps off their 2017 challenger with the team expanding to two cars this year. Ollie Jackson has be confirmed for a second season, with negotiations underway for a second driver.
However other news leading up to the show is that Tom Chilton has confirmed he is to race in both the BTCC and WTCC, World Touring Car Championship, this season after resigning with Sébastien Loeb Racing. Chilton will becoming the first man in history to race in both simultaneously. The deal was made possible as there are no calendar clashes between the two championships. Chilton finished 2016 eighth in the WTCC and is hoping to improve on last season’s results.
Other news ahead of the Autosport Show is the Jeff Smith will return as a driver for his team Eurotech Racing. Smith bought the team of Andrew Jordan’s father Mike at the end of 2014 and will once again compete in a Honda Civic Type- R. 2017 will be Smith’s sixth season in the BTCC having previously achieved two podiums throughout his career with a best final standing of 12th. Last season his best result was a fourth at Thruxton.
This season is already developing into another classic and with further driver announcements incoming soon, it is only going to get better