A look at some of the 2017 cars and liveries from the Autosport Show
(Photo from: www.autosportinternational.com)
As the winter continues, the final pieces of the 2017 British Touring Car Championship jigsaw are being put in place with numerous drives announced throughout January, giving us a much clearer idea of who will be where this year.
The beginning of January saw the Autosport Show take place at the NEC in Birmingham, one of Europe’s biggest car motorsport shows. In the past, many drivers have taken this opportunity to reveal their plans for the coming year and this year was no different.
It started on Thursday morning when AmD Tuning confirmed that reigning Renault Clio Cup champion Ant Whorton-Eales would be joining the team for 2017, completing their two care line up alongside 2016 driver Ollie Jackson. The 22 year-old beat former AmD Tuning driver Mike Bushell for his 2016 crown and becomes the fifth Clio champion to driver for the team.
Motorbase announced that Mat Jackson would be joined by Martin Depper and Luke Davenport in the Shredded Wheat back Ford Focuses. The team expands to three cars for 2017, following Andrew Jordan’s departure to WSR.
Depper joins after switching from Eurotech having spent the last three seasons with team while Davenport joins the BTCC after previously racing in the Ginetta GT Supercup and the British GT Championship.
It was also confirmed at the show that Colin Turkington would be leaving Team BMR after two seasons with Warren Scott’s outfit. The two time champion enjoy huge success with the team, including a maiden win for Subaru in the BTCC and Oulton Park. With limited seats available, Turkington’s only options are a switch to MG or a return to his old team WSR, where he won his two titles.
Later on in January after the Autosport Show news had died down, former WSR driver Jack Goff announced his plans as he confirmed he would be joining Jeff Smith at Eurotech Racing for 2017 in a Honda Civic Type-R. The 25 year old replaces Martin Depper who left the team to join Motorbase and is confident he can challenge for wins, in a car which has won the previous two championships.
The final announcement to come in January was from Team HARD who revealed that they would be retaining the services of Jake Hill. Hill impressed fans, pundits and fellow competitors in 2016, with six top 10 finishes and a best result of fifth at Silverstone, on his way to 17th in the standings. Following a successful first full year in the championship, Hill is now hoping to improve on last season’s results and is aiming for podiums in his second full season.
Hill will once again be partnered with Mike Epps however they will be joined by rookie Will Burns, who joins the BTCC after coming second in the 2016 Ginetta GT4 Supercup. The Team HARD trio will compete in three VW CC’s with RML parts.
|2017 BTCC Entry List|
Silverline Subaru Team BMR
Honda Halfords Yuasa Racing
|Simpson Racing||303||Matt Simpson|
West Surrey Racing
Power Maxed Racing
Triple Eight Engineering
|Handy Motorsport||11||Rob Austin|
|Speedworks Motorsport||80||Tom Ingram|
|Team Parker Racing||TBA||Stephen Jelley|
|Laser Tools Racing||16||Aiden Moffat|
|Wix Racing||33||Adam Morgan|
BTC Norlin Racing