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Double champion Menu restarts BTCC career with Team BMR

Monday, January 27 2014

British Touring Car legend Alain Menu will make a full-time return to the series this season. The Swiss driver's deal with Warren Scott's Team BMR squad adds another former champion to the grid, with six expected to line up at Brands Hatch on 29/30 March.

The double BTCC champion, who until recently competed in the WTCC, will join his team boss and new recruit Aron Smith in a VW Passat CC. Team BMR joined forces with Team HARD. at the end of 2013, and the Passat is expected to be a potent force this year, after taking three podium finishes in its debut season. The signing follows the confirmation last week that Jack Goff has been retained on the squad.

"This is exciting," enthused Alain, the 1997 and 2000 BTCC champion. "The best times of my career have been in the BTCC, and it's going to be nice to see many people I've not seen for many years. I'm well aware that it will be different with a new team and new cars, but I've been watching the races, have spoken to a lot of people about it and the championship is really picking up at the moment. With lots of competitors, spectators and live TV, there are many reasons to be here.

"I got a call in early December - the plan all sounded good, so I came over to the UK around Christmas time to meet with Warren and the team. Their plans and approach to the project are very appealing, we're all highly motivated and it is our aim to be amongst the teams at the front. I am taking a realistic approach of course, it will take us some time and there are a few unknowns. With Geoff Kingston there as our engineer and Warren's will to be the best I think we have a good opportunity to grab some strong results.

"I want to have fun too, this is a very important part of racing for me. It will be nice to race against people like Matt Neal again, and Gordon Shedden was trying to break into the BTCC just as I left so I'm looking forward to racing against him. Jason (Plato) has matured since we were team-mates too, so I'm sure we'll get on well. Plus there is a whole generation of new talented drivers out there, so 2014 should be very exciting. I'm also looking forward to racing on the fantastic British circuits again. The tracks are great and the public are always enthusiastic. We're going to have some test days soon, so I'll know then what work needs to be done, but I'm sure it'll all come back to me very quickly."

Team owner Warren Scott added: "We're incredibly excited about the year ahead. We've worked very hard getting the cars prepared this winter. I am extremely proud to be associated with such an enthusiastic group of hardworking people that make up the newly formed Team BMR. From Tony Gilham who is coordinating, Geoff Kingston our newly appointed chief engineer, Alan Cole and Mark Turner who manage the team, through to the all important mechanics and other boys that are working tirelessly, with no effort spared into producing the foundations of what I anticipate to be a very successful team.

"Once we had everything in place we approached Alain, and he's been fantastic from the very first meeting we had. He's really enthusiastic and has loads of ideas for the season ahead. His experience is massive, and having him alongside already quick drivers in Aron Smith and Jack Goff is going to make the team a strong force in the pit lane. For myself as a relatively inexperienced driver it's going to be amazing to learn from him and help push the team in the right direction.

"We are aiming to challenge at the front this year, to get podiums and hopefully race wins. Alain has the skill and experience to be a real contender, and with the work we've put into the cars we should be in the hunt for the Independents' championships come the end of the year. There's no reason why this can't be achieved, and I hope that the set-up we're creating now will stay with us to form a long-term programme that can go on to more success in the coming years."

Tickets for the 2014 rounds at Brands Hatch Indy, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Brands Hatch GP are now on sale from £26 and you can find out more and order them by clicking the links for each circuit. 2014 season passes are also available. Click here for more details.