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BTCC set for bumper 29-car grid at Brands Hatch

Tuesday, March 24 2015

A huge 29-car entry representing 12 manufacturers is set to contest the opening round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this Easter (4/5 April).

There will be a new look to the front of the grid with reigning champion Colin Turkington joining forces with 2014 runner-up Jason Plato at Team BMR. The squad's line-up of four VW CCs includes race winner Aron Smith and team boss Warren Scott.

Champion team WSR will field three BMW 125i M Sports for returning WTCC legend Andy Priaulx, new recruit Sam Tordoff and multiple race-winner Rob Collard. Andrew Jordan moves to an all-new MG line-up, with rising star Jack Goff, whilst multiple-title-winning Honda pairing Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden will debut the new Civic Type R.

Reigning Manufacturers' Champions MG and Honda Racing will be joined by a third manufacturer for 2015. The Infiniti Support our Paras Racing team will field two Q50 models, to be driven by BTCC newcomers Richard Hawken and Derek Palmer Jr.

The grid will also include two Mercedes A-Classes, with race winner Adam Morgan joined by a second Ciceley-built car under the Laser Tools Racing banner for Aiden Moffatt. Rob Austin will run two Audi A4s for himself and team-mate Hunter Abbott.

Toyota will be represented with four cars, run by Speedworks, Handy Motorsport, Houseman Racing and the returning Team HARD. The grid also includes two Power Maxed Racing Chevrolets, two Fords with AmD Tuning and Dextra Racing, two Welch Motorsport Protons and a pair of the original NGTC Honda Civics for Eurotech Racing.

Rule changes for the 2015 season will include a change to success ballast and qualifying for the second race of each meeting to be decided by fastest laps in race one. Both adjustments are expected to shake up the order, whilst the performance of rear-wheel-drive cars (BMW and Audi A4s) have been adjusted to equalise the field.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: "The BTCC is renowned for its extreme competitiveness, and the levels of unpredictability seem set to reach new standards in 2015. There have been several key and very interesting moves in the driver market over the winter, which ensures we're in for yet another unmissable campaign. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to predicting an eventual champion but what is for sure is that we're in for another titanic battle - I, just like our millions of fans, can't wait to get started.

"Our impressive entry list continues to demonstrate the stability of our regulations whilst the new tweaks made to our format also show we're always committed to moving forever forwards. Improving the show for our fans and competitors alike is paramount to everything we do here in the BTCC and we believe these evolutions will prove successful. Here's to another hugely competitive and successful season ahead."

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Brands Hatch entry list
1, Colin Turkington, GBR, Team BMR, VW CC
6, Robert Collard, GBR, Team JCT600 with GardX, BMW 125i M Sport
7, Sam Tordoff, GBR, Team JCT600 with GardX, BMW 125i M Sport
11, Simon Belcher, GBR, Handy Motorsport, Toyota Avensis
12, Andy Wilmot, GBR, Welch Motorsport, Proton Gen-2
13, Daniel Welch, GBR, Welch Motorsport, Proton Gen-2
14, Alex Martin, GBR, Dextra Racing, Ford Focus
16, Aiden Moffat, GBR, Laser Tools Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class
17, Dave Newsham, GBR, Power Maxed Racing, Chevrolet Cruze
21, Mike Bushell, AmD Tuning.com, Ford Focus
22, Derek Palmer Jr, Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing, Infiniti Q50
23 Kieran Gallagher, RCIB Insurance Racing, Toyota Avensis
25, Matt Neal, GBR, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R
30, Martin Depper, GBR, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic
31, Jack Goff, GBR, MG 888 Racing, MG6 GT
33, Adam Morgan, GBR, WIX Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class
39, Warren Scott, GBR, Team BMR, VW CC
40, Aron Smith, IRL, Team BMR, VW CC
52, Gordon Shedden, GBR, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R
54, Hunter Abbott, GBR, Exocet AlcoSense, Audi A4
55, Jeff Smith, GBR, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic
66, Josh Cook, GBR, Power Maxed Racing, Chevrolet Cruze
77, Andrew Jordan, GBR, MG 888 Racing, MG6 GT
80, Tom Ingram, GBR, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis
84, Richard Hawken, Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing, Infiniti Q50
95, Stewart Lines, GBR, Houseman Racing, Toyota Avensis
99, Jason Plato, GBR, Team BMR, VW CC
101, Rob Austin, GBR, Exocet Alcosense, Audi A4
111, Andy Priaulx, GBR, Team IHG Rewards Club, BMW 125i M Sport

The opening round of the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 4/5 April will feature three races on the Sunday plus supporting action from the Ginetta Juniors and GT4 Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Renault UK Clio Cup and MSA Formula. Tickets are available in advance from £26, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.