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75 days to go until the BTCC is back

Monday, January 22 2018

With just 75 days to go until the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season kicks off at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April, the 2018 grid is starting to take shape with several key announcements over the coming weeks. Here's a summary of developments so far.

Ashley Sutton signs up for title defence

Reigning champion Ashley Sutton recently confirmed that he'll be defending his BTCC crown with Subaru. The team struggled with the Levorg early on last year, so if the car is on the pace at Brands Hatch this April, his rivals will need something special to stop him.

BMW retains winning line-up

Multiple race-winners Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan have been retained by Team BMW for 2018. The WSR-run squad narrowly lost out on the Drivers' title next year, and will be determined to put that right this season. 

More Hondas on the grid

The works Honda team is set to debut the all-new Civic Type R this season, with Matt Neal chasing a record-equalling fourth title. Their old cars have been sold to BTC Norlin Racing, where Chris Smiley is awaiting a new teammate. Meanwhile Matt Simpson has moved to Eurotech, where he'll be joined by the charging Jack Goff and a third driver, set to be announced shortly.

Motorbase upgrades to Focus RS

Wrotham-based team Motorbase will be bringing back the iconic Ford RS badge to the BTCC, three decades after the Sierra RS500 dominated the series. The driver pairing of Mat Jackson and Tom Chilton will be hoping that the aggressive-looking yellow machines will be as fast as they look.

Alfa Romeo returns to the BTCC

Handy Motosport, renamed HMS, has binned its Toyota Avensis in favour of a comeback for the charismatic Alfa Romeo brand. The Italian marque dominated the BTCC in 1994, so Rob Austin will be keen that some of this magic will rub off on the new Giulietta hatchback.

Team HARD's Kent chargers

Strood-based Team HARD has signed Tonbridge Wells' flyer Mike Bushell, the reigning Renault UK Clio Cup Champion, for his second crack at the BTCC. He'll join near-neighbour Jake Hill, with star BTCC engineer Geoff Kingston (formerly of Triple 8, BMR and Speedworks) ensuring the VW CCs perform to their title-challenging potential. BTCC returnee Michael Caine and rookie Bobby Thompson complete the four-car attack.

AmD expands

West Thurrock-based AmDtuning.com followed up the signing of Ollie Jackson and rookie Sam Smelt for its Audi S3s with the surprise announcement that they'd also taken over the MG programme from Triple 8. The driving force will be confirmed shortly.

Cook returns to Power Maxed

After a troubled 2018 season, Josh Cook returns to the Power Maxed fold, where he first made his name in the BTCC three years ago. Cook's move also means he'll be a works Vauxhall driver.

And there's more...

Further announcements are said to be imminent, with more news set to be confirmed in the coming days. Keep an eye on this website and our social media feeds for more information.

Tickets for all MSV BTCC rounds in 2018 are on sale now, with free admission for under-13s. For a list of all events, click here.