BTCC reveals 2012 entry
The entry list for the new BTCC season is revealed at Silverstone
A 25-car entry list has been revealed for the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season during the annual media day at Silverstone.
Ten models from nine different manufacturers are represented on the grid, with Honda and MG both entering works teams for the year ahead.
In total, 14 different teams have lodged entries for the season ahead although there are some notable absentees from the entry from teams who continue to work on programmes for the upcoming season.
Unlike last season, every car on the grid will run an engine designed to the BTCC's Next Generation Touring Car regulations with the grid split between full-blown NGTC machines and S2000-based cars using the turbo engine.
"Words such as 'staggering' or 'phenomenal' are often over-used, but both very genuinely apply to the BTCC's current health," series director Alan Gow said. "Our trackside crowd and TV viewing audience figures continue to reach new heights - Brands Hatch has advised us that ticket sales for its opening round in a fortnight are its biggest ever for a BTCC event this far in advance.
"Now, here we are, ready to start another great season and with a larger grid than at the first round last year - despite the very challenging economic climate. Once again the BTCC boasts terrific depth of competition as well as a huge and exciting variety of different makes and models of car. And I have little doubt that, just as with seasons past, the number of cars will increase as new teams and drivers take on the challenge of competing in the UK's biggest motor racing championship.
"We all know that things are tough out there, so I sincerely applaud all our teams, drivers and their sponsors for their incredible determination and the loyalty they have shown to the championship. Our own partners, Dunlop, ITV Sport, HiQ, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Dennis Publishing and Fujifilm are also companies that truly live and breathe the BTCC.
"In fact it is a ringing endorsement of the BTCC's cost-effectiveness and proven ability to deliver on a great many levels that such well-known brands are becoming increasingly involved. The expanded line-up of NGTC-specification cars is only going to add to the spectacle with their more intimidating presence and flame-belching exhausts. It could well be that one of them wins this year's championship, but equally a very well-sorted S2000-turbo car could also take the title. But whoever takes away the ultimate prize - and one of the most famous trophies in global motor sport - we are guaranteed a fascinating fight and an extraordinary season ahead of us."
BTCC Entry List:
1. Matt Neal Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic
4. Mat Jackson Redstone Racing Ford Focus
5. Aron Smith Redstone Racing Ford Focus
6. Liam Griffin Redstone Racing Ford Focus
8. Robert Collard eBay Motors BMW 320si
11. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota Avensis
12. Daniel Welch Welch Automotive with Sopp+Sopp Proton Persona
17. Dave Newsham Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra
18. Nick Foster eBay Motors BMW 320si
31. Mark Hazell Rob Austin Racing Audi A4
33. Adam Morgan Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis
34. Tony Gilham RCIB Insurance & HARD Honda Civic
38. Tom Onslow-Cole eBay Motors BMW 320si
43. Lea Wood BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra
44. Andy Neate MG KX Momentum Racing MG6
48. Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning.com VW Golf
50. Tony Hughes Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis
52. Gordon Shedden Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic
55. Jeff Smith Pirtek Racing Honda Civic
66. John Thorne Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia
77. Andrew Jordan Pirtek Racing Honda Civic
78. Chris James Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra
99. Jason Plato MG KX Momentum Racing MG6
TBA. TBA Rob Austin Racing Audi A4
TBA. TBA Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia *
- Cars numbers 1, 44, 52 & 99 eligible for Manufacturer and Constructor championships
- All others eligible for Independent championships
* Entry from Oulton Park