BRANDS HATCH GP
BRANDS HATCH INDY
with Team BMW West Surrey Racing
The British Touring Car Championship is one of the best-loved, most illustrious and famous motor racing championships in the world. Only Formula 1 and America’s NASCAR stock car series have longer histories – since its inception in 1958 the BTCC has attracted and captivated millions of fans around the world.
Saloon car racing was a huge success from the very start, with the public packing into the circuits to watch the top drivers of the day compete in racing versions of their road cars. It’s a lasting appeal that to this day continues to deliver a punch and panache that that is the envy of every other motor sporting arena in the UK.
Traditional, great British names such as Jaguar, Austin, Ford, Mini, Lotus, Sunbeam and Triumph – often with top international stars, including Formula 1 drivers, at the wheel – were all winners in the first 20 years, each aware of the importance of using the BTCC to showcase their latest models. By the 1980’s, the BTCC began to develop a truly international flavour, with Mazda, Toyota and Alfa Romeo amongst the marques winning titles, while the end of the decade featured the Ford RS500 and BMW M3, two of the most evocative models in series history.
It was in the Nineties, however, that the BTCC truly boomed. With television coverage on the BBC’s flagship sports show Grandstand, a decision to make the series exclusive to 2-litre cars created closer racing and attracted a host of high-profile manufacturers, teams and drivers to the series. This made the BTCC essential viewing for millions throughout the UK and around the world, with more than ten different manufacturers benefitting from the enormous marketing value of competing in the championship during this renowned ‘Super Touring’ era.
The start of the 21st century brought a rare rough patch for the BTCC, but the return of Alan Gow and TOCA to the helm in 2003 led a resurgence for the championship that has continued to this day, with the current NGTC regulations bringing back manufacturer entries and capacity grids.
With unprecedented levels of national television coverage from ITV, and grids as competitive as ever with no less than 19 former race-winners on the 2020 grid, the BTCC continues to provide one of motorsport’s most addictive, action-packed atmospheres; ensuring the series is the perfect platform for teams, drivers and sponsors to raise their profiles and reputations.