As BBC’s Top Gear is off the air Severn Sport have signed up the none other than The Stig! We persuaded him to put down his thoughts on the Severn Sport website. Negotiations were tough and The Stig doesn’t work on his ownn any more, so for the 2015 British Touring Car Championship we can unveil Mr & Mrs Stig as our head BTCC reporters.
So with out any more delay we welcome you to the first post of many on Severn Sport on the 2015 British Touring Car Championshi from the Stig’s.
The Dunlop British Touring Car Championship 2015 Preview – PART 1
With the season launch and media day for the UK biggest motor racing championship taking place on Today (March 24th), we have a quick guide to the confirmed drivers for the season ahead. With some new drivers and new teams as well as some familiar faces, this year has the potential to pick up where the last season finished in delivering some of the most exciting and close motor racing you will see on any race track.
Colin Turkington – Team BMR (VW)
Last year’s BTCC Champion, it was a surprise to see him leave a very successful BMW team for this season. Now with Team BMR he could struggle to find last year’s form especially with a change to a front wheel drive and new team set up.
Jason Plato – Team BMR (VW)
The wily old fox of the BTCC now in his 18th year, the 2 time champion has all the knowledge and experience to get the most out of the Volkswagen. He has a good chance to rack up more podium finishes and could be a title challenger if things go his way.
Warren Scott – Team BMR (VW)
Owner/Driver for Team BMR is never easy for anyone and having Plato and Turkington to keep an eye on adds to this challenge for Warren. Didn’t have the best of luck in the 2014 season and will probably be a mid table runner.
Aron Smith – Team BMR (VW)
Another graduate from the Renault Clio Cup in 2011, Aron achieved 2 wins and a regular top 10 finish in the 2014 season. Finishing 9th overall last year, he will be looking for an improvement this year, and showing the big boys he has a place amongst them.
Andrew Jordan – MG/Triple Eight (MG)
Andrew joins the MG/Triple Eight team this year, and is my favourite to win the title. After winning the championship in 2013 with Pirtek Racing, finishing last year’s season in 5th was a disappointment for him. This year in a works MG team he has a car that is a proven front runner and a commitment to concentrate just on the BTCC series he is a definite one to watch this season.
Jack Goff – MG/Triple Eight (MG)
The 2012 Renault Clio Cup Champion, now in his 3rd session of the BTCC, gets his chance in a works team. A fast and fully committed driver, achieving regular top 10 finishes, could be a dark horse this season.
Gordon Shedden – Honda YUASA Racing (HONDA)
The 2012 Champion had a steady season in 2014 with 3 wins and finishing 3rd in the championship. Switching from the tourer, which made its debut in 2014, back to a more conventional hatchback for 2015 could see Gordon challenge for the title this season.
Matt Neal – Honda YUASA Racing (HONDA)
The 3 times Champion had a mixed bag of results last season with only 1 win. Matt will be looking for a better season in the Honda hatchback this year, he is a consistent top 10 runner and has a chance of the title if he can regain his form.
Rob Austin – Exocet Racing (AUDI)
One of our most local drivers, being from Evesham, Rob is owner and driver of Team Exocet. Having appeared in the Ron Howard film ‘Rush’ he is now in his 4th season of the BTCC. Rob is a consistent driver and favourite with the fans, has the ability to be a top 10 finisher this season.
Hunter Abbot – Rob Austin Racing (AUDI)
Team mate of Rob Austin, 2014 was the rookie year for the AlcoSense sponsored driver. Finishing 20th in the championship, Hunter was a consistent mid pack runner and with a year’s BTCC experience under his belt he will be looking to improve this year.
Simon Belcher – Handy Motorsport (TOYOTA)
Being from Swindon, Simon is another local driver. The former twice Renault Clio Cup Masters Championship winner (2012/13) took the step up to BTCC with his family run team last season. A consistent finisher, albeit towards the back of the field, with a years experience and improvements made to the car over the winter, he will be looking to progress up the pack. He will also be hoping not to repeat the high speed crash, voted one of the crashes of the season and almost ruled him out of the championship.
Dave Newsham – Power Maxed Racing (CHEVROLET)
Dave switches from the AMD Tuning Ford Focus to Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruz this season. A mixed bag of racing last season finishing 17th overall, he had plenty of top 10 finishes, his best was a 2nd at Knockhill, there were some lower midfield placing which he will need to improve on to make the top 10 this season.
Josh Cook – Racing for Heroes (CHEVROLET)
Josh was last year’s Renault Clio Cup runner up, with the most race wins of the season under his belt, he graduates to the BTCC as part of the new Help for Heroes linked initiative. Josh has the proven speed and ability to make his mark in BTCC, but only time will tell if he can make the step up. He is definitely one to watch.
Mike Bushell – AmD Tuning (FORD)
Last season’s Renault Clio Cup Champion gets his reward by stepping up to BTCC. The Ford Focus performed well last season and with Mike behind the wheel there is plenty of potential if he can get to grips with the car and the large aggressive field. Another one to watch although may need a season or two to show his true form.
Aiden Moffat – Laser Tools Racing (MERCEDES)
Aiden became the youngest driver ever to compete in the BTCC when he made his debut at Knockhill in 2013 aged 16 years and 10 months. Last year was a big learning curve as his first full season in BTCC driving the Chevrolet, finishing 25th overall. This year he switches to the Mercedes and will be looking to move up the field.
That’s the first fifteen drivers profiled along with their cars for the 2015 BTCC season, let us know what you think via the comments below or on twitter @SevernSport. Come back tomorrow for part 2 as we look at the rest of the field.
Mr & Mrs Stig