BTCC 2021 Season augury.

With the weather warming up, sort of. Covid restrictions easing, sort of. It’s time for the UK’s motor racing season to start, sort of. With many of us starved of live trackside action for 12 months the 2021 British Touring Car Championship is something to very much look forward to. 

Staged mainly behind closed doors and with a few big names missing the 2020 season had its excitement, but not the full involvement for fans to fully enjoy. 

The BTCC is widely regarded as the best premier racing series in the UK. Its non-stop action, pit-lane accessibility for race goers and with a family friendly atmosphere at the various circuits it’s a well deserved accolade.

Cars staged on the grid for BTCC 2020

The start of the 2021 season is therefore something to be anticipated. Returning seasoned protagonists Jason Plato (still chasing that illusive 100th win) and triple champion Gordon Shedden are sure to spice up the action. Although I’m sure last years champion Ashley Sutton, and champion in 2017, will be keen to add more silverware. Team BMW’s Colin Turkington will also be looking for another championship to add to his tally.

The closed season has seen a plethora of changes to teams and drivers, in brief the changes are;

In the Team Dynamics camp triple BTCC champion Gordon Shedden returns after a four year absence and will be partnered by Daniel Rowbottom (he previously raced in the 2019 series), with Matt Neal taking time out, but he will remain as team director.

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic Type R, BTCC 2016

Jason Plato is back at the wheel of a Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra having sat out the 2020 season. He’ll be accompanied by 2018 TCR UK champion Dan Lloyd.

On three wheels, Jason Plato, Vauxhall Astra, Power Maxed Car Care Racing, BTCC 2019

Team HARD will be entering four cars and have switched from running the Volkswagen CC to the new Seat Leon. Aron Taylor-Smith joins the team having last competed in the BTCC in 2017. 

Constructor entrant Toyota Gazoo Racing UK brings Sam Smelt back into the championship, he last participated in 2018. He’s joined by Rory Butcher from Motorbase Performance and both will be at the wheel of a Toyota Corolla.

TradePriceCars.com has merged with Excelr8 Motorsport, to form Excelr8 Trade Price Cars. It’s four car entry has switched from Audi S3’s to the Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance. Jack Butel joins the team, having previous been with CarLube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools. As does Tom Ingram who for 2020 was with Toyota Gazoo Racing UK.

Stephen Jelly has moved from Team Parker Racing (who leave the championship) to join Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant in the Team BMW at the wheel of 330i M Sport’s.

Colin Turkington, BMW 330i M Sport, Team BMW, BTCC 2020

Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne swap over from Motorbase Performance and MB Motorsport, both will be piloting Ford Focus ST’s.

Carl Boardley joins last years champion Ashley Sutton and Aiden Moffat in the Laser Tools Racing Team who keep the Infiniti Q50.

Ashley Sutton, Infiniti Q50, Laser Tools Racing, BTCC 2020

Tom Chilton joins Ciceley Motorsport from BTC Racing. For 2021 they’ll be running a pair of BMW 330i M Sports prepared by WSR, having previously campaigned Mercedes-Benz A Classes.

Jade Edwards leaves Power Maxed Car Care Racing to join BTC Racing in its three car Honda Civic Type R line up alongside Josh Cook and Michael Crees.

The full list of contestants is now finalised and reads as below.

Constructor Entries.VehiclesRace NumberDriver
Team BMWBMW 330i M Sport2Colin Turkington
Team BMWBMW 330i M Sport12Stephen Jelley
Team BMWBMW 330i M Sport15Tom Oliphant
Toyota Gazoo Racing UKToyota Corolla6Rory Butcher
Toyota Gazoo Racing UKToyota Corolla23Sam Smelt
Independent EntriesVehiclesRace NumberDriver.
Laser Tools RacingInfiniti Q501Ashley Sutton
Laser Tools RacingInfiniti Q5016Aiden Moffat
Laser Tools RacingInfiniti Q5041Carl Boardley1
Team HARDCupra Leon28Nicolas Hamilton1
Team HARDCupra Leon31Jack Goff
Team HARDCupra Leon40Aron Taylor-Smith
Team HARDCupra Leon88Glynn Geddie1
Ciceley MotorsportBMW 330i M Sport3Tom Chilton
Ciceley MotorsportBMW 330i M Sport33Adam Morgan
Motorbase PerformanceFord Focus ST4Sam Osborne1
Motorbase PerformanceFord Focus ST44Andy Neate1
MB MotorsportFord Focus ST24Jake Hill
MB MotorsportFord Focus ST48Ollie Jackson
BTC RacingHonda Civic Type R9Jade Edwards1
BTC RacingHonda Civic Type R66Josh Cook
BTC RacingHonda Civic Type R77Michael Crees
Power Maxed RacingVauxhall Astra11Jason Plato
Power Maxed RacingVauxhall Astra12Dan Lloyd
Excelr8 Trade Price CarsHyundai i30 Fastback N Performance13Rick Parfitt Jnr1
Excelr8 Trade Price CarsHyundai i30 Fastback N Performance22Chris Smiley1
Excelr8 Trade Price CarsHyundai i30 Fastback N Performance32Jack Butel1
Excelr8 Trade Price CarsHyundai i30 Fastback N Performance80Tom Ingram
Team DynamicsHonda Civic Type R52Gordon Shedden
Team DynamicsHonda Civic Type R61Daniel Rowbottom1
1Denotes drivers eligible for the Sir Jack Sears Trophy.

Some teams have already revealed car liveries for the 2021 season, but we won’t see the full disclosure until the official launch in April at Silverstone.

As of the 15th March 2021 the confirmed calendar will be;

RoundsDatesVenue/Circuit
1, 2, 38th/9th MayThruxton
4, 5, 612th/13th JuneSnetterton (300)
7, 8, 926th/27th JuneBrands Hatch (Indy)
10, 11, 1231st July/1st AugustOulton Park (Island)
13, 14, 1514th/15th AugustKnockhill
16, 17, 1828th/29th AugustThruxton
19, 20, 2118th/19th SeptemberCroft
22, 23, 2425th/26th SeptemberSilverstone (National)
25, 26, 279th/10th OctoberDonington Park (National)
28, 29, 3023rd/24thOctoberBrands Hatch (Grand Prix)

Please check the BTCC website at, http://www.btcc.net, for more details. They’ll also be able to let you know which events/venues will be allowing spectator entry.

Stephen Jelley, Ford Focus, BTCC 2017

What ever transpires you can be absolutely certain that it won’t be boring. As Shakespeare might have said “All the world’s a race circuit, And all the drivers merely players; They have their starts and wins (or DNF’s); And one driver in their time experiences many events”. 

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