During the 2016 Autosport International Show, it was announced that original GPRM built NGTC cars would now be eligible to run in a new club level based series that would begin this year.
(Credit: B-TEC Development Series)
The cars, originally built for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship between 2011 & 2015, will be run in a series kept separate from the BTCC and its support championships to allow other Drivers and Teams a chance to run and drive the cars. This allows for experience to be gained and also gives a chance for Teams looking to join the BTCC in the future a chance to make the step up with experience of the regulations in force.
So far there have been several announcements from the Series and here at the TinTop Guru Blog, we’ll be keeping an eye on the B-Tech Development Series as it grows in its first season. So here are some of the updates released so far…
B-Tech Development Series Introduction
(Credit: B-TEC Development Series)
The B-TEC Development Series is being managed by Ian Harrison, the boss of Triple Eight Racing and is tailored for aspiring touring car teams and drivers, providing an opportunity to develop thekills required for the British Touring Car Championship, away from the spotlight. The Development series will also create a platform for young managers, engineers and mechanics to hone their skills, providing a relevant and recognised training ground.
The series is open to non BTCC entrants, cars must be fitted with GPRM components, the B-TEC Development Series Swindon engine (310 bhp) and Dunlop Tyres.
Six national meetings will be held across the country and will incorporate 14 races, beginning at Brands Indy on 27/28 March as it supports the headlining the BARC truck racing event and will then travel to Croft, Rockingham, Donington, Anglesey and Pembrey. The format will include one 40 minute Practice Session and one 30 minute Qualifying Session on Saturday and two 30 minute Race’s on Sunday, with three Races at Brands Indy and Donington.
The 2016 B-TEC Development Series Champion and Runner Up will receive a test drive with a current BTCC Team.
Team BKR to run Ex-Team BMR cars in B-TEC Development Series
Following the recent announcement at the Autosport International Show of the B-TEC Development Series for 2016, the B-TEC Development Series are pleased to announce the involvement of Team BKR who will enter 6 cars in the newly formed category.
Team BKR have formed an alliance with Team BMR taking control of the four Volkswagen CC’s and Two Vauxhall Insignias, previously raced in the BTCC at the hands of Jason Plato & Colin Turkington to name just a few. The race winning cars will run in their current specification with the subframes built by GPRM and the Development Series engine built by Swindon Engines.
The arrangement between the two teams came as a result of Team BKR pursuing a T.B.L. towards the end of last year’s race season as Nico Ferrari, Team Manager explains, “Warren and I were really close to getting a package together last year which would have seen us entering the BTCC and returning at least one Insignia to the grid. For various reasons this plan didn’t work out as we hoped but now I am more excited by this new opportunity which gives us the chance to work alongside the biggest team currently in the BTCC”.
Team BMR Principle Warren Scott, delighted to have all six of his NGTC cars from past seasons back out on circuits for the fans to enjoy commented “This B-TEC Development Series is really starting to pick up momentum, myself and Nico are in talks with various drivers and are looking to get the first testing dates secured shortly. Team BKR were unfortunate not to get the T.B.L they worked so hard for but I believe this is a better option for them as they will learn how to run these cars the same way we’ve been running them so successfully for the last few seasons”.
Team BKR previously competed in the Renault Clio Cup Championship in 2015 as well as having a history of entries in Brit Car and other club level motorsport championships.
Both teams are keen to hear from drivers of all skill levels and abilities as explained by Nico, “It needs to be made clear this is club motorsport, we welcome enquiries from all drivers! For any driver who is serious about progressing to the likes of BTCC or even making a return, there is no other place to be right now than in the B-TEC Development Series. To have the opportunity to drive NGTC spec cars under the watchful eye of Team BMR and all the other BTCC teams involved is not to be missed!”
Kieran Gallagher Signs for Team BKR in B-TEC Development Series
Team BKR have officially announced that BTCC driver Kieran Gallagher signed a one year deal earlier this week when he flew into London from his hometown Glasgow to meet with Nico Ferrari & Team BMR Principle Warren Scott, who is involved in the B-Tec Development Series project alongside series Director & Triple Eight Boss Ian Harrison
“I knew as soon as I read about this series that it would be a wise move for me, I am keen to continue my progress in NGTC machinery and what better way for me to move forward than with the help of Team BKR” explained Gallagher.
Gallagher has made no secrets of the fact that he hopes to make a return to the BTCC soon, this deal presents him with the opportunity to gain extensive experience in the NGTC spec Volkswagen CC’s that were driven in last year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by the likes of Team BMR’s Colin Turkington and Aron Smith, in addition to the Vauxhall Insignia that was successful in the 2013 and 2014 championship.
On asking Gallagher how he felt about the upcoming season, he said “I just cannot wait to get out in the car now and begin testing, to be given the chance to pilot a proved BTCC race winning car is a real privilege and an opportunity I will make the most of.”
Team BKR Manager Nico Ferrari described his joy at having the first driver secured, “I’ve been keen from the start to have a recent BTCC driver on our team, to have one from just last season is superb! I’ve never worked with Kieran before but we get on great and I’m looking forward to giving the guy the chance to show his ability and pace in a front running NGTC.”
Ferrari also commented on some of the added benefits associated with the newly signed driver, “Kieran has a massive social media presence which is really exciting, we’re already talking about some great initiatives to welcome his huge fanbase to our team and continue building his profile, preparing him for a strong return to the BTCC which I have no doubt is in the pipeline.”
Gallagher who has previous experience in the Vauxhall Insignia when he competed in the BTCC at Knockhill in 2013, is set to begin testing in the near future. As the first driver to commit to the series he has received strong support from B-TEC Development Series Director and Triple Eight boss Ian Harrison, “I am delighted that Kieran has signed the deal with Team BKR and with his previous BTCC experience I am certain that the B-TEC Development Series will aid his development as a driver in a car that will show what he can really do behind the wheel. I look forward to watching his journey as the series progresses”.
Prior to his 2015 season racing a Toyota Avensis, Gallagher has also competed in the Volkswagen Racing Cup, Porsche Carerra Cup GB and Scottish Legends Car Championship.
The B-TEC Development series, open for none BTCC entrants, is tailored for aspiring touring car teams and drivers, providing an opportunity to develop the skills required for the British Touring Car Championship, away from the spotlight. The Development series will also create a platform for young managers, engineers and mechanics to hone their skills, providing a relevant and recognised training ground. The Series are keen to hear from drivers of all skill levels and abilities.
No doubt there will be more announcements for this new Tintop Series & Tintop Guru will keep you all updated on the latest news during the winter buildup.
All the best!