The BTC Norlin Racing Team have announced today that they will switch models for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The team will move from the Chevrolet Cruze NGTC cars they used during their successful 2017 debut season, to run Honda Civic’s for this years campaign. The BTC Norlin Racing Team are yet to reveal their 2018 driver lineup.
Team Director Bert Taylor explained the reasons behind the move from Chevrolet to Honda.
“The move highlights the ambitions of the BTC Norlin Racing team to continue to invest in the BTCC series and progress to become a regular fixture on the podium.”
“We wish to extend special thanks to Honda and Barry Ploughman, Steve Neal and Matt Neal from Team Dynamics who gave us this unique opportunity to acquire world-class manufacturer’s machinery.”
The Northern Irish based squad took two Independent class wins during their maiden season in the BTCC. Dave Newsham secured wins at both his home circuit of Knockhill and also at Silverstone, where Newsham took the teams first overall podium finish.
The team finished in eleventh place overall in the Team’s Championship and this was helped with Chris Smiley taking his best ever finish in the BTCC of seventh place in race three at Silverstone.
Richard Irwin, co-owner of BTC Norlin Racing, added further to this news.
“The Honda Civic Type R has consistently been at the front of the grid with both Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal. Norlin strives to steadily challenge for the independent title in the coming seasons and therefore the switch of body shells was important to achieve this.”
The reasons behind the change to the Honda Civic are clear with 2017 seeing five Honda NGTC cars in action. Eurotech Honda have already confirmed that they will run three Civic’s this year whilst Team Dynamics are expected to return with both Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, however the team are yet to reveal their plans for 2018.
Since the beginning of the NGTC era in the BTCC, the Honda Civic model has taken three overall Drivers Titles care of Gordon Shedden in 2012, 2015 and 2016. The Honda has also secured the Manufacturers title in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Andrew Jordan also won the overall Drivers Title in 2013 in a Honda Civic, which adds to the impressive tally of accolades for the NGTC machine.
The team has also confirmed that both Norlin Hotels and Central Fusion will continue to sponsor the cars in 2018 along with a number of new sponsors that will be announced in the coming weeks.
Stephen Symington, co-owner, explained.
“The professionalism and ambition of the BTC Norlin team surprised many in our debut season and thus has attracted the attention of a number of new sponsors and brands, some already involved in motorsports and others new to this arena. We look forward to welcoming them and their guests to a real VIP experience at each round of the 2018 season.”
The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets underway on the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on 7th – 8th April.