Milton Keynes based Thorney Motorsport have announced their intentions to enter a pair of full NGTC-spec Vauxhall Insignia in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) this season.
The team are aiming to compete at the season finale at Silverstone on October 16, though team owner John Thorne has stated that the new cars could appear at Brands Hatch a fortnight earlier.
The team have previously attempted to enter the series with both BMWs and Vauxhalls, but Thorne explains “for a variety of reasons we didn't make it, this time we are definite!”
“The new NGTC regulations are just too good to ignore,” Thorne says, “as a team we always build our own race cars rather than running someone else's and the new regulations allow both the budget to be kept reasonable as well as allow some engineering flair that we thrive on”
“The Insignia is going to be a challenge, it's a big chassis and we know that weight will be an issue initially but the size is also to our benefit, the width of the shell is such that we won't need to resort to huge wheel arch extensions which whilst looking good don't do you any favours in terms of aerodynamics”
Away from the track – where Thorney Motorsport has also contested the Dunlop SportMaxx Series with Vauxhall Astras – the company has over 60 road car tuning Performance Centres which specialise in BMWs and Vauxhalls – a link which makes the choice of Vauxhall equipment a natural one for the team.
Thorney says; “racing needs a commercial platform to be successful, by partnering with our Performance Centres and the wider Vauxhall retailer network we can generate a real return of investment to both business's without the need for formal manufacturer backing, we won't be a factory team but Vauxhall are pretty happy we've chosen to race their product……so long as we do well of course!”
“We aren't going to rush this, developing a new race car takes time and we won't run it until we can be sure it will be competitive, also with NGTC still being so new we think there are a great many things still to learn from being on the sidelines rather in the full glare of the public”
The team is planning a build blog, allowing fans for follow the journey from road car to Touring Car, with the process filmed for fans to watch and follow through social media sites.