No.66 John Thorne
John Thorne appeared with the Insignia at the end of last season, completing a record BTCC grid for the finale.
Like many of the other teams that debuted NGTC in the specifications' coming out year Thorne's team have stripped and rebuilt the car over the winter, with the latest updates included on the chassis and a new engine – fitted in the two weeks between the media launch and the Brands Hatch curtain raiser.
Though Thorne has been able to complete a handful of test days he admits to still finding issues with the car. Rob Hedley is scheduled to join the grid in a second Insignia starting at Oulton Park, potentially doubling the speed to the ascent up the learning curve, but also the possibility of problems.
Thorne may not be able to give the Insignia top ten finishes, but with the venerable Vectra coming to the end of its competitive life the Insignia could be a glimpse into the future of the BTCC more than any other car on the grid.
John Thorne onâ€¦..the travails of the small team
“The biggest problem for us is lack of budget, we've got no sponsors, not one – this is all self funded. I've remortgaged my house to pay for this so it makes you feel like you're driving around with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand in your cheque book which is pretty scary. We won't be able to throw money at the thing but we'll do what we can.”