A two-weekend, four-race Protyre Formula Renault BARC Winter Series has been announced, with a coveted slot on the British Touring Car Championship package kicking it off.

The first two races will take place at Brands Hatch on 20th/21st October on BTCC finale weekend, marking the first time the championship will compete on the full GP configuration, with the final two races taking place at Rockingham three weeks later.

“The Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit touring car meeting is always fantastic, it’s the best BTCC event of the year, and with probably the biggest crowd of the season, so to be involved in it is just brilliant for our championship,” said series promoter Simon North. “We’re thrilled to announce such an incredible opening event for our Winter Series.

“Being back at Brands is very important for us and fulfils two things – we’ll be part of one of the biggest motorsport events of the year in the UK and it’s the only chance for the Formula Renault BARC drivers to race on the Grand Prix circuit, so it’s almost a unique opportunity in that sense.”

It will mark the second time this year the series will join the BTCC package, with the full championship’s final rounds taking place in support of the series at Silverstone. The organisers are hoping that the increased exposure will ensure the winter series attracts around 20 cars.

“Arguably this has been the best ever year for Protyre Formula Renault BARC in terms of the number of drivers we’ve had competing, it’s been an incredibly strong season,” added North. “I’m sure this must be the first time a winter series event for any championship has been part of a BTCC event and, with that in mind, we’re hopeful it will help to attract a strong grid of up to 20 cars

“This is very much a one-off opportunity and we’re extremely grateful to Alan Gow [BTCC Series Director] for extending the invitation. It’s a real privilege to begin our Winter Series at such a prestigious race meeting and that can only be good for the profile of Protyre Formula Renault BARC, on a national and international stage.”