Ciceley Racing will race a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the 2014 British Touring Car Championship, bringing the German manufacturer to the series for this first time since 1986.
The Lancashire squad, currently running a Toyota Avensis in the hands of Adam Morgan, who lies seventh in the championship after a solid season that has included a podium finish at Oulton Park, will switch to an A-Class built at the team’s base to NGTC regulations.
The deal aligns with the team’s main sponsors and will see the squad bring Mercedes to the UK championship’s gridat the 2014 Brands Hatch opener next March, Ciceley Racing no stranger to the Silver Arrows in motorsport having clinched class wins on the Manx Rally twice in 1986 and 1987 with the Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz 190.
That car was driven by Ciceley Racing Team Principal Russell Morgan, who said: “It’s great to finally announce our plans for 2014, the switch made sense for us in many different ways. With Paul Ridgway at the helm of the project holding high aspirations and Adam continuing to mature as a driver, we think that the A-Class can be a competitive package in the series next year.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota for all of their help over the last two seasons, hopefully we can end what has been a brilliant debut season for the team on a high.”
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow added that Ciceley’s bold project proves the strength of the current NGTC regulations which have been utilised to their fullest in 2013.
“This programme by Ciceley Racing is a perfect demonstration of the strength and adaptability of our ‘NGTC’ technical regulations – the team are able to change from racing a Toyota and onto developing and racing a Mercedes-Benz, whilst utilising the vast majority of the NGTC components they already possess.”
“It will be great to see a Mercedes-Benz on the grid, to add to the already huge roll-call of other great brands competing in the BTCC.”
The Toyota Avensis currently campaign by Morgan and Ciceley Racing will be put up for sale at the end of the season.