Subaru will grace the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2016, securing a sensational three-year deal with Team BMR.
Jason Plato and Colin Turkington will spearhead the Japanese manufacturer’s maiden assault on the series with a brace of Subaru Levorg Sports Tourers, both having battled for a third BTCC Drivers’ title in 2015 when the BMR squad competed with a quartet of Volkswagen CC machines.
“We’re very excited to have teamed up with BMR from the 2016 Championship – the first time a Subaru has competed in BTCC,” said Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director for Subaru UK & Ireland.
“Although the Levorg features the Subaru famed all-wheel drive system, the car can be easily developed to compete with rear-wheel drive in order to comply with the BTCC regulations… so we can’t wait to see how it goes against very established competition.”
The deal will now see defending Teams’ Championship winners, Team BMR, compete for the Manufacturers’ Championship in 2016 for the first time in the outfit’s still-young career, something that excites Team Principal Warren Scott.
“I am extremely delighted that Team BMR are to become a Manufacturer team in only our fourth year of competing in the BTCC,” Scott enthused. “I have had aspirations of becoming a race-winning team with factory support from the very beginning and I am immensely proud of the team for giving Subaru the confidence to partner with BMR.”
Team BMR’s efforts will run under the guidance of Chief Designer Carl Faux, who explained the engineering challenges as Subaru’s four-cylinder boxer engine is developed to match full BTCC specification.
“It’s an honour to be leading not only Team BMR’s first ‘clean-sheet’ car design and build, but to be able to do this with Subaru’s new Levorg model is a real privilege,” confirmed Faux. “Engineering challenges is what the project presents – a new car, new engine and all the new generation TOCA components require a methodical approach. Establishing a three-year programme means we can focus on getting the basics right early before developing the package further over the following years.”
Subaru’s BTCC debut will take place at Brands Hatch in early April, BMR working towards cementing a testing programme ahead of an official reveal at the BTCC Season Launch at Donington Park on 22 March.
Series Director Alan Gow added: “We are delighted to welcome another manufacturer to the BTCC and particularly one with such an incredible motor sport heritage. Subaru is an iconic brand with a huge following and its introduction to the BTCC is certain to excite our many fans both in the UK and around the world. No doubt Team BMR with its hugely experienced and talented driver line-up will make for a very successful partnership.”