Former Triple Eight driver Andy Neate will race a booted NGTC Chevrolet Cruze for his own newly-formed IP Tech Race Engineering in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Neate has drive for three different teams in the past three season and left the championship-winning Triple Eight squad after just one year alongside title challenging teammate Jason Plato.
Now, his new team will be set the challenge of building a Cruze – similar to that expected to be run by BTC Racing for Christ Stockton – to the series’ Next Generation Touring Car specification.
The team says World Touring Car Championship winning outfit RML will assist in the initial development of the base unit of the Cruze.
Neate said: “What sets this programme apart from others is that this is entirely our car, bolts up. I’m fortunate to have some exceptional equipment at my disposal including the very latest fluid, temperature & airflow simulation software, and clearly the expertise to maximize on the potential it provides.”
Neate hopes to have the car out for the season opener at Brands Hatch but there is no guarantee on when it will be completed. Despite the challenges, he thinks the decision to set up his own outfit to take on experienced, established teams is the right one.
“Competing successfully in the BTCC is so much more about the people behind the doors and not necessarily the name above it,” he added. “Experience of the personnel and engineering talent is key. I felt the timing was right to take advantage of the experience I’ve gained as a driver and the global recognition I’ve earned as a chief technical officer of engineering.
“Coupling these attributes with the collective of the best people around me that I could hope for, suggests success cannot be far away.”
Neate endured a poor 2012 season in the MG KX Momentum Racing MG6, scoring no podiums while teammate Plato took the championship fight to the wire.
He was involved in a number of on-track incidents, reprimanded once, and told theCheckeredFlag.co.uk before the season finale he was eager to prove the doubters wrong.