Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Principal Ian Harrison spoke to TCF on what he says will be ‘a new era’ for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s most successful outfit in 2015.
The squad remain the most successful in BTCC history with six Driver’s titles and seven Team’s crowns to their name, announcing on Wednesday that 2013 champion, Andrew Jordan, would join the team in 2015.
Jordan takes over from the team’s enigmatic former star, Jason Plato, the latter departing having fought for the title in each of the team’s previous three seasons and collected 20 wins with the MG6 GT between 2012-14.
Harrison commented to The Checkered Flag on changes applied for the new season, indicating that not much will drastically alter besides the new driver-line up for 2015.
“It’s all change, but then again it’s all the same really”, Harrison told TCF on Thursday afternoon at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.
“We’re still trying do the same things we always do, but from a drivers point of view it is all change. We had three years with Jason [Plato], which was great; we had a few ups and downs along the way in terms of results, but overall I think we won more races than anybody else.
“Now that is the end of that, this is a new era and the next phase.”
“It’s all change, but then again it’s all the same really – We’re still trying do the same things we always do, but from a drivers point of view it is all change” – Ian Harrison
The scoop of 2013 champion, Jordan, from his family-run Eurotech squad Harrison says was a defining deal for the MG squad for the coming campaign, reuniting the 25-year-old with the team he last raced for back 2009.
“We’re really pleased to have Andrew on board for us”, Harrison praised. “As I said, Plato is very difficult to replace, but I’m really chuffed to bits that we managed to get Andrew.
“We know him from when he was just a young punk, whereas now he’s not such a young punk and he’s an ex-champion, so we really want to get him back on the top step again.”
A debate that oozed through the 2014 BTCC season was that of parity within the technical regulations between front and rear-wheel drive machinery, Harrison and Plato two of the most outspoken among several front-wheel drive opposition that called for more equality for the coming season.
The latest rule changes appeared to display a number of equalisation methods applied to the 2015 technical regulations, Harrison hopeful that the changes will be successful besides stating that MG still have room to improve otherwise.
He added: “I think that the sporting regulations are good right now, everybody’s signed up for those which I think is great. Some of the technical regulations haven’t been finalised yet and they are the most important bits, because we have the front-wheel drive versus rear-wheel drive elephant in the room still that needs sorting out.
“In terms of front-wheel drive, the MG is right up there. It’s statistically the best, so if we can improve that – everybody else will improve so it’s all relative – then we’re not standing still with the car.”
On the question of acquiring a second driver to fill the remaining MG6 GT for the coming season, Harrison stated confidently: “Yes, in the next couple of weeks we should have that sorted, then we can make an announcement and off we go for the season.”