Three eras of legendary touring car machinery are set to take to the track this year in a new series promoted by Dunlop called the Dunlop Saloon Car Cup.
The championship is to race on a four race calendar at circuits such as Silverstone, Donington Park, Brands Hatch GP and Oulton Park.
This newly launched series is set to enjoy high level promotion from Cup supporters, the Historic Sports Car Club.
With three categories in one race. Each class has been dubbed as a “race within the race” and have been named accordingly. SuperTouring cars are set to race in the David Leslie Cup, Group A in the Tim Harvey Trophy and finally Group 1 cars in the Tom Walkinshaw Trophy.
David Leslie Cup
The popular Scotsman who sadly passed away in 2008 has his name given to the era where he made his name in the British Touring Car Championship. SuperTouring is often fondly looked back upon by fans who watched the series at the time and often in historic meets the speed and sounds these high cost touring cars produce still thrill the masses.
David’s family have given the category their support with Jane Leslie commenting, “There are endless happy memories.
“It was a fantastic era of technology and competition and the family are truly honoured that David’s legacy will be celebrated with this event.”
Tim Harvey Trophy
Tim Harvey has the honour of having the Group A cars racing for his named category. “Homologation Specials” in the form of Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworths, BMW E30 M3’s and Rover Vitesses are set to thunder around the circuits in mid-eighties swagger.
Tim Harvey looks back on the era with fond memories, “The Group A era had it all. Recognisable cars, more power than grip and rear wheel drive.
“My first BTCC win was in the V8 Rover Vitesse in 1987, but it was the Ford Sierra RS500 that became the fans’ favourite.
“I’m proud of my victories in the Labatt’s liveried Sierra. It’s going to be fabulous to see these cars emerge from collections and allow a new generation of fans to experience the sights and sounds of a brilliant era of touring car racing.”
Tom Walkinshaw Trophy
A man who’s influence on touring car racing around the world has his name on the Group 1 set of regulations which demanded that five thousand examples of a car was to be produced before it could race in certain championships.
Famous for its multi-class structure and wide range of cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro sharing the circuit with Mini 1275 GT’s this was where Tom Walkinshaw and his Tom Walkinshaw Racing team begun to make their name in motorsport.
Tom’s son Sean Walkinshaw is pleased that the championship is using his father’s name, “I’m really grateful that the Trophy is using dad’s name.
“He achieved so much in touring car racing, both as a driver and team owner and it all started in the 70s Group 1 era. Touring cars were always my dad’s passion and it was the building block to what TWR eventually became.”
Following the blessings from the families of David Leslie and Tom Walkinshaw. Plus the support from Tim Harvey, Andy Dee-Crowne CEO of the HSCC spoke of the importance of this new championship and also the Dunlop ties, “We’re delighted to have the support of the Leslie and Walkinshaw families and the endorsement from Tim Harvey.
“The three eras of Touring Car racing appeal to different generations and for the HSCC it marks a new opportunity. It widens our span of racing to include the ‘modern era’ of the mid-2000s and will attract a new fanbase to HSCC events.
“It is wonderful to have Dunlop’s support. They have been part of the BTCC since the very first season in 1958 and Dunlop tyres have been used by race winners in each of the three eras we are showcasing.
“They are a fantastic technical partner to the Cup and their investment builds a strong bridge to their involvement in contemporary BTCC.”