New BTCC team to run Insignias
|By Kevin Turner||Monday, April 11th 2011, 14:13 GMT|
Another new model is set to enter the British Touring Car Championship after Thorney Motorsport announced it will run two Vauxhall Insignias in the series later this season.
Thorney, which has extensive experience running tin-tops in British club events, is currently building the NGTC cars and hopes to run them at the Brands Hatch or Silverstone rounds in October.
Team boss John Thorne will drive one car, while the team's Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy driver Joe Girling could fill the second seat.
The team is considering using the Swindon-developed TOCA engine, but has not ruled out developing a unit itself.
Thorne said: "It's been a dream of mine for many years to run in the BTCC. We've come close in the last two years and the new NGTC regulations are just too good to ignore.
"As a team we always built our own cars and the new regs allow both the budget to be kept reasonable as well as allow some engineering flair that we can thrive on."
Thorne believes that, despite its extra size compared to Vauxhall's Vectra and Astra models, the Insignia can be a good base for a BTCC racer.
"Commercially our core business is performance upgrades for Vauxhalls and BMWs so we have to run one of those for obvious reasons," he said.
"The Insignia has an excellent drag coefficient, which is going to be very useful for us. No bulbous wheel arch extensions means much better aerodynamics and we think will give a very Super Touring look to the car.
"TOCA want bigger cars in the championship and frankly we agree with them."
Thorne also confirmed he wants to give the team time to develop the car before it appears in the BTCC.
"We aren't going to rush it," he said. "I've got first hand experience of rushing a car to the grid when it wasn't fully developed and it's no fun and you've no idea how it will compete. I'm not doing that again."