Vauxhall Sport boss gets ready for farewell
Brands Hatch's BTCC finale on October 4 will, barring a shock reprieve from corporate bigwigs who've never set foot in a touring car paddock, represent the end of Vauxhall's continuous 21-year involvement in the series as a works team.
Former rally co-driver Mike Nicholson has been Vauxhall's sports boss since those early days in 1989, and his massive enthusiasm for the sport has carried him to almost all of the 490 BTCC races held since the Astra GTE was wheeled out for John Cleland to dominate that first season. He also presided over the Formula Vauxhall, Vauxhall Junior and Vectra Challenge series that used to feature on the TOCA support bill.
And if that's not enough, wife Marie was one of the lynchpins at Barrie Hinchcliffe Productions, whose legendary delayed-highlights packages catapulted the BTCC stars to TV cult-hero status in the series' 1990s heyday.
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Marcus Simmons is the deputy editor of Autosport magazine. As a child he was a regular on the chalk banks of Thruxton, before becoming an MSA timekeeper at the age of 17. Shortly afterwards, he started reporting for Motoring News and joined the staff in 1990.
After abandoning a parallel Formula First career – which had been as incident-packed as his childhood equestrian exploits – he moved to Autosport in 1996. Since then he has had two stints as a freelance and a brief spell as editor of Motor Sport magazine, during which the revered green cover was revived, before rejoining Autosport in 2008. He lives in Twickenham with his partner, two daughters, cat and guitars.