Vauxhall confirms commitment to BTCC

Vauxhall has confirmed its 2001 BTCC programme of a pair of Astra Coupes for current works drivers Jason Plato and Yvan Muller

Vauxhall confirms commitment to BTCC

The expected announcement comes after weeks of talk from Vauxhall motorsport manager Mike Nicholson, expressing the Luton marque's intention to build up to six Astras and run two as a works team. Vauxhall's commitment to the series was officially announced on Motorsport day (Friday) of the British Motor Show at Birmingham's NEC.

Series insiders suggest that Vauxhall top brass may have come close to canning the programme during the last few months as it was the only manufacturer to declare its intention to stick with the BTCC. Peugeot's decision to re-enter the series appears to have calmed the doubts.

"We are really looking forward to this new challenge," said Vauxhall's motorsport boss Mike Nicholson. "We expect the racing to be closer than ever during what will be the most interesting season in touring cars for many years."

The 2001 car will be based on the Astra Coupe, which is currently used in the German DTM series, and will be built by Triple Eight Race Engineering.

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