Lift-off for SCV8

The new-for-2004 SCV8 Supercar Championship was officially launched at the AUTOSPORT International show at Birmingham's NEC on Thursday

Lift-off for SCV8

The 550bhp, V8, rear-wheel drive touring car series will cater for models from Jaguar, Peugeot, Honda and Vauxhall. Ten double-header races will be held around Britain's racetracks next year, and series chiefs are expecting a sparkling start to the new championship.

"We are very proud to have got this far," said Andy Rouse, the former British Touring Car Champion who is behind the series. "After three years of hard work, we've built a great car and a great series. The car is very exciting to drive, and had the same performance as the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500s of the past."

The prototype car, featuring a Jaguar X-Type bodyshell, was unveiled at the show, and Rouse promises some exciting racing when the series kicks off at Silverstone in May.

"The racing is going to be very close," said Rouse. "The car is fast and it's going to be a big challenge for the drivers because it has an excess of power over grip. There is going to be a lot more to driving an SCV8 than many other categories out there, and it's all about entertainment."

Fellow series founder Pete Hall revealed that a "high street brand" was in the pipeline to be the championship's title sponsor, and that the long-term aim of the series was to bring back the glory days to British national racing.

"We have a five-year business plan that is geared to people coming through the gate," said Hall. "Both myself and Andy were involved during the mid '90s boom in touring cars, and we want to bring that back."

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