The British Touring Car Championship has confirmed a record 32 car full season entry for the 2016 campaign.
Britain’s premier race series unveiled its capacity line up at the season launch at Donington Park which will see five former champions and 11 manufacturers represented on the grid.
The influx of competitors has seen all 32 of the TOCA BTCC licences, similar to V8 Supercars’ Racing Entitlement Contracts, issued for the first time.
This year will see Subaru enter as a full blown manufacturer courtesy of a four car effort from Team BMR.
The Japanese manufacturer will use its Levorg wagon as the base of its NGTC BTCC entry, which will be piloted by two-time champions Jason Plato and Colin Turkington, alongside James Cole and Warren Scott.
Subaru joins Honda, MG and BMW in the battle for the Manufacturers’ championship.
Honda will field three cars for reigning champion Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Andy Neate, with Triple Eight fielding MG 6s for Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton.
BMW squad West Surrey Racing will also field three cars for Sam Tordoff, Rob Collard and Jack Goff.
Meanwhile, Motorbase Performance returns to the grid with its Ford Focus entries, driven by 2013 champion Andrew Jordan and Mat Jackson.
The BTCC has struggled to reclaim the glory of the super touring era of the 90s, but championship boss Alan Gow is convinced the series is returning to its halcyon days.
“This truly is a golden era for the BTCC and our developments in recent months further underline its strength and position as Britain’s most successful motor sport series – and by a very big margin,” said Gow.
“I’m also really pleased with the increasing amount of new talent that’s been coming into the BTCC over the last few years. Make no mistake, many will go on to become the future ‘household names’ of the BTCC and are set for great long-term careers in Britain’s biggest championship.
“Our fantastic capacity line-up for 2016 looks set to be even more competitive and enthralling than ever – I’m genuinely excited to see how the season unfolds.”
Neal put the Halfords Honda Civic on top during in the pre-season test with the three-time champion heading new MG recruit Sutton.
The 30 race championship begins at Brands Hatch from April 2-3.
British Touring Car Championship 2016 Entry List
|4||Colin Turkington||GBR||Subaru Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Manufacturer|
|7||Mat Jackson||GBR||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||Independent|
|11||Rob Austin||GBR||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||Independent|
|12||Mike Epps||GBR||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||Independent/Rookie|
|14||Alex Martin||GBR||Dextra Racing with Team Parker||Ford Focus||Independent|
|16||Aiden Moffat||GBR||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes Benz A-Class||Independent|
|17||Daniel Welch||GBR||Goodestone Racing||Proton Persona||Independent|
|20||James Cole||GBR||Subaru Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Manufacturer|
|22||Chris Smiley||GBR||TLC Racing||Toyota Avensis||Independent/Rookie|
|24||Jake Hill||GBR||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||Independent|
|25||Matt Neal||GBR||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Manufacturer|
|30||Martin Depper||GBR||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Independent|
|31||Jack Goff||GBR||Team IHG Rewards Club||BMW 125i M Sport||Constructor|
|33||Adam Morgan||GBR||WIX Racing||Mercedes Benz A-Class||Independent|
|38||Mark Howard||GBR||BKR||Volkswagen CC||Independent/Rookie|
|39||Warren Scott||GBR||Subaru Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Manufacturer|
|40||Aron Smith||IRL||BKR||Volkswagen CC||Independent|
|48||Ollie Jackson||GBR||AmD Tuning||Audi S3||Independent|
|52||Gordon Shedden||GBR||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Manufacturer|
|54||Hunter Abbott||GBR||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||Independent|
|55||Jeff Smith||GBR||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Independent|
|57||Andy Neate||GBR||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||Manufacturer|
|66||Josh Cook||GBR||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||Manufacturer|
|77||Andrew Jordan||GBR||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||Independent|
|80||Tom Ingram||GBR||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||Independent|
|84||Kelvin Fletcher||GBR||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||Independent/Rookie|
|95||Stewart Lines||GBR||Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||Independent|
|99||Jason Plato||GBR||Subaru Team BMR||Subaru Levorg GT||Manufacturer|
|100||Robert Collard||GBR||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||Constructor|
|116||Ashley Sutton||GBR||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||Manufacturer/Rookie|
|303||Matt Simpson||GBR||Speedworks Motorsport||Honda CIvic Type R||Independent/Rookie|
|600||Sam Tordoff||GBR||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||Constructor|