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The 2016 British Touring Cars grid is completely full
32-car line-up is BTCC's biggest ever, with five former champions driving
The British Touring Car Championship has announced that its largest ever grid will line-up for a full tilt at the upcoming 30-race calendar when the new season gets underway at Brands Hatch at the start of next month.
A stocky 32 cars will feature, with the high demand forcing organisers to turn away two prospective entries after the grid reached its operational limit. There’s variety, too; Honda Civic Type-Rs will battle Subaru Levorgs and a, um, Proton Persona.
Touring car veteran Gordon Shedden will be bidding for a third title after securing his second crown at the last event in 2015, while former champions Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal, Colin Turkington and Jason Plato will also be in contention.
The latter pair will be driving for Subaru this season, after the Japanese manufacturer announced it would be entering four cars in 2016 having never raced in the BTCC before. The Levorgs have switched from four-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive to allow them entry.
BTCC confirmed that Dunlop will continue to provide tyres until 2022, and that a free-to-view TV deal with ITV had been agreed, also running until 2022.
Series director Alan Gow said: “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.
“These really are the ‘good old days’ that, one day in the future, we will look back on with great fondness and delight.”
When you consider how fondly previous eras of Touring Car racing are remembered, it’s a strong claim. The 30-race calendar will play out over the course of ten events this year, with the season starting at Brands Hatch on April 2nd and ending at the same circuit at the beginning of October. Excited?