Vauxhall will take part in the 2001 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with the Astra Coupe for lead drivers Yvan Muller and Jason Plato. The confirmation comes with the first public showing of the Astra Coupe touring car concept at the 2000 Motor Show at Birmingham's NEC, October 18/28.
The Astra Coupe will be built by Vauxhall development partner Triple Eight Race Engineering Ltd to comply with all-new technical regulations announced earlier in the year by BTCC organisers BMP, with the aim of producing much more exciting racing.
"We at Vauxhall Motorsport are really looking forward to this new challenge," said Mike Nicholson, Vauxhall's motorsport manager. "Its time to say goodbye to the race-winning Vectra and to face a winter season of hard work with the Astra Coupe. Our development partner, Triple Eight Race Engineering, has the job of turning our exciting road car into a race-winning machine ready for what will be the most interesting season in touring cars for many years. We expect the racing to be closer than ever, with tough competition from an increased number of teams, but our lead drivers Yvan (Muller) and Jason (Plato) are ready to meet the opportunity of driving our new car in a revitalised championship."
Full details of the Vauxhall Motorsport team for 2001 will be announced during the winter, when development and testing of the new Astra Coupe touring car begins.