Vauxhall has been crowned champion manufacturer of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship, with one round still remaining. With this achievement Vauxhall has set a new record in the history of BTCC, winning the title for the third year in succession -- a feat no other manufacturer has accomplished. The 2.0 litre, 275bhp Vauxhall Astra Coupes have dominated the championship from the beginning of the season, and have a current points tally of 485, 192 points ahead of their nearest rival, Honda.
The trophy cabinet at VX Racing has doubled in size since last season with the Vauxhall Astra Coupes recording 32 podium places, including 10 wins, beating the 2002 tally of 25 podiums. This high performance race car, a modified version of the Astra road car, with a top speed in excess of 100mph, has proved to be the car to beat since the beginning of the year when James Thompson took back-to-back wins at Mondello Park's season opener.
With the manufacturers title already decided, Vauxhall also looks set to retain both the team and drivers championship. VX Racing is currently at the head of the teams' championship, with three rounds of the championship to be contested. Yvan Muller leads the drivers' championship, although team-mates James Thompson and Paul O'Neill are both still in with a chance to take this title. Winning all three championships would bring another record to Vauxhall, as no manufacturer has won all three titles, three years in a row.
Kevin Wale, managing director of Vauxhall Motor Company, is delighted that Vauxhall has set a new record in British motorsport, and says, "This is a great achievement for Vauxhall. The Vauxhall Astra Coupes have dominated the British Touring Car Championship for the last three seasons, although the competition has been fierce every race, every season. We strive to produce winning cars, both on track and on the road, and the VX Racing Astra Coupes have certainly demonstrated our commitment to achieving excellence with all our products."
Mike Nicholson, motorsport operations manager, VX Racing, is equally pleased at clinching the manufacturers' title. "Everyone involved with the cars has worked very hard this year, we've had some good competition from Honda, MG and Proton, but to win the title with one race weekend left, is just superb. Achieving this title has been a real team effort, so our thanks must go to everyone at VX Racing, and, of course, James, Yvan and Paul."
The manufacturers' championship involves points being awarded to three nominated cars. Vauxhall's chosen three are the Astra Coupes' of Yvan Muller, James Thompson and Paul O'Neill. There are 15 points awarded for each win, 12 points for second, 10 for third, and 8 for fourth, with 6 points for fifth place decreasing to one point for finishing tenth.