BTCC: 1997 calendar announced

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 30/6/96 TOCA Ltd, organiser of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, has announced next year's calendar for the country's premier motor sport series. It will...

NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 30/6/96 TOCA Ltd, organiser of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, has announced next year's calendar for the country's premier motor sport series. It will feature 26 races at 13 meetings between March and September, including the blue riband British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone in July. The championship -- which enters a new era in 1997 as the main focus of the BBC's motor sport television coverage -- will also for the first time visit the soon-to-be-redeveloped Croft circuit near Darlington in north-east England, and will feature a season-opening race on the little-used Donington Park Short circuit. TOCA also announces that the BTCC will once again be supported by race series from Ford, Renault and Vauxhall. The three most active manufacturers in British motor sport have signed a new three- year deal which guarantees their premier single-seater, sports car and one-make saloon car championships will be staged as part of the high-profile BTCC programme until 2000. Alan Gow, TOCA's Chief Executive, said: 'Ford, Renault and Vauxhall have all played crucial roles in assisting TOCA to re- establish motor racing as one of this country's top sporting attractions. I'm absolutely delighted that all three of these prominent manufacturers have made long-term commitments to extend their support.' As well as the twin televised BTCC races, each of the TOCA- organised race meetings will feature seven support-race championships: two each from Ford, Renault and Vauxhall -- the final details of these are still in negotiation though both Ford and Vauxhall are planning exciting new series for 1997 -- plus the nostalgic Classic Touring Car Championship. Commenting on the adoption of the Croft circuit by the championship, Gow said: 'It's in a very important geographical area which currently is devoid of top-class motor sport. We have made several visits to the venue, and provided the owners upgrade and revitalise the facility as planned it will host a BTCC meeting in 1997 and become a regular fixture on the calendar.' 1997 Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship calendar Mar 30/31 Donington Park (Short circuit) Apr 19/20 Silverstone (International circuit) May 4/5 Thruxton May 17/18 Brands Hatch (Indy circuit) May 25/26 Oulton Park (Long circuit) Jun 14/15 Donington Park (Grand Prix circuit) Jun 28/29 Croft Jul 11-13 Silverstone -- British Grand Prix Jul 25-27 Knockhill Aug 9/10 Snetterton Aug 23-25 Thruxton Sep 6/7 Brands Hatch Sep 20/21 Silverstone (International circuit) Oct 18/19 Donington Park Tourist Trophy (non-championship) -- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing

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Series BTCC
Drivers Alan Gow