NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 15/11/96 HOY SIGNS FOR FORD Former Champion Will Hoy is to drive for Ford in next year's Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, it was announced today (Friday). The 43-year-old ...
NEWS FROM THE AUTO TRADER RAC TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 15/11/96
HOY SIGNS FOR FORD
Former Champion Will Hoy is to drive for Ford in next year's Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship, it was announced today (Friday). The 43-year-old Londoner's switch from the Williams Renault team, with whom he has spent two seasons and won three races, is seen as a move which underlines Ford's determination to speed back into the winner's circle after a lacklustre 1996 season.
Hoy -- 1991 British Touring Car Champion -- said of his two-year deal with Ford: 'The signs are all good. Ford has made some fundamental changes in the way the touring car programme is structured. A great deal of progress has been made with the Mondeo so far, and I'm very confident of the team's ability to develop it further.'
It is anticipated that Hoy's running mate in the Ford squad for '97 will be Paul Radisich, who has raced Mondeos in the Auto Trader Championship since the model was introduced to the series in 1993; an announcement to that effect is expected from Ford within the next few weeks.
Despite having the most successful track record of any manufacturer in the BTCC, Ford has not won the championship since 1990 and, despite success in the FIA Touring Car World Cup -- won twice by Radisich -- the Mondeo has never fulfilled its series-winning promise in Britain. Steps to remedy that situation already taken by Ford include the signing last year of the ultra-successful West Surrey Racing Team to field its cars and the recent engagement of top British racing car manufacturer Reynard to re-engineer the Mondeo for 1997.
Hoy burst on to the UK touring car scene in '91, winning the title in a BMW in his first full season in the BTCC. He was runner-up the following season in a Toyota and, after a further two seasons with them, switched to Renault for '95 and '96. His departure from Renault leaves a vacancy alongside Alain Menu on the French manufacturer's driving strength.
-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport http://www.demon.co.uk/racing