Blast from the past: 10 of the best 90's BTCC cars
The BTCC in the 90s had some of the most intense racing with manufacturers battling tooth and nail to claim the championship as their own. There was bitter rivalry between drivers like Steve Soper and John Cleland which exploded during the race at Silverstone back in 1992 with some questionable overtakes and that's why it was the best era. It was also the best era for the cars so here are what I'd class as the top 10.
10. Renault Laguna
The Laguna has to be in my list purely because it would be one of the last cars I'd expect to see on the grid. The road going version is a huge and soft car that doesn't really aspire to much therefore doesn't really have a place but how wrong was I! Sporting the green and gold wheel combo is just part of its charm.
9. Honda Accord
I've always had a soft spot for the Accord so when I found out that it was entered into the British Touring Car Championship I was very happy. Piloted by James Thompson and Peter Kox, the Accord didn't actually win any championships but it had its fair share in individual race wins.
8. Audi A4
The Audi A4 was one of the more known cars to enter the BTCC. Already popular with their road cars, it entered the championship under the name Audi Sport UK, founded by former racing driver Richard Lloyd and won the championship in its debut season. Impressive? Extremely.
7. Vauxhall Vectra
The Vectra came into the BTCC for the 1996 season. Its predecessor, the Cavalier, had a successful career during the championship piloted by John Cleland among a few others but it failed to live up to expectations under the RML brand and was subsequently taken over by 888 Racing who improved the car but still couldn't challenge the competition.
6. Ford Mondeo
The Mondeo is perhaps the angriest looking car on the grid and was quite successful in its career. It raced under different teams, both in-house and individual teams, from 1993 through to 2000. The original team was Andy Rouse Engineering which was taken over in 1996 by West Surrey Racing and finally Prodrive in 1999. After the drastic regulation changes in 2001, Ford retired the Mondeo from the BTCC but not before winning the 2000 constructors championship.
5. BMW 318i
If there's a competitive championship happening you can bet that BMW will be after a piece of that action. The 318i entered the BTCC in 1991 and was most famously piloted by Steve Soper and his fiery battles with Cleland. BMW already had a stake in the championship but with the E30 M3 prior to the 90s so it can't make this list. The E36 318i might not sound like much on paper but my gosh was it fast.
4. Peugeot 406
Another car I wouldn't expect to be on the grid, just like the Laguna, is the 406. Taking over from the fairly unsuccessful 405 in 1996, the newer model was driven under Total Team Peugeot who ran the car for for a number of seasons before retiring in 1998.
3. Volvo S40
Arguably the most handsome car on the grid, the Volvo S40 was run by TWR for a number of seasons, taking the championship win in 1998 with Rickard Rydell behind the wheel. It took over from the 850 estate and saloon car after regulations changed and had a successful run in the BTCC.
2. Alfa Romeo 155
The 155 has been hugely successful in various different motorsport championships so they thought they'd take a shot at the BTCC which won the 1994 constructors championship with their in house team. Sporting one of the most aggressive body kits of the era, the Alfa is possibly the coolest car to enter the championship, but maybe that's my love for Italian cars speaking.
1. Volvo 850
Of course the 850 has to be in this list! Arguably the most bizarre and bonkers car in the history of British racing, TWR teamed up with Volvo and entered the 850 estate car into the BTCC. Alas, once aerodynamic regulation changed in 1995, it rendered it basically uncompetitive and therefore was replaced by the saloon version. I think it's safe to say it was the coolest touring car ever entered into any championship.
Of course I could carry on with cars like the Primera GT, the Vauxhall Cavalier and the Ford Sierra Sapphire but I'd be here all day. In fact there isn't a car I wasn't a fan of, so let me know what your favourite 90s BTCC car is!