Team Excelr8- a team which was founded and has raced in the British Touring Car Championship since 2007, has confirmed that they will bring two Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance motors in tow to the BTCC when the competition regroups in Donington Park in March of next year, with a pre-season testing programme to hopefully commence in mid-February. The new i30 models will join the grid beside and eventually phase out Excelr8's two MG6 models, which are beginning to show their age and slip down the rankings among newer, faster rivals. While it is not confirmed who will be behind the wheel when the season starts up again, it is likely to be Excelr8's two current drivers, Sam Osborne and Rob Smith, who drove for the team and scored two points, however with Excelr8's quite average 10th position in the Independent Teams rankings this year, there could be a possibility to introduce some new drivers among the new cars.
The team will also seek help from none other than the mighty Cosworth to lend a hand in adopting the i30's electronics to adapt to the new alternative power source- yes, this new racer will be a hybrid, as the BTCC will change its regulations to require hybrid or electric racers in the next few years. But Excelr8 didn't choose this car willy-nilly- according to team leader Oliver Shepherd, there were several reasons why the Hyundai was chosen. "The i30 Fastback N Performance offers a very favourable combination of wheelbase, track width, drag coefficient and torsional stiffness, so we are extremely excited about the prospects of this project". He then went on to say: "It’s going to be an extremely busy winter, but the whole team is extremely motivated to get the cars out on track as soon as possible.”
Courtesy of BTCC
The CEO of the BTCC, Alan Gow, observed that : "It’s fantastic to see another new marque join the BTCC, this time with EXCELR8 Motorsport,” According to Gow, Hyundai's global brand name will serve the competition well in years to come: "Hyundai is a globally recognised brand, which has made a big impact in other forms of motorsport already. This new project from EXCELR8 should make a great addition to the grid. Overall, it looks like Hyundai's step into the BTCC will hopefully propel Excelr8 into the podium at the next season, as it looks great and will definitely drive well too. So then, expect to see this car have its fair share of attention in the next BTCC roundup!