Since the introduction of the NGTC regulations there have been a number of proposals and projects to build new cars which failed to materialise. Some have been genuine projects which failed through lack of funding, some were little more than pipe-dreams, whilst some were nothing more than an internet hoax. These are some of the more well known examples.

Abarth Grande Punto

In Jan 2010, Autosport magazine reported that Scottish team If Motorsport had announced plans to enter the BTCC with a pair of Abarth Grande Puntos built to the new NGTC regulations. However the idea was soon squashed as BTCC series director Alan Gow explained in a post on the BTCC.net forum.

Alan Gow
Nobody, from any team, has contacted TOCA and enquired about entering a Fiat Punto (of any model) in the BTCC, so I'm rather bemused to be reading about such a 'project'.

However let me just clarify something. The car would certainly not be eligible - under either the current or the new BTCC (NGTC) regulations - as it doesn't even come close to meeting the minimum dimensions.

It's simply not 'Grande' enough...

Skoda Octavia VRS

Skoda Octavia VRS
In July 2011, TH Motorsport announced plans to build and run a Skoda Octavia for the 2012 BTCC season. The intended driver was to be Matt Hamilton for whom the team had previously run in a BTC spec Honda Civic.

Although Skoda were happy to back the project, the parent company Volkswagen continued to hesitate. The final decision to shelve the project came after confirmation that funding would not materialise from Volkswagen as recent as November 2016.

Renault Megane

Renault Megane
In mid-2013 engineering firm MDA Wheels were planning to build a pair of Renault Megane NGTC cars. The project was led by DMA director Philip Morgan, father of then Clio Cup racer Alex Morgan. As MDA were not a race team themselves the plan was to sell or lease the cars to another team or driver.

At the Rockingham meeting that year a mock-up of the project was displayed in the paddock although this was just a road car with NGTC bodywork. However as no potential customers could be found the race cars were never completed and the project folded.

Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque
In 2011 Thorney Motorsport set about building a pair of Vauxhall Insignias. One car appeared at the final race of 2011 and then sporadically during 2012 but the project was beset with financial and technical problem. Disillusioned with things team boss John Thorne eventually threw in the towel and sold the cars to Team HARD.

Almost a year later, in a heartfelt blog post on the company website Thorne described the trials and tribulations of running a BTCC team and explains how the cost of the project almost bankrupted the company. He did however end the post with an interesting revelation.

John Thorne
One idea we had was to run a Range Rover Evoque, with a monocoque chassis, composite boot and bonnet, common roofline for 2 door and 4 door it was the perfect donor car for the NGTC rules (remember the suspension mounting points are all located on the common subframes) and we thought it looked stunning but sadly was not to be.

Sponsors were keen and had the budget but JLR said no – it would interfere with their feminine lead marketing strategy so the idea is destined to stay a mock up. They couldn’t stop us as such but made it very clear that we shouldn’t pursue the idea and I’m not about to pick a fight with JLR!

Serious project or just a joke to give the fan forums something to talk about? We'll let you decide!