Aiden Moffat. Snetterton BTCC 2019 (© PSP Images)
Category
NGTC
Make / Model
Infiniti Q50
Chassis No
GPRM NGTC 015
Built By
GPRM
Date Built
2014
Current Status
Stored
Comments
In late 2014, Scottish team Pro Motorsport were putting together a plan to build and run a pair of Infiniti Q50s in conjunction with the ‘Support Our Paras’ charity. As well as supporting the charity, the team would include a number of injured ex-servicemen working on the cars. When the approached Infiniti to try to source some bodyshells, Infiniti decided to back the project, allowing it to run as a manufacturer entry.

Parts supply problems meant the build was delayed and that the team would start the season with just a single car for Derek Palmer Jr, that car having only turned a wheel for the first time a few days earlier. The lack of testing and a series of new car teething problems hampered any meaningful results. At Donington Park, the team were at full strength with the second car for Richard Hawken. Both cars continued to suffer from a number of issues, with Palmer having to set out most of the meeting when his engine failed in race 1.

The run up to the next meeting at Thruxton saw a bizarre series of events. Reports in the press suggested that former F1 driver Martin Donnelly would be drafted into the team at the request of Infiniti, followed by further reports that the deal could not be done and the team confirming that the driver line-up would remain unchanged. Then on the eve of the meeting, the news came that Richard Hawken had been dropped and Donnelly would indeed drive. The announcement seeming coming as a shock to Hawken, who claimed he only found out via social media. Donnelly would face a trying weekend. Power steering failure at the chicane during free practice put the car into the barriers and mean he had to sit out qualifying whilst the damage was repaired, and would also fail to finish race 2 when the power steering failed again.

A few weeks later, Infiniti announced that they were withdrawing their support for the team with immediate effect. With Donnelly unable to secure alternative funding, the team were again down to a single entry for Oulton Park. The team were able to run Max Coates in the second car at Croft, and it was hoped that he would be in the car again at Snetterton, but a deal could not be done in time. Having missed meetings and used up their allocation of driver changes, TOCA revoked one of their TBLs, meaning that the team would be down to a single car for the remainder of the year.

Plans to continue the following year were abandoned in early 2016 when it became clear that the budget could not be found, after which the cars remained unused.

In late 2018, both cars were acquired by A1 Automotive. Following a rebuild, the car was given a shakedown test by Aiden Moffat in early 2019.

On July 12th 2019 Laser Tools Racing announced that they would continue in the BTCC with the Infiniti.

The car broke cover just three days later at the mid season Dunlop tyre test day at Snetterton prior to round 6 of the Championship.
Richard Hawken. BTCC Donington Park 2015 (© PSP Images)
2015 British Touring Car Championship
Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing
#84 Richard Hawken
Round 2
Martin Donnelly. BTCC Thruxton 2015  (© PSP Images)
2015 British Touring Car Championship
Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing
#85 Martin Donnelly
Round 3
Max Coates. BTCC Croft Circuit 2015 (© PSP Images)
2015 British Touring Car Championship
Support Our Paras Racing
#71 Max Coates
Round 5
 (© A1 Automotive)
2018
A1 Automotive
Storage
Aiden Moffat. Snetterton BTCC 2019 (© PSP Images)
2019 British Touring Car Championship
Laser Tools Racing
#16 Aiden Moffat
Rounds 6-
Other Pictures
Richard Hawken. BTCC Donington Park 2015 (© PSP Images) Martin Donnelly. BTCC Thruxton 2015 (© PSP Images) Richard Hawken. BTCC Donington Park 2015 (© PSP Images) Artist's impression (© Laser Tools Racing)