CommentsThe project by Thorney Motorsport to build and run a pair of Vauxhall Insignias marked the first time that an NGTC-spec car had been built by someone other than GPRM, with Thorney assembling the car around a Willie Poole Motorsport built shell.
The first of the cars was built during 2011 and made its debut at the final round of the year at Silverstone with team boss John Thorne driving. However, a series of teething problems meant that the car would not take to the track during free practice and qualifying. The car did line up at the back of the grid but pulled into the pits at the end of the green flag lap and did not race.
Over the winter the team started construction of a second car, and announced a plans for 2012; John Thorne would drive the first car, with Rob Hedley joining in later in the year once the second car was ready. Thorne drove at Brands Hatch and Donington Park but the car proved to be off the pace and unreliably prompting the team to temporarily withdraw from the series whilst they re-assessed plans.
The team would return at Snetterton, this time with Tony Gilham driving, and having missing a few rounds also at Silverstone. Chris Stockton would drive the car for free practice / qualifying but later decided he was too unwell to race, leaving Gilham to step in as a last-minute replacement.
Although the performance of the car was improving it was still some way of being competitive. With no sign of a sponsor to help pay the bills, a disillusioned John Thorne decided he could no longer afford to keep pumping money into the project, and sold both this and the still unfinished second car to Tony Gilham’s Team HARD, who then ran the car at the season finale Brands Hatch meeting.
The car appeared in the 2013 BTCC season in the hands of Jack Goff with the exception of Knockhill where Kieran Gallagher drove. Goff would again drive the car for the first half of the 2014 season before switching to a newly-built Volkswagen CC.