The Goodyear Dunlop group begins its tenth year of title sponsorship and official tyre supplier to the BTCC. Dunlop is also celebrating its own 125-year anniversary in 2013. At nine of this year’s ten events (the exception being Thruxton), drivers in NGTC-spec cars will have one set of a new ‘soft compound’ Dunlop tyre at their disposal, which will offer a variation in performance to the standard compound tyre. These tyres must be used in one of the three races at each event and teams must nominate, prior to Saturday's qualifying session, which particular race they elect to use them.
Jack Sears Trophy
The BTCC will present a special cup to the highest S2000 finisher in each race, with the driver who claims the most victories over the course of the season winning the inaugural ‘Jack Sears Trophy’. The trophy is named after racing legend Jack Sears who won the inaugural BTCC title in 1958, before adding a second crown 50 years ago in 1963. S2000 cars will no longer enjoy strict performance parity with the greater number of NGTC machines, so the introduction of this trophy is seen as a tangible reward for drivers continuing their progression through the BTCC ranks.
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “The record entry list that we've announced today is a great validation of NGTC technical regulations and real testament to the continued success, growth and stability of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
“The current health of the BTCC is absolutely fantastic and even more staggering, perhaps, with the challenging economic climate. Our teams have worked incredibly hard and have demonstrated real commitment to this championship particularly as the majority have invested in the latest specification NGTC machinery. We continue to evolve this bright new era of the BTCC and all the teams have benefitted from the success of the championship.
“Our trackside attendance has increased year-on-year over the last decade. The ITV audience figures and airtime reached all-time highs last year and we have now proudly announced an important new contract with them until 2017. We’d also like to thank our other partners, not least of which is our title sponsor Dunlop these companies recognise the importance and value of being involved in the BTCC.
“We have a huge grid including four champions in the line-up culminating in fresh colours, cars and stars in the BTCC. The strength in depth continues to rise along with the undoubted professionalism and turnout of our loyal and committed teams. That is why the BTCC is so firmly cemented as the UK’s premier and most popular motor sport series.”