MG is set to return to the British Touring Car Championship with the multi title-winning Triple 8 race squad.
Triple 8 Engineering will field a pair of MG6 GT saloons built to the latest Next Generation Touring Car rules in the 2012 BTCC, under the MG KX Momentum Racing banner. Two-time champion Jason Plato, who raced for the RML Chevrolet team last year, and series regular Andy Neate will race the two MGs.
The deal marks the return of the MG name, which is now in Chinese ownership, to the BTCC. WSR ran factory MG ZSs in 2001-03 and continued to field the same model as an independent in 2004-06. MG sales and marketing director Guy Jones said: “Motor sport is in the DNA of MG and we are trying to raise awareness of our products. This will be an effective marketing tool.”
The deal with Triple 8 Engineering is not an overt factory deal, Jones stressed.
“This bears no relationship to the old business model of a manufacturer competing in the BTCC,” he said. “We are not throwing money at a team. This is much more of a commercial relationship.
“There is a budget from MG involved and we are supplying cars and parts, but we are not disclosing the financial breakdown.”
MG, which is owned by Shanghai Automotive, started limited production of its MG6 saloons at Longbridge last year. It plans to introduce a hatchback, the MG5, next year.
Plato’s switch to Triple 8 brings to an end Chevrolet’s factory involvement in the BTCC after two seasons.