Japanese firm backs Team BMR which will run the new Levorg Sports Tourer in the tin-top series, with Jason Plato and Colin Turkington driving
12 January 2016

A brace of Subaru Levorgs will take part in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this year with champions Jason Plato and Colin Turkington at the wheel.

Warren Scott’s Team BMR has inked a deal with the Japanese firm and will run the estate in the category as a full Manufacturer team. Scott will join Turkington and Plato on the grid in a third entry, and there is even a chance that a fourth car might be added to the line up.

The Levorg will be fitted with a two-litre turbocharged boxer powerplant developed by Mountune Race Engines. Although the car uses Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system on the road, it will run as rear-wheel drive in the BTCC.

“We’re very excited to have teamed up with BMR from the 2016 Championship – the first time a Subaru has competed in BTCC,” said Paul Tunnicliffe, managing director for Subaru UK and Ireland.

“Although the Levorg features the Subaru famed all-wheel drive system, the car can be easily developed to compete with rear-wheel drive in order to comply with the BTCC regulations… so we can’t wait to see how it goes against very established competition.”

Team boss Scott added: “I have made no secret that I wanted to take the team to the next level, and that meant getting a factory deal. Subaru has really engaged with this programme already. It is very fired up about it and this is the start of a great new chapter for us.

“The Levorg is Subaru’s newest car and that is the one it wants to promote, which is why it has been chosen. Although it is an estate car, it has a very strong drag co-efficient and also, the dynamics of the boxer engine mean that the weight is lower down in the unit, which will help with the weight distribution of the car.

“If you looked at all of the cars available that could have fitted in to the BTCC regulations, the Levorg would be very high up on that list, which is why we are delighted to have secure this.”

Subaru has an illustrious history in motor sport, most prominently in its successful association with the World Rally Championship in the 1990s and 2000s.

Plato, who was instrumental in pulling the deal together, believed the Levorg would make the perfect platform for success in the BTCC: “From all the initial work that has been done on the car, I am buzzing with excitement about this. It is almost the perfect car for the modern generation of touring cars.

“Subaru is an iconic name with a successful motorsport heritage, and we want to write the next chapter with the firm. This is going to be something very different and I hope the public gets behind it.”

The 2014 champion Colin Turkington, who drove one of Team BMR’s front-wheel-drive VW CCs last season and claimed the BTCC’s Independents Trophy, said: “We wouldn’t have decided to do this programme unless we thought we would be more competitive than we were with the VW CCs that we had last season.”

BTCC series director Alan Gow said: “We are delighted to welcome another manufacturer to the BTCC and particularly one with such an incredible motor sport heritage.

“Subaru is an iconic brand with a huge following and its introduction to the BTCC is certain to excite our many fans both in the UK and around the world. No doubt Team BMR with its hugely experienced and talented driver line-up will make for a very successful partnership.”

Join the debate

Comments
12

12 January 2016

They're calling it the Levorg??? Couldn't they have run that past a focus group or something first?

13 January 2016

it's groveL!!

13 January 2016

I cannot see why manufacturers want to get involved in this series. The cars are nothing like customers can buy in the showrooms. I long for the days when there was 4 classes so that any size of car could compete. It would still be possible with 'blue printed ' engines and other sensible mods such as suspension/wheels to create a proper BTCC. Another problem is the poor driving standards, which seems to be about stock car racing. Arriving at the finish line with bits of bodywork hanging off is hardly professional racing !

13 January 2016

They have close to record grids, very good crowds, semi-decent TV coverage (hidden on ITV4 a bit in Scotland). I like the rougher style of racing if it keeps within the bounds of not punting people off. Yes, they're silhouette versions of road going cars, but I think the various marques get a good bit of publicity out of it. Overall it's very successful.

Like you I also liked the 4 class type racing, but in terms of TV coverage the manufacturers wouldn't be attracted by being shown to be in the smaller/slower classes. There are plenty of series less high profile like this that has purer racing because the racers can't afford to panel bash each weekend.

13 January 2016
Greenracer wrote:

I cannot see why manufacturers want to get involved in this series. The cars are nothing like customers can buy in the showrooms. I long for the days when there was 4 classes so that any size of car could compete. It would still be possible with 'blue printed ' engines and other sensible mods such as suspension/wheels to create a proper BTCC. Another problem is the poor driving standards, which seems to be about stock car racing. Arriving at the finish line with bits of bodywork hanging off is hardly professional racing !

ANY serious motor sports categories are an ideal showpiece for any company. Subaru were probably winning WRC events before you were born mate otherwise you wouldnt have written such drivel

what's life without imagination

13 January 2016

Looks good. Can we have a tuned engine and better gearbox in the road-going Levorg too please?

13 January 2016

I would imagine an estate body might have aero advantages and the boxer engine will also help with C of G. Will the boxer motor tune as well as a typical BTCC unit ?

13 January 2016

I thought that BTCC was supposed to be for touring cars, or saloon cars if you like. I can't see how a manufacturer can claim that this series will sell more of their models. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday used to be the way. I am happy to let the current fans enjoy what they are presented with as a race series. The advantage of being an 'old fart' like me, I reckon I had the best years of seeing the best cars in all formulas. If you have seen John Rhodes 'smoking' a Cooper 'S' through Druids, or Jim Clark 3 wheeling a Lotus Cortina at Crystal Palace, I think you know what I miss. Change happens..but not for the best ! Good luck.

13 January 2016

I didnt see your last where you claim to be such a good old fart - then why did you write the first piece. Ahhh like me - memory memory - you forgot - lol - back to bed with you before 'er upstairs turns off the power

what's life without imagination

13 January 2016

Yes I know that Subaru won rallies with a car that looks like their road going cars. Good for them. It proved their product. I also remember SAAB, Austin Healey and proper Minis winning rallies. Ah...the days when rallies were rallies, not sprint stages where the cars are almost rebuilt after a few miles. The point I was trying to make about the BTCC, was that for me, whatever car wins the races, it bears little resemblance to what a customer can buy in a showroom, Maybe this isn't important in today's world. I don't think people have been cueing outside MG dealers because they won some races in the past few years ! I would like to thank my nurse for letting me stay up and type more drivel.

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