The new Alfa Romeo Giulietta British Touring Car Championship challenger has broken cover at the Autosport International Show today.
The car will be driven by three-time race winner Rob Austin. The car will be run by HMS Racing (formerly Handy Motorsport) and will receive support from the Italian manufacturer through its UK dealer network, with individual dealerships encouraged to get behind the programme.
The two-litre, turbocharged car will begin testing at the end of this month, ahead of the opening rounds of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 8 April.
Austin said: “We are so proud to finally be unveiling the new Alfa, everyone in our team has put in an incredible amount of work to keep the project on schedule while maintaining an impressive attention to detail.
“We also have to give a huge amount of credit to our fantastic technical partners, this is a unique BTCC car and both Willie Poole Motorsport Services and ABS Motorsport have really gone above and beyond, on the bodyshell and bodywork respectively, to overcome the challenges involved in such a unique design and still meet their deadlines.”
Austin finished 11th in the overall BTCC standings last year and won the final round of the championship at Brands Hatch. He ended up in fifth place in the Independents Trophy chase.
Team boss Simon Belcher, a former competitor in the series, said that the team was looking forward to an intensive test programme to get the most from the front-wheel-drive machine.
“It’s very emotional to see the response to the Alfa Romeo we have designed and built ourselves from the ground up,” said Belcher. “I did a very hard thing in stepping out of the driving seat myself in the BTCC to spend more time overseeing the team’s progress and then developing such a stunning car.
“Our engineer Matt Taylor and the rest of the team have done an incredible job and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. However, a beautiful car is only part of the journey – now we need to make it win!”
News of Alfa Romeo's return to the BTCC first emerged last August.