Two-time BTCC champion to campaign a VW Passat CC for the 2014 season, alongside Team BMR's newly signed Árón Smith

Two-time British Touring Car Championship champion Alain Menu is returning to the series in 2014 with Team BMR.

Menu, competing in his first full BTCC season since 2000, will be behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Passat CC. His team mate will be Team BMR's second new signing, Árón Smith.

“This is exciting", said Menu. "The best times of my career have been in the BTCC, and it’s going to be nice to see many people I’ve not seen for many years.

"I’m well aware that it will be different with a new team and new cars, but I’ve been watching the races, have spoken to a lot of people about it and the championship is really picking up at the moment. With lots of competitors, spectators and live TV, there are many reasons to be here."

Team BMR, which joined the BTCC in 2013, has expanded from a one-car racing operation to four cars. It has also made 'significant' personnel changes and it aims to challenge its rivals for both the Drivers' and the Independent Teams' championships.

Team owner Warren Scott, who himself will race a Vauxhall Insignia in the BTCC, said: “We’re incredibly excited about the year ahead. We’ve worked very hard getting the cars prepared this winter. For us it was key to build a team that can make front-running cars before going after drivers that can challenge for the championship.

Menu, who departed from full-time BTCC competition at the end of his championship-winning 2000 campaign with Ford, has secured 86 podium finishes and 36 wins since his BTCC debut in 1992.

He added: "I want to have fun too, this is a very important part of racing for me. It will be nice to race against people like Matt Neal again, and Gordon Shedden was trying to break into the BTCC just as I left so I’m looking forward to racing against him.

"Jason Plato has matured since we were team-mates too, so I’m sure we’ll get on well. Plus there is a whole generation of new talented drivers out there, so 2014 should be very exciting."

The Swiss driver, who was born in 1963, began competing as a professional in the 1987 British Formula Three Championship.

He has also competed in several other racing series, including Italian Super Touring Cars, the American Le Mans Series and the 2013 Porsche Supercup.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Passat 2011-2014

The VW Passat is a competent family car - but does it show any flair?

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