Reigning Dunlop British Touring Car Championship title-holder Colin Turkington will face opposition from 31 rivals in this year’s series, which gets underway at Brands Hatch on 4-5 April.
He’ll go up against four former champions in the shape of Jason Plato – who has joined Turkington at Team BMR – Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.
Jordan has switched from Honda and his family-run Eurotech team to take Plato’s seat at Triple Eight Racing, which tends to the works MG 6 machines. The second MG will be driven by Jack Goff.
Neal and Shedden remain with Honda Yuasa Racing, but will compete in the brand-new Civic Type R instead of the estate-bodied Civic Tourer they used in the previous campaign.
The build of the Civic Type R racer, which will hit the track before the road-going production model reaches the UK showrooms, has only been completed in the past week, and subsequently the car has undergone limited testing.
Other big news includes the return of Andy Priaulx, the three-time World Touring Car champion, who has returned to the BTCC after a 13-year absence and joined WSR to race a BMW 125i M Sport. He’ll compete alongside Rob Collard and Sam Tordoff in a three-car assault.
Infiniti is lending official support to the new Support Our Paras Racing team, which will field Richard Hawken and Derek Palmer in a brace of Infiniti Q50s. The squad joins Honda and MG as official manufacturer-backed entries. The WSR BMWs will also challenge for honours within what’s known as the Manufacturer/Constructor Championship.
29 entries will complete the full BTCC campaign, with Nicolas Hamilton joining the championship at Croft in June and two Ford Focus entries from Motorbase Performance scheduled to arrive at Snetterton in August.
2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship
1 Colin Turkington (Team BMR Volkswagen CC)
6 Robert Collard (Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport)
7 Sam Tordoff (Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport)
11 Simon Belcher (Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis)
12 Andy Wilmot (Welch Motorsport Proton Gen-2)