Now that the stands have been packed away and the display cars have been taken back to their workshops, it is time to reflect on what was learned at Autosport International at Birmingham’s NEC on the third weekend in January.
And, for the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, there was some huge news. Firstly, there was the confirmation that Subaru is joining the ranks as a new manufacturer entry, with champions Jason Plato and Colin Turkington at the wheel of the Levorg Sports Tourer.
The deal is quite a coup; getting a manufacturer-backed agreement is the Holy Grail for any team, and Warren Scott’s Hertfordshire-based operation has managed it after only three years in the BTCC.
According to insiders, Subaru was lured by the idea of writing the next chapter in its sporting heritage. When anyone thinks of the Japanese firm in motorsport, they generally think of Colin McRae, Richard Burns or Petter Solberg ripping through the forests in rally-spec Imprezas. Subaru has moved on as a road car firm and this circuit racing project will underline that fact.
It takes a while to build and perfect a new car, but Team BMR has not only the best drivers but also the best engineering brains in the business. The combination of team, manufacturer and drivers is a mouth-watering prospect.