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Return of a Legend: BTCC Super Touring Titans

The British Touring Car Championship is the premier race series in the UK. The championship holds a special place in the hearts of fans and drivers alike. When attending a Formula One race weekend, it is hard to pretend that your Ford, Holden, Vauxhall or even Mercedes is anything like the hyper powered god machines that are F1 cars. However, the joy of touring cars series whether it is the V8 Supercars or the BTCC is that the cars are relate-able to all of us. You have the chance to own your own road going version of a Honda, Holden or Volvo. The BTCC began back in the 1950s and is still going strong today. A lot has changed over the years; the series began with multi-class racing all with a chance of winning the final title. However, in the 1990s this was replaced with a single 2 litre class that would go on to become known as the ‘Super Touring Era’. This was the golden age of Touring Car Racing in the UK.

The BTCC in the mid 90s was the pinnacle of motorsport

The BTCC in the mid 90s was the pinnacle of motorsport

It was a British series that had captured the hearts of fans the world over. And with action like this there was no other competition that would even come close… The Super Touring Age of the BTCC

Sadly, the year 2000 was the final flourish as the world bid farewell to the Super Tourers forever. The budgets dropped, the series began to follow the BTC Touring Regulations which would then become the Super 2000 and now the Next Generation Touring Car rules. Some of the greatest racing you will ever see took place in the 1990s, and the closure of the 2000 season brought about a tearful goodbye by the fans of the sport. They were gone forever.

You are not going blind, that is a Volvo Estate that entered the BTCC in 1994. Don't get that in F1 now do you?

You are not going blind, that is a Volvo Estate that entered the BTCC in 1994. Don’t get that in F1 now do you?

Or so we thought. Because they’re back.

It is now official that the Super Touring Trophy will now be supporting the main BTCC season this year. Considering that the 2014 BTCC grid has reached capacity for the year I was excited enough. But then this happened and my excitement blew through the roof. Don’t get me wrong I love the modern BTCC; I am still one of the firm believers that the BTCC is leading the way in motorsport not just in the UK but across the world. There has to be a reason why the championship gained global recognition. As much as that magic was lost in the early 2000s, it is definitely undergoing a resurgence. However, as good as the modern championship may be, it will never match the glory of the past. The Super Touring Cars defined my childhood; they taught me what motorsport was and I will be thankful to them forever.

The Ford Sierra Cosworth dominated the BTCC in the 1980s, especially under the dominant control of Andy Rouse

The Ford Sierra Cosworth dominated the BTCC in the 1980s, especially under the dominant control of Andy Rouse

I first encountered the Historic Touring Cars last year at the legendary Brands Hatch race track as part of their Summer Super Prix event. The last time I had seen the Super Touring cars had been 12 years previously in the year 2000. I had the single most absolute pleasure of attending the Snetterton Night Race. There is something special about seeing a multi-million pound racing Ford Mondeo charging its way around a track and dominating all that lays before it in the day time; during the night all those senses that got you excited are turned up to 11. It is a common saying that when you lose the ability of one sense the others are heightened, and my sweet holy cheese grater the SOUND made by those Super Tourers at night have the destructive power to give me a crisis in the trouser department. That moment when the cars took to the track for the first time last year was one I will truly never forget.

The multi-million pound Ford Mondeo brought Alain Menu his second BTCC championship in 2000

The multi-million pound Ford Mondeo brought Alain Menu his second BTCC championship in 2000

Technologically we may never develop the ability to make time travel or teleportation a reality. The fact my Mac right now tells me that teleportation is not even a real word is proof enough that even the most modern of technology lacks the belief in humanity’s ability to invent it. This is especially true when the technology is created by humans in the first place. Essentially, we are developing an inbuilt lack of faith in our own ability. But that is another story.

An Alfa Romeo racing on 2 wheels in 1994? Oh yes, that's right

An Alfa Romeo racing on 2 wheels in 1994? Oh yes, that’s right

Our lives are filled with a selection of triggers that will transport us to the happiest place you could ever dream of. And for me, seeing those cars on my favourite race circuit will always shoot me back to my childhood. My childhood was a time filled with happiness, expectation, excitation and a sense that no dream was unreachable. Seeing those cars were the very representation of that freedom of childhood. Unlike F1, they were relate-able and gave me the hope of achievement. Anything was possible. Now I have got older however I have of course been introduced to the harsh brutality of reality. But last year, as the 21 year old me shuddered with excitement, I was a child again.

So far, the Historic Touring Cars will be supporting the BTCC at the amazing Oulton Park circuit. Hopefully as the season progresses more circuits will be announced. And you can believe it that I will be at Oulton Park.

The HTCC was a huge hit with fans when it returned last year

The Super Touring Trophy was a huge hit with fans when it returned last year

Stick around for more news and announcements! Follow me on Twitter @lewisglynn69

Because who does not want to be a child again?

Keep Driving People!

Peace and Love!

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