The 2017 BTCC season marks the return of Vauxhall to the Championship with Power Maxed Racing. A blend of established BTCC talent and promising youth in the driver line-up places the team as a strong contender for wins and podiums throughout the upcoming season.
The British Manufacturer returns after a seven year absence, the last time Vauxhall provided manufacturer support was in the 2009 season, when Fabrizio Giovanardi secured 3rd in the standings. Tom Chilton also makes a return to the BTCC after a five-year hiatus in the WTCC.
The Power Maxed Astra’s are expected to run near the sharp end of the grid this season in what is a highly competitive field consisting of four other manufacturer backed teams and also strong indie outfits like Motorbase, Cicely, AMD Tuning and Speedworks amongst others.
At the BTCC launch day, Tom Chilton seemed upbeat about his prospects this season, and praised Power Maxed Racing for their preparatory efforts,
“Power Maxed Racing have worked really hard. Everything came together quite late, as things do in motorsport – they’ve got all the right people working for them, I know a lot of them from when I worked at Triple Eight with their works Vauxhall.
There are some very smart guys [here]. I’ve also carried over my race engineer who used to work with me at RML from World Touring Cars, he’s also got a double programme, he flew over from Monza with me last night to do a couple more days in the Power Maxed Vauxhall.”
– Tom Chilton
Given that Chilton’s time away from the BTCC has been filled with WTCC participation, he won’t be needing to work off any rust before the opener at Brands, so is going to be competitive from the start. He provides a very good benchmark for BTCC newcomer Senna Proctor, who will drive the sister car for the team. He finished eighth last season in the Renault Clio Cup, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares against the other Clio graduates, Ant Whorton-Eales and Josh Price in this year’s BTCC.
Podiums are on the agenda for Power Maxed Racing, the marquee entering a new frontier this year having previously contested as an Independent. They’ll have one driver eyeing the title, the other expecting the Jack Sears trophy at least.