For the first time in over a decade, an Alfa Romeo will contest in the British Touring Car Championships, as HMC Racing today unveiled it’s 2018 car, the Giulietta. The championship challenger will be driven by three time race winner Rob Austin.
The team now renamed HMS Racing, after a rebrand over winter, will begin testing at the end of this month, ahead of the opening rounds of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 8 April. “We are so proud to finally be unveiling the new Alfa,” said Austin. “Everyone in our team has put in an incredible amount of work to keep the project on schedule while maintaining an impressive attention to detail.
The Alfa Romeo will receive support from the Italian manufacturer through its UK dealer network, with individual dealerships encouraged to get behind the programme. “We also have to give a huge amount of credit to our fantastic technical partners, this is a unique BTCC car and both Willie Poole Motorsport Services and ABS Motorsport have really gone above and beyond, on the bodyshell and bodywork respectively, to overcome the challenges involved in such a unique design and still meet their deadlines.”
Team Principal Simon Belcher admitted that the experience of unveiling the car was an emotional one, having stepped out of the driving seat himself ahead of the 2016 season and focussed on securing the deals to move his young team forward in the BTCC.
“It’s very emotional to see the response to the Alfa Romeo we have designed and built ourselves from the ground up,” said Belcher. “I did a very hard thing in stepping out of the driving seat myself in the BTCC to spend more time overseeing the team’s progress and then developing such a stunning car.
“Our engineer Matt Taylor and the rest of the team have done an incredible job and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. However, a beautiful car is only part of the journey – now we need to make it win!”