Review: British Touring Car – 50 year prints.

Unless you've been living on another planet for the last eight months, you'll be well aware that 2008 marks the 50th year of racing in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Since being launched back in 1958, when it was known as the British Saloon Car Championship, the BTCC has firmly established itself as one of the leading touring car championships anywhere in the world – having provided dramatic racing throughout its history.

That drama started right back in the first year when Jack Sears took the inaugural title from Tommy Sopwith following a shoot-out at Brands Hatch after the pair tied on points at the end of the season.

Since then, the BTCC has continued to provide such drama, all the way through to Finals Day at Thruxton last year when Fabrizio Giovanardi overturned a nine point deficit to beat Jason Plato to the crown by just three points.

To celebrate 50 years of action, the BTCC commissioned renowned artist Andrew Kitson to produce an official painting and - having managed to get hold of a copy here at - it has to be said that he's done a rather good job.

In fact, there isn't just one print available to purchase, but two, which cover the periods of 1958 to 1984 and then 1985 through to 2007.

Each print, which measure 36in by 24in, features a range of championship winning cars and drivers from those 50 years with each of the 36 BTCC champions featured along with the 46 different cars that took them to the title.

That means the likes of Sears, Jim Clark and triple champion Bill McGovern from the early years are represented alongside cars like the Austin A40, Sunbeam Imp and Lotus Cortina, while more modern machinery like the Vauxhall Vectra, the Audi A4 and the iconic Sierra Cosworth feature thanks to Giovanardi, Frank Biela and the most successful driver in BTCC history, Andy Rouse.

As a result, the prints will evoke memories of years gone by for some people, while for others, they will provide an eye-opener into how the series has evolved over the years to what it is now.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
`BTCC - 50 Years` - The Champions, 1958-1984. By Andrew Kitson.
`BTCC - 50 Years` - The Champions, 1985-2007. By Andrew Kitson.
BMW returns to the BTCC with WSR
Ashley Sutton - Subaru Team BMR [pic credit BTCC]
Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, [Credit: BTCC media]
Matt Simpson, Team Dynamics, [Credit: BTCC Media]
Rob Austin, Handy Motorsport [Credit: Handy Motorsport]
Andrew Jordan, WSR Pirtek BMW [Credit:Jakob Ebrey]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing [Credit: Halfords Yuasa]
Ant Whorton-Eales,, BTCC [Credit:]
Mat Jackson, Motorbase Performance, Shredded Wheat [Credit: Motorbase]
Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, BTCC [Credit: BTCC media]

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