AmDTuning.com has announced plans to run an NGTC-spec Vauxhall Astra in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
The team plans to start the season running its S2000-spec Volkswagen Golf before switching to the Astra later in the year.
Final specification of the car is still to be decided, although the team plans to use the TOCA engine seen in a number of machines on the grid.
“When I first saw the Astra I thought it would make a fantastic BTCC car and I'm excited about this new programme,” team boss Shaun Hollamby said. “While this is a privateer programme, Vauxhall has been an integral part of British Touring Cars for a long time and we are fully focused on producing a car that will be capable of challenging at the sharp end of the grid.
“As a company, AmDTuning.com is known for its work with cars from the Volkswagen Audi Group, but we work with cars from a wide range of manufacturers and thought long and hard about the best model to use for our first NGTC machine. The Astra is a good size with strong aerodynamics and fits well into the regulations, which seem to favour the smaller and more nimble cars.
“While we have been thinking about this move for some time, the fact that the programme has come together now means we will focus on developing the Astra for the second half of the season, giving us the chance to build the car and do some testing before giving it its race debut.”
Drivers for the new programme are still to be confirmed, with the possibility that the team could end up running both its existing Volkswagen and the new Astra when the NGTC-spec car is ready to hit the track.
“We are talking with Ollie Jackson and would love to keep him onboard as he did a great job last year and showed that he deserves his place in the BTCC,” Hollamby continued, “but we are also interested in speaking to other drivers who are interested in competing in the series this season.
“While our plan at the moment is to start the year with the Golf before introducing the Astra, we could run the Volkswagen for the full season if the right driver comes along who wants to compete for the Jack Sears Trophy. With the reduced boost levels that the S2000 cars will run to, it will be a competitive package for a driver who doesn't quite have the budget to go with an NGTC programme.
“With that in mind, there are various options for us to explore on the driver front and we will make an announcement in due course when the final decisions have been made.”