Multiple British Touring Car champions Vauxhall have announced their return to the series as a manufacturer outfit after joining forces with Power Maxed Racing for the 2017 season.
Vauxhall became a household name in motorsport after the brand went from strength to strength since making its BTCC title winning debut with John Cleland back in 1989.
The manufacturer continued as a force to be reckoned with - thanks virtue to later title glory with Jason Plato, James Thompson, Yvan Muller and Fabrizio Giovanardi - until Vauxhall decided to end its factory commitment with Triple Eight Racing and subsequently pulled out of the BTCC in 2009.
Now back in the BTCC as a factory effort, Adam Weaver's Power Maxed Racing outfit will launch a three-year programme to run a duo of new Astras from 2017.
Vauxhall's return to the BTCC has been made possible thanks to a new business partnership between Power Maxed Racing's parent owner Automotive Brands and Vauxhall Motors as part of a wider commercial directive.
“We are incredibly pleased and proud to be working with Vauxhall and to be the team that brings this iconic and highly successful brand back to the BTCC," said Weaver.
"The all new Astra is a fantastic car and it is no surprise that it was voted 2016 European Car of the Year – it will make a show-stopping BTCC challenger."
With the work of preparing the all new Astra for its race debut next season now firmly underway, PMR's team principal Weaver added his team will announce its driver line-up 'in the near future'.
"Shells have now been supplied and work is well advanced in turning the new Astra into a highly competitive BTCC car," Weaver continued.
"We are aiming to announce a talented and exciting driver line-up in the near future ; which will further motivate and inspire everyone involved in this exciting project.
"Power Maxed and Vauxhall brand values are perfectly aligned ; both partners committed to UK manufacturing, product excellence and sector-leading customer service."
BTCC series director Alan Gow understandably voiced the magnitude of Vauxhall's return to the championship.
"It is fantastic to be welcoming Vauxhall back to the BTCC as a manufacturer entry. Its history and pedigree is there for all to see and I have no doubt that the highly professional and experienced team at Power Maxed Racing will be great partners."
Vauxhall's last BTCC success came courtesy of Fabrizio Giovanardi's back-to-back title success during the 2008 and '09 seasons.