Alfa Romeo are returning to the British Touring Car Championship with Rob Austin’s Handy Motorsport outfit for the 2018 season.

The Handy Motorsport outfit have joined forces with the Alfa Romeo Dealer Council, which will see Alfa Romeo return to the BTCC following a lengthy absence from the series.

Simon Belcher's Handy Motorsport squad will field a sole Independent run FWD Alfa Romeo Giulietta, to be piloted by the team's current driver Rob Austin.

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Handy Motorsport’s collaboration with Alfa Romeo will bring to an end a four-year programme with its current Toyota Avensis challenger.

The construction of the FWD Giulietta has already begun with the team aiming to have the car fully built by Christmas.

The Italian brand’s last success in the BTCC came when Gabriele Tarquini famously won the crown back in 1994, aboard the Alfa Romeo 155, but was unable to successfully defend his title a year later.

Commenting on his outfit's new alliance with the famous Italian brand, Belcher said: "It has been a long project to bring Alfa Romeo back to the BTCC, with many people working on this exciting development for some time – it’s incredible to have brought everything to fruition and an honour to be running the Alfa Romeo marque.

"Alfa Romeo is a passionate brand, steeped in heritage, and we have already started building our first bodyshell. Not only is this huge for Handy Motorsport, and fantastic for Alfa to have the latest Giulietta represented on the BTCC grid, it’s also massive for the BTCC as a whole."

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That's a damn pretty car