A raft of 2017 British Touring Car Championship racing liveries have been unveiled for the first time as the new season edges closer into action.

Halfords Yuasa Racing has pulled the wraps off its 2017 Honda Civic Type R with a refreshed black livery, taking over from the predominately orange look of last year.

With reigning BTCC champion Gordon Shedden and fellow three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal as its potent driver line-up again for an eighth consecutive campaign, which boasts six BTCC drivers' crowns, Halfords Yuasa Racing enter 2017 as strong favourites.

Speaking about the livery launch Neal, who is preparing for his 27th BTCC campaign, adores the new look and feels despite restrained development for the new season he is confident of another title charge.

"I think our new livery looks really striking and aggressive - we're going for a 'stealth-like' approach this year," Neal said. "I'm feeling strong, I'm feeling fit and I'm excited about the season ahead.

"I always feel like we're a little in the lap of the gods at this stage of the year, waiting to see what weird and wonderful things the engineers have come up with over the winter," Shedden added. "The Civic Type R was already an excellent all-round package last year, so we've adopted an approach of evolution rather than revolution because there's no point in trying to reinvent the wheel."

The recently announced Rob Austin who will stay at Handy Motorsport also revealed a refresh livery alongside team boss Simon Belcher, highlighted by a new sponsorship deal with Northgate plc.

"I've been really looking forward to revealing the car and showing the world the results of all the hard work we have put in since the 2016 season ended," Austin said. "The car is, as usual, immaculately prepared and ahead of schedule."

Simpson Racing's Honda Civic Type R was also unveiled with a fresh look for the new Team Dynamics squad as he looks to build on the solid foundations of 2016 to set-up a strong BTCC charge in 2017.

West Surrey Racing pulled the wraps off Andrew Jordan's Pirtek Racing-livery BMW and the British driver is convinced his car will be the most eye-catching of the season with its blue gloss finish.

"I don't think there is any doubt that the Pirtek Racing BMW will be the best looking car on the BTCC grid this season," he said. "The chrome blue really stood out on track last year, but I think it looks even better on the 1 Series. The Pirtek Racing colours and the BMW are just a great fit; they complement each other perfectly."

Motorsport News in 30 seconds - 11/01/2017