A new team backed by Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Peter Enckelman is set to make its debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2007 after announcing plans for a two-car entry into the series.

The team, to be based in the Salford Quays area of Manchester, will field a brace of BTC spec Vauxhall Astra Coupes which will not be eligible for outright championship honours but will be able to score points towards both the Independents drivers' and teams' title as the BTCC heads into the Super 2000 era.

Enckelman's involvement in the programme stems from a passion for motorsport that developed into a desire to have his own BTCC team after watching the action at Brands Hatch last year.

"I've been a huge fan of the BTCC since coming to the UK; it is the premiership of motor sport and the only thing bigger is F1," the Finnish international said.

"To be a part of it is a dream come true. Obviously I'll put the effort into the team as I have done into my football. No doubt some of the other players will be joining me at many of the rounds."

Work has now started on building the Encke Sport team, with Ed Tilley already announced as team principle, Carl Ayriss taking on the role of team manager and Ray Grimes having been recruited as driver coach and operations manager.

"Obviously we are a new team so don't have high hopes of winning a championship, but we want to be as reliable as possible and learn as much as we can," Tilley told Crash.net. "We have long term plans for the team so we will see how we get on this year.

"We looked at all different options and there were a lot of the cars from last season that were available to buy. The Astras were cheaper than the others and were a cheap option for us to find our feet in the championship, to learn more about the drivers and the team and to learn about the cars. Then hopefully, we can field two new cars for 2008.

"Being in the gravel or parked in the pitlane won't score us any points so we want to aim for reliability and learn as much as we can. The more laps we are doing, the more data we are gathering and the more it will help us for next year. We just need to start as high up the grid as we can, finish as many races as possible and see how it goes."

The team is currently talking to a number of drivers regarding the vacant seats and aims to be out testing by the start of next month.



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