VX Racing has confirmed it will be running the Vauxhall Astra Coupé in its challenge for the 2004 British Touring Car Championship. The team has elected to continue with the Vauxhall Astra Coupé after strong competition from its stable-mate, the Vauxhall Vectra, in recent tests.
The Vauxhall Astra Coupé has dominated the BTCC in recent years, with VX Racing securing the team, manufacturers’ and drivers’ championship for a third consecutive year in 2003. However, the recent comparative tests have lead to wide debate and the eagerly anticipated decision on which model will race in 2004.
Mike Nicholson, Motorsport Manager, Vauxhall Motors, explained: “Both the Vectra and Astra performed extremely well in testing, and it was a difficult decision to make. For 2004 we have committed to carry on with the Astra, but we continue to look at all our options.”
Regular VX Racing drivers, Yvan Muller and James Thompson also return for the 2004 season and will be joined by new recruit, 2003 BTCC Production Class champion, Luke Hines.
Muller is thrilled to be piloting the Astra: “I will be defending my championship in the Astra which means we can begin 2004 where we left off in 2003, so it is good for me and for the team. The Vectra has a lot of potential – perhaps we will see it on the grid in the future.”