MATT JAMES EDITOR

Motor Sport News - - Track Test: A Harvester -

The an­tic­i­pa­tion at the start of the Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship is al­ways huge. The 2016 con­test would be no dif­fer­ent, and I got so ex­cited this year that I went to Brands Hatch a day early.

It was a good job I did, be­cause a 15-minute shake­down had been ar­ranged for last minute checks on sev­eral cars, and it gave Team BMR the chance to get its Subaru Levorg on track for the first time.

Just 87 days since the pro­gramme was started, four of the rear-wheel-drive ma­chines were rolled on to the track in the hands of Ja­son Plato, Colin Turk­ing­ton, James Cole and War­ren Scott.

There were plumes of smoke em­a­nat­ing from each of the cars as the tech­ni­cians strug­gled to make them work prop­erly. But they were there, and they worked.

The grin on the face of team boss Scott was huge.

The pro­gramme strug­gled to gain im­me­di­ate re­sults, but it was cer­tainly the most po­tent weapon over the lat­ter part of the 2016 cam­paign.

Turk­ing­ton drove it su­perbly, and he went into the last rounds with a shout of the crown, which would have been un­think­able at the start of the year. It was a credit to the team, and to the driv­ers.

It cer­tainly has to be a hot tip for the 2017 ti­tle, de­spite rule tweaks to re­strict the in­her­ent ad­van­tage it has in terms of its cen­tre of grav­ity.

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