In the first of 11 pieces, our BTCC writers give their thoughts on each team’s chances in the 2021 season. EXCELR8 Trade Price Cars is up first.
The EXCELR8 Motorsport team performed well in 2020 with their line-up of Chris Smiley and Senna Proctor to secure seventh in the overall teams’ standings (fifth in the independents’).
For 2021, they partner with TradePriceCars.com who part ways their aged Audi S3 saloon to front a revised four-car collaboration.
The likes of Chris Smiley, Jack Butel, Rick Parfitt Jr., and Tom Ingram head up their 2021 line-up.
EXCELR8 TPC look to be in their best form ever coming into the 2021 British Touring Car Championship season.
With white hot talent Tom Ingram behind the wheel of one of their four Hyundai i30N’s for this season, the team are looking positive and ready to challenge at the front of the grid as we turn our attention onto the official pre-season test and onto the first round of the championship.
The forthcoming campaign will mark the team’s third year in the BTCC. As a team, they are walking out of the winter break with confidence and a belief that their star-studded drivers are going to deliver with their impressive new machinery.
The quad line-up of drivers is going to be an undeniably deadly composition with strong, proven talent in many differing formulae, filling the seats.
EXCELR8 aren’t to be ignored this year, despite having to compete with an equally strong midfield grid.
Will they be able to capitalise on their positive winter testing? Can Tom Ingram or any of their drivers score a massive upset in the first round?
Chris Smiley impressed me during 2020 as he settled into the new Hyundai package and secured consistent points finishes.
I expect for him to be pushing for at least a few podium spots in his second season at the team, the latter of which is a gift for him to build on his targets from last year. I’m sure he will be unphased with a triple number of teammates.
Butel only debuted into the BTCC last year and secured one points finish. However, that was in the aged Mercedes-Benz A Class which has now been retired so he can stretch his legs and really show his true racing material in the i30N.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Tom Ingram is one of the main talking points as a notable championship protagonist. Just as he was building steam in the Corolla hatchback, he switches team after seven years with his debuting Speedworks squad.
It will only be a matter of how soon he can acclimatise himself with the Hyundai, how long will it take until he does find himself as championship contender again, and what will his performance be like compared to his three new teammates?