Ever since being sold to an enterprise company and then passing into Chinese ownership, the future of what was once Britain’s largest car manufacturer has been in doubt. However, the new company owners are trying to win back loyal enthusiasts, first with the MG6 GT five-door fastback. This is the first all-new MG in 16 years, and was designed and engineered at MG Motor UK’s plant in Birmingham, England, where final assembly takes place.
The second plan is to enter the 2012 British Touring Car Championship, putting together what it describes as a ‘dream team’ of cars, drivers, constructors and sponsors for this very popular domestic race sries. It will represent MG’s first official entry in the championship since 2003.
Two MG6 GT cars will run in the new MG KX Momentum Racing team. They will be piloted by double BTCC champion Jason Plato and BTCC rising star Andy Neate.
The cars will be prepared by Triple Eight Race Engineering – one of the most successful constructors in touring car racing with more than 100 BTCC wins to its credit. And completing the ‘dream team’ are principal sponsors Tesco Fuels with its Momentum 99 brand, and KX energy drink completing an all-British line-up.
MG KX Momentum Racing will debut at Brands Hatch on April 1 when the 2012 Dunlop MSA BTCC championship season gets underway.
Jason Plato is the most successful driver in BTCC history with 68 career wins, more fastest laps, pole- and podium positions than any other driver in the history of the Series. He is undoubtedly the face of British Touring Cars as well as being a well-known and respected TV presenter, and newly appointed Director of the British Racing Drivers Club.
Plato said: “It’s really exciting to be involved in a brand-new all-British team and it’s just brilliant that the iconic name of MG will be back on the track.”
Guy Jones, MG Motor’s Sales & Marketing Director, said: “We are delighted that the new MG6 will be seen by millions of fans in Britain and beyond, continuing the famous sporting lineage of the brand.”
Triple Eight, headed by Ian Harrison, is based at Greatworth, just a few miles from the famous Silverstone race circuit. The company has more than 100 BTCC race wins to its credit.
MG’s return to the Championship has been welcomed by Series Director Alan Gow, attracted by the Next Generation Touring Car regulations, which have just been introduced. These are leading to a greater number of bigger, faster, turbocharged machines on the BTCC grid for fans to savor.
Gow helped make the BTCC a household name in the ’90s, and has led it through another boom period where it currently enjoys 120 hours of TV coverage per season.
“This is fantastic news for all the fans who follow the BTCC, either trackside or the millions who watch on TV around the globe.
“MG is one of motoring’s evocative names, so its BTCC campaign will really capture the public’s imagination. This high-profile return to the forefront of competition should also prove highly effective in terms of marketing for MG and all of its partners, as well as delivering some great results for them on the track.”
And Gow added: “This news has again underlined the success of our NGTC regulations, enabling teams and manufacturers such as MG to embark on a major BTCC program in a more cost-effective and competitive basis than before – hence the reason we have such a fabulous diversity of makes and models in the championship.”