Italian Automaker Alfa Romeo has recently announced that they will be returning to the popular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Officially confirmed by Handy Motorsports, the team will be responsible for bringing back the Alfa Romeo brand into the British racing series.
Handy Motorsports will be fielding an Alfa Romeo Giulietta for the upcoming 2018 season. The Giulietta still retains its front wheel drive system, but will be fitted with the BTCC TOCA engine for the first season. A bespoke power unit will likely be developed for it in future races as part of a multiple-year deal. Current Handy Motorsports driver Rob Austin will be behind the wheel of the Giulietta.
To give a brief background on Alfa Romeo and BTCC, the last time the Alfa Romeo brand made an appearance on the BTCC field was back in 2007. Prior to that, Alfa Romeo had a works team from 1994 to 1995, which manage to claim the driver's title during their first season. Even before that, the Italian team won their first title at BTCC in 1983.
“Alfa Romeo is a passionate brand, steeped in heritage, and we have already started building our first bodyshell. Not only is this huge for Handy Motorsport, and fantastic for Alfa to have the latest Giulietta represented on the BTCC grid, it’s also massive for the BTCC as a whole,” said Simon Belcher, Handy Motorsports team principal.
Do note however that this is still not a fully fledged manufacturer entry from Alfa Romeo. It does leave us wondering if Alfa Romeo could soon be joining other racing series as well.