MG Motor has announced its driver line-up to compete in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
In 2017 MG Motor will continue its strategy to combine exciting young talent and experience with Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd joining the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team.
Taylor-Smith is a multiple race winner, despite being only just 27-years-old, he has already competed in over 150 BTCC races. A part of the 2016 debutant team BKR in 2016, Aron scored a race win at Rockingham Motor Speedway along with a number of other podium appearances.
“It’s a real shame in one way to leave BKR who did such an amazing job last year in their first season, but now I am fully focussed on the 2017 season and excited to ensure I deliver the results that MG not only deserve but are capable of,” said Smith. “I am pleased that many of my key team members who made 2016 so enjoyable are coming with me to MG / Triple Eight allowing us all to enjoy further success.”
24-year-old Yorkshireman Lloyd joins MG RCIB Insurance Racing having had just a taster of the BTCC over previous years and is looking to have a major impact in 2017. He may be best known for his guest appearances with Eurotech Racing in 2016, where his natural speed shone as he delivered two front-row qualifying performances in just three appearances.
“I’m really excited,” commented Lloyd. “The majority of my racing has been rear-wheel drive so really looking forward to continuing to learn in the front-wheel drive car. I loved the BTCC last year during the three rounds I competed in; I was very keen to make a full return and am delighted to have got the opportunity with MG RCIB Insurance Racing.
“I made my BTCC debut as a one off with Triple Eight way back in 2010 when I was obviously very young at Croft; it will be great to be back within the team. I also get on really well with Aron; obviously Aron is very quick so I think we can bounce off each other.”
Triple Eight boss Ian Harrison – the man charged with putting together the driver line-up – is pleased that the hard work put in over the winter has culminated in a team that he believes can be extremely competitive. Harrison has set the drivers targets to deliver more wins, more podiums and an overall improvement in results over the previous campaign.
“I’m happy that these guys will deliver some solid results for the team,” he said. “Aron is a proven race winner, and we know Daniel has the speed. With more BTCC race experience under his belt, he will be running at the front. The championship looks wide open this year with plenty of other changes in the line-up, and we expect to be right in the mix.”
MG Motor Head of Sales & Marketing, Matthew Cheyne, is pleased to reveal the 2017 driver line-up and said, “First and foremost I am delighted to welcome Aron and Daniel both to the MG RCIB Insurance Racing team and into the wider MG family. As all of our previous drivers have experienced, wearing the octagon on the front of your overalls gives you immediate support from a whole new fan base and we in turn look forward to welcoming those who have historically supported Aron and Daniel into the fold.
“The BTCC is obviously a hugely important part of MG UK’s marketing mix not just in terms of the huge television and trackside audiences but through the additional activations that we bring into our dealer network and events work.
“Triple Eight are really excited by the pace and potential that these two have on the race track but fully understand the importance of the work the drivers do with the brand off it. With everyone so positive and upbeat about the season ahead, we just can’t wait to get going and look forward to the formal unveilings on Media Day at Donington Park on March 16th.
“I should finish by adding a note of thanks to the outgoing driver pairing of Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton. These guys really understood what it meant to represent MG on and off the track and are a real benchmark for Aron and Daniel on what we can deliver through the BTCC programme. We wish them all the best in their future efforts – except in the 2017 BTCC of course!”