BTCC

Alfa Romeo returns to BTCC with Handy Motorsport

Alfa Romeo will return to the British Touring Car Championship after a 10-year absence next season.

Rob Austin will drive a front-wheel drive Alfa Romeo Giulietta for Handy Motorsport in 2018.

“It has been a long project to bring Alfa Romeo back to the BTCC, with many people working on this exciting development for some time,” said team principal Belcher.

“It’s incredible to have brought everything to fruition and an honour to be running the Alfa Romeo marque.

“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.”

Belcher described the deal as the next logical step for the team, which has been running in the BTCC since 2014.

The team will still run in the Independents competition.

“Early on, when Simon and I started talking before I joined the team, working towards the deal was part of the plan,” said Austin, who has been driving for Handy Motorsport since 2016.

“Ever since my engineer Matt and I had the Audi, we talked about what we’d love to do working from a blank sheet of paper and that’s what we can do now with the Giulietta.

“We’ve always wanted this opportunity and we’ve got enough time ahead of next season to do this job properly.

“The car is well suited to the BTCC regulations, we’re going to build a work of art as much as a racing car!”

Austin is currently 12th in the overall championship and sixth in the independents’ standings.

Feature image credit: Handy Motorsport/Jakob Ebrey Photography

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