Devotees of the discipline will know that touring car racing is big business – always was (even with the slightly more humdrum title of ‘saloon car’), always will be. Take a production car, modify it for racing and send it out into battle against rivals competing for brand awareness and sales cash.
Since it first took hold, in the 1950s, tin-top motorsport has been a best-seller. Crowds have packed into circuits in the UK, Europe and further afield to cheer on ‘their’ car.
Everyone has a favourite era, but for many the Group A movement was the most exciting. When, in 1982, the touring-car racing police signed off a new breed of street racers, under the title of Group A, manufacturers salivated at the freedom the new rules granted them. Limited numbers of race-bred road rockets, dubbed ‘homologation specials’, sprung up – and they were louder, faster and more dramatic than before. Crack preparation teams had carte blanche to build new weapons for whichever manufacturer they were representing.