The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) will see the arrival of a new contender for 2012 in the shape of a Skoda Octavia vRS.
TH Motorsport will run the Octavia hatch to the New Generation Touring Car (NGTC) rules that BTCC is adopting. The NGTC rules reduce the cost of developing and running a car in the BTCC and are designed to encourage close racing between factory and privateer teams.
Trevor Humphrey of TH Motorsport said: "For a smaller team like us, it was a no brainer to go the NGTC route. In the long run, the NGTC car will be much more cost effective to run, and with a structured development programme, I know that we can be competitive."
TH Motorsport's Octavia vRS will be driven by Matt Hamilton, who has raced in the BTCC previously with TH Motorsport in a Honda Civic. The 21-year old said: "This is incredibly exciting. Being part of such a project is going to be very challenging, but I have great confidence in Trevor Humphrey and all the guys at TH Motorsport to build a very competitive car.
"We want to have the Skoda running on track before the end of the year, so that when we start the 2012 season, we can really hit the ground running and show the true potential of the NGTC regulations. After driving my seven year old Honda Civic last time out, I cannot wait to get in the brand new machine, and put it through its paces."
The Octavia vRS NGTC has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with more than 300bhp. It uses a six-speed sequential gearbox from Xtrac and does 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph. Running on slick tyres, it sits on 18-inch Team Dynamics alloy wheels and has multi-adjustable double wishbone suspension all-round.
Alisdair Suttie - 2 Aug 2011