The A-Class is being prepared for competition in the British Touring Car Championship by Ciceley Racing, which currently competes in the series with a Toyota Avensis – sponsored by a Mercedes dealership – which the team will continue racing until the end of the season, at which point they'll put it up for sale.
The new Mercedes is being built to comply with the cost-effective Next Generation Touring Car regulations that call for a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with direct injection, overboost, throttle by wire and an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission. It'll be driven by the team's current driver (and former Ginetta GT Supercup champion) Adam Morgan when it debuts for the 2014 season opener at Brands Hatch in March.
The team-driven expansion into the BTCC further extends Mercedes' reach in touring car racing around the world. Benz recently made a similar move into the V8 Supercars championship Down Under while the factory supports its own DTM outfit and also sees its cars competing in Italy's Superstars series, to name just a few. Feel free to read the official announcement below.
25 September 2013
Ciceley Racing will campaign a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, paving way for the German manufacturer's debut in Britain's premier saloon car championship at Brands Hatch next March.
The decision will see Ciceley Racing align their on-track activity with main title sponsor Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van dealership, with the A-Class judged as an ideal fit for the current NGTC regulations.
The front-running team will retain former Ginetta GT Supercup Champion Adam Morgan, who currently sits in seventh position in the 2013 BTCC championship standings, after an impressive second season in the series to date.
Ciceley Racing is no stranger to competing with Mercedes-Benz machinery in motorsport. Having clinched class wins on the Manx Rally twice in 1986 and 1987 with the Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz 190 in the hands of Russell Morgan, the Lancashire-based outfit have firmly set their sights on achieving victories for a Mercedes-Benz in the BTCC in 2014.
'It's great to finally announce our plans for 2014, the switch made sense for us in many different ways," said Ciceley Racing Team Principal Russell Morgan. "With Paul Ridgway at the helm of the project holding high aspirations and Adam continuing to mature as a driver, we think that the A-Class can be a competitive package in the series next year."
"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota for all of their help over the last two seasons, hopefully we can end what has been a brilliant debut season for the team on a high."
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow added, "This programme by Ciceley Racing is a perfect demonstration of the strength and adaptability of our 'NGTC' technical regulations - the team are able to change from racing a Toyota and onto developing and racing a Mercedes-Benz, whilst utilising the vast majority of the NGTC components they already possess."
"It will be great to see a Mercedes-Benz on the grid, to add to the already huge roll-call of other great brands competing in the BTCC."
The BTCC will roll into Northamptonshire's Silverstone Circuit for Rounds 25,26 & 27 this weekend; any interested parties for the Toyota Avensis should contact Russell Morgan at the earliest convenience.
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