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Rating the best BTCC champions

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Who’s the best? That’s a query usually requested in all areas of sport, together with System 1.

The naysayers argue you’ll be able to by no means have a definitive reply they usually’re proper, however that’s not the purpose. It’s an opportunity to focus on among the greatest performers in any given pursuit.

Autosport has turned its consideration to the British Touring Automotive Championship, or British Saloon Automotive Championship because it was once identified. This record isn’t merely about the most effective drivers to have competed within the sequence. It’s additionally about their success, longevity and influence. We’re trying on the drivers who set the benchmark within the BTCC and/or helped make it what it’s.

Previous to 1991, the BTCC had many star performers within the smaller-capacity lessons behind the battles up entrance. Such drivers have been thought-about, however emphasis has been positioned on outright success, which helps to clarify the absence of three-time champion Win Percy and a number of class topper John Fitzpatrick, each of whom had been rightly considered among the many most interesting touring automotive drivers on this planet.


Neal took his first title with the family-run Dynamics crew in 2005 as its Honda Integra proved speedy

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Photograph by: Jeff Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Years: 1991-2020
Wins: 63
Titles: 3 (2005-06, 2011)

There have been higher drivers within the BTCC however few have had the influence Neal managed over three many years. With greater than 700 begins, Neal is probably the most capped driver in sequence historical past and his 63 wins places him third on the all-time record.

Earlier than changing into a contender for outright titles, Neal was the king of the Independents in the course of the Tremendous Touring period, taking 4 crowns. He additionally created one of many BTCC’s best moments when he gained £250,000 by successful the second 1999 race at Donington Park towards manufacturing unit opposition.

Having contested the European Tremendous Touring Championship, Neal returned to the BTCC in a Triple Eight Vauxhall Astra Coupe in 2002. He took three wins and third within the factors, although couldn’t fairly match Vauxhall aces James Thompson and Yvan Muller.

He took six wins and was third once more in a Honda Civic Kind R in 2003 earlier than rejoining his household Dynamics crew. And in 2005, Neal received his arms on the Integra Kind R.

The coupe was controversial, not being out there within the UK, but it surely was speedy. Neal stormed to 5 wins within the first half of the season and later added one other as he outscored Muller to the title.

Each Neal and SEAT’s Jason Plato scored eight victories apiece in 2006 however Neal’s larger consistency made him the primary individual to efficiently defend the crown since Chris Hodgetts in 1987.

A rivalry and animosity developed between Neal and Plato that always value each factors however that additionally added to the BTCC’s field workplace attraction.

Neal rejoined Triple Eight to drive its Vectra for 2008-09. There have been two wins, however Neal was overshadowed by team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi, who took 10 victories and a title in the identical interval.

After finishing second to arch-rival Plato in 2010, Neal claimed a third title with Dynamics aboard the Civic in 2011

After ending second to arch-rival Plato in 2010, Neal claimed a 3rd title with Dynamics aboard the Civic in 2011

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

For 2010, Neal returned to father Steve’s Dynamics operation, which was now the works Honda crew. The Civic was aggressive and Neal took second within the standings behind RML Chevrolet driver Plato.

The Civic chassis and turbocharged NGTC engine proved potent in 2011, Neal narrowly main good friend and team-mate Gordon Shedden to a Honda 1-2 to safe his third BTCC crown.

Neal additionally has the excellence of being the primary driver to win a BTCC race within the NGTC FK2 model of the Civic, a automotive that went on to be some of the profitable within the historical past of the championship, however thereafter it was often Shedden who led the Honda assault.

Neal was second to his team-mate in 2012, fourth in 2013 behind fellow Honda drivers Andrew Jordan and Shedden, and completed within the high three for the ultimate time in 2015.

Appropriately given his lengthy service, Neal gained the particular, longer race at Snetterton that celebrated 60 years of the championship in 2018. That win turned out to be his final, Neal retiring in 2020 although remaining a determine within the BTCC paddock.

9. Fabrizio Giovanardi

Giovanardi won back-to-back titles with Triple Eight-run Vectras in 2007-08

Giovanardi gained back-to-back titles with Triple Eight-run Vectras in 2007-08

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Yr: 2006-10, 2014
Wins: 24
Titles: 2 (2007-08)

Giovanardi was already a a number of touring automotive champion round Europe when he landed within the BTCC with Triple Eight’s manufacturing unit Vauxhall squad in 2006. The Astra Sport Hatch was not the crew’s greatest instrument and Giovanardi had a troublesome begin – “you want a 12 months of driving faculty to race in England!” – however the Italian completed the marketing campaign with two wins and fifth within the factors.

The brand new Vectra was a unique beast and Giovanardi took 10 wins in 2007, together with an outstanding double on the Thruxton finale to grab the title from beneath Plato’s nostril.

There have been ‘solely’ 5 wins the next 12 months however 10 different podiums and an extremely constant marketing campaign left Giovanardi’s rivals trailing.

Giovanardi virtually made it three titles in 4 years in 2009. There have been one other 5 wins and he comfortably defeated team-mates Neal and Jordan, however misplaced out to Colin Turkington and Plato in a hard-fought Manufacturers Hatch showdown.

Vauxhall withdrew its works help forward of 2010 and Giovanardi was solely in a position to contest the opening assembly at Thruxton. He underlined his class with two wins, which might have been a extra becoming approach for his BTCC profession to finish than the winless 2014 season he contested in a Motorbase Ford Focus.

With out that tough marketing campaign on the age of 47, when he was thrashed by team-mate Mat Jackson, Giovanardi’s win charge would have been 20% increased than the opposite twenty first century drivers on this record. Even with it, his strike charge is a match for Plato and Ash Sutton, and plenty of would agree he was the BTCC benchmark in his pomp.

8. Yvan Muller

Muller came close in 2001 and 2002 before finally clinching his sole BTCC crown in 2003

Muller got here shut in 2001 and 2002 earlier than lastly clinching his sole BTCC crown in 2003

Photograph by: Jeff Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Years: 1998-2005
Wins: 36
Titles: 1 (2003)

One other tin-top legend, who would go on to take 4 World Touring Automotive crowns, Muller was a spectacular entertainer within the UK. He arrived in 1998 with the front-wheel-drive Audi A4 that was not a match for the opposition, establishing some high quality underdog drives however no wins. The works Vauxhall Vectras of 1999-2000 had been a little bit higher and Muller received off the mark with 4 victories.

His greatest probabilities of the BTCC title got here after the demise of Tremendous Touring as he discovered himself within the Astra Coupe that was properly away from the opposition. However he additionally had sturdy team-mates, most notably Plato and James Thompson.

The Muller-Plato rivalry of 2001 grew to become a bitter one. Muller had a marginal edge in qualifying and the races however by no means received away within the championship chase and misplaced out when he suffered an engine failure after an off within the soaking Manufacturers finale.

Thompson was Muller’s foremost rival in 2002 and once more the Frenchman misplaced out to his team-mate, who additionally scored extra victories.

Muller lastly received his crown in 2003, when he turned the tables on Thompson with a exceptional marketing campaign through which he solely completed off the rostrum 3 times in 20 races.

The duo had been neck and neck in 2004, Thompson taking the title in a dramatic Donington Park showdown. His quickest lap beat Muller by a single level.

The brand new Astra Sport Hatch was not a match for the Honda Integra that took Neal to the 2005 crown, however Muller was the star performer. He brilliantly took six wins to complete as runner-up for the fourth time and comfortably beat rising star Turkington earlier than heading to the WTCC.

If something retains Muller from climbing increased right here it’s that he was crushed to the crown 3 times by team-mates, albeit superb ones. However he was one of many undisputed stars all through his time within the BTCC and his 36 wins (18%) put him equal seventh on the all-time record, with Alain Menu and Thompson.

7. Jim Clark

Clark thrilled tin-top fans in 1964 with his displays in a Ford Lotus Cortina

Clark thrilled tin-top followers in 1964 along with his shows in a Ford Lotus Cortina

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Years: 1963-66
Wins: 8
Titles: 1 (1964)

The 2-time F1 world champion and Indianapolis 500 winner is nearly definitely the best driver to have raced within the BTCC.

Clark gained his first race within the sequence, after a battle with fellow Ford Galaxie driver (and robust candidate for this record) Jack Sears, who hit bother whereas they had been battling for the lead. Nevertheless it’s his Lotus Cortina exploits that get Clark this spot.

Colin Chapman’s supersaloon, which Clark helped develop, was the automotive in its class. Clark gained the 1301-2000cc class in all eight rounds of 1964 to take the general title – and managed three outright wins.

Clark was the one driver to win a spherical outright in a Cortina. It was a feat he managed seven occasions and he was all however unbeatable in his class each time he appeared between 1963 and 1966.

PLUS: When an F1 champion ruled the BTCC

So, why isn’t he increased on this record? Largely it’s as a result of his time within the sequence was comparatively brief in comparison with the opposite drivers right here. It amounted to a little bit greater than 20 races, fewer than now happen in a single BTCC season.

His opposition was additionally restricted, definitely in comparison with the championship’s peak within the Tremendous Touring period, and it’s most likely price declaring that his general wins often got here after Sears hit bother along with his Galaxie.

However, there could be little doubt that Clark’s presence gave the championship a lift and that in tin-tops, as with each different class he tried, the Scotsman excelled.

6. Frank Gardner

Gardner won his third and final outright title aboard the Camaro ZL1 in 1973

Gardner gained his third and remaining outright title aboard the Camaro ZL1 in 1973

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Years: 1963-65, 1967-73
Wins: 35
Titles: 3 (1967-68, 1973)

This no-nonsense Australian proved his price in single-seaters and endurance competitors but in addition made a huge effect on British saloon automotive racing. In addition to being a three-time champion, he was usually the driving force to beat within the high class, which he gained three extra occasions along with his general crowns.

After being a category frontrunner in John Willment-prepared Cortinas throughout 1963-65, Gardner actually made his mark with a supercharged Alan Mann Racing Ford Falcon Dash. He had a automotive benefit and used it properly, successful seven occasions on his technique to his first title in 1967.

Gardner stepped again to the two-litre class with Alan Mann for 1968, initially in a Cortina Mk2 earlier than the works-blessed Escort Twin Cam was prepared. He crushed minimal class opposition to change into the primary driver to efficiently defend the general crown and underlined his tempo by taking two outright victories towards the V8s.

The Twin Cam was supercharged for 1969, placing Gardner straight up towards the Falcons and Chevrolet Camaros. Three wins and tremendous consistency meant he took the category crown, however such was the competitors that he was third general, behind 1000cc class dominator Alec Poole and Chris Craft’s 1300cc Escort.

Gardner moved to a Ford Mustang Boss 302 for 1970. He most likely ought to have been general champion however a tyre failure at Silverstone handed the factors initiative to Invoice McGovern’s 1000cc Imp and Gardner needed to be content material with one other class title.

For his remaining three years within the championship, Gardner piloted a Camaro Z28. He didn’t contest the total season in 1971 however picked up two wins. He defeated Muir for big-class honours in 1972 and was so dominant the next 12 months – six wins from 9 rounds – that he lastly secured his third general crown.

Gardner made a profitable return to Australia having racked up 35 sequence wins, a mark that remained unsurpassed till Andy Rouse’s domination within the late-Eighties.

5. Alain Menu

The BTCC's top Super Touring racer Menu clinched titles with Renault and Ford

The BTCC’s high Tremendous Touring racer Menu clinched titles with Renault and Ford

Photograph by: Malcolm Griffiths

Years: 1992-2000, 2007, 2014-15
Wins: 36
Titles: 2 (1997, 2000)

This record may have been stuffed with drivers from the aggressive Tremendous Touring period, however we wished to unfold the enjoyment. Menu’s place, nonetheless, was by no means unsure.

The Swiss grew to become a BTCC common after his single-seater profession got here to an finish and took his first win within the dreadful Renault 19 of 1993. Armed with the ever-improving although typically unreliable Laguna from 1994, Menu proved himself as one of many quickest drivers within the championship’s historical past, seeing off title-winning team-mates Tim Harvey and Will Hoy.

He was runner-up for 3 consecutive seasons, every time defeated by higher equipment, however received maintain of the benchmark in 1997. The Williams-built Laguna dominated the marketing campaign within the arms of Menu and rookie team-mate Plato. Menu took 12 wins from 24 races to beat Audi’s Frank Biela by 110 factors, an unprecedented margin within the BTCC.

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Renault’s star light in 1998, although Menu nonetheless pipped Plato within the standings, earlier than a change to the Prodrive Ford crew. After a troublesome first season the Mondeo was the pacesetter in 2000.

Menu beat team-mates Anthony Reid and Rickard Rydell 6-2-3 when it comes to wins and within the factors desk to safe his second BTCC crown. He then left the sequence as Tremendous Touring concluded to compete within the DTM.

He accomplished one mediocre season in 2014, driving a Workforce BMR Volkswagen CC, but it surely’s his first BTCC stint that comfortably will get him right here. Menu was the one driver to take two titles throughout Tremendous Touring and his 36 wins put him 15 away from fellow interval ace Rydell.

4. Jason Plato

Plato won his first BTCC title for Vauxhall in 2001, but had to wait nine years for his second

Plato gained his first BTCC title for Vauxhall in 2001, however needed to wait 9 years for his second

Photograph by: Jeff Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Years: 1997-2001, 2004-19, 2021-22
Wins: 97
Titles: 2 (2001, 2010)

Greater than another BTCC driver, Plato understood the worth of enjoying a personality and creating drama. He arguably made extra headlines for the championship than anybody else and remodeled 600 begins.

Having famously harangued Frank Williams into giving him a drive, the 1996 Renault Spider champion burst into the BTCC with three consecutive poles within the 1997 Laguna. That was one thing of a false daybreak as Plato struggled to match skilled team-mate Menu, although he did take his first sequence win at Snetterton in August and third within the factors.

Plato was nearer to Menu in 1998 and led the Renault squad when the Swiss moved to Ford the next 12 months.

Plato joined the Triple Eight Vauxhall crew for the ultimate 12 months of Tremendous Touring and narrowly missed out to team-mate Muller, regardless of being sad at what he noticed as crew orders. The rivalry stepped up a notch in 2001, once they had been armed with the dominant Astra Coupe within the first season of the BTC-T laws.

In a tempestuous contest, which included Plato being penalised for a conflict at Silverstone, Muller gained extra races however Plato took the crown when the Frenchman’s engine cried sufficient on the remaining spherical, each having suffered offs in horrible circumstances.

After a spell away, Plato returned with SEAT in 2004. That began a string of seasons through which he was persistently a race winner and championship risk however missed out on the general laurels.

Lastly, after being runner-up 3 times and third twice since his 2001 crown, Plato took RML’s Chevrolet Cruze to the 2010 title. In the beginning of 2011 he surpassed Rouse’s BTCC wins document of 60 and was unlucky to lose out to the turbocharged Hondas of Neal and Shedden within the championship.

Plato wheeled RML-run Cruze to the 2010 crown after coming close several times with SEAT

Plato wheeled RML-run Cruze to the 2010 crown after coming shut a number of occasions with SEAT

Photograph by: Malcolm Griffiths / Motorsport Images

Plato, engineer Carl Fake and Triple Eight labored wonders with the NGTC MG6 GT throughout 2012-14, taking 20 wins however lacking out on the title every time.

He then spent two years alongside Turkington at BMR. Plato underlined his mastery of FWD by beating Turkington within the VW in 2015, dropping out to Shedden by 4 factors, whereas Turkington turned the tables once they switched to the RWD Subaru.

Not for the primary time, Plato had been instrumental in bringing the deal collectively, however with the Subaru he was quickly overshadowed by rising star Sutton. Plato grew to become much less aggressive and left the crew on the finish of 2018.

His remaining victory got here in a Energy Maxed Astra in 2019 and additional seasons, in 2021 with the identical crew and 2022 with a BTC Racing Honda, failed to offer the success wanted to get Plato to his wins century.

The principle factor stopping Plato from climbing increased up this record is his comparatively poor conversion charge when it got here to titles. Typically he was injured (2007), unfortunate (2008) or hamstrung by guidelines (2011), however he additionally received into scrapes, usually with Neal. However, Plato’s wins tally of 97 remains to be away forward of anybody else.

3. Colin Turkington

Turkington earned his first of four titles in 2009 in a hard-fought campaign

Turkington earned his first of 4 titles in 2009 in a hard-fought marketing campaign

Photograph by: Kevin Wooden / Motorsport Images

Years: 2002-09, 2013-present
Wins: 68
Titles: 4 (2009, 2014, 2018-19)

The quiet Northern Irishman is without doubt one of the most medical drivers with regards to placing a championship marketing campaign collectively and has gained the title a lot of alternative ways.

Turkington first appeared within the BTCC with a West Surrey Racing MG ZS in 2002 and took his first victory the next 12 months. He grew to become increasingly more of an element, although did battle alongside Muller with the tough Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch in 2005.

For 2006 Turkington rejoined WSR, ending third within the standings with the ageing MG earlier than the crew switched to a BMW 320si. Within the coming years Turkington grew to become the main RWD protagonist and in 2009 brilliantly pipped former champions Plato and Giovanardi to the crown.

Turkington’s ‘reward’ was to not have a BTCC drive the next 12 months as WSR misplaced its RAC sponsorship. He made sporadic outings in World Touring Vehicles and accomplished a season in Scandinavia earlier than returning to the BTCC with WSR’s new BMW 125i M Sport in 2013.

Turkington was spectacular within the underdeveloped automotive, taking 5 wins and giving himself an outdoor probability of the title earlier than ending fifth. In 2014, with the automotive now the category of the sector, he reeled off eight wins on his technique to the crown and would have gained extra however for the actions of others.

Amazingly, funding points meant he needed to go away WSR as soon as once more, becoming a member of BMR alongside (amongst others) Plato. 4 wins saved him within the combine however Plato appeared stronger within the FWD VW, scoring six wins and ending two spots increased within the desk. The reverse was true within the RWD Subaru in 2016, Turkington taking 5 wins and fourth within the factors to Plato’s one victory and seventh.

A transfer again to WSR and the 125i M Sport resulted within the runner-up spot for the primary time in his profession. And, with the ageing BMW, Turkington put in an unbelievable marketing campaign of consistency to safe his third crown regardless of just one victory in 2018, beating team-mate and 2013 champion Jordan within the course of.

Geared up with the brand new 330i M Sport, Turkington and Jordan set the tempo early in 2019. The BMWs had been pegged again, Jordan gained extra races and Honda’s Dan Cammish got here on sturdy, however Turkington took the title by two factors after the Civic suffered a brake failure on the finale.

Turkington completed as runner-up to Sutton in 2020-21 and was within the combine in 2022-23 however the performances of team-mate Jake Hill, practically 12 years his junior, suggests the probabilities of taking a fifth crown may very well be diminishing.

Turkington not often takes pointless dangers however can cost when wanted, his drive from twenty seventh to fourth at Knockhill in 2014 being a high quality instance. He would possibly now be previous his appreciable greatest however Turkington has completed within the high 4 yearly since 2014; it will not be a shock to see him characteristic in additional title showdowns.

2. Ash Sutton

Sutton's fourth title ensured he has claimed championships with FWD and RWD, a preciously rare accolade

Sutton’s fourth title ensured he has claimed championships with FWD and RWD, a preciously uncommon accolade

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Years: 2016-present
Wins: 39
Titles: 4 (2017, 2020-21, 2023)

It says lots about Sutton’s unbelievable skill that he’s so excessive on this record regardless of having accomplished simply eight BTCC seasons. He’s the one driver to have taken the title in each FWD and RWD equipment, and his win charge (16%) is healthier than anybody else within the present period.

Sutton’s single-seater profession was reduce brief by a street accident earlier than BMR picked him up for the 2015 Renault Clio Cup, which he gained. He graduated into the BTCC with the {old} Triple Eight MG6, taking a victory at Croft although being narrowly crushed within the standings by good friend and team-mate Josh Cook.

Again with BMR for 2017, Sutton recovered from a horrible Manufacturers opener to take six wins and beat Turkington to the crown. Workforce-mate Plato was twelfth.

The bizarre Levorg GT was subsequently reined in increasingly more, although Sutton nonetheless scored one other six wins throughout 2018-19. Nevertheless it was arguably with the Laser Instruments Racing Infiniti Q50 that Sutton’s ascendency as a BTCC nice gathered momentum.

The RWD automotive had achieved little however had potential when Sutton and ace engineer Antonio Carrozza received their arms on it for 2020. 5 wins matched Turkington’s WSR BMW and Sutton did the unthinkable: he outscored the four-time champion throughout the opposite races to take the crown.

It was an identical story the next 12 months, solely this time Sutton completed a snug 51 factors away from runner-up Turkington. After which got here the transfer that propelled Sutton up this record.

The Motorbase Ford Focus had at all times been an occasional race winner quite than a title contender and Sutton wasn’t its largest fan. However he dragged the FWD automotive to 3 race wins in 2022, his mixture of velocity, racecraft and consistency falling simply 12 factors shy of champion Tom Ingram.

With additional time for Carrozza and co to fine-tune issues, the Focus grew to become the automotive to beat in 2023. Sutton put race-winning team-mates Cammish and Dan Rowbottom within the shade to document 12 victories, a tally unmatched for the reason that very completely different days of Tremendous Touring.

PLUS: How the Focus became a BTCC dominator

A FWD title to go along with his three RWD crowns, scored with three completely different vehicles, and a runner-up spot is a hell of a document in simply eight seasons. Sutton deserves a shot on the worldwide stage however, if he doesn’t get one, there’s an opportunity he may add extra titles and significantly begin to make a case for being primary on this record…

1. Andy Rouse

Rouse took his fourth and final outright title with the Ford Sierra XR4i in 1985, but remained a force for many years

Rouse took his fourth and remaining outright title with the Ford Sierra XR4i in 1985, however remained a drive for a few years

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Years: 1973-76, 1978-94
Wins: 60
Titles: 4 (1975, 1983-85)

As Sutton proves, the driver-engineer relationship is essential, however Rouse was each. There have been sooner racers within the BTCC, however no person has had his influence over such various eras in such completely different equipment.

A Broadspeed engineer and tester – “making ready the automotive and getting the most effective out of it was my focus” – Rouse topped his class on the first time of asking in 1973, driving a Ford Escort RS1600. However he actually began to make his mark with the Broadspeed Triumph Dolomite Dash.

PLUS: How the Dolomite became an unlikely Capri-slayer

Rouse’s first outright wins got here at Mallory Park and Snetterton in 1974, when the lessons had been break up and he defeated his 2.5-litre rivals. He gained the category title and narrowly missed out on the outright crown however made amends by successful the 1975 championship in a dramatic Manufacturers finale, ending the 12 months tied on factors with Percy and Stuart Graham from different lessons.

The next 12 months was much less profitable and in 1977 Rouse grew to become a part of the Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12C programme, a global probability misplaced when the challenge was prematurely canned.

Rouse joined the Ford Capri ranks and was one of many foremost rivals to the king of the coupe, Gordon Spice. Rouse was not often off the rostrum, significantly when a part of Spice’s crew, however went his personal approach for 1983.

Rouse ready an Alfa Romeo GTV6 for Peter Corridor, who then stepped apart after three rounds. Rouse dominated the two.5-litre class thereafter after which inherited the general crown when Steve Soper and the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Rovers had been thrown out following a lot off-track controversy throughout 1984.

By then, Rouse and his crew had moved to the massive class with their very own Rover Vitesse. He’d already gained the title twice and been class champion on an extra three events however now grew to become a fixture on the entrance of the grid.

Rouse gained seven of the 11 races in 1984 with the Rover, then developed the turbocharged Ford Sierra XR4Ti and took 9 victories from 12 rounds in 1985 to safe his third consecutive general title.

Rouse was a master of driving and car preparation, which made him a potent force even in years he didn't win the title outright

Rouse was a grasp of driving and automotive preparation, which made him a potent drive even in years he did not win the title outright

Photograph by: Sutton Pictures

There now started a interval when Rouse was invariably the pacesetter however misplaced out to these dominating the smaller-capacity lessons.

Rouse was the grasp of the Ford RS500, successful the highest class in 1986, 1988 and 1989 in addition to making ready most of the vehicles. He even defeated the works Eggenberger Ford crew twice in 4 1988 BTCC clashes, plus the Silverstone TT. He was the person to beat when the TV protection of the sequence was growing.

PLUS: The story of the BTCC’s greatest ever car

Rouse was lastly knocked off his perch by Robb Gravett and the Trakstar operation, which received maintain of RS500s from Australian legend Dick Johnson. Armed with Yokohama tyres that proved superior to Rouse’s Pirellis, Gravett not solely gained the highest class in 1990 however walked away with the general crown.

However whereas Gravett’s time on the entrance was transient, Rouse – already 43 – proved his versatility once more firstly of the two-litre period. Rouse was one of many architects of the ruleset that might come to be often called Tremendous Touring and developed the Toyota Carina.

He gained three races in 1991, as many as anybody else, and completed third within the standings. He was a winner the next 12 months, too, although fights with team-mate Hoy value them each and Hoy completed forward within the standings.

Rouse’s remaining two years within the BTCC got here within the Ford Mondeo however there have been no extra wins and Paul Radisich established himself because the on-track crew chief lengthy earlier than Rouse hung up his helmet on the finish of 1994.

Solely Gardner has a better strike charge on this record and it’s honest to say that, had there been as many races in Rouse’s day as there are actually, he would have taken quite greater than his wins tally of 60, which was the document for practically twenty years.

Racing a Rover Vitesse, Rouse won the title in 1984 after moving into the big class

Racing a Rover Vitesse, Rouse gained the title in 1984 after shifting into the massive class

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

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