|1994 BTCC season|
|Previous: 1993||Next: 1995|
The 1994 British Touring Car Championship season was the fourth British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season, which commenced on 17 April and ended on 18 September. The championship consisted of ten meetings, each held in the United Kingdom.
Changes for 1994Edit
- For 1994, any first-lap crashes involving more than one car would trigger the new 'Virtual Safety Car' mechanism, which would oblige drivers to reduce their speed by using their pit limiter until the hazard was cleared.
Two teams chose not to continue into the 1994 season:
- Team Dynamics, having won the Independent Teams' Championship, made the shock decision to leave the championship in 1994.
- Park Lane Racing also withdrew from the championship at the end of the 1993 season, leaving Toyota without its junior works team.
By contrast, 4 manufacturers were added to the grid for 1994:
- Alfa Corse entered the BTCC under Super Touring regulations for the first time, fielding the revolutionary 155 TS homologation special.
- Volvo also made their 2-litre formula debut, run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing and running the outrageous 850 Estate.
- BMW returned to the series for the first time since 1992, although now operated by Schnitzer Motorsport rather than Prodrive or Vic Lee Racing.
- Mazda also returned to the BTCC with the new Xedos 6, with the team now run by Roger Dowson.
4 new Independent teams also joined the grid.
- Harlow Motorsport would enter the BTCC for the first time, fielding a 1993 ex-works Renault 19.
- Woodkirk Peugeot also joined for 1994 in a 1991 ex-ACE Motorsport 405 Mi16.
- Hamish Irvine also filed an entry for 1994 in a 1992 ex-Vic Lee Motorsport BMW 318is.
- Maxted Motorsport joined the Independents' Championship as a 2-car effort, purchasing the pair of 1993 Park Lane Racing Toyota Carina Es.
- With the "Dream Team" of 1993 having collapsed mid-season and having failed to secure the Manufacturer Teams' title, defending champion Lorenzo Turri walked out of Ford to join the new Alfa Corse team for 1994. Roy Cop, having left halfway through 1993, did not return in 1994, leaving Ford with just Halil Sahin remaining at the team. The Italian squad signed Kris Simton from Toyota to join Turri for 1994.
- Ford, theorising that they had only missed out on the Manufacturer Team's championship because of their numerical disadvantage to Nissan in 1993, signed two rookie Brits, Nathan Hammond and Chris English, to partner Sahin for 1994 and mount an assault on the Manufacturer Teams' title that had eluded them thus far - but technical issues ruled Sahin out of the opening round, and he did not return out after that - leaving Ford as a 2 car operation.
- Toyota responded to Simton's departure by initially signing David Osborne from Nissan, who took his Castrol sponsorship with him, and former Peugeot driver, Tom Cinchy - but Cinchy would later leave the team without starting a single race. Nissan also lost the services of Mike Bell and Jaz Evered, who left to join the TWR-run Volvo and Ray Mallock-run Vauxhall respectively - with Vauxhall ending their management contract with Dave Cook.
- Nissan chose to fill their vacant seats with rookies Josh Popplewell from Britain and Daniel Koch of Sweden.
- Peugeot's loss of Cinchy for 1994 was compounded by David Todaro's decision to leave the works team for the privateers Woodkirk Peugeot, having previously drove for the Peugeot works team in 1992 and the early part of 1993, and after the departure of Wesley Brook early in 1993 saw him fail to return for 1994, the team were left with no drivers. They eventually signed Amer Hammoud, downsizing to a single-car entry.
- BMW's return to the series as a full works outfit saw the hiring of debutant Kyle Benton in a single-car operation.
- Mazda also filled their seats with series debutants, in their case Emile Taylor and Daniel Hurlock, both from the UK.
- With Team Dynamics leaving in 1994, Independents' champion Pekka Ylitalo also left the series, to concentrate on sportscar racing.
- Harlow Motorsport picked up rookie Jameson Evans from the United States, in their hopes of securing the Independents' titles.
- Hamish Irvine made their series debut with Marie Müller from Liechtenstein taking the wheel of their BMW 318is.
Mid season changesEdit
Various team-driver combinations changed during the 1994 season:
- From Round 2 onwards, Jake Black made his debut with newcomer Independent team Maxted Motorsport.
- Black would heed the call up to the works Toyota team after Round 6. This was due to David Osborne leaving.
- Nick Wu was also promoted to the works Toyota team from Maxted, but after a disqualification in Round 7 was absent from the final 3 rounds.
- Osborne's departure from Toyota team after Round 5 saw him join Volvo for Round 6 and Nissan for Round 7, but was ineligible to score points. From Round 8 onwards, Osborne joined Vauxhall Sport and remained there for the rest of the season.
- Daniel Koch made the switch from Nissan to Volvo for Round 4 but left the series after this.
- Marie Müller left Hamish Irvine after Round 3 and was slated to replace Koch at Nissan, but this never materialised.
- Amer Hammoud left Peugeot after Round 5. The team did not fill the seat until American debutant, Ted Hough, joined the team from Round 9 onwards.
The first round of the 1994 British Touring Car Championship took place at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire. Reigning champion Lorenzo Turri started as he meant to continue, taking pole position in his first qualifying session in the new Alfa Romeo 155 TS. Turri carried this form into the opening race of the season, taking a comprehensive victory from Mike Bell in 2nd place in a fantastic debut for the oddball 850 Estate. Series debutant Nathan Hammond surprised all by filling out the podiumin his very first race. Bell, however, was not to be deterred - and struck back immediately by taking the win in race 2, pipping Turri to the line by just 0.11s. Johannes Meles achieved his first podium of the year in the same race. Bell repeated the feat in race 3, this time by an entire second over the line from Turri in second, with Mazda's Daniel Hurlock claiming his first BTCC podium in race 3.
Despite Turri's consistency in keeping pace with Bell, it was the latter who took the early lead of the 1994 Manufacturer Drivers' Championship, with 52 points - a single point ahead of the reigning champion in second. Hurlock (33) in third place led Meles, Simton and Benton (32) - tied for points, but with Meles' podium giving him the edge. Alfa Romeo took the early lead of the Manufacturer Teams' Championship on 83 points, and led an intense battle for second from Ford (54), Renault (53) and Bell's sole Volvo (52).
David Todaro took the lead in the Independents' Championship, with 52 points - just 2 points ahead of his compatriot Jameson Evans. Marie Müller rounded out the championship in third with 14 points after a tough opening round.
Brands Hatch played host to round 2 of the championship, with the cars running on the super-short Indy layout. It looked like a dominant weekend for Turri, as he took pole position and converted this into victory in race one. Bell was second once again, from Meles in third place. Race two saw Turri at his finest, winning once again by a comfortable margin. Nathan Hammond crossed the line in second from Meles once again in third. Race three confirmed that it was truly Turri's weekend - with victory once again, making it 3 wins from 3 races, and taking fastest lap in each race - for the maximum points haul possible. Bell took another second place from Hammond in third, the rookie Ford driver really beginning to prove his worth.
Turri rocketed to the head of the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship standings with his perfect weekend leaving him on 106 points, 12 ahead of Bell in second place. Meles (72) was not far behind in third place. Alfa Romeo continued to lead in the Manufacturer Teams' Championship, with 170 points. Renault (117) led Volvo and Ford (94) - with Bell's 2 wins giving the Swedish marque the advantage.
The battle of the privateers saw Jameson Evans overhaul David Todaro for the lead of the Independents' Championship, leading his compatriot 94 points to 84. Jake Black completed the clean sweep of wins to secure 54 points on his debut, and immediately stake his own claim to the title. Another tough weekend for Müller saw her remaining last with 28 points.
Castle Combe was scheduled to host Round 3 of the championship - however, following the free practice session, in which Turri was fastest, there were numerous technical difficulties at the circuit, which prevented the start of Qualifying. These could not be resolved and therefore the round was cancelled - and would not be rearranged for another date.
Round 4 was the sole double-header of the season - held at Silverstone's National layout. Turri was once again the fastest, taking pole position for the sprint race. He converted this into victory in the first of the two races, from Bell in second place. Meles took yet another third place, in a remarkably consistent season thus far from the Renault driver. Turri was once again the one to beat in the feature race, winning comfortably from Hurlock, achieving Mazda's best result since 1992, and Hammond - who rounded off the feature race podium.
Turri's wins in both the sprint and feature races, as well as fastest lap in the sprint, saw him further consolidate his title lead, now on 143 points from Bell (121) in second. A remarkable battle for third was brewing, with Hammond, Hurlock and Meles (86) all battling for the bronze - with Hammond's multiple podiums giving him the advantage. Alfa Romeo continued to dominate at the top of the Manufacturer Teams' Championship, now on 226 points and holding an 87 point lead over second placed Volvo, with Koch's results helping them to overhaul Ford (138) for third. Renault (131) were not far behind in fourth.
The Independents' title was barely contested this round - Evans, Todaro and Müller all did not race. Black was left unopposed to take 3 victories and close to within 4 points of Evans who was leading with 94 points. Nick Wu's appearance for Maxted Motorsport saw them propelled to the lead of the privateer teams, Wu scoring just 16 points - moving Müller out of last place.
Round 5 saw the BTCC head east, to the Snetterton track in Norfolk. Notably, Renault would be entirely absent from the weekend. Turri, seemingly unstoppable in 1994, once again took pole position - by 0.58s from Mike Bell in second. Turri converted the pole position into victory with ease in race 1 and took the fastest lap of the race in the process. Hammond crossed the line to take another podium by finishing in second place, from championship rival Bell in third. Turri's dominance was finally broken by none other than Daniel Hurlock - who took his first victory in the BTCC in Race 2, and the first victory for the new Mazda Xedos 6 - becoming the first driver other than Turri to win in 1994 since Bell in the opening races at Thruxton. Chris English emphasised this point by taking his first podium of the year, finishing second - just 0.12s ahead of Turri in third. Race 3 saw Turri fight back, but the grid was evidently eager to deny Turri another win - and this came to pass, with Nathan Hammond finally taking the chequered flag for the first time, winning from Turri in second by just 0.29s. Hurlock rounded out his excellent weekend with a third place finish.
Turri retained the lead of the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship, having not finished off the podium all season thus far, with 194 points. Bell (156) was now facing an increasingly difficult climb up the order if he wanted to win the title in 1994. Hammond's victory helped to 132 points, and was vital in keeping him ahead of Hurlock (130) in the championship order. Alfa Romeo's lead in the Manufacturer Teams' race remained after Snetterton, albeit reduced - the Italian marque now on 296 points, 74 ahead of Ford in second place - the first sign, perhaps, of a surge of form by the Mondeo drivers. Volvo, arguably due to Koch no-showing at Snetterton, dropped to third place on 193 points.
Black was once again unopposed in the privateers, taking three wins out of three to move to the lead of the title hunt on 144 points - and the Maxted team moving ahead in the teams' title on 160.
The season entered its second half at Oulton Park for Round 6 of the championship. There were no surprises in qualifying however, as Turri took another pole position - ahead of the newly-promoted Jake Black in second place, who gave up his privateers' hopes to become a fully fledged works Toyota driver. Turri succeeded in converting pole into victory, along with taking the fastest lap, in race 1. Bell would finish second once again, and Hammond followed him over the line in third place. It all looked set for another Turri show in race 2 - but disaster befell the Italian, his Vauxhall Cavalier suffering technical problems on the start line - the Italian was forced to retire from the race, his first DNF of the season. Sensing an opportunity, both Johannes Meles and the promoted Black drove an inspired race to fight it out for the lead, but it would be the German who finally broke his 1994 duck, taking his first win of the season, and the first win for the new Renault Laguna. Black was forced to settle for second, but could surely be proud of his efforts. Turri had it all to do in the last race - and he delivered in typical Turri fashion, taking a remarkable victory from last on the grid. Behind him, an almighty race-long scrap within the top six was occurring, eventually being covered by only 5.11 seconds at the finish line. The race could have been won by a number of drivers - Bell (2nd), Black (3rd), Hammond (4th), Meles (5th) and Simton (6th) were all in with a chance of the win throughout the race, which would go down as an instant classic - with the amount of overtaking between the top 6 throughout the race providing a spectacular show for all involved.
Despite Turri's best efforts, the retirement in race 2 cost him in the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship - his lead reduced to 31 points from 38. Standing on 231 points from Bell (200) in second, Turri knew he could ill afford any more retirements. Hammond (172) continued to consolidate his third place with two more podiums to his name. Alfa Romeo's lead over Ford in the Manufacturer Teams' Championship increased, likely due to Ford only fielding one car at Oulton Park - English's absence meant Alfa Romeo (359) now lead by 97 points over Ford (262). Bell continued to carry Volvo (220) to third in the standings, but Renault's sustained 2-car team of Meles and Sneath allowed them to continue to close in, now on 201 points.
David Todaro returned to the grid at Oulton Park, giving the privateers at least some recognition - and as such won all three races he entered, moving him closer to the now abandoned points total of Black, with Todaro on 138 to Black's 144.
Donington Park played host to Round 7 of the championship. Lorenzo Turri made up for his Oulton Park woes by taking pole position once again, beating Nathan Hammond by 0.57s to continue his streak of pole positions. He would start the weekend in perfect style, winning the first race from Black, who took second place - proving his promotion to be a wise one. Hammond rounded out the podium in third place. Turri once again took victory in race 2, but was pushed all the way by Johannes Meles who secured a well-earned second place for Renault. Hammond matched his race 1 result to come home third in race 2 as well. Turri made it the perfect weekend with victory in race 3, and fastest lap in all three races - just what he needed to keep his title hopes in top shape. He was made to work for the win though, with Black just half a second behind in second place. Bell finally took a podium, finishing in third place having missed out in the first two races, but surely realised the title was slipping out of his hands.
Turri's perfect weekend left him on 286 points, 60 ahead of Bell in second - as the title started to look more and more like Turri's to lose. Hammond's consistent weekend coupled with Bell's less successful one allowed him to close the gap to 15 points from 28 previously, now standing on 211 points and a real threat to Bell for second place. Hammond's results also allowed Ford to close the gap to Alfa Romeo, but the Italian marque still stood firm at the top of the table on 438 points to Ford's 359. Renault (263) finally overhauled Volvo (248) for third place, the lack of a second car now significantly hurting the Swedish marque's chances at a top-3 finish.
With no privateers entering the races at Donington, the championship order remained as it was - Black leading on 144 from Todaro on 138, and Evans next back on 94 having not raced since Brands Hatch.
The championship went north for round 8 in Knockhill, Scotland. Another fine pole position was Turri's reward for a fine qualifying performance, but he was made to work for it by a determined Bell - only losing out to Turri by 0.08 seconds. Turri won from pole in race 1, with the tight Scottish track proving difficult to overtake on. Bell and Black rounded out the podium, the latter especially having a great race while charging through the order from 9th on the grid. Black would continue his run of form into race 2, fighting off Bell to take his first outright win in the BTCC, and taking Toyota's first win of the season in the process. Bell finished second once again with Daniel Hurlock taking his first podium since Snetterton in the Mazda Xedos 6 - in a race notable for Turri's struggle up the grid order after his race 1 victory. Normal service was resumed, however, in race 3, with Turri once again taking the chequered flag, and in dominant fashion to boot. Chris English managed a fine second place - his second of the season - and Bell rounded out the top three by taking third place.
Turri's lead over Bell increased by 2 points - the Italian standing on 334 to Bell's 272 in the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship. Turri could mathematically clinch the title at the next round, provided he either matched or came within 8 points of Bell's points total, though at this point there was only once clear favourite for the title. An off weekend for Hammond (228) left his third place under increasing threat from the charging Black (199) - with Meles (186) closely following in 5th. Alfa Romeo looked almoat certain to win the Manufacturer Teams' Championship, on a near-unassailable 503 points from Ford (385), Renault (314) and Volvo (290). The privateers' championship was once again uncontested.
Round 9, the penultimate round of the championship at Oulton Park. Of note was the absence of Nathan Hammond - blowing the race for 3rd in the championship wide open. There were no surprises at the front though, as Turri made it 8 pole positions out of 8 in 1994 - 6 tenths ahead of nearest rival Bell in second. As was becoming his trademark, Turri won race 1 from the front - with Bell coming home second once again, and Jake Black third for Toyota. Turri took another sterling victory in race 2 - but behind him, his team-mate Kris Simton had a fantastic race, holding off Chris English to take a sensational 2nd place - a 1-2 finish for Alfa Romeo being enough to secure the Manufacturer Teams' Championship for 1994. English was forced to settle for third place, but could surely be proud of his performance. Race 3 dawned and Turri only needed to finish the race to secure the championship - his lead over Bell now at 71 points, with 73 the maximum possible score from the last 4 races. Turri, however, refused to settle for merely finishing, and fought all the way to the finish against his rival Bell. It would be Jake Black who took his - and Toyota's - 2nd win of the season in race three, from Bell in his perennial second place and Turri in third - making it the perfect weekend for Alfa Romeo, having done enough to win the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship for the third straight year.
Turri's title-winning drive at Oulton Park saw him leave with 385 points - 69 more than Bell in second, who could no longer catch the imperious Italian. Hammond's no-show allowed Jake Black to overhaul him for third place with 239 points.
The final round of the season at Brands Hatch saw the usual procedure in qualifying as champion-elect Turri made it 9 pole positions out of 9 for 1994. The 'Pole King' did as he had done all season and took his Alfa Romeo 155 to victory in race 1, posting the fastest lap in the process. Black crossed the line in second from a returning Meles in third, having missed Oulton Park. Black would have his revenge in race 2, winning from Turri who crossed the line in second from Meles once again in third. The order would remain unchanged for Race 3 - Black once again winning from Turri and Meles, ending the season in fine form with 3 wins in the final 4 races.
Turri's third title in a row was perhaps the sweetest for the Italian - winning the Manufacturer Drivers' Championship with 436 points in total. Mike Bell was forced to settle for second with 337 points, with Jake Black's impressive results in the second half of the season enough to secure third place with 291 points. Chris English overhauled his teammate Nathan Hammond for fourth place, with 291 points to Hammond's 233 after missing the last 2 rounds. Johannes Meles was tied on points with Hammond, but more second places for the Ford driver left Meles relegated to sixth in the standings. Kris Simton ended the season in seventh place, just 2 points behind Meles, with Michael Sneath (187) and Daniel Hurlock (177) also impressing in the standings, ahead of Kyle Benton (100) who finished an impressive debut season with an average of 10 points per round.
Alfa Corse's domination of the Manufacturer Teams' Championship ended with 662 points to their name - 199 more than Ford in second place, whose two-car effort was not enough to win the title that continued to elude them. Renault (415) could be proud of third place for the new Laguna, with Bell carrying Volvo to fifth place on 355 points, ahead of Toyota (291) in fifth and Mazda (181) in sixth.
David Todaro, who had missed much of the season, returned for the season finale and wrapped up his first Independent Drivers' title for Woodkirk Peugeot, who also won the Independent Teams' Championship.
Teams and driversEdit
The following 23 drivers and 14 teams took part in the 1994 British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).
|Alfa Corse||Alfa Romeo 155 TS||1||Lorenzo Turri||All|
|Renault Dealer Team||Renault Laguna||4||Michael Sneath||1-3, 6-10|
|69||Johannes Meles||1-4, 6-8, 10|
|Volvo 850 Racing||Volve 850 SE/GLT||5||Mike Bell||All|
|Peugeot Sport||Peugeot 405 Mi16||8||Amer Hammoud||1-3, 5|
|Vauxhall Sport||Vauxhall Cavalier 16v||9||Jaz Evered||1-3|
|Old Spice Nissan Racing||Nissan Primera eGT||19||Josh Popplewell||1-3, 6|
|BMW Motorsport Team Schnitzer||BMW 318i||22||Kyle Benton||1-4, 8-9|
|Toyota Castrol Team||Toyota Carina E||21||Nick Wu||6-7|
|Team Mondeo||Ford Mondeo Si||37||Halil Sahin||1|
|88||Chris English||1-5, 7-10|
|Team Mazda||Mazda Xedos||87||Daniel Hurlock||1-5, 7-8|
|Maxted Motorsport||Vauxhall Cavalier 16v||21||Nick Wu||4|
|Toyota Carina E||34||Jake Black||2-5|
|Woodkirk Peugeot||Peugeot 405 Mi16||46||David Todaro||1-3, 6, 10|
|Hamish Irvine||BMW 318is||59||Marie Müller||1-3|
|Harlow Motorsport||Renault 19 16v||99||Jameson Evans||1-3|
|2||R4|| Brands Hatch|
(Indy Circuit, Kent)
|3||R7|| Castle Combe|
(National Circuit, Northamptonshire)
|6||R15|| Oulton Park|
(International Circuit, Cheshire)
|7||R18|| Donington Park|
(Grand Prix Circuit, Leicestershire)
|8||R21|| Knockhill Racing Circuit|
|9||R24|| Oulton Park|
(Island Circuit, Cheshire)
|10||R27|| Brands Hatch|
(Grand Prix Circuit, Kent)
- After only one year on the calendar in 1993, Pembrey would be dropped from the 1994 calendar and replaced by Castle Combe.
- Silverstone would only host 1 round in 1994 (Silverstone held 2 rounds per year 1991-1993) and would be replaced by a 2nd round at Oulton Park, one of which would be the 100th race in STSR British Touring Car history.
Independent points are awarded to the top fifteen drivers in each race as follows:
Manufacturer Driver's Championship
Manufacturer Team's Championship
|1||Alfa Corse||Lorenzo Turri||1||2||2||1||1||1||C||C||C||1||1||1||3||2||1||RET||1||1||1||1||1||5||1||1||1||3||1||2||2||662|
|2||Team Mondeo||Nathan Hammond||3||10||8||14||2||3||C||C||C||4||3||2||4||1||3||3||4||3||3||5||8||7||RET||461|
|3||Renault Dealer Racing||Johannes Meles||9||3||5||3||3||4||C||C||C||3||RET||4||1||5||5||2||6||RET||6||4||3||3||3||415|
|4||Volvo 850 Racing||Mike Bell||2||1||1||2||6||2||C||C||C||2||5||3||7||4||2||4||2||4||RET||3||2||2||3||2||4||2||5||RET||6||355|
|5||Toyota Castrol Team||David Osborne||13||11||7||6||11||7||C||C||C||RET||RET||RET||DNS||DNS||291|
|6||Team Mazda||Daniel Hurlock||6||7||3||10||5||12||C||C||C||6||2||4||1||3||9||9||7||6||3||RET||181|
|7||BMW Motorsport Team Schnitzer||Kyle Benton||4||6||6||5||DNS||DNS||C||C||C||8||6||9||11||8||7||7||5||100|
|8||Vauxhall Sport||Matt Hull||10||RET||9||16||7||9||C||C||C||91|
|9||Peugeot Sport||Amer Hammoud||14||RET||RET||11||RET||DNS||C||C||C||RET||DNS||DNS||53|
|10||Old Spice Nissan Racing||Daniel Koch||11||8||14||12||RET||RET||C||C||C||34|
Independent Driver's Championship
Independent Team's Championship
|1||Woodkirk Peugeot||David Todaro||15||13||13||15||12||RET||C||C||C||8||8||8||9||9||RET||174|
|2||Maxted Motorsport||Jake Black||7||10||5||C||C||C||9||7||7||5||6||160|
|3||Harlow Motorsport||Jameson Evans||16||16||10||18||16||13||C||C||C||94|
|4||Hamish Irvine||Marie Müller||RET||17||RET||RET||RET||14||C||C||C||28|