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Book: British Touring Car Racing in Camera

Written by Kurt | Sunday, 03 October 2010 14:35

btccbookThe British Touring Car Championship, probably better known as BTCC, is synonymous with tuned up saloon cars that would otherwise see mum and dad or reps driving around in. To work, to the supermarket, on the school run or on holiday to southern France. The cars in the BTCC may look the same (well they have to, due to regulations) but underneath the cars were always very different. They had more powerful engines, reworked suspensions and stripped out interiors. Everything to make them exactly that what their street siblings were not; fast! As 2008 was the year that the BTCC celebrated its 50th year of existence, a photo book was published.

The recollection of 50 great years of the British touring car championship was published by serial motor book publisher Haynes and written by well knwon motoring writer Graham Robson. As the sub-title implies 'A photographic celebration of 50 years' it spans all eras of the championship which is arguably the most consistent and successful touring car series in the world. In those 50 years there was never a year that the BTCC wasn't run, as a result there were a lot of photos to choose. Curiously, the photographic editor of this book chose to feature above all photos from the years after 2000, there are loads of Vectras, Hondas and Seats. The balance of the book as a result is towards this era, which is a shame, considering there is 40 years of photos that don't get the space it deserves. Those years when there was so much more variety in cars in colours would have done the book a lot of good.

But beside this slight hiccup for the real enthusiast (who are probably the only people who will buy this book) the book covers beautiful photographs from Clark's Cortina to even earlier photos of Hawthorn and Moss. And ending in the S2000-era. Of course not forgetting the brilliant supertouring era featuring 300HP front-wheel drive saloons raced by the likes of legendary characters like Cleland, Rouse, Hoy, Tarquini, Winkelhock, Radisisch etc etc. Who can forget these screaming monsters of the nineties which was, in my opinion, the most interesting era. More than ten official manufacturer teams battling it out on race tracks all over britain. The door-handle to door-handle action and colourful cars going through corners not behind one another, no, beside on another, three car wide action was rather a rule than an exception. And if racing like that wasn't possible on the tarmac, the drivers would rather opt the grass beside the tarmac than back-off.

Back to the book; If you're a big fan, it's a must have! If you're not, well, don't bother! Especially if you think the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s were best, go onto the internet and browse through some photos and videos there, you'll get that warm BTCC feeling as well. Browse through the photos underneath for example, you will soon be dragged into the history of the greatest touring car series the world has ever seen!

The book 'British Touring Car Racing in Camera - A photographic celebration of 50 years' by Graham Robson is available in many online shops, try for a start or .

BTCC 1969

BTCC 1970 Gerry Marshall


BTCC 1992

BTCC 1993

BTCC 1994 - Alfa Romeo - Tarquini

BTCC 1997 - Nissan

BTCC 1996 - Volvo 850