New car update: WIX Racing Mercedes taking shape
The WIX Racing Mercedes A Class will be one of a number of new designs expected for the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. As the first Mercedes to contest the championship since the late 1980s, the Ciceley Racing-run car has caused quite a stir, and btcc.net caught up with driver Adam Morgan for an exclusive update on the build.
A new car is always an exciting prospect for a racing driver – have you been getting a lot of feedback since the car was announced?
We’ve had lots of people taking interest since we made the announcement. Lots of Mercedes magazines want to write about it and the reception from the fans has been great – everyone’s getting involved!
What was the thinking behind the switch to a Mercedes?
Ciceley Commercials is a Mercedes Benz truck and van dealership that my dad’s run for more than 30 years, so it made sense to go down this route. We’ve got a lot of connections through the business, and we proved in 2013 that we can be consistently competitive as a team, so hopefully it will be beneficial to us in the long term as well as attract attention!
The NGTC regulations mean that a lot of the components from your 2013 car can be used in the new build – how has this helped you as one of the smaller teams in the paddock?
It’s one of the major positives of the NGTC regulations for sure. We’ve stripped a lot of the components off my Toyota from last year and fitted them to the new shell. Obviously there are some things that are brand new or needed replacing from the old car, but it’s made life a lot easier for the team having these regulations in place.
What stage is the car now at?
Right now we’re doing all the welding and fabrication before everything gets sent away to be painted. Once we get that back then we can get the full build underway – the plan is to be ready for testing by the end of February and at this stage everything is on course for that to happen.
How different do you expect the Mercedes to be compared to the Toyota you’ve driven previously?
It’s going to be really interesting for me to see how different they are. The only front-wheel-drive touring car I’ve ever driven is the Toyota – obviously the Mercedes is smaller and has a shorter wheelbase, so it will handle differently. I know the team will put together a competitive car, it’s going to be up to me to get my head around the differences and move forward from where we were last year.
For the first time this year you’ve got a title sponsor in the form of WIX Filters – what can we expect the car to look like once the build is complete?
It’s great to have WIX on board as a sponsor and the car will be instantly recognisable. I’m not going to give any details away at the moment, but you’ll definitely see it coming!
Head over to the Official BTCC Facebook page to see more spy shots of the car in-build.
The public’s first chance to see the WIX Racing Mercedes line up alongside the 2014 BTCC grid will be at the Donington Park Season Launch on Tuesday 18 March. Entry is free of charge and gates open at 12:30pm.