British Touring Car Championship
The British Touring Car Championship is a touring car racing series held each year in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Championship was established in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship and has run to various rules over the years - "production cars", then FIA Group 1 or 2 in the late 1960s and 1970s, and then Group A in the 1980s, when in 1987, the series was renamed as its current name. (A lower-key Group N series for production cars ran for most of the 1990s).
The championship was initially run with a mix of classes, divided according to engine capacity, racing simultaneously. This often meant that a driver who chose the right class could win the overall championship without any chance of overall race wins, thereby devaluing the title for the spectators - for example, in the 1980s Chris Hodgetts won two overall titles in a small Toyota Corolla prepared by Hughes Of Beaconsfield, at that time a Mercedes-Benz/Toyota main dealer when most of the race wins were going to much larger cars; and while the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500s were playing at the front of the field, Frank Sytner took a title in a Class B BMW M3 and John Cleland's first title was won in a small Class C Vauxhall Astra.
After the domination (and expense) of the Ford Sierra Cosworth in the late 1980s, the BTCC was the first to introduce a 2.0 L formula, in 1990, which later became the template for the Supertouring class that exploded throughout Europe. The BTCC continued to race with Supertouring until 2000 and has since adopted its own 'BTC Touring' rules.
For more information why not visit www.btcc.net.