The secrets of their success: ExcelR8 Motorsport on BTCC
“We had wanted to switch to passenger cars for a while, but it was about being able to get the licenses to join the grid,” Williams continues. “We had considered the possibility of acquiring an existing team, but the deal was not good, then the opportunity arose to buy the two MGs.
“We knew the cars weren’t as competitive as they had been in their first competition, but they were the perfect platform for us to get onto the grid and gain valuable experience of what it is. ‘you need to be successful in BTCC. We had shown that we could win races and titles in the Mini Challenge, but touring cars were a whole new level. We had to learn quickly.
“It was a steep learning curve, but from a business perspective it was a success. Receiving a Spirit of the Championship award at the end of the year for how we presented ourselves was an indication that we had made the right choice. “
As the MGs prepared for retirement, ExcelR8 then introduced the Hyundai name to the BTCC for the first time in 2020, building a pair of i30 Fastback N that would be driven by the seasoned couple Chris Smiley and Senna Proctor.
A podium in the first meeting of the year showed there was potential in the car, and another top-three finish followed at Knockhill, although the team were somewhat hampered by the arrival of Covid-19. Testing opportunities were hard to come by and the shortened nature of the season – which would be packed in a condensed period between August and November – meant the car was largely developed in the public eye.
A tie-up with Trade Price Cars at the end of the year saw the team double in size to four cars for this season, but that was the signing of Ingram – along with its longtime engineer Spencer Aldridge , known as Spenny – this would raise expectations in Year 3. Ingram himself was still convinced the switch to ExcelR8 would be the right one, and it only took Snetterton the second round of the year before he climbed to the top step of the podium.