Words: Clive Goldthorp Photographs: Simon Davies
MG Motor UK and the now rebranded Triple Eight Racing’s original three-year British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) deal was crowned with victory in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship last season but the two partners lost little time in confirming that their successful relationship would continue into 2015.
However, after an off-season during which there were more driver movements than in recent times, MG Triple Eight Racing has a new driver line-up with both 25-year-old 2013 BTCC Drivers’ Champion, Andrew Jordan, and 24-year-old former MG Trophy Championship frontrunner and 2012 Renault UK Clio Cup Champion, Jack Goff, joining the Ian Harrison-led team for the new campaign.
Jordan has moved to MG Triple Eight Racing from Eurotech Racing – the team formerly owned and run by his father, Mike Jordan – and taken his backing from long-time sponsor Pirtek UK Limited with him. Jack Goff brings with him the cohort of sponsors which his enthusiastic Sponsorship Manager, Malcolm Burlow, has assembled during the course of Goff’s professional career to date. Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek-liveried MG6 GT was on display at Autosport International last January but the livery on Jack Goff’s car was only unveiled during the BTCC Season Launch at Donington Park earlier this week.
AROnline took the opportunity afforded by the BTCC Season Launch to have brief interviews with both drivers about their moves to MG Triple Eight Racing and how they hoped to work with MG Motor UK to promote the famous marque. Jordan, fresh from his race-winning Porsche 901 drive in the John Aldington Trophy during last weekend’s 73rd Members’ Meeting at Goodwood, said: “MG Triple Eight Racing won the Manufacturers’ Championship last year – we need to build on that and win the Drivers’ Championship this year. I’m looking forward to doing as much off-track work as MG want me to do in order to promote the brand.”
Meanwhile, Jack Goff, who starts his third season as a BTCC driver, is relishing the year ahead as a MG factory-supported driver. Jack said: “It’s a great opportunity for me to race with Triple Eight, MG and Andrew. Triple Eight have a huge history in the series – I remember watching the BTCC on TV and seeing them dominate so it’s very exciting to be part of the team now. MG also has a massive heritage in motorsport. It’s great to be part of that now and, having begun my racing career in an MG ZR, I feel my association with MG has gone full-circle. I’ve got a brilliant opportunity to give something back to MG by assisting with any off-track marketing activities required of me.”
MG Motor UK’s Head of Marketing, Matthew Cheyne, commented on the importance of the BTCC to MG as a promotional channel: “The BTCC is important to MG on more than one level – it’s not just about winning races, it’s also about building brand awareness. The BTCC has a global reach and that provides MG with the opportunity to promote both brand and product to a worldwide audience of more than 500 million homes – with the recent announcement of the multi-year deal which the BTCC has done with the CBS Sports Network and Torque.TV, that audience now includes over 60 million households across Canada and the United States.
“However, here in the UK, our presence at BTCC Race Meetings allows us to interact on a very personal level with old and new MG customers. We like to make our drivers accessible to those customers at dealer and product launches – we’re aiming to recruit 30 new dealers this year, so there should be more than a few launches for them to attend! We are also expanding MG Motor UK’s Marketing Team and will be working with Triple Eight Racing’s [recently-appointed] Communications Manager, James Warnette, to integrate our use of social media better and create a more interesting interactive experience for MG fans – it’s all about taking the product to a wider audience.”
Triple Eight Racing’s Warnette added: “Our relationship with MG Motor UK is stronger than ever before and my role is to ensure that MG’s objectives are delivered. The company’s Events Calendar does not just cover BTCC Race Meetings but also features other events like CarFest – a BTCC-liveried MG6 GT production car will be present at most events while there will also be a driver presence during the MG Car Club’s MGLive! Race Meeting at Silverstone on the 20 and 21 June.
MG was the fastest-growing automotive brand in the UK last year – that achievement was largely attributable to the relative success of the MG3 but having two hard-working, twenty-something BTCC drivers actively involved in the promotion of the brand and the products should enable the company to build on that by targeting a younger demographic as well. AROnline understands that some product-linked actions may also be in the pipeline, so watch this space…
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