Super Touring Power is a celebration of the ‘Super Touring’ era of saloon car racing in the 1990s. There was something there for any ‘tin top’ enthusiast though from the latest touring cars to cars from the 1960s both on display and on track.
Of course, being a UK event, the emphasis was very much on the cars of the BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) but series from all over the world used the Super Touring Formula.
One of the most famous cars of that era of BTCC is the 1994 Volvo 850R estate.
The 850R estate was built by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and campaigned by Rickard Rydell and Jan Lammers. In that season the car’s highest qualifying position was third and its’ best race finish was fifth.
In 1995 TWR switched to Volvo 850 saloon chassis’, which performed much better – securing 6 wins and 12 pole position qualifying results – but lacked the character of the estates in my opinion.
Look how low the engine sits in the bay of this car. If you happen to be looking to do a dry sump conversion on your track car this has got to be your sign to do it. That’s bringing a fair amount of weight closer to the floor!
It was really cool to see the full size version of the Scalextric Renault Laguna I restored a couple of months back. You can read about that restoration here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2023/04/17/restoring-1990s-scalextric-cars/
The Rapid Fit Mondeo was another favourite of mine. When I was a kid my Dad used to take me to a RC car racing club in Basildon. I think HPI used to make a bodyshell of this car which I always liked. I don’t think it was ever a competitive shell though.
There were a few other 1990s touring cars on display.
There were a couple of present day BTCC cars on display.
I love the air jacks on modern race cars like what you can see under the Focus. In a motorsport setting having the four air jacks lift the car up is much, much faster than doing it with a trolley jack, but even in terms of maintaining a road car it’s so much better than having to pump up the trolley jack and use axle stands. One day maybe!
There were also a couple of cars from the 2000s and 2010s.
Ford’s Sierra Cosworth RS500 was well represented both on and off track. These were a pretty dominant car in Group A racing. They are worth a fortune now!
The Demon Tweeks E30 M3 is one of my favourite BTCC cars.
In the late 1980s the E30 M3 and Mercedes 190E went toe to toe in the German touring car series DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters). If you get a chance to watch some of the racing of that era it’s truly superb. This is a nice little video that captures the period pretty well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8edfo_8LdOU
The Mk4 Supra obviously has a massive following in motorsport from drag racing to drifting and the TOM’S/Castrol Mk4 Supra is a really famous car in the circuit racing world.
The Mk3 and Mk2 also competed in the JTCC though and, I was surprised to learn, were also used in the BTCC.
A cool little line up of Austin Metros.
My favourite part about the Brands Hatch historical and club events like this is that the pit buildings are open for us to go and have a look around.
Seeing the LMP1 and 2 cars all stripped down at Masters last year was a personal highlight for me (you can read about that event here: https://motorsportformentalhealth.com/2022/06/01/brands-hatch-masters-historic-festival-2022/
It was cool to see the Super Tourers that were racing up close. Especially the Australian V8 Supercars. Don’t see them very often!
I didn’t actually take a huge amount of pictures on track, but this was a few I got from the Super Tourers races.
I also got a few from one of the support races.
The support formulas were housed in the large paddock area. At quite a lot of events at Brands Hatch this is open for people to have a look around. Just obviously please be mindful that it is a live paddock and vehicles will be moving around.
My favourite car of the day though was this Jag. In two races it was in the lead and this little Mini was doing everything it could to get past it. They were absolutely going hell for leather and had managed to create quite a lead on the rest of the pack. The Mini just couldn’t quite get past though.
It was honestly some of the best racing I’ve seen in person. Brilliant driving by both pilots!
The number plate on the Jag is also really cool!
The attached car show was also themed around saloon cars of the 1980s to early 2000s.
One club stand that really jumped out at me was BTCC Styling. These folks have built tributes to BTCC cars or have cars that are influenced by the styling of BTCC cars.
Another thing that was really cool to see at this show were all the classic Vauxhalls. Aside from the occasional pre-war Vauxhall I don’t really see that many Vauxhalls at the shows I attend.
When I was a kid there was an elderly gentleman down the road who owned a Cavalier, so it was really nice to see a couple of those. It brought back memories. Also, when was the last time you saw a Vectra B? I’m sure they were everywhere just a couple of years ago.
Having been able to see the Volvo 850R race car it was cool to see a tribute and a couple of the road cars too! The ex-police car is really nice! Owning a black and white ex U.S police Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Monaco or Plymouth Fury has been on my bucket list for a while now.
MG Rover Group cars are becoming less and less common now. My step dad owned a Rover 75 for a while a year or so ago and my Dad’s neighbour has one sat outside of his house. I can’t remember the last time I saw a MG ZT out and about though.
Ford have always had a big part to play in the British Touring car scene – from the Mk1 Escorts and Cortinas of the 1960s, to Capris, Sierra Cosworths and Mondeos.
My favourite was seeing the Leyland Minis battling the Ford Mustangs and Falcons that came over from the States in the 1960s.
105E Anglias were popular touring cars back in the day too. Broadspeed Engineering made some really sucessful little racing cars that were dark red with a silver roof. They were smart looking little cars.
Although unrelated the 105E Anglia also makes for the best looking oval hot-rod in my opinion.
It was nice to see a couple of Anglia vans. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen one in person before.
There were some cool Japanese cars on display. Of particular note is the red Izuzu Piaza in the last picture. An extremely rare car!
Some Italian representation.
Of course it wouldn’t be one of my articles if we didn’t see the Mercedes at the show. There were only a few!
There was a nice selection of BMWs too.
We’ll end today with Kris Morris’ E30. Kris used to judge at the King of the Ring drift competitions, the write ups for this really kickstarted this blog. I think he also did a bit of judging at the Rayleigh RC drift competitions too. It was nice to catch up with him and finally see this car in person.
In conclusion, Super Touring Power was a brilliant day out with some phenomenal racing. If Brands Hatch decide to do it again next year, I’ll be there!
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By Richard Francis