HPI Racing is proud to announce a new sponsorship deal with a British Touring Car Championship team! This is HPI's second major sponsorship of a full sized touring car, following on from the hugely successful sponsorship of the Japanese Touring Car Championship (JTCC) Subaru Impreza STi in 2004 (#7712) The new team, “HPI Racing with Friends Reunited” - which will race two Lexus IS200 cars - is go, go, go as of Tuesday, March 29, 2005, when the race series was previewed at Donington Park race circuit in the English East Midlands.
The new BTCC team is owned by Jason Porter, co-founder of Friends Reunited, and based in Kent. Managed by SpeedEquipe Motorsport, who are currently competing in the ELF/BTE Lawline Renault Clio Cup, have extensive experience in multiple categories of racing, largely in saloon car racing. Having won in every category they have entered, the expectations are high for some great racing action in the 2005 BTCC season! The press were treated to a special unveiling of the first new Lexus yesterday (Tuesday, 29th March) at Donington Park. Sporting a fake “RC antenna” to help further promote HPI Racing, the new IS 200 glistened in what little sun the British weather could provide! Grabbing a large slice of the limelight were the HPI Nitro 3 18SS cars cruising the pit lane with their custom-made replica Lexus IS 200 bodyshells, mimicking that of the full sized touring car! The HPI Savages also proved a big hit with the press. Driven by HPI team members, the Savage trucks grabbed some ‘big air’ as they ramped over members of the press and BTCC team drivers, Ian Curley and Richard Williams! Some 70+ magazines attended and despite other BTCC teams putting their full-sized touring cars to the test out on the track, the centre of attention revolved around the HPI RC cars!
HPI’s vice president, Jason Dearden was on hand to talk to the press: “It’s a big move for us, HPI’s people are all frustrated full-sized racers and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to get closer to the action at the highest level. It also gives us a great opportunity to produce a model Touring Car that, in scale terms, is actually faster than the real thing.” Official BTCC Lexus IS 200 replica bodyshells will be released later this year for the Nitro 3 and Savage monster trucks – watch this space! The 2005 season kicks off with rounds 1,2 and 3 on the 9/10th April at Donington Park – keep your eye’s peeled for the “HPI Racing with Friends Reunited” Lexus IS 200! Coverage of this, and all other forthcoming BTCC races this year, will be on UK TV channel, ITV. The race calendar for the 2005 season is as follows: