Sunday, 16 October 2011

Integra takes its final bow

Lea Wood’s British Touring Car race meeting at Silverstone with his Central Group Racing Team's Honda Integra may, on the face of it, seem nothing to particularly shout about.  However, I beg to differ.

The third race on Sunday was a significant moment as it marked the end of the Honda Integra's use in the BTCC.  Since its first use in 2005 in the iconic orange colour of Team Halfords it's provided many memories for many people, including myself.  Maybe none more so than newly-crowned triple BTCC champion Matt Neal, who won two of his championships at the wheel of the Integra.

I will always have a personal connection to the Integra as I worked for a team that ran one in the BTCC a few years ago.  I even think the Integra I was involved with was the one on the grid at Silverstone. By the time I worked with it it was starting to lose its edge, but it was still a heavy points scorer.  Now, sadly, its competitive edge is over - but to still be on the grid after seven years is a true credit to the car and Team Dynamics, who built the thing in the first place.  What's even more interesting is that the car was simply imported into the UK with no manufacturer backing - it was never an official UK car.

So here ends the story of the Honda Integra Type-R DC5 in the BTCC.  May it grace club level motorsport for years to come.

Tonight I will be raising a glass to the DC5 - a true legend in the history of the British Touring Car Championship.  Cheers for the memories!

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