News

New CUPRA Leons destined for BTCC thanks to Team HARD

Two new CUPRA Leons aiming to win next season’s Independents’ Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Team HARD. Racing will bring the Cupra name to Britain’s premier motor racing series for the first time in 2021, with the squad confirming it will be building a minimum of two brand new Cupra Leons to attack next season’s Independents’ Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) crown.

The Kent-based outfit has made no secret of its desire to develop new machinery to replace the ageing Volkswagen CC, which has been in the championship since it debuted with the team in 2013. The team has used the recent COVID-19 lockdown period to assess various car models from a range of manufacturers, before committing on the new Cupra Leon, which is due to hit the market later this year.

Team HARD. Racing are no strangers to developing new cars having been responsible for the Volkswagen CCs, which have taken 14 race victories, one Teams’ championship and one Independents’ crown in its eight-year participation in the championship.

The design process is already underway for the Cupra Leon and with hybrid technology being introduced to the BTCC in 2022, Team HARD. Racing has been in communication with Cosworth Electronics in order to ensure that the design on the new BTCC spec Cupra Leon is future-proof and capable of making the most of the new technology.

At the helm of the new project will be Team HARD. Racing Managing Director, Tony Gilham, former BTCC race driver who has been instrumental in the careers of no less than ten of the current crop of BTCC stars competing in the 2020 season.

“We are delighted to be bringing in a new marque to the BTCC. The Volkswagen CC has enjoyed a great deal of success over its life, but it’s time for change as we look to the new hybrid era of touring cars. We have done a lot of research and we believe that the dimensions and overall shape of the Cupra Leon will work perfectly with the current NGTC regulations that are in the BTCC. A lot of hard work and countless hours lie ahead, but we are confident that we can turn this new car into a competitive beast that will be mixing it at the front from the get-go next season.”

Tony Gilham, Managing Director, Team HARD

We had a really good winter programme with the CC and that’s reflected in the race pace which has been good all season. Unfortunately, we’ve been lacking in qualifying, we need something more and the Volkswagen CC’s capabilities have reached its peak. The CC is coming to the end of its life after the 2021 season so we have decided to move to a new car a year earlier to develop and get to grips with a new chassis before the all important introduction of the hybrid system in 2022. It’s going to be a busy winter, but for now I’m fully focused on giving the CC the best send-off I can!”

Jack Goff, Multiple BTCC Race Winner

 “It’s always fantastic to see more new cars join the BTCC, this time with Team HARD. Racing. We set out the NGTC regulations to allow for great diversity and having the Cupra Leon on the grid is further proof of the strength of those regulations.

 “This new project from Team HARD. Racing should help this popular team advance up the grid in 2021. It’s no secret that the Volkswagen CC’s are one of the oldest on the grid but credit to Tony and his team for sticking with them and keeping the cars as competitive as possible.

“I look forward to seeing the step forward Team HARD. Racing can make with completely new cars from next season.”

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive

Release courtesy of Team HARD

Nathan penney

Active member
Jul 8, 2017
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319
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Yes, I saw this too on the Autosport website a few minutes ago.
I know it’s only an image but it looks smart too. It’s size should make it a decent competitor with similar sized civics and focus’.
 

Syphon

SCN Admin
Site Owner
Feb 28, 2002
7,271
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www.seatcupra.net
I see that Team HARD have announced that their car for next seasons BTCC will be a pair of Lean Cupras, nice to see another car coming in, not sure if they will have any factory help but there must be a bit of knowledge out there for HARd to draw on for the build.
Good news. Be good to cover how they do on the forums.

"CUPRA Leons" not "Leon CUPRA's" though to be pedantic :duck:
 
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AndrewJB

Friend to SEAT UK & Cupra Racing
Aug 16, 2007
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Just been talking to the team principal exciting times, The whole reason I joined SCN was though SEAT running in BTCC/WTCC back in 2005 onwards!

and yep they are CUPRA Leon cars not Leon Cupra's haha. Will also not have a VW group engine unfortunately.
 
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Nathan penney

Active member
Jul 8, 2017
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Liverpool
Just been talking to the team principal exciting times, The whole reason I joined SCN was though SEAT running in BTCC/WTCC back in 2005 onwards!

and yep they are CUPRA Leon cars not Leon Cupra's haha. Will also not have a VW group engine unfortunately.
Shame it’s not a factory backed effort, but suppose the btcc is a lot more open now running the same engines. I love it.
Hopefully we can get back as spectators next year to see them in action. My 9 year old keeps bending my ear ‘ when can we go back watching touring cars’ 😂
Normally go to 2 or 3 meetings a year so it’ll be great to see them in action.
 

AndrewJB

Friend to SEAT UK & Cupra Racing
Aug 16, 2007
11,075
441
Maranello
I used to go to every meeting, done a lot of Europe with SEAT Sport during WTCC, Leon Eurocup and TCR but not been to BTCC for years now.
 

martin j.

Active Member
Feb 11, 2007
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Sat watching BTCC live on telly, windows open so we could here live soundtrack, so frustrating not being able to attend, missed one meeting since touring cars came to Knockhill.
 

Legojon

I only wanted a remap
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Jul 7, 2015
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I see that Team HARD have announced that their car for next seasons BTCC will be a pair of Lean Cupras, nice to see another car coming in, not sure if they will have any factory help but there must be a bit of knowledge out there for HARd to draw on for the build.
That is good news. I could nod off watching the Audi's.
 

Manic172

Active Member
Dec 4, 2018
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Hemel hempstead
Team hard have a lot of skills and knowledge to go with the cupra. They run countless cars in vw trophy classes also maximum motorsport run a couple in tcr. So guessing it's no going to be a million miles away I styling fro. The tcr car . The cage and subframes will be the toca rml stuff that you have to run in ngtc but then you can run the factory engines like ford do they use a mounttune build engine so they could run the vag engine. But it's just as easy to run the Swindon build toca lump. Think it's about 35k for the year including rebuilds but not damage.
 

Manic172

Active Member
Dec 4, 2018
656
466
Hemel hempstead
Most do run the Swindon. Places all work and problems in some one else's lap lol. Think it's Tony G is team hard but they are sort of joint with BMR witch us Tony Scott.
 

Manic172

Active Member
Dec 4, 2018
656
466
Hemel hempstead
On the ngtc cars they are ment to sort of look the same as the road go I cars but with the bigger skirts and wheel arches. And all the other aero kit they don't really look like the real thing... even the old proton looked a nice car till i saw a road version. And it was $h1t
Proton_Gen.2_(front),_Serdang.jpg
6ee135ba906bc6966df84fa62131217d.jpg
 
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RUM4MO

Active Member
Jun 4, 2008
6,262
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South Scotland
BTCC is heading to be yet another "profile" racing series, which for me anyway, is a bit annoying.

Its good to Infiniti Q50 taking the BMWs on though.

Edit:- Malkie Sports will soon be the engine people.
 

andy3127

Full Member
Oct 20, 2004
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On the ngtc cars they are ment to sort of look the same as the road go I cars but with the bigger skirts and wheel arches. And all the other aero kit they don't really look like the real thing... even the old proton looked a nice car till i saw a road version. And it was $h1t View attachment 18003 View attachment 18004
Controversial comment alert: I always thought those Protons looked alright, I saw one the other day and they have aged quite well.

Probably shocking to drive, but better looking than a Dacia Sandero or a Vauxhall Corsa plus I believe even the basic ones came with leather interiors.