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Triple Eight Race Engineering
MGKX
Team Information
Nationality British United Kingdom
First Season 1996 BTCC Season[1]
Founder Unknown
Team Principle Unknown
Key People Unknown
Driver(s) Jason Plato (No.99)
Sam Tordoff (No.88)
Marc Hynes (No.888)[1]
Car MG 6[1]
Sponsor(s) MG Motor UK
KX Energy Drink
Tesco Petrol Filling Stations
Castrol
Team Stats
Previous Season Standings 2nd (Teams Championship)
2nd (Manufacturers Championship)[2]
Races Entered 466[1]
Total Number of Wins 123[1]
First Win 1996[1]
Total Number of Podiums 372[1]
Total Fastest Laps Unknown
Number of Championships 5[1]

Triple Eight Race Engineering, currently competing under the name MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save, are a team competing in the BTCC.[1] Having first competed in the 1996 season, Triple Eight have been a constant presence in the championship, taking several titles and over 100 wins.[1]

Current Season (2014)Edit

Triple Eight, under the name MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save, are set to compete in the 2014 BTCC season.[1] For this season, the team will be equipped with a pair of MG6s, with a third car set to be entered during the season.[3] Their drivers for the season will be Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff. Their third driver will be Marc Hynes, a former British Formula 3 champion.[3]

HistoryEdit

Triple Eight were founded through a plan to build General Motors cars (under the name of Vauxhall) to race in the UK.[2] With GM backing, Triple Eight entered their first race in 1997, taking on the two Vauxhall Vectra Bs left by RML for John Cleland and Derek Warwick under the name of "Vauxhall Sport".[2] The cars proved uncompetitive, as they were significantly older and less developed than their rivals, finishing 12th and 14th.[2]

Developing the Vectra (1998 - 2000)Edit

Triple Eight continued with the Vectra, with team owner Warwick continuing as a driver (as did Cleland), with Flavio Figueiredo stepping into Cleland's car at Thruxton.[2] With updated aerodynamics, the Vectra proved to be quicker than before, with Cleland claiming the team's first win at Donington Park at the fifith meeting of the year.[2] Two more wins would be claimed by the end of the year, with Cleland taking eighth in the championship and Triple Eight taking fifth in the Teams championship.[2]

Cleland was retained for a final year in 1999, joined by Frenchman Yvan Muller.[2] Muller claimed the team's only win that year, ultimately finishing sixth in the championship, while Cleland announced his retirement after a difficult year seeing him finish thirteenth.[2] 2000 was the final year of Super Touring regulations, and Triple Eight's Vectra's looked aged, with Jason Plato and Vincent Radermecker joining Muller for the Vectra's final year.[2] Muller and Plato proved to be the closest to the trio of Ford Mondeos that led the way in 2000, although they were only able to claim five races between them.[2]

The Astra and the eggEdit

For 2001, with the number of entries (and manufacturers) down, Triple Eight ran a second team, named egg:sport.[2] Vauxhall also gave the team a new car, the Astra, which Triple Eight developed into a race car.[2] Plato proved most at home with the new BTC-Spec car, taking the team's first championship, with Muller challenging him all season.[2] Of the egg:sport team, James Thompson was the better driver, taking third behind Muller, with Phil Bennet (who missed one race and was replaced by Andy Priaulx) taking fourth.[2] Triple Eight took the manufacturer and teams championships of 2001, their first major successes.[2]

2002 saw Plato leave the BTCC altogether, with Thompson replacing him (having been promoted from egg:sport).[2] Muller, who retained his seat, was favourite for the title, although Thompson proved too strong for him, taking the title from Muller at the final round.[2] Matt Neal (running with the number 0) was the best driver at egg:sport, taking third overall, while Paul O'Neill proved to be as quick, although his season was blighted by numerous retirements.[2]

For 2003, Triple Eight expanded their team, running three cars, at the cost of dropping egg:sport.[2] O'Neill joined Thompson and Muller at the freshly renamed VX Racing, although his role was reduced to fighting the Hondas and Fords that challenged the Astras.[2] As it was, Muller took the title ahead of Thompson at the final race of the year, with Neal (now with Arena Motorsport) taking third and O'Neill fourth.[2] A third Manufacturer and Team double resulted from the year, with 2004 set to be the final year for the Astra.[2]

Muller and Thompson were retained once more, although O'Neill was dropped in favour of Luke Hines (the 2003 Production class champion).[2] In the final year of the Astra Coupe, Muller and Thompson's proven machines proved reliable, with the pair heading into the final race of the year with a chance of winning.[2] Although Muller took victory, Thompson's third place was enough to see him take the title by a single point, with Triple Eight taking a fourth straight Manufacturer and Teams Championship double.[2] The result also meant that the Astra Coupe was recorded as the most successful car in the BTCC history.[2]

A New AstraEdit

2005 and 2006 saw Triple Eight develop a new car for the championship, the Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch.[2] With Thompson leaving the BTCC to compete in the World Touring Car Championship in 2005, Triple Eight called upon the services of Colin Turkington and Gavin Smith, with Muller serving as the team's lead driver.[2] Although Muller challenged the Team Dynamics Honda Integras of Neal and Dan Eaves for the title, the Astra Sport Hatch was a mere shadow of the former Coupe, with Turkington claiming sixth and Smith tenth.[2] Despite this, Triple Eight did take their fifth straight Manufacturer's championship, although they were forced to conceed the Teams championship to Team Dynamics.[2]

Holiday Inn became a key sponsor for the team in 2006, with a rebranding for the cars and a new driver line-up.[2] Muller left the team to join Thompson in the WTCC, while Turkington rejoined WSR, leaving Smith as their only retained driver.[2] Triple Eight managed to acquire the services of former WTCC driver Fabrizio Giovanardi and former Team Dynamics driver Tom Chilton.[2] Other than Giovanardi's maiden victory in the BTCC (which was the 100th for Vauxhall), the season had few highlights, with Triple Eight finally losing their Manufacturer title after five straight victories.[2]

The Super EraEdit

The BTCC adopted Super 2000 regulations in 2007, a move which Triple Eight needed, replacing the Astra with the Vauxhall Vectra C (the newest rendition of the Vectra at that time).[2] Giovanardi's familiarity with the equipment (which was in use in the WTCC since its creation) and year's experience paid off, with the Italian taking ten wins and the driver's title (after Alain Menu was called upon to drive a third car for the team at Thruxton to aid Giovanardi's title bid).[2] Chilton, on the other hand, had another difficult year, leaving the team at the end of the season.[2] Triple Eight were also able to take the Manufacturer's Championship again, the sixth time in seven years.[2]

Neal and Chilton changed allegiances for 2008, with Neal supporting Giovanardi to his second BTCC title.[2] An impressive display by Giovanardi (with Neal taking fifth and Tom Onslow-Cole, running a third car, taking sixth) saw Triple Eight claim their fifth double, taking the Manufacturer's and Team's championships once more.[2] This feat was repeated in 2009, although the Vectra's dominance wained, with Vauxhall (who were the only manufacturer supporting a team that season) ultimately withdrawing their support from the team at the end of the season.[2] Although outclassed by Turkington (WSR) and Plato (RML), Giovanardi was competitive throughout the year, with Neal and new addition Andrew Jordan claiming fourth and tenth respectively.[2]

An Independent OrganisationEdit

Triple Eight entered the 2010 season for the first time without factory backing.[2] Rebranded as Uniq Racing with Triple Eight, the team looked to be on their knees, only obtaining the services of Giovanardi and Phil Glew a few days before the start of the season.[2] An impressive start to the season (with Giovanardi claiming two wins) was cut short, however, when Uniq pulled out of the team, forcing Giovanardi and Glew to go with them (due to payment issues).[2] As a result, James Nash was hired as their only full time driver, with a second car run at round five (Daniel Lloyd), round eight (Jeff Smith) and round ten (Sam Tordoff ), although Nash was only able to claim 12th in the final standings.[2]

Triple Eight decided to adopt the freshly introduced NGTC engine in 2011 (upgrading their aging Vectras), although their only full time driver would be Nash.[2] Tony Gillam, Aron Smith and Ollie Jackson all had runs in the second car, although Nash would prove to be the most valuable driver for the team, taking the Independent Driver's Trophy and helping Triple Eight to the Independent Team's Trophy.[2] Nash was also able to take fifth overall in the driver's championship.[2]

To MG and BeyondEdit

In 2012, it was announced that MG (now owned by the Chinese) would be returning to the championship, with the new MG6 GT being built and raced by Triple Eight.[2] Built to NGTC specifications and driven by Plato and Andy Neate, the MG6 proved to be the boost that Triple Eight needed, with Plato taking the car's maiden win in only its third race.[2] Once again a manufacturer backed team, Triple Eight could not defend their Independent titles, although Plato's third place in the final standings saw them take the runner-up spot in the Manufacturer's standings.[2]

2013 saw Neate's services dropped in favour of an older Sam Tordoff, who rejoined the team having driven in the Porsche Carrera Cup.[2] The MG6 remain competitive, although Plato could not improve upon the third place overall that he obtained the previous year.[2] Triple Eight obtained second in both the Team's and Manufacturer's championships, with Plato and Tordoff being retained for 2014.[2]

For 2014, Triple Eight built a third MG6, with Marc Hynes named as the driver.[2] Although not part of the factory outfit, Hynes' MG was maintained by Triple Eight, running under the name of Quantel BiFold Racing.[2]. With Plato and Tordoff retained as the team's main drivers for the season, the team took its first Constructor's title with MG, beating Honda/Team Dynamics for the first time.[4] Plato also finished the season as runner up in the championship, with Triple Eight themselves taking second in the team's championship.[4]

2015 saw Andrew Jordan join Triple Eight as their lead driver, after Tordoff left to join West Surrey Racing.[5] The addition of sponsorship from Pirtek meant that the livery of the MG for 2015 would be significantly different from the mainly white cars run since its launch in 2012.[5]

HonoursEdit

Triple Eight have taken numerous titles in their time in the BTCC. The full list is below:

  • 2000
    • Team's Championship Runner-up
  • 2001
    • Driver's Championship Champion (Jason Plato)
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (Yvan Muller)
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Team's Championship Runner-up (egg:sport)
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2002
    • Driver's Championship Champion (James Thompson)
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (Yvan Muller)
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2003
    • Driver's Championship Champion (Yvan Muller)
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (James Thompson)
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2004
    • Driver's Championship Champion (James Thompson)
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (Yvan Muller)
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2005
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (Yvan Muller)
    • Team's Championship Runner-up
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2006
    • Manufacturer's Championship Runner-up
  • 2007
    • Driver's Championship Champion (Fabrizio Giovanardi)
    • Team's Championship Runner-up
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2008
    • Driver's Championship Champion (Fabrizio Giovanardi)
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2009
    • Team's Championship Champion
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion
  • 2011
    • Independent Driver's Championship Champion (James Nash)
    • Independent Team's Championship Champion
  • 2012
    • Manufacturer's Championship Runner-up
  • 2013
    • Team's Championship Runner-up
    • Manufacturer's Championship Runner-up
  • 2014
    • Driver's Championship Runner-up (Jason Plato)
    • Manufacturer's Championship Champion

Driver ListEdit

Below is a list of all the drivers that have raced for Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Triple Eight Race Engineering Driver List
Year Nationality Name No. Rounds Final Standings
1997 Flag of Scotland John Cleland 8 All 12th
Flag of England Derek Warwick 88 All 14th
1998 9th
Flag of Scotland John Cleland 98 1-8, 10-13 8th
Brazil Flavio Figueiredo 99 9 22nd
1999 French Republic Yvan Muller 7 All 6th
Flag of Scotland John Cleland 8 All 13th
2000 Flag of England Jason Plato 5 All 5th
French Republic Yvan Muller 6 All 4th
Kingdom of Belgium Vincent Radermecker 8 All 10th
2001 French Republic Yvan Muller 4 All 2nd
Flag of England Jason Plato 5 All 1st
Flag of England James Thompson* 9 All 3rd
Isle of Guernsey Andy Priaulx* 18 10 11th
Flag of England Phil Bennett* 27 1-9, 11-13 4th
2002 French Republic Yvan Muller 2 All 2nd
Flag of England James Thompson 3 All 1st
Flag of England Matt Neal* 0 All 3rd
Flag of England Paul O'Neill* 29 All 8th
2003 Flag of England James Thompson 1 All 2nd
French Republic Yvan Muller 2 All 1st
Flag of England Paul O'Neill 8 All 4th
2004 French Republic Yvan Muller 1 All 2nd
Flag of England James Thompson 2 All 1st
Flag of England Luke Hines 57 All 10th
2005 French Republic Yvan Muller 2 All 2nd
United Kingdom Colin Turkington 6 All 6th
Republic of Ireland Gavin Smith 88 All 10th
2006 Flag of England Tom Chilton 5 All 7th
Republic of Ireland Gavin Smith 10 All 8th
Italian Republin Fabrizio Giovanardi 11 All 5th
Turkey Erkut Kızılırmak 90 5, 7 26th
2007 Italian Republin Fabrizio Giovanardi 5 All 1st
Flag of England Tom Chilton 7 All 9th
Swiss Confederation Alain Menu 88 10 15th
2008 Italian Republin Fabrizio Giovanardi 1 All 1st
Flag of England Matt Neal 4 All 5th
Flag of England Tom Onslow-Cole 10 All 6th
2009 Italian Republin Fabrizio Giovanardi 1 All 3rd
Flag of England Matt Neal 5 All 4th
Flag of England Andrew Jordan 77 All 10th
2010 Flag of England James Nash 14 2-10 12th
Flag of England Jeff Smith 15 8 29th
Flag of England Sam Tordoff 16 10 23rd
Flag of England Daniel Lloyd 25 5 17th
Flag of England Phil Glew 88 1 16th
Italian Republin Fabrizio Giovanardi 888 1 14th
2011 Flag of England James Nash 14 All 5th
Flag of England Tony Gillam 34 1-6 19th
Flag of England Ollie Jackson 48 9-10 26th
Republic of Ireland Aron Smith 88 7 24th
2012 Flag of England Andy Neate 44 All 16th
Flag of England Jason Plato 99 All 3rd
2013 Flag of England Sam Tordoff 88 All 6th
Flag of England Jason Plato 99 All 3rd
2014 Flag of England Sam Tordoff 88 All 7th
Flag of England Jason Plato 99 All 2nd
Flag of England Marc Hynes** 888 All 18th

* Indicates the driver raced under the team name egg:sport.

** Marc Hynes' car was run under the team name: Quantel BiFold Racing.

ReferencesEdit

Image Origin: http://www.btcc.net/team/mg-kx-clubcard-fuel-save/

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