BTCC Astra Project Revealed
Alongside Prodrive’s mk2 Mondeo the Astra Coupe built by 888 Racing was arguably one of the greatest BTCC cars ever built, winning the Teams, Constructors and Drivers championships throughout 2001 to 2004.
Having already had a shot at building a Mondeo track car and tuning his road going 888 Racing Astra, Gaz was now ready to step it up to the maximum. Acquiring a genuine 888 Racing Astra Coupe BTC-T rolling shell, once owned and raced by Rob Collard, he’s now set about rebuilding it to make the ultimate track car. It’s by no means an easy task though, whilst the body of the car may to a certain extent resemble a road going Astra, the chassis is totally different. There’s no “off the shelf parts” designed for an Astra that will fit, so obtaining CAD designs and homologation documents has been the main task as many parts will have to be custom made to 888’s original specification.
As regards the engine, or lack of one, Gaz is free to fit what he wants, as opposed to being restricted to a 2.0 N/A as per BTCC regulations of the time. It’s probable that he will fit a Z20LET being that he’s got good experience tuning them. These turbo charged engines have been known to be tuned up to 600bhp, exhilarating would be an understatement in a car of this weight, the original BTCC Astra engine had less than half that at 270bhp, but you only need to watch some old BTCC footage to see that it was more than adequate, which is exactly what we were doing last weekend, watching the BTCC 2004 season review and cheering every time Gaz’s car came into shot.
Gaz’s road going 888 Astra sitting next to his BTCC thoroughbred racer
The interior currently with a temporary seat