Ciceley Racing to bring Mercedes-Benz A-Class to 2014 BTCC track

Article by Anita Panait, on September 30, 2013

Ciceley Racing will field a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch in March next year. This will mark Mercedes-Benz’s racing debut in what is regarded as the United Kingdom’s premier saloon car championship. The decision aligns Ciceley Racing’s on-track activity with main title sponsor Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van dealership.

The team has determined that the A-Class is the most suitable premium car for the current NGTC regulations. The front-running team will still be led by former Ginetta GT Supercup Champion Adam Morgan, who currently ranks seventh in this season’s standings. It will not be the first time that Ciceley Racing is fielding a Mercedes-Benz vehicle in a motorsport contest.

The team grabbed class wins on the Manx Rally twice in 1986 and 1987 with the Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz 190 driven by Russell Morgan, now Ciceley Racing Team Principal.

The team is now hoping to achieve a good run of victories in Mercedes-Benz unit in the BTCC in 2014. Morgan remarked that the switch to Mercedes-Benz “made sense for [them] in many different ways.”

Ciceley Racing is currently partnered with Toyota, a partnership that started in 2012. Morgan thanked Toyota for the carmaker’s help over the last two seasons, hoping that they “can end what has been a brilliant debut season for the team on a high."

Mercedes-Benz's new A-Class opens up a whole new chapter in the compact cars segment with an emotive design, powerful engines that deliver 109 hp to 211 hp, a 0.27 best-in-class drag coefficient, and 98 g of COs/km of emissions.

The new model also emphasizes that for the carmaker, safety isn't a question of price. Instead, it means complying with the standard specification that includes the Collision Prevention Assist System, which is radar-based. German prices begin at €23,978.50, inclusive of 19% value added tax, for the A 180 BlueEFFICIENCY.

Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Daimler AG's Chairman of the Board of Management, says that the company is getting to be the world's most dynamic premium brand and that the A-Class represents an important milestone in this development. According to him, the A-Class is entirely new, down to its very last detail. He also adds that in automotive development, it is not easy to get the chance to start with a clean slate, but that Mercedes-Benz's engineers have been given this very opportunity and were able to make the most of it.

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class stands up to 18 centimeters lower on the road compared to its previous models. This conveys good design and dynamism at first look. This radical form was seen and acclaimed the world over with the A-Class Concept and it was consistently implemented throughout the series production vehicle. The new A-Class also reflects this new design strategy, resulting in the two-box design that carries its own distinct character. It shows an actively emotive exterior and an interior that has a high-quality feel to it.

Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz's Head of Design, says that translating the company's new dynamic style into the compact segment had been a fun challenge. According to him, no other vehicle in this class is as similarly progressive as the A-Class. The car's sculptural shape is typical for Mercedes while its character lines on its sides give it structure and terseness. The car's new dynamic style, he adds, is perceptible in the interior, even at first glance.

The new A-Class' exterior design is marked out by its defined edges and its tautly drawn surfaces. Meanwhile, its concave and convex surfaces on its side create a play of light and lend it a unique look.

Press Release

CICELEY RACING TO SWITCH TO MERCEDES-BENZ A-CLASS FOR 2014

Ciceley Racing will campaign a Mercedes-Benz A-Class in the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, paving way for the German manufacturer's debut in Britain's premier saloon car championship at Brands Hatch next March.

The decision will see Ciceley Racing align their on-track activity with main title sponsor Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz Truck & Van dealership, with the A-Class judged as an ideal fit for the current NGTC regulations.

The front-running team will retain former Ginetta GT Supercup Champion Adam Morgan, who currently sits in seventh position in the 2013 BTCC championship standings, after an impressive second season in the series to date.

Ciceley Racing is no stranger to competing with Mercedes-Benz machinery in motorsport. Having clinched class wins on the Manx Rally twice in 1986 and 1987 with the Ciceley Commercials Mercedes-Benz 190 in the hands of Russell Morgan, the Lancashire-based outfit have firmly set their sights on achieving victories for a Mercedes-Benz in the BTCC in 2014.

'It's great to finally announce our plans for 2014, the switch made sense for us in many different ways," said Ciceley Racing Team Principal Russell Morgan. "With Paul Ridgway at the helm of the project holding high aspirations and Adam continuing to mature as a driver, we think that the A-Class can be a competitive package in the series next year."

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Toyota for all of their help over the last two seasons, hopefully we can end what has been a brilliant debut season for the team on a high."

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow added, "This programme by Ciceley Racing is a perfect demonstration of the strength and adaptability of our 'NGTC' technical regulations - the team are able to change from racing a Toyota and onto developing and racing a Mercedes-Benz, whilst utilising the vast majority of the NGTC components they already possess."

"It will be great to see a Mercedes-Benz on the grid, to add to the already huge roll-call of other great brands competing in the BTCC."

The BTCC will roll into Northamptonshire's Silverstone Circuit for Rounds 25,26 & 27 this weekend; any interested parties for the Toyota Avensis should contact Russell Morgan at the earliest convenience.

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