A one make series established by
Vauxhall Motors in the UK following in the footsteps of the popular Rover Tomcats in the early 1990’s. Vauxhall
committed an undisclosed but substantial sum of money into the series in a bid to overcome the staid image of
the Vauxhall Vectra, ultimately to promote sales of the road car.
Operating as a support race to the British Touring Cars, the Vectra Challenge was heralded as a fast track
to Super Touring with the winner gaining a seat in the following years BTCC.
Each race featured an invited 'celebrity
driver'. Tiff Needell competed at Brands Hatch and ex World Ladies Rally Champion Louise Aitken-Walker at Knockhill
to name but two.
Participation in the series served to build on existing racing careers for numerous BTCC racing drivers including
Rob Collard, James Kaye and Dave Pinkney. Then what?
Well, Vauxhall pulled out after the 1999 race season and with the new shape Vectra imminent, the Challenge cars became
unequivocally redundant. Actually no - redundant from Vauxhall perhaps, but not redundant entirely.
What started out as an expensive marketing exercise for Vauxhall (each car reputedly costing £76k+ each) now
became affordable club racing/track day cars. Today, you can regularly see Vectra Challenge cars pushing far more expensive race cars around many
a UK circuit. With seven Vectra's registered in the 2010 BARC CNC Heads Sports & Saloon Car Championship, we
are set for an exciting seasons racing.
BARC Sports & Saloons