|1999 BTCC season|
The 1999 British Touring Car Championship featured 26 races across 13 rounds, starting at Donington Park on 5 April and ending at Silverstone on 19 September. The driver's title was won by Laurent Aïello in his debut season driving for the Nissan works team, with his teammate David Leslie in second place. Rickard Rydell, the 1998 champion, came third.
One of the surprises of the season was the performance of independent driver Matt Neal. Driving for his father's Team Dynamics in a 1998 Nissan Primera, Neal became the first independent driver to win a championship race in the feature race of the first Donington round; series organisers TOCA had put up a reward for £250,000 for this achievement.
Team and Driver Changes
Six manufacturer backed teams contested the 1999 championship, Audi and Peugeot having withdrawn at the end 1998. Seven independent drivers appeared on the initial entry list however neither the Atford Ford Mondeo of Gareth Howell or the TRM Motorsport BMW 320i of Collin Gallie made an appearance.
Night racing was introduced to the BTCC for the first time for the rounds at Snetterton in July. The pit lane and main spectator areas were floodlit, whilst other parts of the circuit were in total darkness. To aid the drivers eyesight for the sharp changes from light to dark, the cockpits had a soft red light glowing inside.
Tom Walkinshaw Racing again ran Volvo's effort, defending champion Rickard Rydell came into the 1999 season with a new team-mate in Belgian Vincent Radermecker who had previously raced in the Belgian Procar series and replaced Italian Gianni Morbidelli.
1998 manufacturer champions Nissan once again entered two Primeras engineered by RML. David Leslie remained with the team for a third season and was joined by Frenchman Laurent Aiello, a former STW and French champion who took the seat vacated by Anthony Reid.
After a successful year in 1998 with Prodrive, Honda's effort was now to be run by WSR in a straight swap with Ford. James Thompson went into the season as title favourite and topped pre-season testing and he was joined by Peter Kox for the second year in a row. The team entered a third car for 1994 champion and STW Honda works driver Gabriele Tarquini at the Knockhill and Brands Hatch rounds.
The Williams campaign, running a pair of Renault Lagunas, was headed by Jason Plato who was promoted to lead driver following the departure of Alain Menu to Ford. He was joined by Jean-Christophe Boullion, a former Williams F1 test driver, Sauber F1 race driver and 1994 Formula 3000 champion. Boullion had missed out securing the Renault drive to Plato in 1997.
The Triple Eight Racing Vauxhall Vectras were driven by 1995 champion John Cleland, his 11th season driving for the manufacturer and he was joined by Yvan Muller following Audi's withdrawal. He replaced Derek Warwick who retired from full-time racing to focus on running the team.
Completing the factory team line-up was Ford, now run by Prodrive who had what many regarded as the strongest driver line up in the pit lane, with ’97 champion Alain Menu partnering ’98 runner-up Anthony Reid. They replaced the 1998 lineup of Will Hoy, Craig Baird and Nigel Mansell.
The Independents field was spear-headed by title favourtie Matt Neal, whom had shown throughout 1998 his ability to mix it with the manufacturer backed teams. Neal’s Dynamics team would again have a year old ex STW Primera at their disposal, a car that Neal had shared with Steven Richards at Bathurst in 1998.
1998 Vectra Challenge winner Mark Blair, entered a 1996 Vauxhall Vectra which had been a prize for winning the support series and had been driven by Mark Lemmer in 1998. The car was updated with the 1999 aero kit but was unable to use the latest specification engines.
Lee Brookes returned to the series driving a 1998 Honda Accord. Brookes missed four races after injuring his arm and then withdrew from the series after the second visit to Thruxton stating that nothing they did to the car made it competitive.
Paula Cook also drove a 1998 Honda Accord that she had previously driven in the final two rounds of 1998 and run by D.C Cook Motorsport. The team withdrew after the Snetterton rounds citing lack of budget.
Russell Spence started the season driving a 1998 Renault Laguna run by Arena International Spence would suffer a frightening crash at Oulton Park and step down soon after due to business commitments. He was replaced by 1991 champion Will Hoy from Snetterton onwards.
|Volvo S40 Racing||Volvo S40||1||Rickard Rydell||All|
|Ford Team Mondeo||Ford Mondeo||2||Anthony Reid||All|
|Team Honda Sport||Honda Accord||3||James Thompson||All|
|Nescafé Blend 37 Williams Renault||Renault Laguna||5||Jason Plato||All|
|Vodafone Nissan Racing||Nissan Primera GT||6||David Leslie||All|
|Vauxhall Motorsport||Vauxhall Vectra||7||Yvan Muller||All|
|ADR Motorsport||Vauxhall Vectra||15||Mark Blair||All|
|Arena International||Renault Laguna||17||Russell Spence||1–7|
|DC Cook Motorsport||Honda Accord||22||Paula Cook||1–8|
|Max Power Racing Team Dynamics||Nissan Primera GT||77||Matt Neal||All|
|Brookes Motorsport||Honda Accord||99||Lee Brookes||1–3, 6–9|
All races were held in the United Kingdom.
|1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||Pole Position||Lead a lap|
in feature race
- No driver may collect more than one "Lead a Lap" point per race no matter how many laps they lead.
- Drivers' top 22 results count towards the championship.
Note: bold signifies pole position (1 point awarded all races), italics signifies fastest lap.
* signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap (1 point given).
Michelin Cup for Independents
|1||Nissan / Vodafone Nissan Racing||4||Ret||1||6||1||1||3||1||1||1||2||1||2||3||1||2||1||1||1||3||2||1||1||2||9||2||464|
|2||Honda / Team Honda Sport||1||2||5||4||5||5||7||4||9||7||1||3||1||2||6||1||7||9||2||2||3||3||5||1||2||9||296|
|3||Volvo / Volvo S40 Racing||7||5||3||Ret||2||2||Ret||Ret||5||4||9||4||4||1||2||5||2||2||6||5||1||5||3||3||1||1||295|
|4||Renault / Nescafé Blend 37 Williams Renault||3||3||6||1||9||4||4||7||6||6||3||8||6||6||4||4||5||4||5||4||6||6||7||6||8||Ret||227|
|5||Vauxhall / Vauxhall Motorsport||6||4||10||2||7||9||1||5||8||3||4||5||8||8||12||3||8||6||8||7||11||9||8||5||3||5||186|
|6||Ford / Ford Team Mondeo||2||Ret||7||Ret||8||6||2||8||3||5||5||6||Ret||10||8||9||11||3||3||1||8||12||12||8||4||3||164|
|1||Vodafone Nissan Racing||Ret||6||1||1||1||1||3||2||1||3||1||2||2||210|
|2||Team Honda Sport||2||4||5||4||7||3||2||1||9||2||3||1||9||132|
|3||Volvo S40 Racing||5||Ret||2||Ret||4||4||1||5||2||5||5||3||1||127|
|4||Nescafé Blend 37 Williams Renault||3||1||4||7||6||8||6||4||4||4||6||6||Ret||108|
|7||Ford Team Mondeo||Ret||Ret||6||8||5||6||10||9||3||1||12||8||3||53|
|11||DC Cook Motorsport||Ret||9||13||Ret||Ret||13||13||14||2|
The points system used for the 1999 British Touring Car Championship was as follows. For the drivers championship, 15 points were awarded to the winner of each race, 12 to second place, 10 for third and 8,6,5,4,3,2,1 for fourth to tenth place respectively. At the end of the season, drivers would drop their four lowest scores. A point would be awarded to the driver who achieved pole position for each race, and a point was awarded to anyone who led the feature race.
For the manufactures championship, the same number of points for the top ten finishing positions were awarded as for the drivers championship but only the top two per manufacturer would receive points for the manufacturer. At the end of the season, manufacturers would drop the points from their worst four rounds of the championship. No points were received for leading laps or pole position.
- "Nissan Primera (50)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "April 5th 1999, Matt Neal won himself a £250,000 privateer bonus at Donington". www.goodwood.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "BTCC: 1999 Entry List, News 99-03-03". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Ford Mondeo". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Famous races: Matt Neal talks about Donington 1999 - TouringCarTimes". TouringCarTimes. 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Car Enthusiast - The 1999 Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship". www.carenthusiast.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Jean-Christophe Boullion - The Williams Grand Prix Database". The Williams Grand Prix Database. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Heritage | Triple Eight Racing BTCC". www.tripleeight.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "ASTC: AMP Bathurst 1000 Race Report". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Vauxhall / Opel Vectra B (V96B-001)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Honda Accord (PRO-ST/H-9803)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- Autosport (1999). Touring Car Year: The Official Review of the Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship: 1999-2000. Haymarket Specialist Publications. ISBN 0860249298.
- "Honda Accord (PRO-ST/H-9806)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- "Renault Laguna (98/04)". Super Touring Register. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
- Vic Lennard (Editor). Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship – Donington Park Official Programme. (1999) p.30 The Really Motoring Group.