Hello sim racers!
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what’s more jolly than a surprise batch of new content for rFactor 2?
Hot off the heels of the popular Q4 2022 release back in November, this Christmas we have not one, but two new cars coming to rFactor 2! First on the list, as we take a further step towards locking down the full 2021/22 British Touring Car Championship field, we are delighted to introduce the wonderful little Vauxhall Astra BTCC – set to join our already released BMW 330i M Sport, and previously released cars from Infiniti, Toyota, Hyundai and Ford.
The Vauxhall brand is very well known in the world of touring cars in the UK, and with the return of the Astra, built and developed by the Power Maxed Racing out in Bidford-on-Avon, the car still enjoys some strong performances despite being one of the older models on the current grid. Something of a fan favourite thanks in no little part to often exciting driver line-ups and the bright colour scheme of Power Maxed, the Astra might be small, but it’s certainly still mighty!
rFactor 2 BTCC | Steam Store:CLICK HERE
The Vauxhall Astra made its debut under the current NGTC regulations all the way back in 2017, marking the much heralded return of the British brand following an incredible run of success in the early 1990s through to the mid 2000s, however as per the NGTC rule set, the return of the Astra wouldn’t be a fully works attempt as previous years, with Power Maxed Racing, forming the new adventure with support from the main dealer, but predominantly going it alone following a toe in the water exercise with car sponsorship in previous seasons.
Run by Team Principal Adam Weaver and Race Director Martin Broadhurst, Power Maxed and Vauxhall achieved instant success with a podium on the car’s very first attempt at Brands Hatch, with 2017 seeing further glory with numerous top 10 finishes throughout the year, including a season best second-place finish at Silverstone. It wouldn’t be long until Vauxhall found themselves back in the winners circle once again, with sophomore driver Senna Proctor and new recruit Josh Cook securing three victories from the opening three rounds of the 2018 season.
2019 would mark the final occasion the little Vauxhall took a chequered flag in the BTCC, with former double champion and tin top legend Jason Plato taking the final of his 97 victories in the series – a nice synergy of history between the two, as Plato also secured his first BTCC championship racing under Vauxhall colours back in 2001.
Since returning full time to the BTCC following a truncated, Covid affected season in 2020, Power Maxed Racing have run a number of fan favourite and rookie drivers in the team, occasionally showing flashes of pace despite the car clearly starting to show its age against some of the newer machinery that has arrived in the series within recent seasons.
The car remains a firm top 10 possibility in the right hands, and given a good turn of luck and things falling in the right way could still be a victory contender – but regardless of results, one thing is for sure, the car looks great, and is a beautifully well-balanced and nice handling machine that should be a great introductory experience for players new to front-wheel drive machinery.
So there we have it folks, the first of a few surprises coming your way, and not long left to go now, so stay tuned and hold tight, we are nearly ready to go…
Vauxhall Astra BTCC – Coming December 21st to rFactor 2!