Few forms of modern motorsport manage to blend technical innovation, great racing and public appeal as well as the British Touring Car Championship. For over half a century the BTCC (or the British Saloon Car Championship as it was formally known) has provided manufacturers with the ideal proving ground for their latest offerings, the varied grids and competitive racing allowing them to see how they’ll perform in this, one of the most hostile environments in motor racing. This explains why Goodridge, one of the most respected names in automotive fluid transfer systems, has opted to enter the fray. The firm will enter the 2016 season as the official technical partner for both Team Dynamics and Honda, and all three hope to fight for overall honors over the course of the season.
Goodridge is no stranger to this highly competitive environment either, particularly as a good proportion of their range has been developed in conjunction with those involved in circuit racing. Goodridge hoses have seen action in some truly remarkable applications, including F1 machinery, WRC cars and even in Thrust 2, the current world land speed record holder. All their lines are manufactured from the finest quality stainless steel, meaning that cars fitted with Goodridge hardware can brake later, stop faster and continue to perform at an optimum level for extended periods of time. The braided design of the hoses has been proven to eliminate the spongy feel that characterises more traditional offerings, and this factor is of crucial importance when discussing racing applications. A spongy brake pedal in a road car can be written off as a mere annoyance, whereas on a race car it’s a much more serious problem. Dependable, precise brakes instill in the driver a greater degree of confidence, confidence that can allow him to brake later and race harder. Spongy brakes really can be the factor that determines whether a driver finishes the race atop the podium, in the top five, or out of the top ten.
Goodridge’s role as technical partner to Honda and Team Dynamics means that their expertise will be present in other areas of the Civic Type R BTCC cars, including the fuel and oil systems. Not only will this allow Goodridge to build upon its already impressive reputation in this respect, it’ll enable them to gather crucial data and expertise, much of which will eventually filter down to their road-going range.
Team Dynamics can claim to be part of the very fabric of the modern BTCC, the outfit having been competing in the series in one form or another since 1992. This period has seen the outfit claim an array of manufacturer and driver silverware (most recently Gordon Shedden’s 2015 driver’s crown), and this continual success, no doubt helped by their reputation for openness and warmth, means that they’ve long been a firm fan favourite. The driving services of Gordon Shedden and tin-top icon Matt Neal have been retained for 2016, with both being at the top of their game and utterly at home in both the team and the car.
Honda’s on track exploits should need no introduction to anyone with even a passing interest in motorsport, with the Hamamatsu concern having been involved at the pinnacle of the sport for decades. Their association with the British tin-top series stretches back to the ’90s and the Super Touring category, while the modern era has seen the manufacturer join with Team Dynamics to further cement their respective motorsport credentials. The Civic Type R in which Gordon Shedden won last year’s title was the class of the field, while an intensive off-season of development means that it’d take a very brave individual to bet against them repeating the feat in 2016.
The partnership of Goodridge, Team Dynamics and Honda promises to be a fiercely competitive one from the off, with all three parties bringing a wealth of applicable experience and automotive know-how to the table, much of it won in the pursuit of pervious glories. The demands associated with racing at this level place a premium on reliability, performance and continual innovation, all areas in which Goodridge can claim to excel, while the respective BTCC reputations of both Honda and Team Dynamics are beyond reproach. Everything points to 2016 being a landmark season for all involved.