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Thread: Early 2000s

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    Early 2000s

    I get the impression a lot that the early post-super touring days are viewed as something of a turbulent/transitional phase, but I have recently enjoyed watching coverage of 2001/2002/2003 seasons and found them to be very thrilling and competitive. 2001 was just the Vauxhall show, but after that they were joined by major manufacturer entries from MG and Honda, both capable of winning. The grid swelled to 30+ cars, which isn't bad, even with the production class taken into account, and was headed by the likes of Muller, Plato, Thompson, Neal, Priaulx, Reid, Turkington, Leslie and more. There were also some great championship rivalries, first with Muller and Plato, and then with Thompson, and how can you not love Paul O'neill's first win?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Startech View Post
    I get the impression a lot that the early post-super touring days are viewed as something of a turbulent/transitional phase, but I have recently enjoyed watching coverage of 2001/2002/2003 seasons and found them to be very thrilling and competitive. 2001 was just the Vauxhall show, but after that they were joined by major manufacturer entries from MG and Honda, both capable of winning. The grid swelled to 30+ cars, which isn't bad, even with the production class taken into account, and was headed by the likes of Muller, Plato, Thompson, Neal, Priaulx, Reid, Turkington, Leslie and more. There were also some great championship rivalries, first with Muller and Plato, and then with Thompson, and how can you not love Paul O'neill's first win?
    I actually quite enjoyed the 2001 season, the vx rivalry between muller, Plato and Bennett etc. was good viewing and the final rounds were thrilling. I actually think the 1999 and 2000 seasons were poorer in comparison, death of the st era.

    I did love the super tourers, I wonder how today's drivers would get on with them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg13 View Post
    I actually quite enjoyed the 2001 season, the vx rivalry between muller, Plato and Bennett etc. was good viewing and the final rounds were thrilling. I actually think the 1999 and 2000 seasons were poorer in comparison, death of the st era.

    I did love the super tourers, I wonder how today's drivers would get on with them?
    Actually I think 2000 was great,Ford had arguably the best driver line up in Touring Car history,and the battle between them were equally fierce,Menu only won his second title by a mere 2 points,and that overturn was accomplished in the last race!Also every driver who had competed for more than half of the season(except Radermecker)had at least one race win,which just proved the competitiveness of the grid.

    2001 is indeed one of my favorite seasons,Plato and Muller just pushed themselves to the limit(or even over the limit)to fight for the title,and caused a lot of fantastic battles in the process.The dramatic final on sodden Brands Hatch was exciting as well.

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    2001s only saving grace was that we still had Cox & Wattie in the com box.

    I enjoyed ITVs first season in 2002, that had some great racing. But I didn't enjoy 2003 at all. I think pit stops in both races was a silly idea. And to be honest I don't think pit stops were needed after 2000.
    "Apparently David Bartrum was painting the garage wall during race 1 and by the end it was dry..." - Tim Harvey, Oulton Park 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by B21993 View Post
    Actually I think 2000 was great,Ford had arguably the best driver line up in Touring Car history,and the battle between them were equally fierce,Menu only won his second title by a mere 2 points,and that overturn was accomplished in the last race!Also every driver who had competed for more than half of the season(except Radermecker)had at least one race win,which just proved the competitiveness of the grid.

    2001 is indeed one of my favorite seasons,Plato and Muller just pushed themselves to the limit(or even over the limit)to fight for the title,and caused a lot of fantastic battles in the process.The dramatic final on sodden Brands Hatch was exciting as well.
    I enjoyed watching races from 2000 as well, although admittedly I was too young to pay attention to it at the time. But looking back, I think it was probably one of the most competitive seasons. The manufacturers were ploughing crazy amounts of money in, which is either a good thing or a bad thing. But the grid was loaded with massive names, not just in the title fight but also the likes of Muller, Plato, Tarquini and Thompson who were all capable of winning races that year. What was missing in quantity was made up for in quality in my eyes.
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    There's plenty of races from 2001 that have been uploaded to YouTube recently, and I feel it's a fantastic season, simply because Vauxhall gave their four drivers carte blanche and let them loose on the track, which more than made up for the fact that the Peugeots and Alfas were too unreliable and off the pace to really challenge, and MG's late entry. Kinda like Mercedes in F1 this season. The title decider at Brands Hatch, which must have the worst weather conditions that any BTCC event has ever been held in, is amazing and dramatic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Londoner View Post
    There's plenty of races from 2001 that have been uploaded to YouTube recently, and I feel it's a fantastic season, simply because Vauxhall gave their four drivers carte blanche and let them loose on the track, which more than made up for the fact that the Peugeots and Alfas were too unreliable and off the pace to really challenge, and MG's late entry. Kinda like Mercedes in F1 this season. The title decider at Brands Hatch, which must have the worst weather conditions that any BTCC event has ever been held in, is amazing and dramatic.
    Have a look at some of the incidents from that season, plato v Bennett in the night race, and plato v muller when mullets car ran out of fuel and tried to say it was misfiring!

    Incidentally that night race was chronic, drivers may have enjoyed it but you couldn't see ride all on the TV just headlights, oh and phil Bennett doing rally cross into stands!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Startech View Post
    I enjoyed watching races from 2000 as well, although admittedly I was too young to pay attention to it at the time. But looking back, I think it was probably one of the most competitive seasons. The manufacturers were ploughing crazy amounts of money in, which is either a good thing or a bad thing. But the grid was loaded with massive names, not just in the title fight but also the likes of Muller, Plato, Tarquini and Thompson who were all capable of winning races that year. What was missing in quantity was made up for in quality in my eyes.
    Exactly what I mean,if anyone got to the front,they can win the race,really good competition.

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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattg13 View Post
    Have a look at some of the incidents from that season, plato v Bennett in the night race, and plato v muller when mullets car ran out of fuel and tried to say it was misfiring!

    Incidentally that night race was chronic, drivers may have enjoyed it but you couldn't see ride all on the TV just headlights, oh and phil Bennett doing rally cross into stands!
    I was watching the 2001 review the other day and half the incidents were Bennett and Soper trying to knock ten bells out of each other. It was entertaining (probably crossed the line more than once though haha.) IIRC Bennett was banned from one of the rounds, such was the nature of their battles. It did give a certain Mr.Priaulx his BTCC debut however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGormally View Post
    I was watching the 2001 review the other day and half the incidents were Bennett and Soper trying to knock ten bells out of each other. It was entertaining (probably crossed the line more than once though haha.) IIRC Bennett was banned from one of the rounds, such was the nature of their battles. It did give a certain Mr.Priaulx his BTCC debut however.
    Priaulx indeed did extremely well,but was he on base weight when qualifying and racing?Because both Plato and Muller was already on 90kg ballast back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B21993 View Post
    Priaulx indeed did extremely well,but was he on base weight when qualifying and racing?Because both Plato and Muller was already on 90kg ballast back then.
    I've no idea what weight Priaulx was on unfortunately mate, but credit to him for sticking it on pole. Switching from Formula 3 to BTCC (2 completely different styles of car) mid-season mustn't have been an easy adaptation, so to do what he did was a top-notch effort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGormally View Post
    I've no idea what weight Priaulx was on unfortunately mate, but credit to him for sticking it on pole. Switching from Formula 3 to BTCC (2 completely different styles of car) mid-season mustn't have been an easy adaptation, so to do what he did was a top-notch effort.
    Yes and no doubt about that,he did exellently to take two poles for his debut meeting,which proved him was a future champion,which was proved in ETCC and later WTCC as well.

    But saeson 2001 for me an one-off driver is to remember,and that man is Tommy Erdos,he drove that under-developed IS200 valiantly to gain some points for that small team,and he can even beat those factory Peugeots!

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    Quote Originally Posted by B21993 View Post
    Yes and no doubt about that,he did exellently to take two poles for his debut meeting,which proved him was a future champion,which was proved in ETCC and later WTCC as well.

    But saeson 2001 for me an one-off driver is to remember,and that man is Tommy Erdos,he drove that under-developed IS200 valiantly to gain some points for that small team,and he can even beat those factory Peugeots!
    2001 was a strange year. A turnover of drivers and cars meant it would've been wide open had Vauxhall not built that Astra Coupe that quite frankly was light-years ahead of the rest. I did enjoy it though (well the bits I remember from being 10 at the time.) There was a free-for-all attitude amongst those 4 Vauxhalls, though Muller and Plato were the ones who really pushed the boundries and occasionally went beyond them.

    I think I liked the season as much for the openness between the rest as I did for the way the championship unfolded, with those works Vauxhalls putting on a cracking show. Peugeot brought a legend back in Soper, Dan Eaves looked respectable and Aaron Slight's cameo at Donington Park was entertaining. Erdos tamed that tail-happy Lexus, as did Kurt Luby who had been away from the series for around a decade I think. Tim Harvey returned in one of those JSM Alfas, alongside Mark Blair, Ferrier and Pinkney and had the odd sublime drive. The MG's looked good in the hands of Hughes and Reid. The list goes on and on and on haha.

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    2001 was a tough year. Some good battles. I wouldnt say i watch it too much. Best season of that era was 03 and 04. 04 was a very good season. Lots of cars and competitive teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swedishshuffle View Post
    2001 was a tough year. Some good battles. I wouldnt say i watch it too much. Best season of that era was 03 and 04. 04 was a very good season. Lots of cars and competitive teams.
    04' was great only beacuse Gow came back and decided to bring S2000 cars in,if that didn't happen BTCC could face a crisis which is more severe than the 05' grid.

    Overall the BTC-T project was a failure as TOCA back then didn't realised that FIA are not accepting the BTCC regulations as the old Supertouring era,which isolated BTCC from other championships at the same class and prevented more manufacturers from coming,and Vauxhall's domination proved that BTC-T still needs lots of money and investments to make it competitive.I'm glad that Gow came back at that moment and decided to turn BTCC into a S2000/BTC-T championship and later a S2000-oriented championship,because back then clearly S2000 was more common around the world and many manufactuers are developing car in that regulation already.This move effectively guranteed the number of participants as they can buy cars not specifically designed to race in UK.

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