19 Jan 2024
Since its inception, the Kwik Fit British Tour Car Championship (BTCC) has been one of the most popular motorsport championships worldwide. FPZERO Simulators' partner EXCELR8 Motorsport made a successful debut in the tournament in 2019, and its recently renewed collaboration with Bristol Street Motors (BSM) is helping to redefine fan engagement at the infamous UK racing event.
Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8: A Dynamic Duo on the Track
Bristol Street Motors, a prominent national car dealership under Vertu Motors PLC group, previously joined forces with EXCELR8 Motorsport to field competitive entries in the BTCC. The 2023 season was the second for BSM, proudly partnering with Tom Chilton, Nick Halstead, Ronan Pearson, and 2022 BTCC Champion Tom Ingram.
BSM lined up sleek and powerful vehicles that its drivers took to the track this season, the team finishing second in the overall event. They drove modified versions of the Hyundai i30 N, each emblazoned the iconic BSM logo to boost brand awareness. Featuring 271bhp front-wheel drive and a coup-like body, the model is perfect for securing podium finishes in the prestigious BTCC.
Bristol Street Motors has recently signed a new multi-year contract with EXCELR8 in the hope of continued on-track success in the 2024 season and beyond. However, the BSM and EXCELR8 partnership goes far beyond the racetrack—they actively seek to boost fan engagement at the BTCC.
Trackside Experience Puts Fans in the Driving Seat
A core element of the fan engagement strategy for 2023 was the launch of “The Street,” a fan zone unit that toured nationwide during the BTCC season. This initiative offered fans the opportunity to meet and greet EXCELR8 drivers, building a connection between them, the BTCC, and the teams.
Under the hashtag #MeetAtTheStreet, fans engaged in a range of activities, from taking photos alongside a genuine BTCC trophy to showcasing their skills on our FPZERO Clubsport simulator.In fact, at the heart of Bristol Street Motors and EXCELR8 Motorsports' commitment to fan engagement lies our Clubsport Simulator—the ultimate race car simulator.
Our simulators, also used by EXCELR8 drivers during training, allowed fans to jump behind the wheel and compete against each other and the pros trackside. Beyond the roar of the engines and the thrill of the track, sim racing transformed the spectator experience into an interactive journey.
Fans Feel the Intensity of the BTCC First-Hand
With FPZERO simulators, fans had the chance to navigate the track, feel the power of the modified Hyundai i30 N, and experience the adrenaline rush that accompanies high-stakes racing. The genuine simulation offered fans a taste of the challenges faced by their BTCC heroes.
Fans also felt the pressure of competing thanks to our proprietary digital leaderboard. Lap times were captured and displayed on digital screens for all to see. On race days, fans competed against each other and even challenged the times set by EXCELR8 drivers. This added a new dimension to the fan experience and introduced friendly competition among the BTCC community.
TV-style footage of fans navigating the virtual circuits was also broadcast in the Bristol Street Motors fan zone for all to see, along with live reactions from the drivers that captured the emotions of racing. This meant that even fans not sitting in the hot seat could get involved in the immersive experience.
Boosted Engagement at the BTCC and Beyond
“The Street” toured nationwide throughout the BTCC, but the Silverstone race weekend saw BSM truly revolutionise the motorsport paddock with its innovative Elonex digital garage. Instead of traditional boards, the garage was enveloped by over 100m2 of floor-to-ceiling LED screens.
This immersive experience provided a visual spectacle for motorsports fans. Throughout the weekend, it served as a dynamic platform to showcase the EXCELR8 team and its partners. Meanwhile, the results from our digital leaderboard and HD streaming footage of fans in the cockpit were broadcast on high-tech screens and watched by thousands of avid motorsports enthusiasts.
FPZERO and the EXCERL8 team have also represented Bristol Street Motors at various events, including the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed. This provides fans with another opportunity to engage with their racing heroes and try our high-end simulators outside the competitive arena.