File this one in the good news pile, but fans of a classic racer not seen for more than 20 years might be getting a treat in 2021. The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is the UK’s top domestic saloon car race series and was the focus of two games in the TOCA Touring Car series in the late 90s. And now, according to one of the leading drivers on the grid, a new one is being made.
Matt Neal is a triple champion in the BTCC and current driver with for Honda and was asked about a BTCC game during a livestream on behalf of his team way back in March it seems but went unnoticed in the wider community until now. As reported by GTPlanet, Neal said:
“There’s one in the making, we are reliably informed. The beta version might come out at the end of this year, and then I think it’s targeted for the end of 2021. It won’t be one where all, umm, you know added on to someone else’s game. This is going to be one where it’s a dedicated BTCC game like the old TOCA package. So that’s pretty exciting actually.”
What was once the TOCA series is still around today with 2019’s GRID the latest incarnation. Various games have featured BTCC cars in recent years, including Microsoft’s Forza 6 and Forza 7, and one of the iconic cars, the Volvo 850 featured above, is found in GRID.
Of course none of this constitutes a confirmation, especially since plans change and 2020 is far from a predictable year for anyone making video games. Likewise, it’s unclear as to who currently may have access to the BTCC license, though it would be easy to look towards the UK’s own Codemasters, developers of the original TOCA Touring Cars.
The team there has been recruiting in recent times for a new IP and with the immensely talented SlightlyMad Studios – developer of Project Cars – now under the same roof, it would be an obvious choice.
Neal’s claimed late 2021 launch window means that if this all does come to fruition it’s still a long way off. But as someone who’s childhood contained hundreds of hours in TOCA Touring Cars, I’ve crossed everything I can that this is the real deal.
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