Getting back into civilian life after serving in the armed forces can be an enormously difficult task, especially for injured veterans. Thankfully, the world of auto racing is here to help. Infiniti is partnering with Support Our Paras, a charity benefiting the British Parachute Regiment, to make a bid in the British Touring Car Championship. Working with a race team brings focus and a common goal to strive towards, thus creating a sense of normality for those coming home from war. To this end, the team will consist of several injured paratroopers who will prepare and maintain the cars throughout the BTCC season. Ultimately, the team hopes to develop a veteran to take the spot behind the wheel.

“We’ve set ourselves a number of significant, but achievable targets,” Team Principal Derek Palmer stated in a press release. “Of course we are aware of the challenges ahead of us, but with the united forces of The Paras and Infiniti, we believe we have the power to deliver results in the BTCC.”

Updated 01/07/2015: ‘Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing’ team just announced a new livery for one of its two NGTC Infiniti Q50 race cars that will be raced this season at the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.

Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car.

  • 2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    65000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car in Detail

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car Exterior
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2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
- image 572912
2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
- image 572914

The two Q50 race cars will participate under Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) regulations, with specs that include a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with overboost, a sequential six-speed gearbox, and a comprehensive aerodynamics package.

While Infiniti’s parent company, Nissan, has a long history of racing experience and success, Infiniti as a standalone product is relatively untested in the world of motorsport. However, there are exceptions, most notably the highly modified G35 Falken D1 drift machine, a brief stint in the Rolex Sports Car Series, and plenty of Infiniti branding slathered on Red Bull’s F1 cars. You can be sure that the BTCC will be a good test of Infiniti’s mettle on the track, but with a dedicated team of ex-paratroopers for support, this latest entry should put up a good fight.

2015 Infiniti Q50 Sedan

2015 Infiniti Q50L High Resolution Exterior
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As a replacement for the G Series, the Q50 is Infiniti’s latest offering in the luxury compact sedan market. The Q50 hopes to trade blows with the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4, all of which are well-established heavy weights that will be tough to topple.

However, the Japanese brand is laying its performance aspirations on the table with products like the Eau Rouge concept and this latest entry into touring car racing. One thing is for certain, a Q50 GT-R would go a long way toward improving Infiniti’s sporting image. Two turbos, please!

Race Competitors

Audi A4

2011 Audi A4 BTCC Exterior
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NGTC regulations rule out the use of four-wheel-drive, meaning any entrants carrying the Audi badge will forgo the legendary quattro system. Still, the German marque has loads of successful BTCC history behind it, and the A4 will undoubtedly be a top contender for the 2015 season.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

2014 Mercedes-Benz A-Class BTCC Race Car High Resolution Exterior
- image 526382

Mercedes will once again make an appearance in the 2015 season with several A-Class entrants. 2014 saw the first Mercedes on a BTCC grid since the 1980s, and it appears as though a comeback is in order.

Honda Civic

2010 Honda Civic BTCC Exterior
- image 353944

No matter where you are in the world, odds are you can see a Civic carving up the racetrack. Britain is no different, as the classic little racer is ubiquitous on the BTCC grid. History was made this year when Gordon Shedden took the checkered flag in his Civic Tourer, the first-ever BTCC victory finish for a wagon.

Press Release

Premium car manufacturer Infiniti, along with Support Our Paras Racing, today revealed the car and team — to be known as ’Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing’ — that will be entered into next season’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car Exterior
- image 572911

The aim of the team is to specifically help raise awareness and funds for Support Our Paras, the official charity of The Parachute Regiment, one of the most iconic Regiments in the British Army.

The team, overseen by Team Principal Derek Palmer, will consist of a number of injured Paratroopers who will work on the cars to prepare them not only for race weekends, but also maintain their maximum efficiency throughout the hectic schedule of a BTCC season.

The team has also set itself the ultimate long-term goal of developing, training and ensuring an injured Paratrooper graduates through the racing ranks to pilot an Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing car in the future.

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
- image 572912

"We’ve set ourselves a number of significant, but achievable targets," Team Principal Palmer stated. "Of course we are aware of the challenges ahead of us, but with the united forces of The Paras and Infiniti, we believe we have the power to deliver results in the BTCC."

The introduction of the new team coincides with the amalgamation of the two main Parachute Regiment charities. At the beginning of next year, the former Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust will merge with the Parachute Regiment Charity, and operate under the new name ‘Support Our Paras’.

Colin Smith, CEO of Afghanistan Trust, and to be Director of Operations for Support Our Paras charity, said: "I know the overall impact will be tremendous now that the team has finally launched. This is something totally different. It’s employing injured Paratroopers and they can eventually make a career out of this; that has never happened before.”

Steve Oliver, Infiniti Regional Director for North Europe, commented: “To have an Infiniti on the starting grid in the BTCC next year will be an exciting event on its own, but to have the car represent the Parachute Regiment’s main charity makes it exceptionally worthwhile. Infiniti is establishing itself as a main player in the premium sector in the UK, with sales on the increase, a new design Centre in Paddington London and from next year we will manufacture the first Infiniti for Europe outside of Japan from the plant based in Sunderland. These race cars reinforce our commitment to the UK and provide an ideal platform to link together two truly British establishments, The Parachute Regiment and the BTCC.”

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
- image 572913

The two NGTC Infiniti Q50 race cars will be driven by Richard Hawken (Walton-on-Thames) — who has won three championships at club level and tested for Speedworks in 2013 — and Derek Palmer Jnr (Lanark/Zurich). Both drivers have raced successfully in Super Touring Cars in recent years.

"I’m extremely proud to be associated with the Parachute Regiment, honoured to work with, and be associated with, the guys and to be part of the team entering the BTCC," said Palmer, who has race experience in Dutch Touring Cars, Historic Touring Cars, as well as FIA GT, British GT and European GT Championships. "Infiniti’s aspirations perfectly align with those of the team.”

Hawken too is delighted to be making the step into Britain’s biggest and most high-profile motorsport championship, the BTCC — which consists of ten race meetings at the UK’s leading circuits, and 30 races — with Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing.

"To have Infiniti support us in the BTCC is a dream come true," he admitted. "To know that I am doing something special, to raise the profile and awareness of the Support Our Paras Charity, is quite simply an honour and a privilege. These guys put their neck on the line for us every day in their normal duties. When they do get injured we should all collectively do what we can by way of a personal thank you and contribute to the charity, which helps to give them as normal-a-life as possible."

The new team, which has the non-financial, full backing of The Parachute Regiment, will ensure that much-needed funds are raised for the welfare and benevolence of injured Paras and their families.

2015 Infiniti Q50 NGTC Race Car
- image 572914

Fundraising for the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom has dropped down 30-40% in the last two years because of the drawdown in Afghanistan. But the problem doesn’t go away. The Parachute Regiment lost 26 soldiers during the campaign in Afghanistan, with more than 130 others wounded. The charity also looks after the families of the wounded and those who have lost their loved ones.

All profits generated by the Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Team will be donated to the ‘Support Our Paras’ charity.

The team will be operating out of a newly-refurbished HQ at Mallory Park. The Leicestershire race circuit started life as Royal Air Force Station Kirkby Mallory, a standby landing ground during WWII before closing in 1947.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s, Series Director, Alan Gow, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome a new manufacturer to the BTCC and particularly a premium brand such as Infiniti. There’s a great initiative behind the team too, with the ‘Support Our Paras’ charity being such a worthwhile cause. The record-breaking 2014 BTCC season concluded in fine style at Brands Hatch last weekend and the interest in the series continues to grow year-on-year.” He continued, “these entries from Infiniti are further testament to that and we look forward to welcoming the team to Britain’s best championship in 2015.”

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