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The V8 category that aimed to rival the BTCC

It was a case of what could have been for Andy Rouse after developing a V8 alternative to the British Touring Car Championship.

Just failing to get off the ground before a promoter sold out of the sport, Rouse alongside long-time sponsor Pete Hall had developed two prototypes as a sample of SCV8.

Rouse is a four-time British Touring Car Championship winner and started multiple Bathurst 1000s as a hired gun, but in the mid-1990s he was out of touring cars due to a loss of manufacturer support. Taking on the two-litre formula first with Toyota, then Ford, Rouse was dropped from the Blue Oval in 1996 and ran semi-works Nissans before a failed attempt to bring Toyota back into touring cars.

SCV8 was developed by Rouse to be a low cost and spectacular category to rival the BTCC.

Instituting common parts such as a spaceframe chassis mated to production bodies of various popular models including the Peugeot 406 and Jaguar X-Type as used by Rouse to develop prototypes.

The initial design was encased in a Peugeot shell featuring a Janspeed-developed Lotus V8, but the latter Jaguar featured a Nicholson McLaren V8 as power was delivered through a Hewland sequential gearbox and six-pot AP brakes at the front, four-pot on the rear.

Then Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson test drove the Jaguar.

As a concept, SCV8 had support from both Peugeot and Jaguar along with other manufacturers were interested in the new formula, but it just failed to get across the line.

“Later on, Pete Hall and I tried to get together an alternative to the BTCC called SCV8,” Rouse told Motorsport Magazine.

“The aim was to provide lots of speed and power and spectator excitement at low cost. The cars would use a common spaceframe chassis, with different road car bodies.

“Our first prototype had a Lotus V8 engine that Janspeed developed for us, under a Peugeot shell, and then we built a Jaguar X-type version. Because the engine, chassis and suspension were all the same, it would have been inexpensive.

“We took it to Nicola Foulston when she was running the Brands Hatch group of circuits, but before it got any further she sold out to Octagon, and that was the end of it.”