Onyx squad born out of the ashes of Arena for 2014 WTCC bid

Onyx Race Engineering, a name known for its Formula 1 team in the 1980s, has been resurrected by former owner Mike Earle, who recently ran the Arena Motorsport team until its closure in January 2013, and will field cars in the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship season built to the new regulations.

The team has been known to have been working on a programme for the 2014 WTCC season behind the scenes for some time, and have been talking with a number of drivers and independent teams as potential customers for their new TC1 spec car, which they’ve announced today and will run in addition to the Lada, Citroëns, Chevrolets and Hondas set to be on the grid this year.

The team’s resurrection is in association with Arlington Industries Group, and will operate out of the Littlehampton base from where Arena operated up until their closure.

All of Arena’s assets were sold to Rotek Racing by owners Capsicum Motorsport Group last year, who also own the Carlin Motorsport team, and have subsequently been sold on to China with Rotek changing their focus to a British Touring Car Championship programme for 2014.

“This association with Arlington Industries Group is exciting, there are many synergies in the goals that our core businesses seek to achieve over the next five years,” said Onyx CEO Mike Earle.

“This is a unique opportunity to assemble such a strong automotive group with the common intention of success in the finest touring car championship in the world.”

The team has not yet confirmed which model of car they intend to compete with in the 2014 season. The team’s former incarnation ran Ford Focuses in the BTCC between 2009 and 2011, and then in the WTCC in 2012, with engine partner Mountune developing the engines for them from mid-2009.

Onyx becomes the second confirmed independent supplier of new cars for the 2014 season after RML, which will build Chevrolet Cruzes for privateer teams.