The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill this weekend (12/13 August), with defending champion Gordon Shedden looking to draw on home support as he heads the pack in the overall standings.
One of the standout stops on the calendar for drivers and fans alike due to its short, scenic and undulating characteristics, Knockhill is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary of hosting the BTCC with another blockbuster three races.
Producing a three-round recovery drive at Snetterton which culminated with a third win of the season little over a week ago, Shedden arrives at his home event with a two-point advantage.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver has once again shown his class in 2017 with a string of breathtaking displays to go alongside his meticulous consistency.
Hot on Shedden’s heels however are the Team BMW pairing of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard, who have been continuing their points push in recent rounds. Double champion Turkington saw a certain win slip through his fingers last time out but bounced back to score a brace of rostrum finishes, all aiding him in his pursuit of Shedden.
For Collard, 2017 has arguably been his best season in the BTCC with consistency being added to his arsenal. Despite taking just one win, the Hampshire-based racer has visited the podium at least once at every event - an impressive run he will be keen to continue in Scotland.
One man that many will be wary of is Ashley Sutton, the juggernaut from Team BMR. A double win at Snetterton has brought the Subaru driver right into the championship fold by placing him fourth in the standings, 11 points behind Shedden.
With rear-wheel-drive cars likely to be a force to be reckoned with around the 1.27 mile circuit, expect the likes of BMW and Subaru to be at the sharp end of the grid.
Outside of the top four, a host of race winners will be looking to close the gap to those in front of them. Tom Ingram, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan have all tasted success this season but have also been on the end of bad luck too.
Factor in Rob Austin’s impressive form, Jason Plato’s fight towards the front, Mat Jackson’s Independents charge and Adam Morgan’s pursuit of some good luck and you begin to understand why the BTCC is one of the toughest championship’s to call.
Scottish fans won’t just have Shedden to cheer on either with a trio of drivers counting the seventh weekend of the season as their home event.
Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat will be looking to return to the fore at the sight of his first podium in the series, whilst Dave Newsham, who lived in Inverness for a number of years, tops the Dunlop ForeverForward standings at the moment.
Rory Butcher, former British GT driver and brother-in-law to Shedden, will make his BTCC debut at the circuit at which his father runs with Motorbase Performance. Butcher fills in for Luke Davenport for the remainder of the season with many people itching to see what he can achieve.
With three high-octane races around one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar, Knockhill is the perfect place to tee up the run-in to the title.