The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship descends on the home of the British Automobile Racing Club, Thruxton Circuit, for the third event of what is shaping up to be a season to remember this weekend (May 19/20).
Celebrating the BTCC’s 60th anniversary this year, the championship has produced six blockbuster races across Brands Hatch and Donington Park, with somewhat of a changing of the guard taking place as a host of young drivers have come to the fore.
It isn’t just the series that is celebrating a milestone year, Thruxton is too as it marks its 50th year in 2018 too. The beloved circuit is set to open parts of its brand-new, industry-leading £2 million hospitality facility – The Thruxton Centre – ahead of a full official opening on Sunday 3 June amid a weekend of 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Speeding into rounds seven, eight and nine, the drivers’ standings has a distinctly familiar feel to those of last year, with Tom Ingram sitting at the summit. Two wins paired with consistent points finishes has handed the Speedworks Motorsport driver a seven-point advantage and he will be keen to extend that at a circuit where the Toyota Avensis has gone well at in the past.
Leading the chase for Ingram and top spot is Donington Park race winner Adam Morgan. Enjoying a solid start to the year, the Ciceley Motorsport driver has been a force to be reckoned and has a prove package around Thruxton, making him a clear contender.
Josh Cook scored a breakthrough win at Donington Park and the local driver will be keen to add further silverware to his collection. The Power Maxed TAG Racing competitor is one of several emerging talents in the BTCC this year and it is hard to discount any of them.
Jack Goff, race winner in round one, and reigning champion Ashley Sutton have been in the thick of the action and round out the top five whilst Aiden Moffat has impressed with two podiums. Factor in his strong pace at Thruxton and the Scotsman can’t be discounted from podium contention either.
Dan Cammish and Chris Smiley will be ones to watch as well, piloting their respective Honda Civic Type R’s. Both picked up their maiden podium finishes last time out and given the track record of the Honda at Thruxton in the past, both will be confident of what they can achieve.
Duo Motorsport with HMS Racing’s Rob Austin is another home hero for fans to cheer on and he, along with Colin Turkington, round out the top ten.
Beyond that, a whole host of race-winning drivers sit on the fringe of spring boarding themselves into front-running contention. Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal have both thrived around the high-speed layout in the past and will be keen to ignite their championship challengers; as will local man Rob Collard, Jason Plato, Motorbase Performance – to name just a few.
With five different winners from six races and a total of 14 drivers have graced the podium so far, the landscape of the BTCC is as unpredictable as it ever has been and that trait is set to continue around Thruxton’s famed 2.356 mile track.
Tickets for the BTCC’s visit on 19-20 May can be purchased on the gate, priced at £16 for Saturday (qualifying) and £33 for Sunday (race day). Saturday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.