The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will speed into Donington Park this weekend (April 27/28) for the second event of the 2019 season, and the battle for supremacy at the summit is set to only intensify.
An ultra-competitive opening weekend at Brands Hatch showed that the BTCC is set to be as fierce as ever this year with Josh Cook, Andrew Jordan and Rory Butcher scoring a win apiece, with a total of eight drivers scaling the rostrum across the three races.
With the early-season formbook making for intriguing reading, the annual trip to Leicestershire will be a pivotal one as the leading contenders bid to assert themselves towards the standings summit.
BTC Racing’s Cook arrives in Leicestershire leading the way after his Brands Hatch victory and the 1.95 mile track holds happy memories for the Honda driver after clinching a maiden BTCC pole position and victory there last year.
Ladened with maximum ballast, the Civic Type R driver will be in fighting form as he aims to extend his slender points advantage. Tom Chilton and Stephen Jelley each took on starring roles at round one, and the pair will be eyeing more silverware in a big to close the gap to Cook.
Off the back of claiming a maiden BTCC victory for both himself and the team, AMD Tuning’s Butcher is another driver to keep an eye on, with the Honda Civic Type R proving to be a potent weapon down the years under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.
Adam Morgan and Jake Hill were podium finishers at Brands Hatch and both shouldn’t be discounted from adding to their silverware hauls too. Hot on the heels of them are a trio of former champions in the shape of Ashley Sutton, Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal.
Sutton stormed to pole position at the season-opener whilst local man Jordan delivered a mesmerising drive to give the new BMW 3-Series victory on its competitive debut. Elsewhere, it has been 20 years since three-time champion Neal wrote his name into the history books by becoming the first Independent to win a race, and the Honda man will be keen to roll back the years and top the podium once more during the weekend.
Tom Ingram rounds out the top ten as it stands and the Toyota Corolla driver will be looking to feed off of the local support he’ll as 4,500 supporters, comprised of members and their families from Toyota Manufacturing UK, will attend Donington Park to cheer on the reigning Independents champion.
Beyond the top ten, current title holder Colin Turkington will be looking to bounce back from a challenging opening round, with the Vauxhall duo of Jason Plato and Rob Collard will be looking to do the same.
Aiden Moffat, Chris Smiley and Jack Goff, amongst many more contenders, have enjoyed varied success down the years too and will be worth keeping an eye on as the weekend progresses.
Rounds 4, 5 & 6 of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be available to watch on ITV4 this Sunday with build-up beginning at 10:40.
For more information on this weekend’s event such as the official entry list and timetable, click here.