After a busy summer break the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns to action at Snetterton this weekend (July 28/29) with its 60th Anniversary set to be celebrated in style.
Following on from events at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Silverstone Classic in recent weeks, Britain’s premier race series will continue to mark its milestone year as battle resumes in rounds 16, 17 & 18 at the Norfolk venue.
Marking the kick-off to the second half of the season, race three of the weekend is set to be the headline attraction. As opposed to the traditional reverse grid encounter, race three from Snetterton will be a unique ‘Diamond Double’ to celebrate the BTCC’s diamond jubilee.
Now a 60-mile contest, almost double the length of a traditional race distance at the circuit, and run over 20 laps, a standalone qualifying session will take place on Saturday to decide the starting positions.
In addition, all cars will compete on base weight and they will all also race on the same tyre, the Dunlop Sport Maxx Prime. Most importantly however is that round 18 of the season will see double championship points on offer. With strategy playing a greater role than usual and tyre management being key, the Diamond Double could well play a major role in the outcome of the title battle.
It has been another vintage year in the BTCC so far with the first half of the 2018 campaign underlining how highly competitive the grid and championship is. So far 11 different drivers have scored race victories whilst a further nine have ascended the second and third place spots on the podium.
Leading the standings heading into the weekend is double champion Colin Turkington. Despite only scoring one victory so far, the Team BMW driver has been a front runner consistently and holds a 19-point advantage over Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram.
Ingram is one of several driver heralded as the next wave of BTCC stars and he has been in fine form too, with two victories being the highlight. Three-time champion Matt Neal finds himself in third whilst BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan has real momentum on his side, elevating himself to fourth in the point’s last time out at Croft.
Tom Chilton and Adam Morgan are firmly in the title fight too whilst reigning champion Ashley Sutton can never be discounted. The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver ignited his title defence at Croft with a pair of wins and he will be keen to continue his fine form at Snetterton.
Jack Goff, Josh Cook and Senna Proctor all find themselves inside the top ten too. Goff led the way at the recent Dunlop tyre test held at Snetterton and will be one to watch over the course of the weekend.
Elsewhere, the likes of Croft race winner Daniel Lloyd, Sam Tordoff, Dan Cammish, Rob Collard, Rob Austin and Jason Plato, amongst others, will all be looking to shine too. Familiar faces in the shape of Dan Welch and Ant Whorton-Eales will join the fray too as they replace Jake Hill and Tom Boardman respectively.
With the BTCC celebrating its 60th Anniversary at Snetterton, it is set to be an unforgettable weekend of racing and one that could ultimately prove pivotal come the series finale at Brands Hatch GP.