The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship is set to go down to the wire at Brands Hatch this weekend (October 5/6) with no less than five drivers in contention to lift the most coveted prize in UK motorsport.
In what has been another blockbuster season for the BTCC, a gripping showdown is set to be played out around the legendary Grand Prix layout of the Kent venue across three highly-anticipated encounters.
Having topped the standings for a majority of the season, Team BMW’s Colin Turkington arrives at Brands Hatch in the pound seat holding a 16-point advantage after piecing together another ultra-consistent campaign which has been highlighted by five victories.
Bidding to clinch a record-equalling fourth title and become the first driver since Andy Rouse to win back-to-back crowns in two different cars, the Northern Irishman sits on the fringe of history but will have to be at this best to fend off his rivals.
“The key is going to Brands with a chance, and that’s the position I’m in,” said Turkington. “You only have to watch one race day to see how unpredictable the BTCC is. You scrap as hard for second place as you do for 20th.
“It’s positive that I go with some points tucked away, but we need to be on the case at Brands. It’s the last step and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Sitting a lowly 18th at the end of the opening weekend, Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish has been one of the stars of the show after staging a mesmerising fightback to enter the season finale in second.
Victory at Thruxton has been part of an impressive run which has seen the Yorkshireman claim 11 podiums in 17 races, catapulting him into contention around a circuit where he was a double-winner at last year.
“It’s not a million miles away, 16 points,” said Cammish. “If you’d said that in the middle of the season, I wouldn’t have believed you. The team have been great, I’ve been consistent and we’ve put up a fight. I’ll keep hanging in there and make myself a nuisance.”
One point adrift of Cammish is BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan. Despite non-scoring earlier in the year at Donington Park, the 2013 champion has been in top form – with six wins helping him claw his way back to being firmly in the mix.
“Going to Brands Hatch it is still all to play for,” Jordan said. “When I won the title, I lost 27 points to the guys behind at the final round so it certainly isn’t over, and having stayed right in the mix, I’m going there with one goal. I love the place so it would be fitting to win it there.”
BTC Racing’s Josh Cook has been a force to be reckoned with since the season-opener and despite needing to close a 34-point deficit, the Honda Civic Type R driver remains a very real threat for the title.
He said: “We’ll go to Brands Hatch with a chance of the title, and I wouldn’t want to be one of the three in front of me as it’ll be elbows out as far as I’m concerned. I have nothing to lose, am confident in the team and we’ll see what we can do.”
Tom Ingram is the fifth and final driver to enter the weekend with a mathematical chance of being crowned BTCC champion. Switching the Toyota Corolla aided with manufacturer backing, the Speedworks Motorsport driver heads into the final in contention for the third year in succession.
“Given where we were back at the start of 2019, I’m absolutely made up to be heading to Brands GP still in the reckoning for the third year in a row, especially in a series as ultra-competitive as the BTCC,” Ingram said. “Obviously we’re rank outsiders given the points situation, but it’s never over until it’s over and we will push right to the very end.”
With a total of 67 points on offer across the weekend at Brands Hatch, the battle for supremacy is likely to throw up plenty of thrills and spills; as well as go right down to the wire.
It won’t just be the BTCC Drivers’ Championship that will be settled either as champions will be crowned in the BTCC Teams’, Manufacturer/Constructors’, Independent Drivers, Independent Teams’ Championship’s, and the Jack Sears Trophy as well.
To find out more information on this weekend’s season finale, click here.