Father’s Day this year is set to be extra-special in the north-east of the country, as the UK’s premier motorsport series – the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) – speeds into Croft Circuit for a weekend of high-octane entertainment (June 15/16).
What better way to treat dad than with tickets – still discounted until Monday morning (June 10) – to see 30 of the finest drivers in Britain duelling doorhandle-to-doorhandle around a track that has always proven popular amongst competitors and fans alike?
If the action so far this season is any indicator, spectators are in for a superb weekend’s racing at the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Croft, presented by Tarmac. The circuit – situated just down the road from Darlington in North Yorkshire – invariably delivers thrills ‘n’ spills by the bucketload, and with five different winners and 15 podium-finishers from the opening nine races, unpredictability is very much the name of the game.
Just five points separate the leading four drivers in the standings at this stage, with the top two – defending champion Colin Turkington and Honda rival Rory Butcher – tied at the top of the table.
The former has earned the sobriquet ‘King of Croft’ for his spectacular success in North Yorkshire – racing to 12 wins at the track since 2005 – while for the latter, it is almost a second ‘home circuit’ hailing as he does from Kirkcaldy just north of the border. Both are eager to maintain their early-season momentum next weekend.
“I’m always excited about going to Croft,” enthused Turkington, who is chasing a fourth BTCC drivers crown in 2019. “It’s my favourite circuit on the calendar with a lot of happy memories, and I think we’re in good shape. The track has been resurfaced for this year and we’re bringing the new BMW 3 Series there for the first time so there will obviously be some learning to do, but we know what’s made us fast at Croft in the past so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be strong again.
“The first complex is the place to watch from – that’s where the action is. Actually, Turn One is probably my favourite corner because it’s much faster than you think it should be, so you’ve really got to commit through there. There’s always a lively enthusiastic crowd at Croft, and I definitely feed off that.”
“Croft is just ace – heading up through the Jim Clark Esses into Sunny In and Out is an absolute buzz and a thrill,” echoed Butcherm who broke his BTCC duck in the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser back in April. “It’s also a bit closer to home for me than most track, so we should get some Scottish fans crossing the border to support me.
“We’ve got a new surface there that’s just been re-laid, and whilst the Honda struggled last year on the old track, that should hopefully allow us to be a bit further up the field. All the teams are effectively going to be making a fresh start, so it’s going to be interesting. It’s all to play for…”
It’s not just the headlining BTCC that will thrills the crowds at Croft, with a fast-and-furious feast of support series adding to the appeal. The Formula 1 superstars of the future will go wheel-to-wheel in the F4 British Championship, with the next-generation touring car heroes earning their spurs in the Renault UK Clio Cup. Croft shares its race date with the 87th edition of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, and you may just spot a future winner of the race in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta GT4 Supercup.
Tickets to the BTCC’s only north-eastern event of the year can be purchased in advance priced at just £12 for Saturday entry (BTCC Qualifying), £24 for Sunday (BTCC Race Day) or £35 for the full weekend. Accompanied children aged £12 and under are admitted free of charge, with tickets for 13-to-15-year-olds beginning at £3. Further details can be found at: http://croftcircuit.co.uk/racing/btcc
More information on all of Croft’s driving experiences and racing events can be found at http://croftcircuit.co.uk/