The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reaches the half-way point of the 2018 season this weekend (June 23/24) at Croft Circuit, with Team BMW’s Colin Turkington leading the charge as the series heads to North Yorkshire.
Marking its 60th Anniversary this year, the BTCC has once again hit new heights with the usual mix of wheel-to-wheel thrills being produced and nine different drivers picking up race wins along the way.
Celebrating 50 years since first hosting a BTCC event also, Croft has become a popular fixture on the calendar and one that is favourite amongst drivers and spectators alike.
Nobody undoubtedly has a greater love for the North Yorkshire-based venue than series leader Turkington, who enters the weekend with a 12-point advantage. Well-suited to rear-wheel-drive cars, Croft has become a happy hunting ground for the West Surrey Racing driver down the years.
Scoring 12 wins, 19 podiums, five pole positions and eight fastest laps, Turkington has earned himself the moniker of being called the ‘King of Croft’ and many expect him to be on top form once again. Winning last time out at Oulton Park, the Northern Irishman could well add to his impressive strike rate, despite carrying 75kgs of success ballast into qualifying and race one.
Hot on the heels of the BMW driver are a quartet of young guns, all of which are leading the fight against the established guard. Adam Morgan and Jack Goff sit tied on points in second place whilst two-time race winners Tom Ingram and Josh Cook are also in the mix.
Matt Neal, a winner at Thruxton, sits on the fringe of the top five and should go well in the Honda Civic Type R, as will Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard. Both sit behind the wheel of a BMW 1-Series and both will be highly confident of scoring big around a circuit which has delivered success for WSR in the past.
Tom Chilton edged closer to a taking his maiden Motorbase Performance race win at Oulton Park, bagging two podium finishes and he too will have his tail in the air.
Four of the 32 drivers on the BTCC grid are proud Yorkshiremen and each would count themselves as potential race winners heading into next weekend as they look to leave their mark in front of their home crowd.
Daniel Cammish, Sam Tordoff, Senna Proctor and Daniel Lloyd have all at some stage underlined their credentials in the BTCC and all four will be keen to sign off the first half of their campaigns with silverware in front of what is expected to be a bumper turnout of fans.
Matt Simpson scored a popular breakthrough pole position and race win in Cheshire a few weeks ago and the Type R racer will be eyeing further success too.
One team that will be looking for a change in fortunes is Adrian Flux Subaru Racing. Enduring performance issues that have hampered their chances of fighting towards the front, the trio of reigning champion Ashley Sutton, Jason Plato and Josh Price will all be hoping to take a step in the right direction at a circuit that has treated them well in recent seasons.
With rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship marking the half-way point of the season, expect to see everyone fighting to head into the annual summer break on a high.
Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, priced at £15 for Saturday, £30 for Sunday and £38 for the full weekend. Children 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult whilst gates open at 08:00 both days.