BTCC ready to blast back into life in front of bumper Oulton Park crowd

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship blasts back into action at Oulton Park this weekend (July 31/August 1) and the annual visit to Cheshire will mark a major milestone as the series’ first sizeable attendance flock trackside.

Coming off the back of a five-week summer break, Britain’s premier motorsport series is set to return to its brilliant best as it welcomes an unrestricted number of spectators through the gates for the first time since the 2019 season finale at Brands Hatch.

Whilst spectators soaked up the action in June in restricted numbers, this weekend’s fourth event of the campaign will undoubtedly be special for a variety of reasons.

Those attending will have plenty to be excited about too with the ultra-competitive battle for supremacy at the summit of the standings set to continue around the tight and twisting Island layout.

Reigning champion Ashley Sutton currently edges proceedings as he aims to clinch a third crown. The Laser Tools Racing driver has been one of the categories leading lights so far with two wins and points in every race being the backbone of his charge.

Trailing Sutton by three points is Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com ace Tom Ingram. Making the switch to Hyundai has proven to be an inspired move for Ingram who has chalked up two wins and he has a wave of momentum on his side currently.

Josh Cook is another double winner, doing so at the Thruxton season-opener, and he arrives at Oulton sitting third in the points ahead of four-time champion Colin Turkington and the hugely impressive Jake Hill.

Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant enjoyed a dream weekend last time out at Brands Hatch, netting his first win of the year, and he will be keen for more success as he bids to make home advantage count in his rear-wheel-drive machine.

Another driver to have impressed so far has been the Daniel Rowbottom in the Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic Type R. Powering to a first pole and podium last month, Rowbottom has emerged as serial front-runner and will be eager to net a maiden win.

Jason Plato, Jack Goff and Rory Butcher round out the top ten in the points and having enjoyed varying top results, they will all be eyeing another visit to the podium.

Other notable drivers to look out for across Rounds 10, 11 & 12 include Brands Hatch winner Adam Morgan, triple champion Gordon Shedden, Aiden Moffat, Daniel Lloyd and Stephen Jelley – amongst a number of others.

To find out more information on this weekend’s event at Oulton Park, including links to live timing and the timetable, CLICK HERE.

Coverage for this weekend will see Saturday qualifying aired on www.itv.com/btcc at 15:00 before Sunday’s race day broadcast will be on ITV4 from 11:50.

BTCC Hybrid adds vital mileage to test and development programme

Preparations for the introduction of the British Touring Car Championship’s Hybrid era continued last week as the Cosworth-TOCA Hybrid Toyota Corolla took part in the two-day Goodyear tyre test at Oulton Park.

Clocking significant mileage around the Cheshire circuit with former champion Andrew Jordan behind the wheel, the car ran with the new-for-2022 TOCA engine which has been produced by M-Sport.

Running alongside a majority of the grid competing in this years championship, Jordan completed 118 laps and more than 263 miles as he worked through a methodical test and development programme.

Significantly, all major hybrid components in the test car (such as the hybrid motor, battery and electronics) are exactly the same as those in the car when it first ran in July 2020, with no component failures or maintenance needed.

“We’ve already done a number of other days in the car at Anglesey, but it’s important to come here so we can see performance-wise, the level that it’s at, and also to get miles on it,” said Hybrid Development Driver Jordan.

“It needs to be reliable for when the championship goes to Hybrid power next year, so we’ve done a lot more laps than anyone else purely with that reliability in mind. Minor things come up, mainly software-tweaking, as they always will during the development process, and we’re working through them as we’re going.

“I’m really happy to be involved with it all. Yesterday I felt a bit behind the car, I haven’t driven it around here before, but today I feel much more on it. I’m trying to give feedback where I can, but I’m enjoying it.”

Neal Bateman, Cosworth Electrics Head of Support, added: “These two days have been part of the final stages of our validation process and it’s also the first time we’ve properly run in the public eye. We’ve been able to complete a great number of laps, weather permitting – which has presented its own challenges!

“Both yesterday and today, we’ve completed lots of deployment of the hybrid electronics utilising different strategies – including the pit lane strategy of running electric to the end and then the engine starting and driving out, which has been excellent. So we’re very happy with the miles we’ve got from the test. It’s all building towards the excitement of running it next year.”

Testing is set to continue throughout the remainder of 2021 before the full introduction of hybrid power next year.

BTCC announces 2022 calendar

The British Touring Car Championship has today (June 30) officially announced its calendar for the 2022 season.

Comprising of 30 races across ten events at eight of the UK’s top circuits, the 2022 campaign is set to be significant one for Britain’s premier motorsport series as Hybrid technology is fully introduced.

Donington Park plays host to the season-opener in late April before visits to Brands Hatch Indy, Thruxton, Oulton Park and Croft occupy dates during May and June before the annual summer break.

The annual visit north of the border to Knockhill will kick off the second half of the season before the series then travels to Snetterton. A second visit to Thruxton follows that before the penultimate weekend at Silverstone in late September and the finale on the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in early October.

In addition to the all-important race dates, the BTCC is also planning to host three official pre-season test days at various venues to allow as much time as practical for teams to carry out Hybrid testing.

BTCC Chief Executive, Alan Gow, said: “I’m pleased to confirm our calendar for the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship. As the biggest series in the UK, it is vital that our schedule is issued so early, to allow the rest of British motorsport to plan their respective calendars.”

British Touring Car Championship – 2022 Calendar

Rounds 1/2/3 – Donington Park (National) – April 23/24

Rounds 4/5/6 – Brands Hatch (Indy) – May 14/15

Rounds 7/8/9 – Thruxton – May 28/29

Rounds 10/11/12 – Oulton Park (Island) – June 11/12

Rounds 13/14/15 – Croft – June 25/26

Rounds 16/17/18 – Knockhill – July 30/31

Rounds 19/20/21 – Snetterton (300) – August 13/14

Rounds 22/23/24 – Thruxton – August 27/28

Rounds 25/26/27 – Silverstone (National) – September 24/25

Rounds 28/29/30 – Brands Hatch (Grand Prix) – October 8/9

Tom Oliphant, Tom Ingram & Adam Morgan score BTCC wins at Brands Hatch

Tom Oliphant, Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan scored a win apiece at Brands Hatch this past weekend (June 26/27) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship served up a feast of entertainment across Rounds 7, 8 & 9 of the 2021 campaign.

Despite not winning, Laser Tools Racing’s Ashley Sutton cemented his position at the top of the standings as he netted a trio of top eight finishes – one of which was a podium – to move three points clear at the summit.

In front of thousands of spectators, the 1.2-mile Indy circuit played host to the usual thrills and spills that have come to be expected whenever Britain’s premier motorsport series descends on the Kent venue.

Qualifying on Saturday proved to be ultra-competitive as 28 of the 29 drivers lapped the tight and twisty track within a second of each other. Come the end of a frenetic session, Dan Rowbottom edged out his Halfords Racing with Cataclean team-mate Gordon Shedden to score his first pole position in the series.

Rowbottom wouldn’t be able to convert his front row start into victory however as Team BMW’s Oliphant stormed to his second career victory. Making a sensational getaway from fourth as the lights went out, Oliphant swept into the lead as the field streamed into the first corner and then made his escape.

Building a commanding lead of more than four seconds at one stage, the West Surrey Racing driver came under late pressure from the charging Shedden but he held on to score a well-deserved victory.

After bogging down off the line and dropping down the order, Rowbottom produced a spirited fightback to claim his first-ever podium finish in the BTCC.

Oliphant came to within a lap of scoring back-to-back victories in race two before the Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com Hyundai of Tom Ingram made a last-lap lunge to underline their title credentials with a second win of the season.

Ladened with 75kgs of success ballast, Oliphant valiantly led 26 of the 27 laps as he withstood race-long attacks from a number of drivers. However, heading onto the final lap, Ingram made a bold move down the inside of Paddock Hill Bend and following slight contact, completed the pass at Druids.

Reigning champion Sutton then got the run on Oliphant as they exited Clark Curve and went side-by-side with him on the drag to the line, pipping the BMW to second by just 0.038s.

Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport’s Morgan then claimed an empathic lights-to-flag victory in the reverse grid contest. Starting from pole position, the Lancastrian didn’t put a wheel wrong as he guided his new BMW 330i M Sport to the top step of the rostrum for the first time this season.

Behind, Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct’s Jack Goff secured a maiden podium for the all-new Cupra whilst Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat finished third after a back-and-forth battle with Jason Plato in the final few laps.

At the end of a battling weekend, Sutton leads Ingram by three points in both the BTCC Drivers’ Championship and BTCC Independent Drivers’ Championship.

Laser Tools Racing hold the advantage in the BTCC Teams’ category, with Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com heading the Independent Teams’ standings.

BMW remain on top of the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship whilst Rowbottom has extended his advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.

The BTCC now enjoys a five-week break before returning to action at Oulton Park on July 31/August 1.

To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Brands Hatch, CLICK HERE.

BTCC battle speeds into Brands Hatch

With two events in the books, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship speeds into Brands Hatch this weekend (June 26/27) where the battle for supremacy at the summit of the standings is only set to intensify.

Coming off the back of a scorching weekend at Snetterton where spectators made their long-awaited return, Britain’s premier motorsport series now heads to the Kent venue with three blockbuster races set to take centre stage.

Last time out saw Colin Turkington, Ashley Sutton and Tom Ingram all reach the top step of the podium and in doing so, they elevated themselves into the top three spots of the overall points.

A second win of the season last time out for reigning champion Sutton sees him hold the early advantage, however it is a slender one of just two points ahead of Ingram whilst Turkington sits a further three markers back.

Bidding to clinch back-to-back titles, Laser Tools Racing ace Sutton has shown ominous pace at times already this year and despite carrying maximum ballast into the third event of the season, he will be one to watch – as will Ingram and Turkington.

Despite the BTCC’s big guns coming to the fore at the Norfolk venue, the chasing pack is still very much within striking distance with BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill – the stars of the Thruxton opener – leading the way in fourth and fifth.

Both Rory Butcher and Stephen Jelley enjoyed strong showings at Snetterton and they have positioned themselves firmly inside the top ten too. Carrying less ballast than those above them and having each enjoyed success at Brands Hatch in the past, both will be worth keeping an eye on.

Former champions Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden have endured mixed fortunes so far this season, although both have tallied a rostrum finish. Keen to get their respective championship challenges firmly on track around the famous Indy circuit, the experienced duo could will be aiming high.

Elsewhere, the likes of Ollie Jackson, Jack Goff, Dan Rowbottom, Tom Oliphant and Adam Morgan are just a handful of drivers that will be eyeing big results – having all made their mark at some stage already.

Like Snetterton, Brands Hatch will welcome a 4,000-strong trackside crowd whilst up above in the skies, the Goodyear Blimp will take flight in the UK for the first time in nearly a decade to provide aerial shots.

To find out more information on this weekend’s BTCC event at Brands Hatch, including links to live timing and the timetable, CLICK HERE.

As always, fans can watch all of the action throughout the weekend with qualifying getting underway at 15:05 via www.itv.com/btcc on Saturday before Sunday race day commences at 11:00 on ITV3.

Colin Turkington, Ashley Sutton & Tom Ingram share BTCC spoils at Snetterton scorcher

Colin Turkington, Ashley Sutton and Tom Ingram claimed a win apiece in front of returning spectators at Snetterton this past weekend (June 12/13) to move into the top three places of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship standings.

Welcoming back its loyal fanbase for the first time in more than a year, Britain’s premier motorsport series produced three thrilling contests in scorching temperatures, with defending champion Sutton moving to the summit of the points come the end of race day.

Basking in the bright sunshine, qualifying on Saturday served up plenty of drama as the Top Ten Showdown format made the first of three appearances scheduled for this season.

With a marginally reduced window to record their lap times, the top ten fastest competitors at the end of the 25-minute session were rewarded with the opportunity to clinch their final position on the grid during a ten-minute pole position showdown.

At the end of a frenetic battle, Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden looked to have secured top spot after a sensational last-gasp lap in his Honda Civic Type R. However, following post-session scrutineering checks the Scotsman was disqualified due to a technical infringement, meaning Team BMW’s Turkington inherited pole position.

Race one would prove to be a relatively tame affair as Turkington converted his front row start into a commanding lights-to-flag victory. Opting to run the option soft tyre, the Northern Irishman withstood early pressure from the rapid Ingram before pulling clear to open his account for the new season.

Behind, Ingram enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run to secure second whilst Rory Butcher ran unchallenged in third place to net his first podium for Toyota Gazoo Racing UK.

After finishing a lowly 11th in the opening bout, Sutton came to the fore in race two as he sliced his way up the order to claim victory. Free of success ballast and with the soft tyre bolted on, the reigning champion made pass after pass before hitting the front in the latter stages.

In what has now become a familiar sight, Sutton’s charge from outside the top ten completed a turnaround which had seen him undergone an engine change after qualifying.

Turkington’s strong day around the 2.97-mile circuit continued as he bagged second place whilst the MB Motorsport with Blue Square Ford Focus of Ollie Jackson rounded out the podium, having made up a number of places at the start.

The third and final race at Snetterton saw a small piece of BTCC history made as Tom Ingram scored the first-ever win for a Hyundai in the championship.

In what was only his sixth race for new team Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com, the fan favourite muscled his way past pole-sitter Stephen Jelley shortly after mid-distance before pulling clear of the chasing pack.

Despite carrying 75kgs of success ballast, Sutton fought his way into second place at the halfway stage too and then produced a masterful defensive drive to fend of the charging Shedden, who claimed his first podium since returning to the series.

Further down the field, other notable performances included a pair of top ten finishes for Jack Goff, a charging drive for Josh Cook in race three and a maiden point for Jade Edwards – making her the first female driver in the championship to score a point since Fiona Leggate in 2006.

With the dust having settled on a frenetic second event of the season, Sutton leads the way by two points over Ingram, with Turkington a further three markers behind.

BMW have scaled to to the top of the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ leaderboard whilst Laser Tools Racing heads the Teams’ category.

Ingram and Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com are top of the table in both Independents’ Championships. Dan Rowbottom meanwhile picked up his first piece of silverware of the year having triumphed in the Jack Sears Trophy.

To view the full classification of results from Snetterton, CLICK HERE.

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns to action in two weeks’ time (June 26/27) at Brands Hatch.

BTCC ready to blast back into action at Snetterton

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will continue its 2021 season at Snetterton this coming weekend (June 12/13) with spectators set to make a welcome return trackside for the first time in more than 18 months.

Running behind closed doors throughout 2020 and for last month’s curtain-raiser at Thruxton, Britain’s premier motorsport series is preparing for the return of its loyal fanbase over the coming weeks and months, as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

Attendance levels at the Norfolk venue will be capped at 4,000 spectators per day, and those heading trackside – as well as the many more watching live on ITV4 – are set for a blockbuster trio of races.

Heading into the second event of the season sitting atop of the standings is MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill. The Ford Focus driver was one of the stars of the show at Thruxton five weeks ago as he claimed a hat-trick of podium finishes and he will be keen to extend his advantage over the course of the weekend.

One point behind Hill is Josh Cook, another driver that starred at Thruxton. Cook kicked off his championship challenge in style around his local circuit with two wins and three fastest laps to put himself within striking distance of top spot. 

After a year away from the series, Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato showed that he has lost none of his speed as he scored a podium of his own at Thruxton, vaulting him up to third in points as the series rolls into Snetterton.

Not far behind him is reigning champion Ashley Sutton, winner of the Thruxton reverse grid encounter. Sutton was in the thick of the action, producing two monumental comeback drives before finally standing on the top step of the podium to sit ten points off the summit.

Dan Cammish rounds out the top five in the standings however his one-off return to the BTCC was exactly that, and he has since been replaced by Senna Proctor at BTC Racing for the remainder of the season.

Tom Ingram, Daniel Rowbottom, Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant and Jack Goff occupy the remaining spots inside the top ten at the moment, having all experienced varying degrees of success in Hampshire last time out.

Beyond that are a number of drivers who will be hoping for better fortune at Snetterton, including former champion Gordon Shedden and his brother-in-law Rory Butcher. Both have been tipped for title challenges this year and will be gunning for glory as they bid to ignite their seasons.

Other notable names to look out for over the course of the weekend include Adam Morgan, Stephen Jelley, Daniel Lloyd, Aiden Moffat and Aron Taylor-Smith, to name but a few.

The weekend will also see two female BTCC drivers on the grid for the first time since 2001. Jade Edwards will be joined by Jessica Hawkins, who is stepping in for Andy Neate at Motorbase Performance for one event. Hawkins is no stranger to the series having made her touring car bow at Snetterton last year in a Vauxhall Astra.

One change to the weekend format will see the return of the exciting Qualifying Top Ten Showdown. The top ten fastest competitors at the end of the 25-minute session, will be rewarded with the opportunity to clinch first on the grid during a ten-minute pole position showdown.

Lap times will be reset ahead of the showdown as all ten cars head out on-track and complete an unlimited number of laps during the ten minutes.

To find out more information on this weekend’s second BTCC meeting of the season, including links to live timing and the timetable, CLICK HERE.

Best of BARC Audio: May 2021

The British Automobile Racing Club’s season is now in full swing and in conjunction with our audio partners Cre8media, we’ve been speaking to key personnel within the Club and our championships.

Check out some of the best interviews from the past month below:-

Ben Taylor – BARC Chief Executive: With the 2021 season finally underway, we catch up with BARC Chief Executive Ben Taylor to find out about the experience of the past year, getting things underway this year and what we can look forward to as the season goes on.

Pat Blakeney – Thruxton Operations Manager: Thruxton Circuit kicked off its 2021 season behind closed doors with the BTCC so we caught up with Operations Manager Pat Blakeney to chat about the event, the prospect of spectators returning and what there is to look forward to this year at the high-speed Hampshire venue.

Phil Davies – Pembrey Circuit Manager: Following the announcement that race meetings at Pembrey in June have been cancelled due to restrictions imposed by the Welsh Government we speak to Circuit Manager Phil Davies to dig deeper into the situation there.

Jim Baynam – Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship: The MGOC is up and running for another season and after kicking things off at Mallory Park we caught up with Jim Baynam – a stalwart of the series – to discuss how the year is shaping up.

James Bailey – Sports Prototype Cup: After a delayed start, the Sports Prototype Cup roared into life at Silverstone recently and it proved to be an overwhelming success. Continuing to grow in stature, find out more about the prototype series and what is coming up later in the year (Spoiler alert: An F1 support race appearance is on the horizon).

Jason Plato – Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing: At the BTCC season-opener last month Jason Plato reached a special milestone in his career as he made his 600th start in Britain’s premier motorsport series.

To listen to more interviews from the BARC, head to https://www.barcaudio.net.

Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton share BTCC spoils at Thruxton thriller

Josh Cook and Ashley Sutton claimed victory at Thruxton this past weekend (May 8/9) as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship lifted the curtain on its 2021 season in blockbuster fashion.

In what proved to be a pulsating day of action around the high-speed Hampshire venue, Britain’s premier Motorsport series took centre stage with a trio of action-packed encounters that undoubtedly had fans on the edge of their seats watching at home.

BTC Racing’s Cook powered his Honda Civic Type R to a brace of race wins before reigning champion Sutton came to the fore in race three, winning an exciting wet-dry-wet contest. However, three podiums from three races means that Jake Hill left the 2.36-mile circuit at the summit of the championship standings.

Coming off the back of a exciting wet-dry qualifying on Saturday which saw Laser Tools Racing’s Sutton power to pole position in the final moments, drama ensued immediately as the lights went out on the new campaign on Sunday with a number of lead contenders in strife.

After launching off the line and into the lead, Sutton was tipped into a spin by the BMW of Colin Turkington at the Complex and dropped to the rear of the field. Further back, Gordon Shedden and Chris Smiley had come together around one of the fastest parts of the circuit and hit the barriers, whilst there was also to be a spin for Tom Oliphant on the run up Woodham Hill.

When the dust had settled, Cook found himself in the pound seat and after soaking up early pressure from Tom Ingram, he managed to pull clear to claim victory. Hill withstood race-long pressure from Turkington to round out the podium, whilst Sutton managed to recover to ninth having been as low as 27th at one stage.

Race two saw would see Cook double his tally for the day as he led a BTC Racing 1-2 with Dan Cammish following in second and the ever-impressive MB Motorsport Ford Focus of Hill completing the rostrum once again.

The start of the race saw a scary accident which involved Andy Neate, Glynn Geddie and Jade Edwards as the field streamed through Allard. All three cars made heavy contact with the Team HARD. Cupra of Geddie being sent into a roll. Thankfully all drivers walked away unharmed however a red flag halted proceedings.

At the restart, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher lost control of his Corolla and hit the tyre stack at Noble bringing out the safety car. When the race finally settled down it was Cook that controlled proceedings as he hustled his ballast ladened Civic Type R to a second win of the day.

Race three finally saw Sutton taste victory after completing two comeback drives earlier in the day. In what was a frenetic wet-dry-wet bout, the double champion made the most of the challenging conditions to claim a deserved win.

Hill was arguably one of the stars of the show as he scored his third podium of the day whilst scrambling on slick tyres. It would have been second had it not been for Jason Plato pipping him on the run to the flag.

Leaving Thruxton, Hill holds a slender one point advantage over Cook in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship. Motorbase Performance/Ford head the way in the BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Champiionship whilst BTC Racing and Cook lead the way in the Teams’ and Independent Drivers’ categories.

Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing control the Independent Teams’ standings, with Sam Osborne the early pace-setter in the Jack Sears Trophy.

To view the full classification of results from this past weekend’s BTCC opener, CLICK HERE.

BTCC ready to blast into life at Thruxton

After months of driver announcements and many miles of pre-season testing, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship finally roars back into life this weekend (May 8/9) around the fastest circuit in UK, Thruxton, and the stage is set for what promises to be another sensational season.

Boasting a 29-car entry list made up of proven contenders, young challengers and returning champions, the battle for supremacy in Britain’s premier motorsport series is shaping up to be a mouth-watering affair over the course of ten rounds and 30 races.

Kicking the season off at Thruxton for the first time since 2010, current government guidelines means that the event will take place behind closed doors but all is not lost as fans will be able to witness the BTCC in action around the Hampshire venue when the series makes its second visit in late August.

Headlining this year’s stellar line-up is reigning champion Ashley Sutton. Coming off the back of a mesmerising 2020 campaign with Laser Tools Racing, the now double champion is back behind the wheel of the Infiniti Q50 once again with his sights set on clinching a third championship – and you’d be hard-pressed to bet against him.

Whilst Sutton enters the year with the coveted number one adorning the side of his rear-wheel-drive machine, competition for his crown is set to come from all angles.

Team BMW’s Colin Turkington narrowly missed out on clinching a record-breaking fifth title last year and the Northern Irishman will be hungry to make it happen this year. Elsewhere, former champions Jason Plato and Gordon Shedden are back on the grid and aiming high as they represent Power Maxed Car Care Racing and Halfords Racing with Cataclean respectively.

Other notable contenders that will be keen to make their mark include Rory Butcher, who spearheads Toyota Gazoo Racing’s expanded programme and Tom Ingram, who is now behind the wheel of a Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com Hyundai i30N.

Throw into the mix race winners such as Dan Cammish (for one weekend only), Josh Cook, Tom Oliphant, Stephen Jelley, Adam Morgan, Tom Chilton, Jake Hill, Jack Goff, Aron Taylor-Smith, Daniel Lloyd, Ollie Jackson and Aiden Moffat and you begin to see why the battle for the big prize is wide open.

Other notable names to look out for over the course of the weekend and the season include the Honda duo of Dan Rowbottom and Jade Edwards, as well as former British GT champion Rick Parfitt Jnr.

With three races set to play out around the ultra-fast 2.36-mile track, it will be a case of don’t blink or you’ll miss the action as the BTCC kicks off what will undoubtedly be another vintage year.

To find out more information on this weekend’s BTCC opener, including the official entry list and timetable, CLICK HERE.

Check out the official Digital Programme for the event HERE.

You can watch all the action live on ITV4 from 10:50 on Sunday, with qualifying broadcast on itv.com/btcc on Saturday.

Best of BARC Audio: April 2021

The 2021 motorsport is up and running for the British Automobile Racing Club and with our audio partners Cre8media, we’re determined to bring you the latest news and reports from all of our championships.

Check out some of the best interviews from the past month below:-

John Leck – CNC Heads Sports/Saloons Car Championship: Oulton Park provided the backdrop for the opening round of the CNC Heads Sports/saloons Car Championship and the multi-class category delivered plenty of enthralling entertainment. John provides a round-up of the action as well as the latest stories from the popular series.

Robin Welsh – C1 Racing Club: It’s the dawn of a new era at the C1 Racing Club as Robin Welsh takes to the helm of the single-make series. Speaking about what his new role entails, Robin also provided a preview to the upcoming 24-hour race, which is scheduled to take place at Silverstone on May 28/29/30.

Alan Gow – Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship: The BTCC lifted the curtain on its 2021 season at their official launch at Silverstone recently and Chief Executive Alan Gow has spoken ahead of the first event, which takes place at Thruxton on May 8/9.

Claire Hedley – Britcar Endurance Championship: The Britcar Endurance Championship kicked off its 2021 season at Silverstone on April 24/25 with bumper grids for both its Endurance and Trophy classes. Championship Coordinator Claire Hedley spoke to us about what proved to be a meeting to remember and much more.

Stuart Caie – Classic Touring Car Racing Club: The Classic Touring Car Racing Club was another to feature at Silverstone in late April and it didn’t disappoint. Boasting one of the biggest entry lists in its illustrious history, the CTCRC took centre stage at the Home of British Motor Racing and Stuart Caie recaps a memorable weekend.

Jon Winter – Carbon8 Hyundai Coupe Cup with Toyo Tires: At Cadwell Park, the Carbon8 Hyundai Coupe Cup with Toyo Tires began a brand new season of tin top thrills and spills. Series organiser Jon Winter talks us through the opener and what fans can expect for the rest of the year.

To listen to more interview from the BARC, head to https://barcaudio.net/

BTCC officially lifts the curtain on 2021 season at Silverstone

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship is primed and ready for another memorable year after officially launching its 2021 season at Silverstone today (April 22), announcing a capacity 29-car entry list.

After an unprecedented yet entertaining 2020 campaign, which ended with Ashley Sutton clinching the Drivers’ crown for a second time, Britain’s premier motorsport series is set to return with a bumper grid and to its traditional ten round, 30-race format.

Kicking the season off behind closed doors at Thruxton next month, the series will then head to Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Knockhill before making a second visit to Thruxton. Visits to Croft, Silverstone and Donington Park will follow before the traditional finale at back at Brands Hatch in late October.

Donning the mantel of defending champion and running the famed number one on his Infiniti Q50, Sutton sticks with Laser Tools Racing for the new season as he bids to retain his titles in both the overall championship and Independents’. Aiden Moffat and Carl Boardley will partner Sutton at the rear-wheel-drive squad.

West Surrey Racing and Team BMW proved to be the closest challengers to Sutton last year and the reigning Teams’ & Manufacturer champions have swelled to three cars once again with Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant and Stephen Jelley tasked with piloting the 330i M Sport to glory.

It is an all-new line-up at Halfords Racing with Cataclean however with Dan Cammish returning to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Matt Neal taking a step back from driving duties. Whilst one three-time champion steps back, another returns in the shape of Gordon Shedden as the Scotsman rejoins Team Dynamics to partner Daniel Rowbottom.

Another driver to make a popular return to this grid after a year on the sidelines is Jason Plato. Electing to sit out 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the double champion is back at Power Maxed Car Care Racing in the Vauxhall Astra and gunning to tally his 100th victory in the series. Daniel Lloyd, a race-winner in the BTCC, gets a full-time drive to partner Plato.

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK steps up its BTCC programme this year as it expands to two cars. Rory Butcher fills the void left by Tom Ingram in the Speedworks Motorsport-run Corolla and he is joined by Sam Smelt, who last competed in the series in 2018.

Ingram’s departure from Toyota sparked a frenzy during the off-season and the former Independents’ champion has found a new home at Excelr8 Trade Price Cars. Armed with the Hyundai i30N, Ingram has his tail in the air and is hungry for success. He’s joined at the four-strong squad by Chris Smiley, Jack Butel and former British GT champion Rick Parfitt Jnr.

Elsewhere, Ciceley Motorsport have acquired the services of Tom Chilton to partner Adam Morgan and they have parted ways with the Mercedes Benz A-Class. In its place are a pair of West Surrey Racing-built BMW 330i M Sport’s and hopes are high for the Car Gods-backed outfit.

BTC Racing are another to have high hopes for the season ahead and with good reason as Josh Cook has remained with the team to drive their Honda Civic Type R. Michael Crees, Jack sears Trophy champion last year, has also inked a new deal to stay whilst Jade Edwards will get a full-season after debuting at Silverstone in 2020.

Motorbase Performance and MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square are another two teams to have joined forces over the winter to field a quartet of Ford Focus’, and they will run as Manufacturer/Construtors entrants. Sam Osborne and Andy Neate will run out of the Motorbase side of the garage whilst Jake Hill and Ollie Jackson will do the same for MB Motorsport.

Rounding off this years grid is Team HARD. Racing, which is bringing four brand-new Cupra Leon’s to the grid. In what has been a busy few months for the Tony Gilham’s team, there is plenty of excitement about what can be achieved. Jack Goff, Aron Taylor-Smith, Glynn Geddie and Nicolas Hamilton will take on driving duties.

2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Entry List

Car No.

Driver

Team

Car

Team/Driver Status

1

Ashley Sutton

Laser Tools Racing

Infiniti Q50

Independent

2

Colin Turkington

Team BMW

BMW 330i M Sport

Manufacturer

3

Tom Chilton

Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport

BMW 330i M Sport

Independent

4

Sam Osborne

Racing with Wera & Photon Group

Ford Focus ST

Manufacturer/Constructor/JST

6

Rory Butcher

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK

Toyota Corolla

Manufacturer

11

Jason Plato

Power Maxed Car Care Racing

Vauxhall Astra

Independent

12

Stephen Jelley

Team BMW

BMW 330i M Sport

Manufacturer

15

Tom Oliphant

Team BMW

BMW 330i M Sport

Manufacturer

16

Aiden Moffat

Laser Tools Racing

Infiniti Q50

Independent

22

Chris Smiley

Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com

Hyundai i30N

Independent

23

Sam Smelt

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK

Toyota Corolla

Manufacturer/JST

24

Jake Hill

MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square

Ford Focus ST

Manufacturer/Constructor

28

Nicolas Hamilton

ROKIT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading

Cupra Leon

Independent/JST

31

Jack Goff

Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct

Cupra Leon

Independent

32

Daniel Rowbottom

Halfords Racing with Cataclean

Honda Civic Type R

Independent/JST

33

Adam Morgan

Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport

BMW 330i M Sport

Independent

40

Aron Taylor-Smith

Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions

Cupra Leon

Independent

41

Carl Boardley

Laser Tools Racing

Infiniti Q50

Independent/JST

44

Andy Neate

Racing with Wera & Photon Group

Ford Focus ST

Manufacturer/Constructor/JST

48

Ollie Jackson

MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square

Ford Focus ST

Manufacturer/Constructor

52

Gordon Shedden

Halfords Racing with Cataclean

Honda Civic Type R

Independent

62

Rick Parfitt Jnr

EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com

Hyundai i30N

Independent/JST

66

Josh Cook

BTC Racing

Honda Civic Type R

Independent

80

Tom Ingram

Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com

Hyundai i30N

Independent

88

Glynn Geddie

Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct

Cupra Leon

Independent/JST

96

Jack Butel

EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com

Hyundai i30N

Independent/JST

99

Jade Edwards

PHSC with BTC Racing

Honda Civic Type R

Independent/JST

123

Daniel Lloyd

Power Maxed Car Care Racing

Vauxhall Astra

Independent

777

Michael Crees

BTC Racing

Honda Civic Type R

Independent

The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship is scheduled to begin on May 8/9 at Thruxton Circuit. Due to current government guidelines, this event will take place behind closed doors and without spectators.