Bigger BTCC prize confirmed for milestone Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres will mark what will be a milestone season with an even bigger prize package for the 2019 campaign.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, the popular 5/8 scale series will continue its partnership with race-winning British Touring Car Championship outfit HMS Racing.

A ‘touring car experience’ will be awarded to at least 10 drivers come the end of the 2019 season, in-keeping with the revised qualifying format as of past seasons.

The top ten drivers in the overall points at the end of the penultimate event, staged at Pembrey, will be invited onto the specially arranged day. Should the lead rookie driver at that point of the season sit outside of the top ten, he/she will also be part of the prize.

Alongside high-speed passenger laps in the squad’s stunning Alfa Romeo with multiple BTCC race winner Rob Austin, the Legends Cars drivers will also get to see behind-the-scenes with HMS to understand the inner workings of a top touring car team, with hospitality also included.

Phil Cooper, Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner, said: “We’re delighted to begin our 25th anniversary year with this fantastic announcement here at the Autosport International Show.

“The partnership with HMS Racing is one we value immensely and to be able to offer 10, potentially 11, of our drivers the chance to experience a day with the team is tremendous.

“It will provide a wonderful opportunity for a much bigger number of Legends Cars competitors to see behind the scenes with HMS, and to also experience the full capability of the team’s incredible Alfa Romeo with Rob Austin at the wheel – he’s not bad in a touring car, so I hear…! Obviously, we’re incredibly grateful to Simon Belcher for his continued support.”

HMS Racing Team Principal Belcher added: “We’re very excited to be providing this touring car experience day to more drivers than ever before, particularly in Legends’ 25th anniversary year.

“Having the opportunity to sit alongside Rob [Austin] for some full-on hot laps, and then experiencing a full day with the team to see the inner workings of what we do, is a great opportunity and one hopefully everyone will enjoy.”

BTCC organisers reveal 30 car entry list for 2019 season

Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Series Organisers TOCA have revealed that an entry of 30 cars has been confirmed for the 2019 season.

Following the entry approval deadline, the maximum number of TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs) held by teams have all been confirmed to have been entered for the forthcoming campaign.

Each team must hold a TBL for each car entered, with there being 30 TBLs controlled by teams in total and two further licences retained by TOCA for its own use.

In keeping with the aim reducing the size of the BTCC grid, TOCA have confirmed they will not be allocating its two TBLs to additional entrants, despite receiving serious applications from no fewer than three new teams wishing to participate in 2019.

Amongst the regular outfits, Excelr8 Motorsport will join the BTCC ranks for next year having firmed up their plans to take on the running of the two MG’s.

HMS Racing, the Independent squad responsible for bringing the Alfa Romeo name back to the series in 2018, has announced that it will take a year out. Motorbase Performance have subsequently taken on the running of their TBL to remain a three-car outfit.

Teams will announce driver line-ups and details of their cars and sponsorship agreements for 2019 over the coming weeks, prior to the release of the finalised entry list, set to be distributed by TOCA in March.

Confirmed entries for the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship:

Aiden Moffat Racing – 1

AMD / Cobra Exhausts – 2

AMD / Trade Price Cars – 2

BTC Racing – 2

Ciceley Motorsport – 2

Excelr8 Motorsport – 2

Motorbase Performance – 3

Power Maxed Racing – 2

Simpson Racing – 1

Speedworks Motorsport – 1

Team BMR – 2

Team Dynamics – 2

Team HARD – 4

Team Parker Racing – 1

West Surrey Racing – 3

Kwik Fit announced as new BTCC title sponsor

TOCA has confirmed that the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, Kwik Fit, is to become the title sponsor of the British Touring Car Championship for the 2019 season.

Goodyear Dunlop will remain as the sole tyre supplier to the BTCC under its current contract until at least 2022 however the championship will now be known as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

In what is a collaborative effort between TOCA, Goodyear Dunlop and Kwik Fit, the introduction of a new title sponsor is aimed towards introducing the BTCC to more fans across the UK.

Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kwik Fit into the fold of the BTCC. This will undoubtedly enable us to introduce the BTCC to hundreds of thousands more motorists across the UK.

“It also gives Kwik Fit the ideal opportunity to further increase their brand awareness via the UK’s largest motorsport championship.”

Andy Lane, Marketing Director at Kwik Fit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming the title sponsor of the championship. It is a fantastic competition with a strong heritage which will significantly add to our marketing activities.

“We are very excited about connecting with the fans and teams during the season ahead as well as helping raise the profile of the championship with our customers across the country.”

Andy Marfleet, Goodyear Dunlop Marketing Director, concluded: “We have been supplying motorists with Goodyear and Dunlop tyres through the Kwik Fit network for decades and we are delighted to continue our connection as they take on the sponsorship of this fantastic championship.

“We will continue to be tyre supplier and an integral supporter of the BTCC; our association with TOCA has run continuously since 2003 and is stronger than ever before.”

2019 BTCC tickets for Thruxton and Croft now on sale

Tickets for the Thruxton and Croft rounds of the 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship are now on sale, with discounted prices confirmed in the run up to Christmas.

With the festive period rapidly approaching, BTCC tickets at British Automobile Racing Club circuits are set to be the perfect present for the petrolhead in your life.

Coming off the back of a pulsating and successful 2018 season, Britain’s premier race series will once again travel the length and breadth of the country, with an expected capacity entry list battling it out across 30 races.

Thruxton, the fastest circuit in the UK, will stage two stops on calendar in 2019 having picked up a round following the demise of Rockingham. The additional date means Thruxton will now stage two rounds of the championship in a single season for the first time since 2007.

The BTCC will first visit the high-speed Hampshire venue on May 18/19 before returning later in the year as the title race gathers momentum during the second half of the season on August 17/18.

Croft meanwhile has an earlier spot on the calendar for next year as it plays host to the fourth event of the 2019 campaign, taking place on June 15/16.

Thruxton – May 18/19 2019

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Croft – June 15/16 2019

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Thruxton – August 17/18 2019 

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BTCC rule changes ratified for 2019 season

British Touring Car Championship organisers TOCA have ratified a number of minor amendments to its regulations following an end-of-season consultation with the championship’s teams.

Following on from a record-breaking 60th Anniversary season that saw Colin Turkington crowned champion for a third time, the series is set to scale new heights in 2019 under the same ten-event, 30-race format.

In addition to the revised changes (listed below) it has also been decided that the introduction of hybrid power – initially outlined for introduction from the 2022 season – may be brought forward to 2021 if all key parameters relating to the supply, engineering, costs, performance and testing of the hybrid units can be achieved in good time for an earlier launch.

One of the biggest changes to be implemented will be to success ballast, which has been reduced due to the incredibly closely matched performance of the current cars.

For 2019, the maximum amount of success ballast will see the championship leader or race winner gaining 54 kilograms of additional weight and the increments thereafter being adjusted downwards slights.

Success ballast for next year in the top ten is as follows: 54kgs – 48kgs – 42kgs – 36kgs – 30kgs – 24kgs – 18kgs – 12kgs -6kgs – 6kgs.

As has been the case in recent years, some on-track driving offences will continue to receive ‘reprimands’ and in 2019 three reprimands will now constitute a ‘strike’.

Strikes will continued to be automatically applied for more serious offences, an example being if a driver is found to be wholly to blame in an incident that causes another driver to be unable to finish the race. In this case the recipient of the Strike will also receive the additional  penalty of a minimum 20 seconds added to their race time.

Having been introduced last year, the strike system will remain as it is with a third strike resulting in a driver being demoted to the back of the grid, a fourth resulting in a race ban and so on. A reprimand or strike will continue to remain recorded against a driver for 12 months.

Qualifying will see a tweak too with drivers causing a red flag losing their fastest lap time to that point and taking no further part in the session.

Option tyres will continue to be selected prior to Saturday’s qualifying session with teams still limited to how many times they can run a certain compound in a race.

Brands Hatch Indy, Oulton Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP will see drivers run the ‘soft’ tyre as an option, Donington Park and Croft the ‘hard’ tyre and Knockhill the ‘medium’ compound (with the ‘soft’ tyre being the standard tyre). Snetterton meanwhile will run each compound once.

All six races that are staged at Thruxton next year will see all drivers run the ‘hard’ tyre.

Finally, following an extensive testing programme an entirely new wet tyre will be introduced for the 2019 season by Dunlop.

All regulation changes will take effect from the opening round of the 2019 campaign which takes place at Brands Hatch Indy on April 6/7.

BTCC sets new record north of the border

On what was a dramatic weekend of racing at Knockhill, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship hit new heights as it set a new record for the number of different race winners in a single season – with six races still left to run.

In treacherous conditions around the undulating Fife circuit, BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton became the 13th and 14th victors of the 2018 campaign, surpassing the previous record of 13 which was set in 2017.

Off the back of that record high last year, Britain’s much loved tin-top championship ensured that it wrote another chapter in its illustrious history as it continues to celebrate its 60th Anniversary.

Boasting one of the strongest line-up’s in recent memory with five former champions and 17 race-winners headlining the class of 2018, this season was one that had the makings of being a marquee campaign – such was the level of competition.

The record-breaking run of race winners began at the season-opener as Jack Goff converted pole position into victory at a sodden Brands Hatch for WIX Racing with Eurotech.

Senna Proctor came to the fore in round two at the Kent circuit in one of the races of the season as he, like a handful of drivers around him, gambled on slick tyres to scythe his way from 27th on the grid to take a maiden victory for Power Maxed TAG Racing.

Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram made it three different winners from three races on the opening weekend of the season as he piloted his Toyota Avensis to the chequered flag after overhauling Rob Austin late on.

Onto Donington Park and there was to be another new winner, also from the Power Maxed TAG Racing stable. After storming to pole position on the Saturday, Josh Cook became the fourth winner of the year as he dominated proceeding’s in his Vauxhall Astra.

Later that day the MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes Benz A-Class of Adam Morgan would be back in the winners circle as he fended off Cook in the reverse grid encounter.

Matt Neal was to be next to stand on the top step of the podium as he showed his class to emerge victorious around the fastest circuit in the country, Thruxton, replicating the feat he had achieved 12 months earlier.

Oulton Park would serve up three different winners as the series moved north, the first being Matt Simpson who claimed a popular breakthrough triumph at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R. Team BMW would make their mark on the remainder of the day as Colin Turkington and then Rob Collard tallied a win apiece.

Croft marked the halfway point in the season with two more drivers adding their names to the ever-growing list of race winners. Reigning champion Ashley Sutton ignited his title defence with back-to-back wins before BTC Norlin Racing and Daniel Lloyd became BTCC victors for the first time in race three.

The second BTC Norlin Honda Civic Type R of Chris Smiley would become the 12th different winner of the season as the series closed out racing at Rockingham, producing a measured drive in round 24.

With heavy rain falling throughout race day and a bumper Scottish crowd in attendance, the BTCC re-wrote the history books at Knockhill this past weekend (August 25/26) as Joran firstly inherited victory in race two to tie the 2017 record before Chilton’s triumph later surpassed it.

As records continue to tumble in the BTCC, the number of different race winners for this season could yet still rise with events at Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP still to be played out.

Next on the calendar for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is Silverstone, which will host the penultimate event of the season on September 15/16.

Heading into rounds 25, 26 and 27, Turkington sits atop of the Drivers’ standings holding a 43-point advantage over Ingram, who remains his nearest challenger.

Silverstone spoils shared as BTCC title battle goes down to the wire

The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will go down to the wire at Brands Hatch in two weeks time following an action-packed penultimate event of the season at Silverstone this past weekend (September 15/16).

Sam Tordoff, Tom Ingram and Aiden Moffat shared the spoils to score victory however it was Colin Turkington that left the Northamptonshire venue leading the standings, despite his advantage being slashed to 34 points.

Qualifying proved to be a frenetic affair around the 1.64 mile circuit with track space proving to be critical. As the clock ticked to zero, Tordoff emerged as the man to beat as he set a blistering time of 58.480 to score his and Motorbase Performance’s first pole position of the year.

Ricky Collard took on a starring role in the session in just his third race meeting, piloting his West Surrey Racing BMW to second place – just 0.018 from pole. Tom Chilton, Jack Goff and Andrew Jordan meanwhile rounded out the top five.

Of the top three in the championship standings heading into the weekend, Colin Turkington was the highest qualifier in 18th, with Ingram 19th and Ashley Sutton 25th.

Having had to endure his own fair share of bad luck throughout the season, Tordoff delivered a near-perfect performance in the opening encounter to score his maiden victory of the season.

After a season of bad luck Tordoff converted his pole position into a first victory of the season. Holding his lead off the line, the former series runner-up led home a Motorbase one-two as Tom Chilton scored second, despite launching a challenge for the lead in the closing stages.

Despite making an early challenge for top spot, Collard dropped to fifth at one stage before clawing his way back to third, ultimately crossing the line to take a popular breakthrough rostrum. Throttle issues scuppered Jordan’s chances of big points whilst Turkington threaded his way to eighth. Sutton meanwhile produced a feisty drive to climb through the order into 11th.

Scoring just a single point in race one and trailing Turkington by 50, many eyes were focused on what Ingram could achieve in round 26. Free of ballast and on the faster tyre compound, the Speedworks Motorsport served up a mesmerising performance as he charged from 14th to score his third victory of the season, and crucially reigniting his title chances.

Vaulting into fifth on the opening tour, Ingram continued his charge and hit the front on lap ten, never to be seen again afterwards. Adam Morgan muscled his way into second whilst Tordoff, after leading early on, relinquished his lead in the ballast-laden Ford Focus RS to round off the podium.

Turkington battled the harder and slower tyre to salvage eighth once again. Reigning champion Sutton meanwhile lured a disastrous race as he failed to make the start due to mechanics still working on the car in the garage as the pit lane opened.

With Aiden Moffat drawn on pole position for the final race of the weekend, the Laser Tools Racing driver became the 16th different victor of the season as he produced a defensive masterclass to score his first win of the year.

In what turned out to be a pulsating 25-lap encounter, Moffat starved off a race-long attack from Ingram, Turkington, Rob Austin, Josh Cook and Chilton to pilot his Mercedes Benz A-Class to the chequered flag.

Pipping Turkington to second place, Ingram closed the points deficit to the 34 points – ensuring he will head to Brands Hatch at the end of the month still in contention to battle for the biggest prize in British motorsport.

One title was wrapped up at Silverstone as Dan Cammish built up an unassailable lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.

For the full classification of results from all sessions over the course of the weekend as well as the championship standings, click here.

The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will draw to a close at Brands Hatch on September 29/30 with all titles set to be decided.

BTCC title race set for further twists and turns at Silverstone

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will continue its journey towards what is set to be an exciting climax to 2018 with a visit to Silverstone this weekend (September 15/16), the penultimate stop on the calendar.

In what has been a record-breaking campaign in the BTCC’s 60th year, with 14 different drivers taking victory, just six races remain to crown a champion in Britain’s premier race series.

Following on from a dramatic triple-header north of the border at Knockhill, the BTCC descends on the 1.64 mile National layout of Silverstone for the latest chapter in what has been another memorable year.

Colin Turkington heads into the weekend sitting pretty at the top of the standings holding a healthy 43-point lead over Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, with reigning champion Ashley Sutton a further seven back.

Despite only having one win to his name, the West Surrey Racing driver has been the epitome of consistency this year and will be a tough man to topple as he hunts after a third drivers’ title.

Both Ingram and Sutton have proven to be the main challengers to Turkington in recent roundsnhowever the pair have ground to make up if they are to stop the BMW driver. Both were excluded from race two at Knockhill and can’t afford to slip up from now until the final chequered flag falls.

With the characteristics of Silverstone likely to further shake up the order between Turkington, Ingram and Sutton, all eyes will on the trio to see who can steal a march before the series descends on Brands Hatch for the 2018 finale.

Beyond the main championship protagonists is 2013 title winner Andrew Jordan, who’s maiden win of the season last time out has vaulted him up to fourth in the standings. The BMW Pirtek Racing driver is not to be counted out from lifting a second championship and is set to be one to watch over the course of the weekend.

Josh Cook, Tom Chilton and Adam Morgan have also taken on starring roles throughout the season whilst the Honda trio of Jack Goff, Matt Neal and Dan Cammish, who round out the top ten, will be keen to leave their mark at the sharp end of the grid over the course of the weekend too.

Having endured a luckless year, Sam Tordoff sits on the cusp of the top ten in 11th and having come close to his first podium of the season on countless occasions, the Ford Focus RS driver will be looking to finally take a maiden rostrum finish.

Elsewhere, the likes of Jason Plato, Brett Smith, James Cole, Rob Austin and Brett Smith are just a handful of drivers that are also drivers to keep a keen eye on around the high-speed straights of Silverstone.

With a total of 67 points up for grabs at the Northamptonshire venue and three races to shape the title picture heading into the final round of the season.

For all of the event information for Silverstone, including an event timetable and links to live timing, click here.

Knockhill awaits for latest chapter of enthralling BTCC title fight

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is set to produce more twists and turns this weekend (August 25/26) as the series makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill for rounds 22, 23 and 24.

With nine races remaining and a total of 201 points up for grabs, the BTCC is set for an exciting climax to its 60th season and the landscape of the title picture could well change at the picturesque Fife venue.

Famed for producing plenty of two-wheeled, close-quarter action around its undulating 1.2 mile layout, Knockhill has traditionally played a pivotal role in the destiny of the championship and is firm favourite with drivers and fans alike.

Colin Turkington arrives in Scotland at the top of the standings however the double champion has found himself in a back-and-forth battle with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in recent rounds. Separated by just four points, the pair traded top spot on countless occasions at Snetterton and Rockingham, with Turkington currently edging out the incumbent Independent champion.

At a circuit which in the past has been well-suited to rear-wheel-drive machinery, the title pendulum could swing further between the pair as they enter the weekend ladened with success ballast.

Having been the epitome of consistency thus far, all eyes will be on the top two to see how their fortunes fair in the latest chapter of what is proving to be an enthralling 2018 campaign.

Hot on the heels of Turkington and Ingram and not to be counted out of contention is reigning champion Ashley Sutton, who sits third in the points. Four wins from the past nine races have ignited the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing drivers title defence and Sutton could propel himself further into the mix at Knockhill.

Were it not for two non-scoring finishes in race three at both Snetterton and Rockingham, Sutton could well be closer to the top two, but instead he has a 32-point deficit to make up.

Jack Goff and Matt Neal both endured tough weekends at Rockingham and the Honda duo will be keen to get back amongst the front runners to bring themselves the title fight further.

Adam Morgan’s third victory of the season in his Mercedes Benz A-Class last time out has brought him into play in sixth as he sits level on points with Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton. The Ford Focus RS driver has scored a handful of podiums however that first win is yet to fall his way.

Josh Cook, Andrew Jordan and Senna Proctor round out the top ten in the championship standings, and like those above them, will need a big points scoring performance to ensure they come further into play.

Dan Cammish, Sam Tordoff, Jason Plato and Rockingham race-winner Chris Smiley will all be ones to watch over the course of the weekend too.

Local fans will have a trio of stars to cheer on too in the shape of Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat and the AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing duo of Glynn Geddie and Rory Butcher, the latter whose father in in charge at the venue.

With 12 different drivers having topped the podium this season and the championship battle entering a crucial stage of the year, this weekend’s triple-header at Knockhill is set to be an unmissable event.

Qualifying for the eighth meeting of the year is scheduled to begin at 15:25 on Saturday whilst Sunday’s three races will begin at 11:50, 14:25 and 17:20.

BTCC signs off from Rockingham in style with memorable weekend

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship signed off its time at Rockingham with a memorable weekend (August 11/12) with Adam Morgan, Ashley Sutton and Chris Smiley shared the spoils.

Following the announcement earlier in the year that the Corby venue would not be part of the 2019 calendar, the series’ latest visit added yet another plot twist in what is turning out to be an intriguing title battle.

Qualifying on Saturday proved to be a frenetic affair as a host of drivers all held provisional pole position at some stage during the 30-minute session. As the clocked ticked to zero however it was the MAC Tool with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes of Morgan who scored his maiden pole in the series, setting a blistering time of 1:22.835.

Joining Morgan on the front row was the series’ top qualifier Sam Tordoff, whilst Dan Cammish, Mike Bushell, Daniel Lloyd and Chris Smiley rounded out the top six as the chequered flag fell to mark the end of the session.

Morgan converted his pole position in a comfortable lights-to-flag victory in the Rockingham opener; meanwhile behind there were plenty of major moments. The first came on the run down to the Deene hairpin as Cammish spun Tordoff, causing a chain affect that involved Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan, Ollie Jackson, Daniel Lloyd, Chris Smiley, Tom Oliphant and Sam Smelt.

Tordoff’s race was ended on the spot but Cammish continued, however his mirrors were filled by reigning champion Sutton following a brief safety car period. With Tom Chilton having rocketed into second, Cammish conceded third shortly after racing resumed but stayed on the back of the Subaru Levorg.

Catching the Ford Focus RS of Chilton, Sutton produced his latest spectacular move at the Tarzan hairpin – sending the Motorbase driver a dummy before diving down the inside of him. From there the positions remained as they were with Morgan scoring his third win of the season and Sutton and Chilton bringing themselves further into title contention with podiums.

Tom Ingram and Colin Turkington, the top two in the standings heading into race one, had been locked in an almighty battle towards the back of the top ten. Holding an advantage over the Team BMW driver, Ingram looked on course to extend his points lead until a throttle issue struck on the final lap, causing him to slow and ultimately cross the line in P24.

A heavy rain shower in-between races one and two added further spice to the action with many drivers questioning what tyres to go for, all of them in the end opting for slicks.

Launching off the outside of the front row, Sutton took the lead as the lights went out and was never troubled from then on. Despite having to manage two safety car periods, the Adrian Flux-backed driver controlled the race to notch his fourth victory of the season and bring himself firmly into title contention.

Behind Sutton, race one winner Morgan enjoyed a quiet race as he managed 75kgs of success ballast to second place. It was to be the battle for third that would captivate everyone however as Ingram produced another scintillating performance to charge scythe through the field and collect more silverware.

Just as he did at Snetterton, the Speedworks Motorsport driver started P27 and over the course of the next 18 laps he picked his way through the field, ultimately deposing Senna Proctor of third to reclaim his championship lead toward the end. Proctor finished fourth whilst Turkington was the footer of the top five.

BTC Norlin Racing’s Smiley became the latest driver to enter the winners circle in the reverse grid encounter, producing a perfect drive to become the 12th different victor of the year. Starting fifth, the Northern Irishman survived an early scare in mixed conditions on the opening tour to jump into the lead. From there he was never headed and powered his way to a popular win, joining his team-mate Dan Lloyd who won at Croft.

Behind, Turkington used all of his experience to get the better of Matt Simpson on the final lap to steal second, the Honda driver settling for third having pipped a charging Tordoff and Ingram for it on the line.

In the wake of Rockingham’s three high-octane races, Turkington returns to the summit of the standings although just four points separate himself and Ingram. Sutton remains in contention albeit 32 points further back.

BMW and Team BMW continue to lead the BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Championship and BTCC Teams Championship respectively whilst Ingram and Speedworks are doing the same in both Independent categories. Smiley’s breakthrough win draws him closer in the Jack Sears Trophy standings although he continues to trail Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish.

Tom Ingram leads BTCC battle into Rockingham as title fight gets set to intensify

The fight to decide the destiny of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is set to further intensify this weekend (August 11/12) as the series heads to Rockingham for rounds 19, 20 and 21.

Following on from a weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Snetterton last time out, the annual visit to the Corby-based circuit will likely play a pivotal role as drivers battle to stamp their authority heading into the title run-in.

Since the BTCC’s first visit in 2003, Rockingham has continued to deliver a feast of entertainment on its partial-oval 1.94-mile layout. Whilst this weekend marks the seventh stop on the BTCC calendar, it is also set to be the last for at least one year after it was announced that Rockingham would not be part of the 2019 BTCC schedule.

Leading the way to Northamptonshire is Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram who is six points clear of double-champion Colin Turkington. Ingram produced a stellar performance at Snetterton last time out, salvaging his race day with a storming driver from P27 to third in the second encounter, before adding another podium in the Diamond Double.

With two wins to his name and momentum on his side, Ingram has shown no signs of wavering at the moment and his hunt for a maiden BTCC title could well pick up steam at a venue that holds fond memories for himself and the team.

Turkington’s consistency has been second to none this year and the Team BMW driver will be focused on recapturing the points lead he lost last time out.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal currently sits in third and he emerged as the big winner from Snetterton as he closed the gap to summit with victory in the double points race at the Norfolk venue.

Jack Goff, another winner from Snetterton, trails Neal by a single point – meaning the top four are covered by a mere 17 points and that it is all to play for as the title battle heats up.

Beyond the top five sit a host of drivers that are all also on the fringe of the championship battle and one good result away from throwing themselves into further contention. BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan has yet to win but has been in the mix at each event and will be keen to repeat his winning performances of Rockingham from one year ago.

Defending champion Ashley Sutton has the most victories this season, three, but no points in the Diamond Double saw him lose crucial ground in the title race. Tom Chilton, Adam Morgan and Sam Tordoff round out the championship top ten and all three could yet have their say on the title fight too.

Whilst the likes of Daniel Lloyd, Dan Cammish, Senna Proctor, Brett Smith and Jason Plato, amongst others, have all also starred this year and will be focused on adding further strong results.

The BTCC will see three new faces join the fray this weekend too as Ricky Collard replaces father Rob Collard at Team BMW, Glynn Geddie returns to fill the vacant MG seat at AMD Tuning and Ollie Pidgley completes Team HARD’s Volskwagen driver line-up.

With a total of 11 different race winners already and a title race seemingly wide open, the BTCC is for another ultra-competitive weekend as Rockingham signs off.

Hybrid power set to be introduced into the BTCC

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has confirmed that hybrid power will be introduced to the series within the evolution of the current technical regulations at the end of 2021.

Currently the hugely successful NGTC regulations are into the second half of its ten-year term. At a recent BTCC Technical Working Group (TWG) recently, a pathway for the introduction go hybrid energy was agreed.

Confirmed at the TWG was that a specified hybrid unit would be fitted to all cars as an addition to their current drive train.

The addition of this part will allow each car to have a reserve supplementary hybrid power available during each race. which drivers can use as part of their overall race strategy.

Detailed engineering aspects of the project are set to commence in close conjunction with the TWG, with technical decisions to made over the coming 12-18 months.

It is possible that some current cars will be fitted with hybrid units during 2020/2021 as part of the project’s test and development programme.

BTCC Series Director, Alan Gow, said: “We’re going through a very important and exciting time for this great championship, so I’m delighted to now confirm that the BTCC will be introducing hybrid energy as part of our evolution.

“This concept was very welcomed at our recent TWG meeting and now the real work begins as to the technical implementation. But different to hybrid development within the likes of Formula 1, this certainly shouldn’t – and won’t – be an ‘extreme’ technical exercise, but rather will be one which we will introduce within our NGTC technical regulations relatively seamlessly and very cost-effectively.

“Just as importantly, by incorporating hybrid it keeps the BTCC absolutely relevant to manufacturers, sponsors and the public… with the added benefit of further enhancing our great racing. Drivers will have a given reserve of additional hybrid power to use during each race, which will provide an extra element of race-craft and excitement to the fantastically close and entertaining racing that is the hallmark of the BTCC.”

Further updates will be provided by TOCA during the course of the project.