BTCC set for party in the park

18 May 17

The action has been coming thick and fast in the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and this weekend (20/21 May) sees the series head north to Oulton Park for the latest thrills and spills - rounds 10, 11 and 12.

In what is traditionally a well-attended event which produces plenty of talking points, there is sure to be a party atmosphere around the circuit and paddock as summer properly kicks off for the BTCC.

As it stands, seven different drivers have won races so far this season, underlining the strength in depth and competitiveness of the championship once again.

Leading the way into Cheshire is Tom Ingram and local team Speedworks Motorsport. Winning races at Brands Hatch and Donington Park, Ingram has been in superlative form behind-the-wheel of his Toyota Avensis.

Extending his points advantage with another scintillating performance at Thruxton, the 23-year-old enters the weekend with a 17-point lead and 75kgs of success ballast.

Hot the heels of Ingram is another driver who enjoyed a stellar weekend at Thruxton, defending champion Gordon Shedden. The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver bounced back from an exclusion at Donington Park to take a double podium and move himself into second. Given the strengths of the Honda Civic Type R, the Scotsman should be as strong as always.

All eyes will arguably be on West Surrey Racing as they look to continue their championship juggernaut. Colin Turkington and Rob Collard took wins last time out with Turkington’s the 100th for BMW in the BTCC.

Down the years the 125i M-Sport has proven to be a potent weapon around the Island configuration taking with eight podiums and four wins being claimed since 2013. Along with Turkington and Collard, 2013 champion Andrew Jordan will also be keen to get his title charge back on track.

Team BMR will also be ones to watch too with their rear-wheel-drive Subaru Levorgs. Warren Scott’s quartet has struggled at times this year with Ashley Sutton shining brightest as Jason Plato, James Cole and Josh Price continue to battle their way towards the points.

This event last year saw the start of their fightback with a maiden pole position and race victory; history could well repeat itself at the weekend.

Eurotech Racing have been consistent front runners with Jack Goff and Jeff Smith showing their pace whilst Matt Neal is chipping his way to the summit, especially after taking a 60th career win at Thruxton.

The Mercedes duo of Aiden Moffat and Adam Morgan have both shown flashes of brilliance alongside Josh Cook and Rob Austin, whilst that first win for Vauxhall and Power Maxed Racing isn’t far away now.

Meanwhile, Motorbase Performance and MG Triple Eight Racing will be keen to recapture the form they had become synonymous for only a few years ago as they look to kickstart their campaigns.

With 32 cars all vying for the top step of the podium, this weekend is set to be another blockbuster event for the BTCC and one that could prove to be pivotal as the series heads to the halfway point.