BTCC – Brands Hatch Preview

Source: Eric Barnes Photography

Its the weekend we’ve all been so desperately waiting for since the end of last season. The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship circus will be back in full swing this weekend at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.

32 of the UK’s best drivers will once again go head to head for the most coveted crown in British motorsport. As it is the first weekend of the new season, its a case of going into the unknown for most teams as this will be the first time we all see the new cars and drivers at full “racing” pace. No sandbagging here!

As is the case with most BTCC weekends, picking a winner will prove very hard, especially as this looks to be yet again one of the most competitive seasons to date. The main talking point of the year is that the BTCC is celebrating its 60 year anniversary, which will see the cars compete in a “double distance” race at Snetterton, but more on that later in the year.

Going into this weekend, Honda Yuasa Racing set the benchmark at the final pre season test at Brands Hatch last week, meaning all eyes will be on series stalwart Matt Neal and the new kid on the block, Dan Cammish. Cammish is no stranger to being up at the sharp end however, having competed in several single seater and GT categories over the past few years.

Matt Neal. Source: Ian Cutting Photography

Defending champion Ash Sutton will be looking to defend his crown after an impressive 2017. BMR and Subaru themselves will be looking to improve after what was a disappointing year for Jason Plato in particular.

Ash Sutton. Source: Chequered Images

Motorbase look strong with the new RS package for 2018 and new drivers in the shape of Tom Chilton, James Cole and Sam Tordoff. Eurotech Racing look to build on what was a terrific end to 2017, with Jack Goff setting his sights on a title tilt and Brett Smith alongside.

BMW have the unchanged and unflappable line up of Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan and look to yet again be at the front of the pack. Team Hard pose an impressive threat with four hungry drivers in the form of Jake Hill, Mike Bushell, Michael Caine and Bobby Thompson.

Rob Austin will be one to watch out for this weekend as he normally goes well around the Indy circuit here and with a brand new Alfa Romeo as his weapon of choice, he could be a thorn in many of the big boys sides.

Rob Austin. Source Eric Barnes Photography

As for the rest of the chasing pack, you really couldn’t call it and with 32 cars being on the same piece of tarmac on one of the shortest laps of the year, it’ll be more a case of who makes it out on the other side come Sunday.

Race Weekend Timetable:

FP1: 09:30
FP2: 12:05
Q: 15:15

R1: 11:35
R2: 14:25
R3: 17:15