The Cheshire countryside plays host to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend at the picturesque Oulton Park circuit.
The 2017 season is now well into its stride, with each of the previous three weekends throwing up first class and highly entertaining racing. Producing seven different winners from nine races and also six different manufacturers gracing the podium so far this season.
Thruxton also proved to be a historic venue for triple champion Matt Neal, as he marked a major milestone in his colourful BTCC career, matching touring car legend Andy Rouse’s tally of 60 victories in the championship.
A record-breaking crowd last time out at Thruxton was treated to some more bumper-to-bumper action. Tom Ingram extended his championship lead as Honda’s Gordon Shedden and BMW’s Colin Turkington both continued to make themselves known just behind. Ingram will feel confident coming to Oulton, as its essentially Speedworks’ backyard and they will hope to perform in front of a strong local crowd.
“To come away from Thruxton having extended our points lead is incredible,” said Ingram speaking to BTCC.net. “We never expected to do quite so well given the ballast on board but it just goes to show once again what an awesome job Speedworks are doing. It’s hard to believe what we’ve managed to do over the first three events this season – it’s amazing.
The odds will be stacked against us again with the weight we’ve got to carry and the nature of Oulton Park as more of a rear-wheel drive circuit. The price you pay for success in the BTCC is that added ballast, and we have proven so far that the Toyota can carry it fairly well so, a good points score across the board is what we’ve got to look for.”
In the past, the circuit has favoured BMW with the 125i M Sport winning four races in five years, which is only one short of the ‘Oulton Kings’ Honda. So we expect to see the usual suspect of Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan in the mix, with the latter looking to bounce back from another tough weekend at Thruxton.
Oulton Park is a firm fan’s favourite on the BTCC calendar and always attracts huge crowds to its spectator bankings, this weekend should be no different and with a number of drivers looking to impress, we should be in for another breathtaking weekend.
Another local man is in-form Adam Morgan in the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes. Adam has been a multiple visitor to the podium this year and both the team and driver will be aiming to consolidate their title challenges in both the overall standings and the independents.
So come Sunday night, will we have a new championship leader or will the young guns continue to take the fight to the big boys? Whatever happens, we’ll be watching and it should be as exciting as ever.
Race One: 12:17
Race Two: 14:52
Race Three: 17:02