The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns to action this weekend after the summer break as the UK’s premier tin-top series heads to Snetterton for three more action packed races.
Colin Turkington leads the field back into action after securing two race victories last time out at Oulton Park – including his 50th win in the BTCC. Two podium finishes for Andrew Jordan also keeps him in the hunt for his second BTCC Championship – he currently sits second in the driver’s standings, just 33-points behind teammate Turkington.
With Tom Oliphant also securing his best ever points haul last time out, BMW sit top of the Manufactures standings whilst Team BMW sit top of the team’s standings after a near-dominant start to the season for the all new BMW 330i M-Sport cars run by West Surrey Racing.
Out of the 15 races so far this year, Team BMW have won nine races with Jordan picking up five with current Championship leader Turkington taking the flag on four occasions.
In the annual Snetterton tyre test earlier this month, Northern Irishman Turkington finished in the top six in three out of the four sessions and admits that he feels the team are going into Snetterton ‘well-prepared.’
“I feel like we’re going into Snetterton well-prepared,” said Turkington. “The test was great seat time and our first opportunity to really try out some big changes on the new BMW 3 Series, which is something we never have time for at race weekends. It was nice to tick a few boxes, and the chassis handled really well.
“I enjoy Snetterton as a circuit – it’s quite technical with some great corners where the driver can really make a difference, and it isn’t easy to put three good sectors together. I will also start the weekend with quite a heavy car due to success ballast for leading the championship; that’s another factor to consider, but we have a plan…
“The competition always steps up a level over the second half of the year, and I have no doubt that it will be a very hard-fought battle, but I’m fully focussed on getting the maximum out of myself and delivering the best performance I can. We’re not setting any outlandish targets, but what we do need to do is keep scoring consistently well across all three races each weekend. That’s the key in the BTCC.”
Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton set the fastest lap-time overall at the Snetterton test with a time of 1:56.144s – going just over a tenth of a second quicker than Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish.
“To be honest we really gave it some out there,” said Chilton. “We obviously tested different compounds and set-ups, but this was a real chance for us to push forwards with the car. We had a pre-season test in Spain, but the conditions weren’t great there – this is a vital few days in preparation for the rest of the season.”
Cammish is eager to get racing again after securing a double podium at Oulton Park before the summer break and is looking to keep that momentum strong throughout the remainder of the campaign.
“A double podium at Oulton has put me back into the Championship hunt and I’ll be looking to keep that form for the second half of the season,” said Cammish. “I ran well in testing at Snetterton recently, being near the top of the time sheets all day, so I go there with my tail held high and looking to keep adding to my points tally and build on my current position.”
Cammish currently sits sixth in the drivers Championship, 65 points a-drift of Championship leader Turkington.
All three races will be live on ITV4 on Sunday along with all the support action as the second half of the 2019 BTCC season kicks off.
Header image from BTCC
By Jordan Hollands.