The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship reaches it’s climax this weekend, with a multitude of titles set to be decided as the series makes its second annual visit to the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
Historically, the finale should take place on the longer Grand Prix lay-out, but due to it being much later in the year and with the days now much shorter, the decision was taken to swap the two fixtures around in this highly competitive and condensed season.
That means we will be racing on the much shorter Indy lay-out this weekend, which I’m sure will throw up the same sort of spectacle as that of the Grand Prix circuit.
Reigning Champion Colin Turkington leads title challengers into this weekend’s action, as he bids to become the most successful driver in the history of the British Touring Car Championship. The four-time champion is level on title wins, only with Andy Rouse and could surpass him this weekend should he leave Brands Hatch with the title.
There are four other drivers standing in the Northern Irishman’s way however, all of whom would also love to walk away with the 2020 crown.
Laser Tools Racing Ashley Sutton is just nine points behind the Team BMW driver whilst Dan Cammish is a further 16 behind as he looks to right the wrongs of last year’s dramatic season finale.
Tom Ingram is a further nine points behind the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver in what has been another fantastic season for the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters squad. Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher sits right on the cusp of still being in contention, sitting 63 points behind Turkington with 67 points still on offer this weekend.
Butcher also sits right on the fringes in the Independent Drivers Championship as he sits 60 points behind current leader Sutton, with a maximum of 60 on offer throughout the weekend.
The Jack Sears Trophy is also set to be decided this weekend with the top-five separated by just 39 points with a maximum of 60 on offer over the course of Sunday’s three races.
BTC Racing’s Michael Crees leads the contenders into the weekend’s action, with Team HARD’s Carl Boardley just 11 behind.
Trade Price Cars Racing’s Bobby Thompson will miss this weekend’s action as he is still suffering from the ill-effects of his dramatic roll-over at Croft a little over a month ago. He sits 12 points behind Boardley with MB Motorsport’s Sam Osborne just a further two behind him.
Jack Butel is the last contender as he sits 14 points adrift of Osborne in what has been a consistent debut season for Jersey-based driver, having been a late edition to the Ciceley Motorsport squad replacing Daniel Rowbottom.
As well as the individual honours, team honours are also up for grabs with BMW going up against Honda in the battle for the Manufacturers. Just 48 points separate the two outfits going into the race weekend.
A win could see BMW becoming the first Manufacturer to win five Manufacturers titles in the series.
It’s a similar story in the Teams Championship table too with Team BMW leading the way from Halfords Yuasa Racing by 67 points as they bid to make it five Teams’ titles in the space of seven years.
Team Principal Dick Bennetts admitted that anything can happen in the BTCC but hopes the teams’ past experiences will benefit them this weekend as they aim to take the treble.
“It’s the sixth time in seven years that we’ve come to the final round in with a shout of at least one of the main BTCC titles,” said Bennetts. “I think that shows the strength of our team at WSR and of the BMWs that we’ve run in that time.
“We’ve left no stone unturned in preparing for Brands Hatch and the experience we’ve had of being involved in title fights will hopefully help us in this regard. As we’ve seen plenty of times, anything can happen in the BTCC when you have so many good drivers in the title hunt and we’ve won some and lost some in past seasons.
“As last year proved, you can never predict what’s going to happen – even up to the last lap, so we’ll need to be on top form to make sure we can get the job done.”
Scottish-based outfit Laser Tools Racing lead the way in the Independent Teams’ title race but have Kent’s Motorbase Performance just 24 points behind as they head to their home circuit of Brands Hatch.
It’s set to be another exciting and hugely dramatic weekend of racing as the BTCC looks to crown it’s 2020 champions in what has been a turbulent and challenging year for many.
Header image courtesy of BTCC/Jakob Ebrey
By Jordan Hollands.