Published on August 1st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Second half of the 2015 BTCC season kicks off at Snetterton next week
The 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets back on track at Snetterton in Norfolk next weekend (8/9 August) with its headline stars and cars ready to reignite the titanic title battle. With its annual summer break coming to an end the BTCC will be travelling east with more than 30 talented tin top drivers taking on the longest circuit on the calendar.
Former champions occupy five of the top six positions in the current standings, highlighting just how challenging it is to break through in Britain’s toughest series. Not for the first time in his career, Team BMR’s Jason Plato is the filling in a Honda sandwich at the top of the order with Gordon Shedden currently leading the way while his Civic Type R team-mate Matt Neal is third. With nearly 200 race wins between them it’s hardly surprising to see the three most successful drivers in the field topping the table, but there’s at least another trio of contenders hounding them down.
The nearest challenger is young gun Sam Tordoff who is now in his third BTCC season. The multiple race-winner is mounting his first real title tilt having moved to West Surrey Racing in the off-season, but it remains to be seen if he can maintain the speed and consistency required over the course of a full campaign. There’s little doubting the credentials of the next two contenders in the standings – reigning champion Colin Turkington and 2013 supremo Andrew Jordan. Both drivers have pace and experience in abundance but they’re arguably still trying to unlock the full potential of their respective machines having both changed teams for 2015.
MG Triple Eight’s Jordan and Team BMR’s Turkington are very much still in the mix but they’ll be looking to make their move sooner rather than later. Another hat-trick of superstars have already won races this season with Adam Morgan (WIX Racing Mercedes), Rob Collard (JCT600 with GardX BMW) and Andy Priaulx (IHG Rewards Club BMW) separated by just two points. With eight drivers having taken victories in 2015 and a whole host of others reaching the rostrum, you’ll be hard to pushed to back a winner ahead of what is sure to be an entertaining and unpredictable weekend of racing.
Adding to the dozen or so potential race winners in Norfolk next weekend will be the hugely popular Motorbase Performance squad. Having taken a sabbatical from the BTCC for the first half of the 2015 season, Motorbase has continued to develop its recently unveiled new 2-litre mountune-powered EcoBoost engine. Its Ford Focus package has been working well in testing with star driver Mat Jackson topping the times in a BTCC group test at Snetterton in early July.