The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is one of the best-loved, most illustrious and famous motor racing championships in the world. Only Formula 1 and America’s NASCAR stock car series have longer histories — since its inception in 1958 it has attracted and captivated millions of fans around the world.
You can catch it on TV or if you’re lucky enough catch it live at one of the nine UK racetracks on the 2017 schedule. The BTCC continues to provide one of motor sport’s most addictive, action-packed atmospheres for an audience of millions and I was lucky enough to be a recent guest at the iconic Thruxton Circuit, courtesy of Team Shredded Wheat® racing with Duo, the official sponsors of the Motorbase Performance Team competing in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championships.
Against the backdrop of some glorious Sunday sunshine and a sell-out crowd, Thruxton, the home of the BARC (British Automobile Racing Club), was buzzing with expectation for an nail-biting day of racing, and it didn’t disappoint.
Thruxton is steeped in history and I was told, the most demanding circuit the team has to negotiate in the BTCC. The clockwise circuit gives the drivers little rest and is the fastest circuit on the BTCC calendar, reaching speeds of over 140mph with barely a straight piece of tarmac. It also features one of the UK’s most demanding corners, Church, the flat out right hander which punishes the left hand tyres beyond their ideals.
We started the day with a garage meet and greet with Team Shredded Wheat® – Mat Jackson, Martin Depper and Luke Davenport who shared stories of the fierce competition they face this year, with a capacity grid of 32 cars confirmed for the campaign. Five former champions will be challenging for the coveted BTCC crown, and with an incredible 16 race winners lined-up, the Wrotham-based outfit is preparing for its most competitive season to date.
From there it was on to the jam-packed grid to the revving sounds of the competing cars as they manoeuvred into their places ready for the first race of the day. To be right in the midst of all the action was quite a thrill and then it was time for the first of 10 high-speed races throughout the day from the best seats to enjoy a battle to the finish line!
On a day that was not short of surprises, collisions, re-starts, cheering, glamour girls and clear blue skies, Mat, Martin and Luke from Team Shredded Wheat® Racing with DUO competed fearlessly and are all set for the next round at Oulton Park over the weekend of 20-21 May. We wish them luck.
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