BTCC: Croft preview

BTCC DRIVERS SET FOR CROFT SHOWDOWN Newcastle-born Jason Plato will be hoping to uphold local honour when rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship roars into Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire next weekend (July ...

BTCC DRIVERS SET FOR CROFT SHOWDOWN

Newcastle-born Jason Plato will be hoping to uphold local honour when rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship roars into Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire next weekend (July 16/17th).

The 37 year old SEAT Sport UK driver took the title back in 2001 and will be hoping for a repeat of his two wins in 2004 as he fights to win this year's BTCC crown.

But Plato has a major battle on his hands. Although he won in the previous round at Oulton Park, Cheshire, he still trails Team Halfords Honda drivers Matt Neal and Dan Eaves as well as Vauxhall's Yvan Muller who has been Plato's arch rival for the past five years.

The event, the third showpiece weekend of the summer following the F3 meeting in May and the British Superbikes last month, is one of the North East region's biggest sporting weekends and will be shown live on Britain's most popular terrestrial television channel, ITV1.

Already the BTCC has announced its first-ever city street spectacular to be staged along Gateshead's Quayside on Thursday 14 July. The special demonstration will promote the Croft race weekend and let a new audience get up close and personal with the star drivers and their cars.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow says Croft is high on the BTCC drivers' list of top tracks: "Croft is always a favourite venue for our championship and never fails to draw one of the largest, most enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowds of the year. Its location, not far off the A1, makes it easily accessible to many thousands of people from what is a very large surrounding catchment area.

"The North East has a fantastic motor sport venue at Croft, which offers spectators excellent viewing. The lay-out is also one of the most challenging the BTCC drivers race on, meaning plenty of close action for the crowds to enjoy."

The BTCC will be in race action three times at Croft on 17 July. Crowds will also be able to meet the drivers during the hugely popular Pit Lane Walkabout session. In addition to the BTCC, there will be eight more races from championships run by prestige manufacturers BMW, Renault, Porsche and SEAT to compliment an action packed weekend.

Adult admission costs $12 on Saturday and $22 on Sunday with accompanied children under 15 admitted FREE. Grandstand seating is available at an extra cost of $8 and further details are available from Croft Circuit on 01325 721815.

BTCC Practice gets the action underway on Saturday at 09.30 with the first of the day's three races commencing at 16.00. This will include action the Formula BMW UK Championship, the Smartnav SEAT Cupra Challenge and the Michelin-backed Formula Renault UK Championship.

Sunday sees a pit lane walkabout starting at 10.20 before racing commences at 12.00 noon with the first of the BTCC events over 15 laps. Thereafter eight further races are scheduled with the second BTCC race starting at 14.30 and the third race going at 16.35.

-www.btcc.net

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller , Dan Eaves , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Alan Gow