BTCC: Croft: VX Racing preview

VX Racing heads to Croft, North Yorkshire for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship, as the battle for championship points resumes after a six-week break. Team mates James Thompson and Yvan Muller are...

VX Racing heads to Croft, North Yorkshire for rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship, as the battle for championship points resumes after a six-week break. Team mates James Thompson and Yvan Muller are separated by just four points at the top of the drivers' championship, but the home advantage may give Thompson the edge he needs to close the gap.

Thompson, returns to his home circuit, Croft, for the last time a bachelor. As well as focusing on his racing, the Yorkshireman will no doubt be considering his impending nuptials, due to take place less than a week later. "I'll be back up in Yorkshire the week after Croft for my wedding, but for now I'm concentrating on getting the results on track," comments Thompson, "We had a few problems at Mondello and I didn't really get the results I wanted. But we've had a few weeks off, put the problems behind us, and everyone is raring to go at Croft. My fourth place finish in the last race means that I will only be carrying nine kilos of success ballast, which hopefully means that I'll do well in qualifying."

Thompson's knowledge and experience of the Croft circuit gives him a small on-track advantage over his team mate and closest rival Muller, but the Frenchman will be running with less success ballast in the sister Vauxhall Astra Coupe. "Jimmy is good at Croft, he knows the circuit very well. I am running with a lighter car, but he is not the only person I have to beat. There are many other cars in the race, and to win I have to beat all of them. It seems like a long time since the last race, so I am sure everyone will be eager to get back on track. People keep asking me, but it is still too early to talk about the championship. We are half way through the season now, but it is very close and a lot can happen."

VX Racing young gun, Luke Hines secured two podium finishes at Mondello in the third Vauxhall Astra Coupe and is determined to continue the string of good results, "It was such a great feeling after Mondello -- I want more of it! I managed a third place and a win at Croft last year in the production class, so I'm hoping for more of the same. We may not have been racing over the last few weeks, but we continued to work on the car and improving our pace. I just can't wait to race again."

VX Racing currently tops the team, manufacturers' and drivers' championships and is looking to extend its lead at Croft.

Hot Facts

Last year at Croft... Was a mixed weekend for Yvan, after a rare DNF in the first race, Yvan finished third in the second race and recorded the fastest lap of 1:27.355, while James maintained consistency and scored two second place finishes.

Luke has taken advantage of the recent Summer break to indulge in some of his favourite activities-- surfing and karting, but on a recent trip to Newquay, the VX Racing driver was hampered by the weather when his tent blew away!

The three VX Racing drivers have notched up 21podium finishes in the 15 races so far this year, with Yvan claiming ten, James close behind on eight and Luke now on three after his success at Mondello.

At the half way point in the BTCC season Yvan is leading James by four points in the drivers' championship, with Yvan on 154 and James on 150.

The VX Racing Guide to Croft

"Croft is my home circuit, and I always enjoy driving it. I have spent a lot of time there and I think I have experienced everything -- I've crashed, won, secured pole -- there has been good and bad, but mostly good. The complex is the best place to see any action, either there or at the end of the main straight, if I were watching I'd do it from either of those places.

"The best place to hang out around Croft is Tall Trees in Yarn, it's a really nice place where you can stay over, but there is also a brilliant nightclub."

James Thompson, VX Racing, No.2 Vauxhall Astra Coupe

-vxr-

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