Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit will this weekend, 20th/21st September, decide who becomes Green Flag MSA British Touring Champion of 2003 -- France's Yvan Muller or Britain's James Thompson. The maths are simple: Muller leads Vauxhall...
Cheshire's Oulton Park circuit will this weekend, 20th/21st September, decide who becomes Green Flag MSA British Touring Champion of 2003 -- France's Yvan Muller or Britain's James Thompson.
The maths are simple: Muller leads Vauxhall team-mate Thompson by 29 points and needs only a fifth place finish in either of the final two races of the season to be crowned Champion.
Yorkshireman Thompson knows he needs a minor miracle if he is retain his 2003 crown. "I need Paul Daniels to wave his magic wand if the title is to come back my way now," he said.
But Muller, who has been beaten to the title the past two years by Vauxhall team-mates -- Jason Plato in 2001 and Thompson last year -- refuses to relax. "My advantage is a big help, but James still has a chance and it can take just one thing to change everything, as I have found the last two years," said Muller.
Thompson added: "I'm the underdog so just have to go for it. I have nothing to lose whereas Yvan has to play it safe. If he wants my title, I'm going to make him sweat for it."
Muller and Thompson also have a personal score to settle -- each goes to Oulton Park with 25 BTCC career race victories.
Liverpool's Paul O'Neill, who took an emotional first BTCC race win at his home track of Oulton last year, is tied for third in the championship with Honda's Matt Neal.
Cheshire driver Daniel Buxton, from Hartford, will also be aiming for his best result of the season in Team Halfords' Peugeot 307 at Oulton -- the circuit where his racing career began.
Buxton's team-mate Dan Eaves is one of four drivers who arrive at Oulton still able to win the Hilton Independents Trophy for privateer teams. Collard Racing's Rob Collard leads Synchro team driver James Kaye, of Harrogate, by just one point, with GA's Carl Breeze only a further six behind. Eaves is the outside bet, but was in a similar position last year and came through to win the title in the final race of the season.
The BTCC's Production class might have fallen the way -- provisionally -- of Barwell's Luke Hines, but there is still plenty of pride at stake. Hines wants to end the year with more race wins than any of his rivals but, while he has six to his name, Preston's Tom Boardman currently leads the victory stakes with seven for Team Varta.
Edenbridge team driver Michael Bentwood, of Hale, Cheshire, once a title challenger, can draw level with Hines on six wins if he takes honours in both races at his home track
For all the latest BTCC news during Oulton Park's final two championship rounds, visit the official website www.tocatour.co.uk