BTCC: Vauxhall Racing Silverstone preview

VX Racing heads to Silverstone looking for continued success VX Racing heads to Silverstone this weekend, the team's home circuit, in a buoyant mood after Yvan Muller's dominant form at Thruxton in the last two rounds of the British Touring...

VX Racing heads to Silverstone looking for continued success

VX Racing heads to Silverstone this weekend, the team's home circuit, in a buoyant mood after Yvan Muller's dominant form at Thruxton in the last two rounds of the British Touring Car Championship.

Going into rounds seven and eight Muller remains at the top of the Drivers' Championship with 87 points. Team mates James Thompson and Paul O'Neill are in second and third place with 67 points and 50 points respectively, followed by the Hondas of Alan Morrison (42 points) and Matt Neal (38 points).

Vauxhall has extended the lead in the BTC Touring Manufacturers' Championship lead with 191 points, ahead of rivals Honda (89 points), MG (51 points) and Proton (21 points). VX Racing remains the team to beat with 153 points in the BTC Touring Teams' Championship, followed by Honda Racing (86 points) and MG Sport & Racing (51).

Yvan Muller, winner of the last three races, is hoping to retain his championship lead this weekend. "At Thruxton, because of the weight penalties I had, the two victories were very special. I will hope for the same thing at Silverstone, but it will be very hard to repeat this success. At Thruxton everything was perfect and it was a fantastic weekend, but to do that every week is nearly impossible. For sure we will try! At Silverstone Jimmy [James Thompson] has no weight, Matt Neil is minus 60 [60 kgs lighter than Muller], so I expect these two cars to be in front of me on the grid. It will be tough to qualify on the front row, but I will try."

Yvan's jet-ski world record attempt from St Tropez to Corsica in under 2 hours 15 minutes has again been hampered by the weather this week. "So far the forecasts haven't been very good. The condition was good when the record was set, and without perfect conditions it is impossible to beat this time. I hope the forecast will be good soon so I can try to break the record."

Reigning BTCC champion, James Thompson, is optimistic that his problems at Thruxton have been rectified. "I'm obviously disappointed after Thruxton. Historically I've always gone well there and to be so far off the pace was frustrating. It was obvious there was some sort of problem, and the team have taken it very seriously. They've made changes to the car and hopefully that will ensure I'm back on the pace at Silverstone."

As the season approaches the half way mark, Paul O'Neill is pleased with his form to date. "To be third in the championship at this stage in the season is great. It's brilliant to be here, I never expected it, and I'm not going to give it up! I've got fond memories of Silverstone and I've driven there more than any other circuit. I've always gone well and have had three podiums there. This weekend, as always, I'm going out there to win and to keep picking up the points.

"As well as my team mates, the Hondas of Neal and Morrison will be quick, and the MGs are good at Silverstone so it will make for some interesting racing. I'm sure there'll be some close fought battles and I hope to come out on top!"

-vxr-

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