SCOTLAND'S STUNNING KNOCKHILL CIRCUIT NEXT STOP FOR UK'S TOP RACE CHAMPIONSHIP There are less than two weeks to go before the UK’s premier motor racing series - the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - makes its annual journey...
SCOTLAND'S STUNNING KNOCKHILL CIRCUIT NEXT STOP FOR UK'S TOP RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
There are less than two weeks to go before the UK’s premier motor racing series - the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - makes its annual journey north of the border for its latest round of 2010 at Scotland’s spectacular and unique Knockhill circuit in Fife (Sunday 5 September).
Knockhill, just north of Edinburgh, is regarded by many as the most daunting circuit on the BTCC calendar thanks to its undulating, off-camber characteristics that have a reputation for conjuring up controversy - exactly what fans want to hear as the BTCC arrives in Fife at what is a crucial stage of the season. Stunning surrounding countryside, plus views looking out to the Forth Road and Rail bridges add to the spectacular setting.
Following yesterday's (Sunday) latest BTCC three races at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix venue of Silverstone, former champion Jason Plato leads the standings in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze but by the much-reduced margin of just 14 points over Team Aon youngster Tom Onslow-Cole. A great day at Silverstone for Onslow-Cole in his LPG-turbo Ford Focus saw him achieve first, second and third places and those results have hoisted him past Honda Racing Team driver Matt Neal to become Plato’s new big rival.
Neal, like Plato a former champion, is third but it is the driver behind him in fourth, team-mate Gordon Shedden, who the Scottish public will be cheering on at Knockhill. The Dalgety Bay racer has won three times already in 2010 in his Honda Civic and he’ll be hunting more silverware in front of his home crowd as he bids to become his nation’s first BTCC Champion since John Cleland in 1995.
Meanwhile, ‘man of the moment’ Onslow-Cole commented: “Knockhill is a long haul north but when you get there it is always worth it. There is no other circuit like it in the UK and it could have been made for the BTCC.
“The buzz is fantastic - the public always turn out in force when the BTCC turns up, they are highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable and there’s probably nowhere else where the fans can get quite so close to the action or enjoy such great views of the lap."
And he added: “Silverstone really suited the Ford but many people think the Hondas will come back strong at Knockhill as it should suit the Civic which is really impressive on the brakes and cornering. Plus Gordon will be fired up in front of his home crowd. It’s going to be a mighty battle there, particularly with just two more rounds to go afterwards.”
In addition to Chevrolet, Ford and Honda, other teams representing big name manufacturers such as BMW, SEAT, Vauxhall and VW will also be on the grid for Knockhill’s three BTCC races on 5 September. Indeed, the season so far has produced nine different winners in five different makes of car. Others have also come close to victory and Knockhill is the type of circuit where, with nothing to lose, they will surely fancy their chances of getting in among the title protagonists and causing a major upset.
Adding to the non-stop entertainment during Knockhill’s big BTCC weekend will be 11 more races for the high-profile Ginetta Junior, Ginetta G50, Porsche Carrera, Renault Clio and Formula Renault support series which provide the very best in saloon, sportscar, GT and single-seater action in the country. Notably, Inverness’s Dave Newsham can be crowned Renault Clio Cup champion at Knockhill, while Lewis Williamson (Golspie) is gunning for the Formula Renault title. Rapid youngster Glynn Geddie (Aberdeen) and, making a one-off appearance, Rory Butcher (Kirckaldy) will be out for Porsche glory and ex-BTCC racer Jonathan Adam (Kinghorn) will race the Ginetta G50 series’ ‘guest car’.
Tickets for Knockhill’s BTCC weekend (4-5 September) can be purchased online right up to the event at www.knockhill.com or by calling 01383 723337. They range from just £25 per adult to FREE admission for children aged under eight. All admission includes open access to the teams’ paddock and an autograph session with the BTCC drivers.