SCOTLAND'S KNOCKHILL PROBABLY THE "ULTIMATE BTCC CIRCUIT" SAYS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER PLATO Jason Plato says Knockhill's forthcoming round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (Sunday 5 September) is probably the most exciting to...
SCOTLAND'S KNOCKHILL PROBABLY THE "ULTIMATE BTCC CIRCUIT" SAYS CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER PLATO
Jason Plato says Knockhill's forthcoming round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (Sunday 5 September) is probably the most exciting to watch for trackside fans.
There are now just a few days to go before the twisty, undulating Knockhill circuit - set, uniquely, on the side of a hill in picturesque Fife countryside - hosts the BTCC's only round of the year to be held in Scotland.
It's therefore the one opportunity of the year for Scottish motor sport fans to see the UK's premier race series in action and Plato believes it's also an event many fans south of the border should make part of their calendar.
Plato will arrive at Knockhill leading the BTCC standings by 14 points in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze (his nearest rival is Team Aon Ford driver Tom Onslow-Cole who he is pictured leading above). Notably, Knockhill is a circuit where down the years Plato has enjoyed unparalleled success with seven of his 57 career wins to date having been achieved there.
The Oxford-based driver commented: "Knockhill is probably the ultimate BTCC circuit. Consider what the BTCC is all about - close, competitive, bumper-to-bumper, rubbing panels, going for the big moves and putting on a show for the public. If you were to sit down and dream up a circuit for the BTCC then Knockhill is probably it.
"It's a fantastic challenge for the drivers and a fantastic arena for people who love any sport to come and watch. The public can literally smell the action. A few other circuits around the UK allow the crowds to get as close in some areas but not all the way round like Knockhill. It retains a real 'old school' feel to it and unlike other circuits hasn't been toned down.
"The atmosphere is also something else - the Knockhill crowd have a great sense of humour and plenty of opinions! But the BTCC at Knockhill is also one of those events that motor sport fans, wherever they're from in the UK, need to tick off. It's just a fab excuse to jump in the car with three mates, drive up and make a big weekend of it."
Also among Plato's biggest on-track BTCC rivals at Knockhill this weekend will be Scottish hero Gordon Shedden. The Dalgety Bay racer, in his Honda Racing Team Honda Civic, will go into the event fourth in the table and 33 points behind Plato but with a maximum of 52 on offer across the three BTCC races being staged on Sunday knows fortunes can quickly change - particularly at a circuit where his Honda is expected to be at its strongest.
Adding to the non-stop entertainment during Knockhill's two-day BTCC event 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 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.