Oulton Park: Croft Circuit preview

TOP VALUE ACTION AS TOURING CARS HEAD FOR CROFT The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship arrives at Croft Circuit near Darlington next weekend (June 19/20th) for the three latest races of its exhilarating 2010 season. The event marks...

TOP VALUE ACTION AS TOURING CARS HEAD FOR CROFT

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship arrives at Croft Circuit near Darlington next weekend (June 19/20th) for the three latest races of its exhilarating 2010 season.

The event marks the only time this year that the BTCC, famed for its bumper-to-bumper action and contested by some of the world's top touring car teams and drivers such as Jason Plato and Matt Neal, stops off in the North East of England.

And that is one of the reasons why Croft annually attracts one of the BTCC calendar's biggest and most enthusiastic trackside crowds. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the event which is easily accessible from the A1 motorway. Croft also provides fans with some of the best views of any circuit with its huge grass banks that lend themselves to a real atmosphere.

Furthermore, ticket prices are hugely attractive costing just £27.00 per adult and FREE for children aged 15 and under. All pricing includes access into the BTCC Paddock and Pit Lane walkabout autograph session with the BTCC drivers.

"It is sensational value for money," says one of the home favourites, Plato, who hails originally from Newcastle upon Tyne. "Find me another top line sport where the public can meet the stars of the show in person for a bit of friendly banter and where the kids are let in for free. You can't as you only get this with the BTCC and its all day action. I love the Croft crowd and can't wait to meet them. I've won in front of them in the past and would love to do so again this year."

Silverline Chevrolet driver Plato, who won the BTCC title in 2001, will arrive at Croft lying second in the standings to long-time rival Neal, who now races for the Honda Racing Team. Plato adds: "Let there be no mistake, Croft is one of the hardest circuits on the calendar. It's got a mixture of everything; high, medium and slow speed sections and is very hairy in places. Plus the layout of the track always encourages close racing and a bit of controversy. There'll be a few cars going home without wing mirrors on the Sunday night."

Another name the locals will be cheering on is Wallsend's Arthur Forster who's moved his own two-car Forster Motorsport BMW team into the BTCC in 2010. The 42-year-old found out just how tough life in the top tier of motorsport can be last weekend when both he and his team-mate Martin Depper pranged their cars at the Oulton Park circuit but he's hoping to put that right at Croft.

Forster commented: "I've driven Croft plenty of times but only at smaller club level events. The BTCC is finally the big time for me and the team and racing in it at Croft is a massive deal for us all. We're still on a huge learning curve but gradually starting to get closer to the front-running pace and who knows, with the unpredictable nature of the BTCC, there might even be a first championship point."

Croft's big race day on Sunday 20th June includes three headline BTCC races, supported by the Ginetta G50, Ginetta Junior where 16-year-old Scorton driver Max Coates will be in action, Porsche Carrera Cup, Renault Clio Cup and Formula Renault single-seater championships that offer the very best in sports car, saloon and single-seater action in the country.

The action gets underway at 9.30am on Saturday with qualifying and racing commencing at 12.00 noon on Sunday. Admission costs £13 and £27 respectively with accompanied children aged 15 and under admitted FREE.

More details are available from the Croft circuit website www.croftcircuit.co.uk or by calling 01325 721815. For more information about the BTCC, including latest news, positions and photos, visit the championship's official website www.btcc.net.

SUPPORTERS CLUB GEARS UP FOR BTCC

The recently formed Croft Circuit Supporters Club is gearing up for the British Touring Car Championship round on 19/20th June with an exclusive chance to meet Andrew Jordan and his Pirtek-backed Vauxhall Vectra on the Friday evening along with a tour around the track.

The CCSC has been set up to give something back to the many people who have shown support over the last few difficult years. For an annual membership of £15 members will receive discounted entry to club races, free programme at the BTCC and BSB events, a regular update on events at the circuit, a ticket draw and exclusive access to the stars of British motorsport.

"Our supporters are very important to us, they understand the problems the circuit has had over the last few years and we would like to give something back to them. As the Club develops we hope to introduce additional benefits and feed off the members' suggestions for improvements," said Chairman Terry Wright.

Membership forms can be obtained from the circuit reception or by visiting www.croftsupportersclub.com

OFFICIAL CAMPING AT BTCC AND BSB

Croft Circuit is able to offer campsite facilities in a field adjacent to the circuit for both the British Touring Car Championship meeting over the weekend of June 18/20 and the British Superbike Championship over the weekend of 10/12 September.

Facilities are limited but there will be 24-hour security, portaloos and a drinking water tap. The cost is £15 per pitch per night (£13 when booked in advance before 15th June for BTCC and 7th September for BSB) and the pitch fee includes caravan, tent or motorhome with two occupants and one vehicle. Extra person is £2 per day (children 12 years and under are free).

Booking details are available at www.croftcircuit.co.uk although advance booking for the campsite can only be made by telephone by calling 01325 721815.

-source: croft circuit

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Arthur Forster , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Andrew Jordan