Rob Huff will be out to steal Andy Priaulx's thunder at their home race
BACK TO THE FUTURE AT BRANDS HATCH
The last British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch was held 22 years ago on 13 July 1986. It was a momentous race, characterised by a breathtaking scrap between warring team-mates Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet that went all the way to the final lap. In front of an ecstatic home crowd, Mansell took a historic win: the first of four Brits in the top ten, while reigning World Champion Alain Prost was third.
Thankfully, race fans don't have to wait another quarter-century to see top British drivers in action at Brands Hatch, fighting for one of the most prestigious championships in world motorsport. Britain's round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) takes place at Brands Hatch on 26/27 July, and it is set to stage a showdown between the top British drivers that will be every bit as riveting as the Mansell-Piquet encounter.
Britain's Andy Priaulx, WTCC Champion for the last three years and a winner at Brands Hatch in 2007, heads to the encounter in a fortnight's time fresh off the back of a well-earned podium at the last race in Estoril, Portugal. Nonetheless, the BMW driver still has a 14-point deficit to overhaul with just six race meetings left to go this year in order to rein in the championship leader.
Yorkshireman James Thompson is a two-time British Touring Car Champion who knows Brands Hatch well and finished second there last year. He had a torrid time in Portugal with engine problems on his Honda, but is determined to bounce back in front of his loyal home crowd.
By contrast, Chevrolet's British young gun Rob Huff had an excellent weekend at Estoril, finishing in the points in both races and only just missing out on a podium. Huff is now fifth in the championship, only seven points behind Priaulx, and he will be looking to close the gap as quickly as possible: starting at Brands Hatch.
"Brands Hatch is a fantastic circuit, the fans are amazing and we always get a great response as British drivers. In some countries, they favour one driver in particular but here Andy, James and I all get amazing support. I finished third there last year so I'd love a win but it will be tough with 47kg of ballast!
"I'm very pleased to be fifth in the championship. Obviously, still a bit disappointed to have lost out on points in Brno as I would be fourth, one point ahead of Priaulx, but hopefully I'll be able to gain those points back."
-credit: wtcc uk