Brands Hatch: Series preview

WORLD FAMOUS BRANDS HATCH GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT NEXT STOP FOR UK'S PREMIER MOTOR RACING SERIES There is less than a week to go before the stars and cars of the UK's premier motor racing series - the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship -...

WORLD FAMOUS BRANDS HATCH GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT

NEXT STOP FOR UK'S PREMIER MOTOR RACING SERIES

There is less than a week to go before the stars and cars of the UK's premier motor racing series - the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship - arrive at the world-famous Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent (Sunday 2 May) for the latest exhilarating round of their 2010 season.

The awesome Brands GP track played host to 2009's nail-biting final round (last October) and never fails to produce some of the best action of the BTCC season. Furthermore, the atmosphere on BTCC race day at Brands is electric - the circuit hosted the very first BTCC race back in 1958 - and its high-profile touring car events regularly attract tens of thousands of public from across the region.

Tickets for the event cost just £24.00 per adult if booked before midday this Wednesday (28 April) from the www.brandshatch.co.uk website or the hot line 0870 950 9000. Admission for children aged 12 and under is FREE.

Jason Plato ruled the roost in last year's Brands GP title-decider with wins in all three races on the day and returns to the circuit leading 2010's points table following a victory yesterday in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze at the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire. However, he is being chased by 'old foe' Matt Neal who took a pair of wins at Rockingham to move up to second in the standings behind Plato. Neal and Honda Racing Team team-mate Gordon Shedden are both in electrifying form and will surely be among Plato's biggest rivals.

Others targeting glory will undoubtedly include Steven Kane and Mat Jackson - both driving for one of two local teams to Brands, Wrotham-based Airwaves BMW. Kane is third in the championship with Jackson - a winner in the past in the BTCC at Brands - not far behind in sixth. Boss David Bartrum will go into the weekend also knowing a race victory on home territory will help boost his squad's lead in the HiQ Teams Championship..

Meanwhile, Orpington's Shaun Hollamby will be keen to make an impression in front of his home audience - the 44-year-old is in his first BTCC season in his VW Golf, prepared by the West Thurrock-based AmD Milltek Racing.com team and improving by the round.

The Team Aon Ford Focuses of Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole are expected to be right in the thick of the bumper-to-bumper action as well. Chilton achieved the first BTCC pole position for an LPG-powered car at Rockingham and many predict his and Onslow-Cole's turbo-charged machines will be well-suited to the challenging demands of the high-speed Brands GP lay-out.

Robert Collard's WSR BMW and Paul O'Neill's Sunshine.co.uk/Tech-Speed Honda Integra are two more potential race winners, while one to watch after three solid points-scoring results at Rockingham could be the increasingly rapid NGTC turbo-charged Vauxhall Vectra of Pirtek Racing's Andrew Jordan. And with SEAT also represented on the grid, fans will have a choice of up to seven different manufacturers to cheer on this Sunday.

Uniquely in top-line sport these days, the public will be able to meet the BTCC's drivers during a specially organised autograph session in the pit lane, while the Brands spectator areas always provides those trackside with some of the closest views of the BTCC all season. Brands Hatch has also confirmed giant TV screens - showing the ITV4 channel's live feed - will add to the viewing experience.

The BTCC is in action three times on the Brands GP circuit this Sunday (2 May). Adding to the on-track entertainment are seven more races from the supporting Ginetta G50, Ginetta Junior, Porsche Carrera, Renault Clio and Formula Renault categories that provide the very best in one-make sportscar, saloon and single-seater racing in the UK.

Sunday's on-track action starts at 10.00am with the BTCC's three headline races scheduled to take place at 11.45am, 2.05pm and 4.55pm.

ITV4's live coverage of the event is from 11.30am-6.00pm with the event also being live-streamed on the www.itv.com website.

For all the latest news in the run-up to Brands Hatch's big BTCC race day - plus access to hi-res copyright-free images - visit the championship's official website www.btcc.net

-source: btcc.net

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Series BTCC
Drivers Tom Chilton , Paul O'Neill , Jason Plato , Matt Neal , Rob Collard , Steven Kane , Tom Onslow-Cole , Gordon Shedden , Andrew Jordan , Shaun Hollamby