BTCC: Brands Hatch II: Vauxhall Motorsport preview

Vauxhall aims to wrap up manufacturers' title at Brands. · Three's a crowd in the BTCC Drivers' Championship fight There's everything to play for at Brands Hatch this coming Bank Holiday weekend (August 25/26) as Vauxhall aims to officially...

Vauxhall aims to wrap up manufacturers' title at Brands.

· Three's a crowd in the BTCC Drivers' Championship fight

There's everything to play for at Brands Hatch this coming Bank Holiday weekend (August 25/26) as Vauxhall aims to officially clinch the British Touring Car Championship Manufacturers' and Teams' Titles for the second consecutive year.

As the championship points stand prior to Rounds 17 and 18 of Britain's premiere motor racing series, Vauxhall has a mammoth 409 points, 173 clear of its nearest rival, MG and 245 more than Honda. The Teams' championship looks to be an equalling resounding success with Vauxhall Motorsport lying in first place with 156 points whilst second placed team, Egg Sport have accumulated 80 points. MG Sport and Racing and Honda Racing lie another 9 and 21 points behind respectively.

With the Drivers' championship still up for grabs however, the Luton-based marque and its Astra Coupé drivers are hoping to wrap up at least one of the two titles at the penultimate round of the series. This would ease the pressure on the Vauxhall Motorsport and Egg Sport teams for the grand finale at Donington Park on 22 September enabling them to concentrate on the drivers' own battle.

The battle for the coveted drivers' title looks certain to go down to the wire with no less than three Astra Coupé drivers still in the frame. York's James Thompson has led the standings since his home round at Croft and with 166 points, he lies 24 points ahead of his Vauxhall Motorsport teammate, Yvan Muller.

However, Egg Sport Astra Coupé driver, Matt Neal also has his sights set on the title and he lies in third place overall with 124 points.

But with the Manufacturers' title on the cards, this weekend's races will prove an interesting challenge for the three title favourites. Whilst all three drivers are free to battle equally and fairly against each other for the Drivers' title they will need to be mindful of the need to score as many manufacturers' and teams' points as possible.

Vauxhall Motorsport Team Manager and Triple Eight Race Engineering Director, Ian Harrison commented, "Ideally, we would like to wrap up the Manufacturers' and Teams' Titles for Vauxhall at Brands Hatch leaving the way clear for the drivers to battle it out amongst themselves at the final round at Donington Park. It is up to us now to knuckle down and make sure we do the business."

Touring car action at Brands Hatch commences with BTC Touring car free practices on the morning of Sunday, 25 August whilst qualifying takes place that same afternoon at 3.25pm. Monday's events kick off with Pitlane Walkabout at 11.15am with the 25-lap Sprint Race getting under way at 12.45pm. The 40-lap main Feature Race starts at 4.20pm. Granada Sport's coverage will be shown the following Saturday afternoon on ITV1.

-vauxhall-

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About this article
Series BTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Matt Neal
Teams Triple Eight Race Engineering