Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th August, could prove to be where this year's Green Flag MSA British Touring Car title is ultimately won or lost as Vauxhall team-mates Yvan Muller and James Thompson continue their thrilling season-long ...
Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th August, could prove to be where this year's Green Flag MSA British Touring Car title is ultimately won or lost as Vauxhall team-mates Yvan Muller and James Thompson continue their thrilling season-long battle to be champion in rounds 15 and 16 of the championship.
Thompson would love dearly to retain his Drivers' crown, but this time has a 13-point deficit to make up to Muller. This meeting last year saw the pair clash infamously at Druids Bend -- an incident that put Thompson out of the race.
Each will be keen to avoid a repeat, for Honda's Matt Neal took his fourth win of the season at Snetterton a fortnight ago to move into third in the title race. Although Neal is 57 points behind Muller, he never gives up and was a winner last time at Brands in May.
However, should Neal come away from Brands trailing either Muller or Thompson by more than 70 points, it will mean that Vauxhall will be guaranteed a third straight BTCC Drivers' title. Vauxhall are on the verge of celebrating a BTCC triple crown in this, their Centenary year, for the Teams and Manufacturers' titles are also within their grasp.
Meanwhile, MG will want to make up for the disappointment of Brands in May -- drivers Warren Hughes and Colin Turkington challenged for victory in both races but each crashed out with the chequered flag, quite literally, in sight.
In the BTCC's Hilton Independents Trophy for privateer entrants, Collard Racing's Rob Collard also has a score to settle with Brands. He was on course for a victory double here in May, but retired from both races after briefly leading one of them outright! Collard leads the Independents points table, but is under constant pressure from Synchro Honda Racing's James Kaye and GA Motorsport's outside bet Carl Breeze.
In the Production class, Luke Hines can step closer to the Drivers' title, while Barwell Motorsport, whose Honda Civic Type-R he drives, will be crowned Teams champions at Brands if they come away having stretched their current 106-point advantage over Team Varta to 108.
However, he may not have it all his own way at Brands -- Tonbridge-based Edenbridge Racing have repaired their BMW 320i for driver Michael Bentwood after it was wrecked in a startline crash at Snetterton two weeks ago. At Brands back in May, Bentwood won both races ahead of Hines.
For all the latest Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship news and results, visit the official website www.tocatour.co.uk