Britain’s best racers help Croft to celebrate half-century in style.
As it marks its 50th anniversary year in 2014, Croft had extra reason to celebrate last weekend as a bumper Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship crowd flocked to the north-east’s premier motor sport venue.
The only racing circuit in Yorkshire, Croft has been a popular stop on the calendar of the world’s most fiercely-disputed tin-top series every year since 1997. This season, it drew a near-capacity grid of 30 flame-spitting touring cars driven by some of the most recognisable and high-profile names in UK motor sport.
With no fewer than seven former champions and 13 race-winners in the field – not to mention more than ten different car manufacturers – the weekend produced an enthralling spectacle from lights-out to chequered flag, enjoyed by Croft’s largest trackside audience since the end of the Super Touring era at the turn of the millennium.
The thousands of enthusiastic fans witnessed breathtaking wheel-to-wheel duels between the likes of Jason Plato, Colin Turkington, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Alain Menu, Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Turkington’s eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport scampered away to race one and two glory, before defending champion Jordan emerged on top in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic in the final, reversed-grid encounter.
Circuit manager Mike Cantelo was delighted with the attendance – as well as the feedback received from hordes of satisfied race-goers.
“What a fantastic BTCC weekend here at Croft!” he remarked. “It was brilliant to see the circuit looking so fresh on the TV coverage following its recent revamp, and really encouraging to note the number of spectators coming through the gates.
“There was a genuine buzz around the track and paddock weekend-long. The edge-of-the-seat, doorhandle-to-doorhandle racing for which the BTCC is renowned did not disappoint, and Croft’s new catering facilities – with a wide variety of good quality food in the restaurant – resulted in an enhanced all-round fan experience.
“This is just the first step, of course – you can never rest on your laurels – and we are already working hard to improve the facilities further for the BTCC’s return next year.
“In the meantime, we turn our attentions towards the next exciting highlight on Croft’s 2014 racing calendar – the Nostalgia Weekend, whose superb line-up of iconic cars and period entertainment looks sure to attract another huge crowd. Don’t miss it!”