A CLASH OF THE NATIONS In just over a month's time, the eagerly-awaited 29th Olympic Games gets underway in Beijing. There is no need to travel all the way to China however to see several different nationalities ...
A CLASH OF THE NATIONS
In just over a month's time, the eagerly-awaited 29th Olympic Games gets underway in Beijing. There is no need to travel all the way to China however to see several different nationalities compete against each other to be the best in the world.
Instead visit the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), which showcases the world's best tin-top drivers, when it comes to Brands Hatch on 26/27 July. There may be slightly fewer nations represented (15, to be precise) but the competition is just as intense when national pride is at stake.
Nobody will be feeling the heat more than the three top British drivers competing at their home event. Andy Priaulx, a winner at Brands Hatch last year, has three WTCC titles behind him already and is looking for a record fourth championship.
James Thompson, a two-time winner of the British Touring Car Championship, claimed a second place at Brands Hatch last year and is determined to go one better in 2008. Finally, Rob Huff has underlined his intentions by recently claiming his first win of the season in Valencia.
Just like the Olympic Games, the WTCC tests a number of different mental and physical disciplines. Drivers need to show plenty of raw speed and bravery, to compensate for the fact that the rules give all the cars almost identical performance.
They must also have a solid grasp of strategy and race craft, to avoid picking up too much success ballast until later in the season. Despite the ferocity of the on-track battles, the WTCC remains true to the Olympic ideal of sportsmanship, with hard but fair racing that showcases driver talent above all else.
Tickets are now on sale to watch this unique sporting spectacle, where a British competitor has every chance of going for gold on home soil. Adult admission on Sunday 27 July costs £30 at the gate, but only £24 if you book online at www.motorsportvision.co.uk. An online weekend ticket costs £34 while children aged 12 and under go free.
Grandstand seating starts at £5 and the race day pit walkabout, which opens at 09:00 on Sunday, costs £12. Advance booking is available online and from the ticket hotline on 0870 950 9000. Advance ticket purchases close at noon on Wednesday 23 July.