|The grid is augmented by the colourful MG team this year |
(Photo : Matthew Miller)
The waiting is almost over. There is now little more than a week to go before Britain’s premier motor racing championship – the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – bursts back into action for a pulsating new season of hard-fought action with the first of its ten events in 2012, at the world-famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on the weekend of 31 March-1 April.
In front of huge trackside crowds and millions more watching ITV4’s live coverage, the BTCC’s popularity among the British public continued to spiral in 2011 when it culminated in an unprecedented, nail-biting five-way shoot-out for the title on the final day of the season.
Five months on, the nation’s favourite four-wheeled motor sport attraction is back with a truly turbocharged grid – indeed all teams to have announced their plans so far have switched to spectacular, flame-spitting turbo engines as the championship’s latest Next Generation Touring Car regulations really begin to take hold.
Furthermore, team announcements to date indicate that at least nine different makes of car will be represented on the starting grid, thereby giving the BTCC’s ever-expanding fanbase plenty of variety from which to choose a favourite.
|Matt Neal will be looking to hold onto his title|
(Photo : Matthew Miller)
The 2012 BTCC title race will be played out in front of vast audiences at nine top race circuits located in eight different counties throughout the country – ensuring that it remains accessible for hundreds of thousands of people right across the UK: Brands Hatch, Kent (1 Apr & 21 Oct); Donington Park, Derbys-Leics border (15 Apr); Thruxton, Hants (29 Apr), Oulton Park, Cheshire (10 June); Croft, North Yorks (24 June); Snetterton, Norfolk (12 Aug); Knockhill, Fife (26 Aug); Rockingham, Northants (23 Sept) and Silverstone, Northants (7 Oct).
Another of the BTCC’s massive appeals, notably among families, is that admission to all ten of its race weekends is FREE for accompanied children* – this includes access to specially organised pit lane autograph sessions with the star drivers plus, at most events, the race teams’ central paddock.
Brands Hatch’s big BTCC weekend (31 March-1 April) will also include the first races of 2012 for the hotly-contested Ginetta Junior, Ginetta GT Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Renault Clio Cup championships that represent the very best in sports and saloon car action. Nicolas Hamilton, the younger brother of Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton will be among those on the Clio Cup starting grid.
Tickets for the event are still available at discounted prices including £25 per adult for Sunday’s main race day. For all ticketing options for the event visit www.brandshatch.co.uk or call the ticket hotline 0843 453 9000. Admission is FREE for children aged 12 and under all weekend.
For a full list of the BTCC’s 2012 race dates and circuits plus the latest championship news as the clock to Brands Hatch’s opening round counts down visit the championship’s official website www.btcc.net.
* Individual circuit policies may differ, eg. some circuits employ a 16 and under policy, others 12 and under etc.