BTCC stars provide Classic entertainment

A five-week break in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rarely means a chance for drivers to put their feet up, particular so with a number of teams testing and developing their cars during the hiatus, but for some it was also a chance to try something a little bit different!

Sticking with the BTCC theme (of course!) championship leader Colin Turkington and former champions Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal went to play at the Silverstone Classic last weekend and wowed the crowds with their speed and craftsmanship behind the wheel.

Team Dynamics purchased a 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina earlier this year with the intention to go historic racing when their busy schedule allows. Shedden duly planted the car on pole position for the Under 2 Litre Touring Car race, which also included Minis, Alfa Romeos and BMWs from the glorious Jim Clark era. Neal got a brief practice run before handing back to Shedden for the start of the race.

Shedden went on to enjoy an incredible battle for the lead in the contest – see here for the onboard video from rival Tom Roche ­– but the car unfortunately suffered from a radiator problem as Neal was about to take over and they were forced to retire.

Turkington was another to make his Silverstone Classic debut and the Ulsterman was grinning from ear-to-ear throughout weekend as he got to grips with a 1973 BMW CSL ‘Batmobile’ machine. He competed in the Super Touring Car Trophy and had little chance to challenge at the front against cars nearly 30 years younger than the BMW he was piloting, but that didn’t stop him from scoring a class podium and loving every second of the experience!

“I had a great time at the Silverstone Classic – I really enjoyed driving the CSL BMW even though the car itself is nine years older than me,” said Colin. “It was really well balanced though and great to drive, and we finished third in class too so to come away with some silverware was nice.”

With Turkington and Shedden in particular vying for the championship lead in the cut and thrust BTCC it was a rare chance to see some of the world’s best tin top drivers in a relatively pressure-free racing environment. But let’s face it there’s nothing like seeing them at the top of their game in Britain’s biggest and best series, and Turkington knows it’s back to the serious business at Snetterton this weekend.

“From now on it’s back to business – and we’re aiming for the podium at every meeting,” concluded Colin. “I don’t think we’ll be quite as strong as we have been over the last couple of events, but in this championship you’ve got to maximise things when they’re working well and carry the momentum to the circuits where you’re not so strong. The pressure is definitely going to increase from the main contenders and we’ll probably see some more surprises before the end of the year too. All I can do is focus on myself and not worry about the others. If we have a second half of the season as good as the first, then we’ll be right up there when it counts at the end of the year.”


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