Party in the Park as BTCC heads north
The 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is heading to the north west next weekend (6/7 June) for rounds 10, 11 and 12 at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The UK’s premier motor sport series will blast around the picturesque circuit in front of what is expected to be one of the biggest crowds of the year, with in excess of 40,000 fans flocking to the track in recent seasons.
A spectacular grid of almost 30 top level touring cars will be going flat out for victory around the 2.26-mile Island configuration. After three thrilling events in 2015 the BTCC is proving as unpredictable as ever – six different winners have taken to the first step of the podium already and the top five drivers are covered by just fifteen championship points.
Oulton Park always generates a festival atmosphere when the BTCC rolls in, and the 2015 summer spectacular looks set to be bigger and better than ever. A favourite for family campers, the fields around the circuit will be packed with fans of all ages ready to cheer on their favourite drivers and local heroes.
A number of teams and drivers call Oulton their home circuit. Speedworks Motorsport which runs Tom Ingram and prepares the Handy Motorsport Toyota of Simon Belcher is based nearby, while Ciceley Motorsport – the team behind the Mercedes A-Class machines of WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan – himself a local driver – and Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat, is located near Preston in Lancashire.
Story so far: No room for error
The ultra-competitive nature of the BTCC has seen numerous changes in the championship lead across the opening trio of events. From an impressive opening victory from Team JCT600 with GardX’s Rob Collard the season has taken various twists and turns with strategy playing an increasingly significant role.
It is Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden who leads the way having shown impressive speed in the all-new Civic Type R. Victories at Brands Hatch and Thruxton have given him the edge over reigning champion Colin Turkington who lies second. The Ulsterman has adapted quickly to a switch in team and car this year and is already a frequent front-runner – after nine races he finds himself three points ahead of Honda man Matt Neal and four the better of his Team BMR team-mate Jason Plato. Plato has won nine times at Oulton Park and will be gunning for more glory in the VW having taken two victories already this campaign.
2013 champion Andrew Jordan has yet to win a race having switched to the manufacturer MG Triple Eight Racing squad at the start of the year, but two podiums and consistent top ten finishes put him fifth in the standings. Just a single point behind Jordan is WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan – a driver who grabbed headlines last time out at Thruxton…
Talking point: Morgan’s moment
While it wasn’t 26-year-old Adam Morgan’s first BTCC victory three weeks ago in Hampshire, it was the first time he’d crossed the line as outright winner. Now he heads to his home circuit of Oulton Park brimming with confidence and in contention for more success behind the wheel of his Mercedes A-Class.
“Thruxton was one of the best days I’ve ever had and to be on the podium twice in a day in the BTCC is fantastic!” exclaimed the Lancastrian driver. “It would be nice if we can do the same at my home track, there will be loads of fans there to cheer me on which always helps! I know the circuit like the back of my hand, but it is completely different to Thruxton. Oulton is bumpy, there are off-camber corners and it’s narrow. It makes for great racing.”
Morgan scored his first ever BTCC podium at his home track back in 2013 for his family-run Ciceley Motorsport team, and he’s sure to have plenty of support when racing commences on Sunday.
“Oulton usually attracts the biggest crowds of the year – it’s a great venue, the track itself is fantastic to drive and I really can’t wait for it,” Adam continued. “The usual suspects will be up there – both Hondas are looking good and Jason [Plato] is normally really quick there, but we’ll keep pushing for more podiums and wins!”
Last time out at Oulton: Champion’s drive
In 2014 it was Colin Turkington who stole the show with pole position and a double race win. This bodes well for the three drivers who race the WSR-run BMW 125i M Sport machines this year – Rob Collard, Sam Tordoff and triple World Champion Andy Priaulx.
Collard has already tasted victory in the very first race of the campaign, while Tordoff took his first podium behind the BMW wheel at Thruxton. Priaulx has also shown undoubted speed since returning to Britain’s top-flight tin-top championship, as he grabbed the first pole position of the season and missed out on victory in race two at Brands Hatch by an incredibly close 0.040s.
Aron Smith took top spot in race three at Oulton Park last time out and will be on the hunt for more wins for Team BMR in his VW CC. He’s scored a double podium at Brands Hatch, and took his first ever BTCC pole position at Thruxton.
Timetable and ticket information
Beyond the BTCC, a packed weekend programme will include plenty of action in the support series, comprising the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup, Ginetta Junior Championship, Renault UK Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB and MSA Formula – the proving ground for Formula 1 stars of the future. What’s more, spectators won’t miss a second of the excitement courtesy of big screens around the circuit and grandstand seating at Old Hall Corner and Lodge Corner.
Advance tickets are on sale until 12:00 on Thursday, 4 June, at just £14 for Saturday and £26 for Sunday, with weekend tickets available for £34. Advance tickets can be purchased online here. Accompanied children 13 and under go free all weekend.
For more information visit: http://www.oultonpark.co.uk/