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BTCC READY FOR TAKE-OFF AT THRUXTON

High-speed Hampshire circuit to kick off tin-top campaign 

The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship gets underway at Thruxton this weekend (8/9 May) with the best tin-top drivers in the country all gunning for glory. 

Honda has been the most potent machinery around the high-speed venue in recent years with the marque taking seven victories from the previous 15 races at the UK’s fastest circuit. 

This may bode well for series returnee and three-time champion Gordon Shedden, who has also shown solid form during pre-season having topped the only official test day at Silverstone last month. 

“I’m raring to go,” said the Halfords Racing with Cataclean star. “Testing has been really good to be honest and I’m quite happy with where we’re at. 

“We seem to say every year that it’s looking like one of the closest yet and walking up and down the pitlane it’s great to see the investment being put into the championship – lots of new cars and a real strong field, which is exactly what everybody wants. 

“Nobody has been able to test at Thruxton so it’s going to be really interesting. Literally straight in and get going at the fastest circuit in the UK – I love the place and I’m really looking forward to it. 

“We need to hit the ground running. Everyone needs to be at the top their game and making no mistakes if they want to win the thing. Hopefully we get a bit of luck and fingers crossed we get some good results this weekend.” 

BTC Racing has its contenders too in the Honda Civic Type-Rs with Josh Cook and Dan Cammish in particular, both having taken a victory apiece in Hampshire during the previous two seasons.  

Jade Edwards will star in the third BTC Racing-run car as she becomes the first full-time female driver in the BTCC since 2007. 

Arguably the most important form guide of course is the 2020 BTCC season as a whole, and therefore both reigning champion Ash Sutton and runner-up Colin Turkington will be expected at the sharp end this weekend. 

Perhaps surprisingly, however, Team BMW legend Turkington hasn’t won at the Hampshire circuit during the previous four visits, whilst Sutton has never triumphed around the 2.36-miles of Tarmac during his BTCC career. 

Tom Ingram has swapped the Toyota Corolla for the Hyundai i30N during the off-season and the Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com driver will have his 2020 double victory here fresh in the memory. 

It could be a great weekend for Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher of course, or may be Jason Plato in the Adrian Flux Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall, or Jake Hill in the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Ford Focus… and the list goes on. 

That’s the beautiful thing about the ultra-competitive BTCC… all 29 drivers come into the curtain raiser with dreams of reaching the top step of the podium. 

Throw in some expected wet weather in Hampshire over the weekend, as well as the cars qualifying without success ballast on Saturday afternoon, and it really is anyone’s guess as to who will get their BTCC season off to a flying start.  

As always, fans can catch all of the action live on ITV throughout the weekend with qualifying getting underway at 14:45 via www.itv.com/btcc on Saturday before the all-important Sunday race day commences at 10:50. 

Viewers can enjoy more than seven hours of action live on ITV4, which will also include coverage from the Ginetta Junior Championship, F4 British Championship, Mini Challenge Trophy, Ginetta GT5 Challenge and Porsche Sprint Challenge GB. 

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