Knockhill to kickstart 2022 BTCC campaign
Cars and stars head for Scotland after annual mid-season break
The second half of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship gets underway next weekend (30/31 July) as the UK’s premier motorsport series heads to Knockhill in Scotland.
The tight and twisty 1.27-mile Fife circuit is one of the most popular on the calendar with action aplenty keeping drivers wide-eyed and fans on their feet with 29 cars set to go bumper-to-bumper during three thrilling BTCC encounters.
Tom Ingram leads the way at the midway mark of the season after the pendulum swung his way at Croft last time out. His progress up the order had already begun following a double victory at Oulton Park earlier in June, and the Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com star backed up his form with a trio of top-seven finishes in North Yorkshire.
Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Josh Cook relinquished the top spot as he struggled slightly at the same two venues, but he is only three points off the standings’ summit after an extremely impressive start to his own campaign.
While Ingram and Cook are both chasing a first overall BTCC Drivers’ title, they have a pair of multiple champions immediately behind them, suggesting the race for this year’s honours will likely build towards an exciting crescendo.
Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington have an incredible seven Drivers’ titles between them, and both are keen to add to their respective trophy cabinets.
In truth, at this relatively early stage of the campaign, some dozen or so drivers still hold intentions of winning the most coveted crown in British motorsport so it’s likely to be an exciting fight for victory in Fife next weekend.
Sutton steps up the pace at Snetterton test
There was little rest for the BTCC paddock during the mid-season break, as the two-day Goodyear tyre test took place over 12/13 July.
In the scorching heat, it was NAPA Racing UK that came out on top, with Ash Sutton and team-mate Dan Cammish occupying the P1 and P2 on the combined times at the conclusion of testing.
Sutton’s NAPA Racing UK Ford would complete 155 laps of the Snetterton 300 configuration, more than any other driver over the two days, and clocked his best tour during Wednesday morning’s session, shaving more than six-tenths of a second off the current race lap record.
The current champion is again in the thick of the championship battle, but he’s still searching for his first win of the campaign, and with the Kent-based squad finally setting the pace it seems as though that maiden 2022 triumph isn’t far away.
“We feel like we’ve had a lot of potential and that potential seemed to be showing in Dan’s pace too, but I’m pleased with the two-day tyre test and am looking forward to going to Knockhill and trying out some of the things we’ve learnt,” said Sutton.
A total of 30 drivers headed out over 14 hours of testing, accruing almost 2,500 laps of the 2.97-mile circuit and notching more than 7,200 miles.
Four Scots fired up for home event
Gordon Shedden, Rory Butcher, Aiden Moffat and Dexter Patterson make up the Scottish quartet that will be gunning for glory in front of their home support next weekend, and there’s every chance that at least one of them could reach the top step of the rostrum.
Three-time champion Shedden has already tasted victory this season and the Halfords Racing with Cataclean man will be looking to re-ignite his title challenge at Knockhill, whilst his brother-in-law Butcher is targeting for a first win of the campaign in his Toyota GAZOO Racing UK Corolla.
Moffat and Patterson have shown much-improved pace in recent rounds and the Laser Tools Racing duo are also searching for silverware in Scotland, with the latter already a multiple race-winner in the UK’s toughest motorsport championship.
Knockhill’s race-day coverage will see the BTCC return to ITV’s main channel for the third time this year, with a three-hour programme scheduled before the action switches over to ITV4 for the final race of the day.
While itv.com/btcc will host Saturday’s qualifying session, as always, from 1515, Sunday’s broadcast kicks off on ITV between 1200-1500 before ITV4 takes over for the remainder of the day from 1455-1800.
Timetables and Tickets
The BTCC action will be complemented by an invariably spectacular line-up of support series at Knockhill, with the range of racing disciplines set to entertain and enthral the expected huge crowds.
The F4 British Championship, Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, MINI CHALLENGE Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta GT4 SuperCup also join the fray as the second half of the season gets underway.
Advance tickets are available for as little as £13, with Adult Weekend Admission costing £50 while accompanied children aged 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.
For further information or to buy tickets, click here.