BTCC Rounds 19, 20, 21 — Knockhill Preview
This weekend could provide a crucial chapter in the season’s mesmerizing story.
The final preparations are being made by the track team in Fife ahead of an important few days of racing for all of the top teams. With the gap between Team BMR’s Jason Plato and Colin Turkington in first and second place respectively being only 16 points, everything is to play for in the tail-end of the season with 12 rounds still up for grabs it means that none of the top 10 drivers can be discounted in the race for the drivers championship.
Knockhill has traditionally favoured the rear-wheel drive offerings from BMW and Audi with Turkington’s 2014 performance being particularly memorable in the Ebay Racing BMW. This year however Turkington and Plato remain optimistic in their new Team BMR VW CC’s and the pace that they will bring to the notoriously tough track and rightly so given the recent 1–2–3 finish at Snetterton, a first for the BTCC.
Their main competition comes from local hero Gordon Shedden in the Team Dynamics Honda Civic, who has always had home advantage at Knockhill but has struggled to convert that into wins and will hope to reverse his terrible fortunes last time out at Snetterton. Shedden’s teammate Matt Neal also has good form previously at the circuit and usually tends to be one to watch however he does tend to be a magnet for incidents and collisions so other drivers will be trying to steer clear of his bad luck.
Knockhill is the BTCC’s only trip in the yearly calendar to Scotland, and it shows in the excitement and volume of the crowd that faithfully come out every year to support the teams and drivers. The event offers fans of motorsport a truly unrivalled level of access to the teams, mechanics and drivers during the race weekend. It genuinely is a surreal experience to be wandering down the rows of erected awnings that act as team garages and simply walking upto drivers and chatting with them. I guess that’s part of the draw with Touring Cars is the approachable, friendly atmosphere of it all both in person and on TV.
Other hopefuls for this weekend include young Scot Aiden Moffat who is keen to make his return after his frightening accident at Snetterton that saw him retired from the race due to medical grounds. Moffat suffered a concussion and has no recollection of the accident, which left him visibly shaken and struggling to walk away from his car with help from the medical team. Another welcome return is Hunter Abbot who had previously announced he would be missing Knockhill due to the imminent birth of his child, however the deal for a replacement driver has just fallen through so Abbot has decided to go ahead with the race weekend. Finger’s crossed all round that the racing happens on-track and not to the maternity unit.
Live coverage of this weekend’s action is available on the ITV Website and on ITV4, Sunday at 1045am. Alternatively tickets can be bought on the gate from £32 on Sunday with a great cast of supporting races as well.