The British Touring Car Championship returns to Kent for the season finale. Five drivers are in mathematical contention for the BTCC title!
Let’s take a look at what to expect this weekend.
Brands Hatch circuit
The track, just outside of London, hosted a series of Formula 1 Grands Prix in the 1970s and 80s. It’s a challenging 2.4 miles of tarmac, with steep elevation changes, the tight Druids hairpin, and the fast Grand Prix loop.
Racing gamers can experience Brands Hatch in many games, including Gran Turismo Sport and Forza Motorsport 7. Serious sim fans will also find the legendary circuit in iRacing and Assetto Corsa. Those more inclined to play retro racers would likely look to the venerable TOCA 2 Touring Cars from 1998.
Teams build the NGTC spec cars from mostly standardised parts. The external bodies are based on production hatchbacks and saloons but under the skin, the construction is tightly controlled to keep costs sensible.
All cars have a 2-litre turbo petrol engine. Teams have the choice of using an off-the-shelf unit or developing their own which would then be performance balanced. All are two-wheel drive but there are a mixture of front and rear-driven vehicles.
To keep the racing tight, ballast is added to cars based on their championship and race positions. This is recalculated after each race of a weekend.
The BTCC format
Saturday qualifying sets the grid for the first race of Sunday. Race two picks up where race one ended, with the results of the first determining the grid of the second. For race three, they randomly draw a number 6 to 12. Whoever finished race two in that position is moved to pole position and everyone who finished ahead of them is reversed for the final grid of the weekend.
Each driver has to take soft tyres for one race of the three, which are faster but less durable.
The title challengers
Reigning champion Ash Sutton leads the pack in the chase for the 2021 title. With a 32 point advantage, some might see him as having one hand on the trophy, but in touring cars it’s rarely that simple! Fan favourite Ash has really dialled in the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti this season and will expect to be fighting at the front this Sunday. Ash Sutton is a keen racing gamer himself, known for his Twitch streams in the off-season
Colin Turkington is Sutton’s closest competitor. The Northern Irish veteran will rely on his BMW’s quick launches to keep in contention through the day. Colin has four BTCC titles to his name and would dearly love to make it five.
Tom Ingram, Jake Hill, and Josh Cook all have an outside chance of beating Ash Sutton but will rely on bad luck befalling the Infiniti squad.
Watching this weekend
Raceday is broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK. As well as the BTCC, ITV will show the support series including the Mini Challenge and Ginetta cups. Coverage starts at 10.45am on Sunday. You can also watch Saturday's qualifying via the ITV player and ITV website.
Outside of the UK, MotorTrend shows highlights packages. Alternatively, find a UK VPN and tune in on the ITV website.
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