Brands Hatch might be the spiritual home of the British Touring Car Championship, but it would take a very brave (read foolhardy) individual to argue against Donington Park’s prominent place within the history of the series, nor its ability to serve up truly sensational tin-top action. This means that there’s a huge degree of anticipation in the lead up to the BTCC’s annual pilgrimage to Donington Park this coming weekend, not least as the opening trio of races at Brands were among the best in recent memory. The pressure is on Donington to deliver then, something we’re confident it will manage. Until then, enjoy our preview of all the Autoglym supported teams taking part in the BTCC this year.
Team BMR – Subaru Levorg GT – Ashley Sutton, Jason Plato, Josh Price
A less than stellar season debut at Brands will have doubtless given Team BMR a sense of deja vu, though they’ll also take comfort in the fact that they began last year an even less competitive display and came from behind to win the drivers’ title for Ash Sutton. The team will therefore look to begin its title defence proper at Donington Park (particularly after a successful test session at Thruxton 2 weeks ago), so expect to see the Levorg GTs of Sutton and Plato fighting hard for podiums and victories all weekend, with the third car of Josh Price likely in the hunt for strong points finishes.
Wix Racing with Eurotech – Honda Civic Type R – Jack Goff, Brett Smith
They say that one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure, and while this might be a tad extreme when discussing BTCC cars, it does ring true in Wix Racing’s case, the team having benefited from the use of ex-works Honda Civics throughout last year and into this. Indeed, the team currently sits atop the Teams’ Championship thanks to a race win for Jack Goff, one achieved off the back of a scorching pole position. A haul of further points finishes followed, leaving the team perfectly placed to continue its underdog fight as the BTCC circus pitches up at Donington Park.
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher – Ford Focus RS – Tom Chilton, James Cole
A trying weekend at Brands for the Shredded Wheat Focuses, with plenty of pace but little in the way of solid, bank-able results. The good news is that the team has good recent to feel hopeful in the lead up to the Donington Park races, not least as pre-event testing has shown both improved pace from the cars of both Chilton and Cole. The team also has reason to believe that, based on data gleaned from the BTCC season launch at Donington last month, its aero package will be better suited to this, a more power-focussed track.
Team Parker Racing – BMW 125i M-Sport – Stephen Jelley
A new for 2018 car for the Team Parker Racing guys meant they spent much of the Brands Hatch weekend trying to get to grips with the new BMW, and while driver (and former BTCC race winner, we might add) Stephen Jelley failed to net any points, he was both quick and consistent. Both team and driver will be aiming to score points at Donington.
Simpson Racing – Honda Civic Type R – Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson is another race making use of ex-Team Dynamics Honda hardware, and the Simpson Racing driver has put it to similarly good use, beginning his 2018 campaign in some style with competitive showings in all 3 Brands races. Simpson now heads to Donington placed 11thin the title standings with 18 points, and will therefore have his sights firmly set on an assault on the top 10 this weekend.
AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing & AmD with Cobra Exhausts – MG6/Audi S3 – Tom Boardman, Rory Butcher/Sam Smelt, Ollie Jackson
A 4 car team split in two, AmD’s fortunes have been mixed so far this year, with the Cobra Exhausts Audi S4 of Ollie Jackson presently sat at the head of the inter-team standings in 8th overall thanks to a podium finish, one place ahead of Rory Butcher’s MG. The similar car of Tom Boardman sits in 15th, while Sam Smelt’s Audi sits at the bottom of the table in 32nd. The quartet of drivers will hope that Donington’s high speed, relatively low aero layout will work to their advantage.