Donington next stop ....

The countdown has begun: there are now less than three weeks to go before Britain’s premier motor racing series – the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship – arrives in the Midlands for its next three rounds at the Donington Park circuit on Sunday 4 May.

The BTCC, now receiving five hours of live Sunday afternoon coverage on ITV4 and contested by Britain’s most professional race teams and drivers, has a long association with Donington and a bumper crowd is anticipated at the parkland track for its race day.

Donington’s location makes it the perfect place for motor sport fans from across the Midlands to see the BTCC in action – just off junction 24 of the M1 motorway it is easily accessible from the nearby cities of Birmingham, Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

A packed programme of 12 races awaits the BTCC crowd at Donington on 4 May. While no fewer than three BTCC races headline the bill, there is further track action from a variety of supporting categories. Adult tickets can be booked for £23 via the ticket hotline 01332 810048 or Donington’s website donington-park.co.uk  Admission for children aged 15 and under is FREE.

There is expected to be plenty of trackside support for the BTCC drivers from across the region: BMW Dealer Team UK driver Mat Jackson (Henley-in-Arden) currently lies second in the BTCC standings after winning at Rockingham last Sunday in his BMW 320si; former double champion Matt Neal (Droitwich), now with current title-holder Vauxhall’s VX Racing team, also took a win at Rockingham to move up to fourth in the points table, while Adam Jones (Solihull) is looking more and more like a potential race winner in his Team Air Cool SEAT Leon.

In addition, there is the BTCC’s first father and son team – namely 50-year-old Mike and 18-year-old Andrew Jordan (Lichfield), both front-runners in their John Guest Racing Honda Integras that are prepared in their team’s workshops in Sutton Coldfield. Stephen Jelley (Leicester) is also a front-runner in his Team RAC BMW 320si.

Moreover, the region is home to the popular Team Dynamics squad (Pershore) which in 2005 and 2006 won the BTCC title with Neal. Its Team Halfords-branded Honda Civics are now raced by Tom Chilton and Gordon Shedden who also won one of the three rounds at Rockingham last Sunday to move into third in the Drivers’ standings.