The FIA World Touring Car Championship, which comes to Brands Hatch this weekend time, is a closely-fought competition where every tenth of a second counts. The competitors are so well-matched that the championship traditionally goes down to the final round.
The two races that will take place at Brands Hatch weekend, on 26/27 July, come at a crucial point just over halfway through the season. BMW driver Andy Priaulx’s home win at Brands Hatch last year was the start of a critical fightback that resulted in his third straight FIA WTCC title at the end of the season. Once more, he will be taking on his key British rivals, James Thompson (Honda) and Rob Huff (Chevrolet), ensuring a three-way fight for glory on home territory.
Brands Hatch is a specialised track to drive and a real challenge for every competitor. The technical rules ensure that all the cars are virtually identical in terms of performance, meaning that a neat but assertive driving style is required to make the difference.
Thompson, whose firm aim is to go one better than the second place he captured last year at Brands Hatch, says: “It’s a classic British track: narrow, undulating, scenic and it requires large amounts of commitment; it ticks all the boxes, really. I know Brands better than any other circuit the WTCC uses, so I’d like to think I’ve got a really good chance to win there; the problem is that there are probably four others who are in the same position!”
“Every time I talk about Brands Hatch I compare it to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife,” adds Priaulx. “Brands Hatch really is a miniature version. It's fast, flowing and narrow, with lots of camber change and very little run-off. Paddock Hill Bend is one of those corners you never drive anywhere else in the world. It's unconventional and at the end of it you expect to fall off the edge of the world. I love it! You need loads of confidence to do well but as always that’s my aim.”
Tickets are now on sale to watch all the British masters at work. Adult admission on Sunday 27 July costs £30 at the gate, but only £24 if you book online at motorsportvision.co.uk. An online weekend ticket costs £34 while children aged 12 and under go free. Grandstand seating starts at £5 and the raceday pit walkabout, which opens at 09:00 on Sunday, costs £12. Advance booking is available online and from the ticket hotline on 0870 950 9000. Advance ticket purchases close at noon today