Northants circuit next stop

The countdown has begun: there are now less than two weeks to go before Britain's premier motor racing series - the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship - arrives in Northamptonshire for its crucial penultimate rounds, at the world-famous Silverstone circuit on Sunday 31 August.

This will be the only opportunity in 2008 for the Silverstone crowds to see the BTCC in action. With easy access from the A43 dual carriageway that links the M1 and M40 motorways plus great value for money entertainment for the public on race day, Silverstone's BTCC fixture is likely to be among one of the Midlands region's biggest sporting events of the year in terms of excitement, atmosphere and crowd numbers.

Silverstone marks the ninth race fixture of the season for the BTCC with just Brands Hatch in Kent in mid-September to follow - meaning its three races will play a hugely influential role in the outcome of this year's championship. Live ITV television coverage on the day will add to the tension.

Following yesterday's rounds at Knockhill in Scotland, Italian Fabrizio Giovanardi remains on course to win a second consecutive crown for his Vauxhall team but nearest rival Jason Plato refuses to give in - he won two of Knockhill's races in his SEAT and knows a repeat performance at Silverstone and just one slip-up from Giovanardi would suddenly turn the title race on its head.

And with other star names such as Colin Turkington and Mat Jackson in their BMWs, Matt Neal and Tom Onslow-Cole in their Vauxhalls, Darren Turner in his SEAT and Gordon Shedden in his Honda plus others all regularly in the hunt for victories and podium results, Giovanardi knows he cannot afford to relax if he is to keep the determined Plato at bay.

There's great news for fans too as Silverstone's high-speed National circuit on which the BTCC will be in action has a proven history of producing dramatic and unpredictable racing. Furthermore, its short lap means the crowds see the cars more often and, with grandstand seats included in the admission price, views of the BTCC stars doing battle are among the finest spectators will enjoy all year.

In addition to the three headlining BTCC races, there will be another seven races from a variety of supporting series for fans to savour.

Car parking and admission for children aged 15 and under is FREE while adults can pre-order race day tickets for just £23.00 online at silverstone.co.uk or by calling the hotline 08704 588 260.

There is also FREE public access to the BTCC paddock and the hugely popular Pit Lane Walkabout session when fans can meet the BTCC's star drivers for autographs, photos and give-aways.