Thruxton next stop

The countdown is well and truly under way! There are now just over two weeks to go before the UK's premier motor racing series - the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship - arrives in the South-West of England to wow the crowds at the high-speed circuit of Thruxton in Hampshire (Sunday 26 April).

Thruxton is the fastest circuit on the calendar for the BTCC drivers who, under the glare of live ITV4 cameras, will be racing wheel-to-wheel at speeds of up to 150mph. And with a trackside crowd of tens of thousands attending what is traditionally one of the region's biggest sporting events of the year, the action is sure to be at its fast and furious best.

Indeed, Thruxton's accessibility - right by the A303 dual carriageway near Andover - plus FREE admission for children aged 15 and under makes it a huge hit with families as well as aficionados and casual motor sport audiences alike.

Furthermore, Thruxton marks the home event of the season for two of the BTCC's star names - Robert Collard and Tom Chilton. Collard, from Hook, Hants will arrive at Thruxton fighting for the championship lead after winning one of the season's opening three races at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent last weekend for his Airwaves BMW team. Chilton, from Poole, Dorset is also chasing strong results in his Team Aon Ford Focus.

Neither, though, is under any illusion about the task ahead for they are on a 20-strong grid that features some of the best touring car drivers in the world - names such as Jason Plato, Fabrizio Giovanardi, Matt Neal, Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden.

Collard (pictured leading last Sunday)) said: "This will be the only chance this year for people to see the BTCC in the region. Sparks are definitely going to fly - we'll be reaching 150mph in places and in the BTCC there's often a bit of paint traded!

"Apart from the fact that close racing is guaranteed, another of the BTCC's great appeals is that the public can identify with the cars on the track. Up against my BMW there are another five makes of car that people will be driving to and from the track including Chevrolets, Fords, Hondas, SEATs and Vauxhalls.

"On top of that there are specially arranged autograph sessions where the public including children can meet the drivers. After Thruxton, the BTCC's calendar moves on around the rest of the UK so, as my home event, this one is always very important to me. The support I receive at Thruxton each year is unbelievable and I look forward to seeing the crowds there on raceday."

Three BTCC races will headline the bill of action at Thruxton on Sunday 26 April that also features a further seven races from the supporting Ginetta, Porsche and Renault championships.

Trackside admission is FREE for children aged 15 and under, while all-day tickets cost just £22.00 per adult if booked before 22 April. Tickets can be ordered by visiting Thruxton's website or calling the circuit on 01264 882200.

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