Touring car action to reach 150mph on Hampshire's Thruxton circuit
Having already twice wowed the nation live on TV with their wheel-to-wheel antics in 2012, the stars of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will surely be tested to their limits this weekend (28/29 April) when they contest their latest three races on Hampshire’s high-speed Thruxton circuit.Thruxton is the fastest track on the calendar for the teams and drivers of Britain’s premier motor racing championship with cars running bumper-to-bumper at close to 150mph. Furthermore it is the only time this year that the BTCC will visit the region making it a must-see event for motor sport and motoring enthusiasts from across the South and South West in particular.Thruxton is also within easy reach of the Midlands, South Wales and London thanks to its proximity to the A303 dual carriageway which provides swift links to the M3, M4, M5, M25, M27 and A34 motorway network. And with the added presence of ITV4’s live cameras covering the event, its big BTCC weekend is truly both a major sporting and social occasion.The opening six races of 2012 have produced no fewer than five different winners – Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing MG), Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civics), Robert Collard (eBay Motors BMW) and Mat Jackson (Redstone Racing Ford Focus). It is Plato who will arrive at Thruxton leading the standings but only by a slender margin from reigning Champion Neal, Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Honda, Collard, Shedden and Jackson. For the record, former double Champion Plato also boasts an unrivalled 69 career race wins with three of them having been achieved at Thruxton.Meanwhile Collard is very much among the local heroes. Both he and team-mate Nick Foster hail from near Hook, Hampshire. Collard will also be going into the event very likely with a few aches having run in yesterday’s London Marathon! Fleet-based Welch Motorsport with its Proton Persona driven by Daniel Welch will be looking to impress on home ground as well.In all some nine different makes – Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, MG, Proton, Toyota, Vauxhall and VW – are represented on the grid, meaning plenty of variety for the race day spectators to choose a favourite.Tickets for the event remain available at discounted prices – just £25 for race day (Sunday) – while general admission is FREE all weekend for accompanied children aged 15 and under. Admission also includes access to the BTCC pit lane on Sunday morning when fans can meet the drivers during a specially arranged autograph session. Meanwhile Thruxton’s BTCC weekend (28/29 April) includes 12 races in all – three for the touring car grid plus further exhilarating action from the supporting Ginetta Junior, Ginetta GT Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup and Renault Clio Cup grids. On the Clio Cup grid is Nicolas Hamilton, brother of Formula 1 hero Lewis Hamilton.