The 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will blast back into action at Donington Park next weekend (1/2 August) with drivers, teams, partners and fans reaching fever pitch with anticipation, enthusiasm and excitement.
With major sports having been suspended during recent months due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, Series Organiser TOCA and its stakeholders have been busy preparing for a safe return to action – putting together a rescheduled 27-race championship, which will take place across nine of the UK’s best circuit layouts.
Such is the health and strength of the UK’s premier motorsport series that it has been able to rearrange an almost full calendar season – condensed into a three and a half month campaign – much to the delight of the teams involved.
“We have built a really strong platform to make an impact this year, supported fantastically by our commercial partners. As with all premier motorsport, we have developed an innovative and proactive solution to help drive extra value to our partners within the new circumstances, which we are really excited about bringing to life,” said Mark Blundell, MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Team Principal.
“We just can’t wait to get started! We have obviously faced unique circumstances but thanks to the power of the BTCC – alongside side its excellent television coverage – we and all of our drivers are looking forward to putting on an unforgettable show. We are ready to go racing,” said David Bartrum, Motorbase Performance Team Principal.
The television coverage that Bartrum alludes to is the BTCC’s unrivalled partnership with ITV - the UK’s biggest commercial network – a relationship that has spanned nearly 20 years.
The BTCC is the only major series to boast season-long free-to-air coverage on UK television, and around 20 million fans are expected to tune into ITV4’s live and exclusive coverage of every BTCC race during 2020.
“ITV and the BTCC have been partners for 18 years, and the longevity of that relationship bears testament to the series’ outstanding popularity and enduring appeal, with a loyal fanbase that continues to grow year-on-year.
“To bring such quality and quantity of live top-level motorsport action to viewers completely free-to-air is unprecedented in the UK, and the appetite for that coverage keeps escalating,” said Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.
A number of commercial partners of the series and teams have also expressed their delight ahead of the much-anticipated return of the BTCC
“The reaction from our customers and colleagues to our involvement in the series has been fantastic. We are hugely looking forward to another successful BTCC season,” said Andy Lane, Kwik Fit Marketing Director.
“The BTCC is one of the best-loved, most famous motor racing championships in the world and provides a great opportunity for Goodyear to get close to the hearts and minds of motorsport enthusiasts,” said Ben Crawley, Goodyear Motorsport Director.
“We’re excited to see the Ginsters livery adorning Tom Ingram’s race-winning Corolla out on the circuit again this year, and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way as he guns for glory,” said Kieran Hemsworth, Ginsters of Cornwall Managing Director.
BTCC fans have been filling social media channels with their own stories and positive comments ahead of next weekend’s season-opener, with the UK’s premier motorsport series again set to enjoy incredible support from its huge and loyal fanbase.
Last but not least, of course – the drivers. The BTCC boasts nearly 30 of the world’s best touring car racers and, with months of extended preparation and testing nearly behind them, it’s almost time to hit the track once again!
“There's a real hunger to go racing and together with Team BMW we’re doing everything we can to keep delivering the results – the buzz is definitely building,” said Colin Turkington, Team BMW driver and record-equalling four-time BTCC Champion.
“There is a real buzz around the new season and full credit must go to all involved in the way that the BTCC has led from the front in promoting a safe and ultra-positive return to action. Now I can’t wait to get racing again!” said Matt Neal, Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and three-time BTCC Champion.
“To have the UK's highest motorsport platform back and in full flow is fantastic and I think we are in store for one of the most exciting seasons yet,” said Tom Ingram, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters driver and former Independents’ BTCC Champion.
“We are ready to go and we are delighted that TOCA has been able to organise a near-complete season schedule. Now it’s over to us and the teams to provide the action and I can’t wait to get started,” said Rory Butcher, Motorbase Performance driver and reigning Independents’ BTCC Champion.
Following the Donington Park opener, Brands Hatch will then host the first of its two race weekends with Oulton Park, Knockhill, Thruxton, Silverstone, Croft and Snetterton all being visited along the way before the conclusion of the campaign in November.
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease throughout the nation, we encourage our fans to contact the venues direct (details as below) in order to obtain the most up-to-date information regarding their forthcoming BTCC event.
Donington Park 01474 872331 www.donington-park.co.uk
Brands Hatch 01474 872331 www.brandshatch.co.uk
Oulton Park 01474 872331 www.oultonpark.co.uk
Knockhill 01383 723337 www.knockhill.com
Thruxton 01264 882222 www.thruxtonracing.co.uk
Silverstone 0344 3728200 www.silverstone.co.uk
Croft 01325 721815 www.croftcircuit.co.uk
Snetterton 01474 872331 www.snetterton.co.uk
Brands Hatch 01474 872331 www.brandshatch.co.uk