UK Touring Car Championship heads to Croft with a boiling streak
The CROFT circuit will host Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship this weekend as the UK’s biggest motor racing series heads north with the series at its crossroads. ‘boiling.
Nine different drivers have stepped onto the podium in 18 races so far, with more than half of the 30 driver grid already on the BTCC podium this season, underscoring the competitiveness of this year’s roster.
Double and defending champion Ash Sutton comes to Croft as the series leader after winning four races so far, and holds a 30-point lead over Tom Ingram. The Hertfordshire Sutton (Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50) rider has four victories at Croft, but has not reached the top step since his double in 2018, so he will be keen to get back on the road to victory.
Ingram of Warwickshire has three wins to his name this season, so he will be looking to add to that tally in his Ginsters EXCELR8 with TracePriceCars.com Hyundai i30N. He won one of three races at Croft last season, in a closed-door meeting due to restrictions imposed by Covid, so he hopes to repeat that feat this weekend.
Josh Cook of BTC Racing on his Honda Civic Type R is third in the title race. The Somerset driver won the first two races of the season at Thruxton and added a third victory last time around. He doubled up at Croft last year and will therefore be confident to close the seven-point gap with Ingram just above him.
Kent’s Jake Hill sits in fourth place in the standings, but the MB Motorsport driver accelerated by Blue Square Ford Focus ST driver has not had a win so far this season, so he will look to straighten things out at Croft.
Then there is one driver who has had the most success at Croft in recent years and that is Colin Turkington of the BMW team. The quadruple BTCC champion, originally from Portadown in Northern Ireland but now living in Buckinghamshire, has a dozen victories around the 2.13 mile Croft track including double wins in 2009, 2013 and 2014. But he did not. not tasted victory champagne in North Yorkshire. track since 2017, so he will be eager to put the BMW 330i M Sport back in the lead and add to its two wins so far this season.
Lancashire marauder Adam Morgan in his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport completed the top six. With Darlington-based team manager Norman Burgess, the Blackburn rider already has two wins this season so they are hoping for more success in front of their home fans.
Local hopefuls will be on Senna Proctor in the BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R. The Yorkshireman from just over the Wolds at Driffield scored a victory at Oulton Park but would love to step onto the podium on the track where his grandfather Tony was so successful in his Rallycross career.
Newcastle-born Jason Plato is back in action this season in the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra where he will look to add to the podium scored earlier this season at Thruxton. Plato has over 600 BTCC starts to his name with 97 wins and another to add to his victory around Croft in 2012 would bring the two-time champion closer to that magic number of 100.
It’s not just the all-in-action BTCC that will thrill the crowds in Croft, as a fast and furious feast of supporting streaks is added to the lineup. Superstars of the future will face off in the British F4 Championship, with the next generation of BTCC heroes earning their stripes in the Quaife MINI Challenge, with Scorton’s Max Coates, Northallerton driver Ethan Hammerton and Harrogate’s Isaac Smith ready for battle .
There will be plenty of action and a number of local drivers in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, including former BTCC ace Dan Cammish from Leeds as well as Lorcan Hanafin from Ilkley and former racing cyclist Josh Caygill, also. from Leeds.
The action will also be intense in the Miller Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup where York driver Carl Garnett hopes to succeed and in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge Yorkshire’s Bren Maude will be one to watch.
Tickets for the only event of the year northeast of the BTCC are available at the gate with adult entry priced at £ 15 for entry on Saturday (BTCC qualifying), £ 35 for Sunday (day of the BTCC race) or £ 43 for the full weekend. Accompanied children aged 12 and under are admitted free, with tickets for ages 13-15 starting at £ 3.