East Midlands next stop for BTCC posted on 09 September 2011
There is now little more than a week to go before the increasingly intense fight to win the UK’s premier motor racing championship, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, arrives in Northamptonshire for its latest round of 2011 at the Rockingham circuit (17-18 September).
After seven previous meetings around the UK, the BTCC’s arrival at Rockingham near Corby marks the biggest motor sport event of the year by far for the venue thanks to the championship’s huge nationwide following plus massive television exposure from ITV Sport.
For the public there is still time to purchase tickets at advance rates to see the BTCC in full bumper-to-bumper action in three races on the Sunday (18 Sept) at Rockingham. Furthermore, FREE admission all weekend for children aged 15 and under – this includes access to both the central BTCC paddock and driver autograph session – makes the fixture a huge hit among family audiences from across the region.
Rockingham is also the UK’s newest motor racing circuit meaning its public facilities are second to none in the country. In addition its lay-out is based around a US-style ‘racing oval’ including vast grandstands that provide views of the whole lap – perfect for catching all the BTCC drama and controversy on track. To book and for details on all pricing options visit the www.rockingham.co.uk website or call the circuit in 01536 500500. Prices also include all grandstand seating.
Rockingham is the first of the BTCC’s final three events of 2011 – meaning it is a crucial weekend for those drivers fighting it out for the title. Leading the way and separated by just a single point at the top are Honda Racing team-mates Gordon Shedden (Dalgety Bay, Fife) and Matt Neal (Droitwich Spa, Worcs), but still breathing down their necks are Airwaves Racing Ford ace Mat Jackson (Henley-in-Arden, Warks) and reigning Champion Jason Plato (Oxford) in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze that is prepared by the hugely successful RML team in nearby Wellingborough.
Within striking distance of these four is local driver to Rockingham, James Nash from Newport Pagnell in his 888 Racing with Collins Contractors Vauxhall Vectra. The 25-year-old, still in only his third season in the BTCC, might be 47 points off the lead but with a possible maximum of 52 available from Rockingham’s three races alone there is time yet for him to catch his more experienced rivals with events at Brands Hatch, Kent (2 Oct) and Silverstone, Northants (16 Oct) to follow. Indeed, Nash is still hunting his first race win in the BTCC and there would be no better place to achieve it than at Rockingham in front of his home crowd.
Rockingham is a ‘home event’ as well for sixth-placed Andrew Jordan from Rugby in his Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra, his team-mate Jeff Smith (Wellingborough) and the enthusiastic Chris James, driving a Chevrolet in both his and his small Bedford-based ES Racing.com team’s first season in the BTCC. Notably, both Nash and Jordan are also in the running for the coveted Independent Trophy for drivers racing for privateer teams.
Rockingham’s bumper BTCC weekend (17-18 Sept) features ELEVEN more races for the high-profile Ginetta Junior, Ginetta GT Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup, Formula Renault and Renault Clio Cup categories that provide the best in saloon, sportscar and single-seater action. Among those fighting for the Porsche Carrera crown is another local, Leicester’s Stephen Jelley who has already won four races this season, while Grantham brother and sister Andrew and Louise Richardson are ‘ones to watch’ in Ginetta GTs.
Finally the BTCC makes for the perfect occasion for Rockingham to celebrate its own tenth anniversary in style and the circuit has plenty of extra entertainment lined up for the public to enjoy including: parachute displays, family Monster Truck rides and, for kids, a visit from Roary The Racing Car, fairground rides, wall climbing and even an opportunity for 14 to 17-year-olds to sample driving for the first time with the circuit’s own race school.