BTCC 2019: Croft – Preview

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship makes its annual pilgrimage to Croft this weekend for rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2019 campaign.

For many years, Croft has been a strong track for Team BMW and that’s something the current champion is relishing.

“There’s just something about Croft and its unique challenge that really excites me,” said Colin Turkington. “It’s easily my favourite circuit on the calendar and historically BMW has achieved great success there, so the pressure is on to keep that story going.

“The track has been completely resurfaced – coincidentally by one of my long-term partners, TARMAC – so I’m keen to get out there and understand the grip level.

“I’ll be qualifying with some weight in the car so will need to ensure I maximise everything from myself and the BMW – accurate engineering and bravery will be the difference between a good qualifying and a great one.

“It feels like Thruxton was ages ago, but that time was important to understand the development of the new 3 Series, analyse my performance and identify areas where we can improve before we plan our next attack.”

After his fantastic start to the season, Rory Butcher heads to the North Yorkshire venue as the joint championship leader with Turkington whom both sit on 102 points.

The Scotsman has finished in the points in every single race so far this season, including scoring his maiden BTCC victory at Brands Hatch Indy. He’ll be hoping to carry that great form through this weekend and come out of it still in touch with the championship lead.

Rory Butcher has impressed so far in 2019.

Another driver who will be looking to preserve his record of finishing in the points in every single race is the current independent champion Tom Ingram.

Ingram and his Speedworks team are embarking on their first season as a fully backed manufacturer with their all new Toyota Corolla and will be looking for a strong points haul this weekend.

“I love Croft,” enthralled Ingram. “As a circuit, it invariably generates exciting racing and there’s always a warm welcome when the BTCC rolls into town. I think we can confidently predict that it’s going to suit the rear wheel-drive lads, but we performed very well there last year, so we’re definitely looking forward to going back to see what we can achieve with the new Corolla.

“There’s been some pretty major resurfacing work at Croft in the meantime, so it will be interesting to discover how that affects everything and if it swings the pendulum any more towards the front wheel-drive cars. Nobody has driven on it yet so there is no real information to go on, but hopefully it will be a little grippier than before.

“Overall, we’ve had a very positive, solid start to the season and we’re understanding the Corolla more every time we take to the track. We’re moving in the right direction and going to Croft, I think we’re in good shape. I see no reason why the circuit shouldn’t suit us again, so hopefully we can push on and keep this points-scoring run intact.”

In 2018, Ingram scored two podium finishes at the North Yorkshire circuit and will hope to try and replicate that success this weekend.

Header image from BTCC

By Jordan Hollands.

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