Preview to Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship
This weekend (28/29 June) the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) rumbles its way to Croft Circuit in the North East of England for the latest outing of Britain’s premier motor racing series.
The previous meeting at Oulton Park was a tale of two halves for Jack Clarke and the Crabbie’s Racing team. Clarke revelled in the tricky, damp conditions in practice and found his Motorbase-run Ford Focus ST very much to his liking, ending the two sessions in 17th and 15th respectively. However, an off in qualifying meant the 26-year-old started in a lowly 22nd and faced an uphill challenge in Sunday’s races. That said, the Surrey youngster kept his chin up and maturely moved forward in every race, just missing out on his top 15 target.
After a three week break, the BTCC arrives at Croft for the final races of the first half of the year. The season so far has seen plenty of action and drama throughout the field, which undoubtedly has pleased the thousands of spectators trackside and the hundreds of thousands more watching the spectacle unfold on ITV4.
Effingham-based driver Clarke has positive memories of Croft after securing victory there in his debut season in the Formula Palmer Audi single-seater championship back in 2007. Driving duties in Europe and America followed and the Crabbie’s driver has not been back to the Darlington venue since. Jack will be under no illusion that it will be a tough weekend as he reacclimatises himself to the circuit in the big, brash and bold tin-top series.
The 2.1 mile track may favour the rear-wheel-drive cars with its tight hairpin and slow corners, but that will not stop the touring car rookie from putting on a show for the BTCC fans as he threads the nimble Focus around the former airfield in the hunt for those much sought-after BTCC points.
Talking ahead of his Croft BTCC debut, Jack reflects on his tin-top education and looks forward to the weekend ahead.
“We were really optimistic coming into Oulton Park and showed a turn of pace all weekend. It was a missed opportunity in qualifying; I made a simple mistake and that put the rest of weekend on the back foot. It was a real slog on Sunday trying to make up positions and I didn’t finish as high as I would have liked but that’s the BTCC – it’s hard, no-holds-barred, elbows-out racing.
“I am knocking on the door of finishing in the points paying positions and will continue to push forward when we visit Croft this weekend. I have good memories of the circuit and I want to continue my 100% finishing record and add further points to my current BTCC tally. The Crabbie’s Ford Focus should be quick through the tight and twisty stuff and I will look for any overtaking opportunities if they arise.”
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be held at Croft in Yorkshire on 28/29 June.
All three BTCC races will take place on Sunday, with each race being broadcast live and in
high definition in its entirety on ITV4 and ITV4HD from 11:00am.
Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Croft on 28/29 June are available from just £13, with free entry for children aged 15 and under. All admission includes access to Sunday’s autograph session with the BTCC drivers in the pit lane as well as free parking.