After the five week summer break the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) fires back into life at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk this weekend (2/3 August) for the latest outing of Britain’s premier motor racing series.
The previous meeting at Croft in Yorkshire saw a turn of pace for Crabbie’s Racing and its Surrey-based driver Jack Clarke. After a respectable qualifying session the BTCC rookie got stuck into the action-packed tin-top series, going door-to-door with his more experienced rivals. The first race saw the 26-year-old finish just outside the points and in race two Clarke had his best result in his debut season so far, 11th place at the chequered flag after an enthralling race.
With great expectation and nothing to lose in the final race of the day, the Crabbie’s-backed driver enjoyed a good battle with former British F3 Champion Marc Hynes on the cusp of the top ten. His weekend was curtailed early on lap 11, however, after coming into contact with a tyre stack on a chicane, which punctured the left front tyre and took the front wing off the car. Jack’s first non finish of the season was disappointing, however there was a consolation for Clarke as his fastest race lap was quicker than five former BTCC Champions and was sixth quickest overall out of 30 drivers.
As the championship heads into the height of the summer, the action is set to hot up further this weekend at Snetterton near Norwich. The 300 circuit which was first used in 2011 is one of the longest in the country at just under three miles long. The Effingham-based driver tested the Motorbase Performance run Ford Focus at the East Anglian circuit in a pre-season test session and he set some competitive times against his benchmark, stable-mate and double BTCC Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi.
Talking ahead of his Snetterton BTCC debut, Clarke reflects on his first half of season and the weekend ahead.
“It has been a real roller coaster first half of the season,” enthused an excited Clarke.
“The BTCC is a tough Championship with so many good drivers in it. The first couple of rounds were hard work and I had to get used to driving a front-wheel-drive car for the first time in my career. I have really worked hard on my approach and driving style and by Oulton Park I felt settled and at one with the car.
“At Croft I was chuffed to be fighting towards the front, we weren’t there by default and our times showed that. I am really looking forward to Snetterton and I know we can be quick there as well. Points are now the target for the team and myself. ”
Rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be held at Snetterton in Norfolk on 2/3 August.
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 Snetterton on 2/3 August are available from just £14, with free entry for children aged 13 and under. All admission includes access to Sunday’s autograph session with the BTCC drivers in the pit lane as well as free parking.