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The gloves come off for BTCC showdown at Snetterton

Thursday, July 29 2010

Following a six week break, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take to the tarmac at Snetterton next weekend (7/8 August), where the title fight will gather even greater momentum as the BTCC's main contenders bid to become 2010 champion.

This year's closely fought contest is still wide open, with the top ten drivers in the standings all capable of snatching the 2010 crown. Just eight points currently separate championship leader Honda Racing's Matt Neal from his primary rival Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato, however - with more than 45 points on offer during the weekend and nine different race winners this season to date - Snetterton could see the tables turned upside down.

The super-quick Norfolk circuit is known for producing some of the fastest, most dramatic racing on the BTCC calendar, as cars go up to three abreast down the infamous Revett Straight.

Here is your guide to the main challengers at Snetterton next weekend:

Matt Neal - Honda Racing - 1st - 119 points
At 6'6" tall, Neal is one of the largest characters in the BTCC paddock, not to mention one of the most experienced. The 2005/6 double champion is vying for a title hat-trick this season after taking three victories and a consistent collection of podium places so far in 2010.

Jason Plato - Silverline Chevrolet - 2nd - 111 points
Plato also has many miles of BTCC racecraft under his belt, and his 'do or die' manoeuvres and outspoken opinions have made him a firm fans' favourite. His Chevrolet Cruze has clinched victories at Rockingham and Oulton Park this year, but technical problems at Brands Hatch in May cost Plato the opportunity to steam ahead in the championship chase.

Gordon Shedden - Honda Racing - 3rd - 100 points
Flash Gordon has shown continual improvement throughout the season, stepping out from behind team-mate Neal's shadow in the last round at Croft where he scored two commanding victories launching a serious title challenge in the process.

Tom Onslow-Cole - Team Aon Ford Focus - 4th - 97 points
The Ford Focus has been one of the stars of the season to date, following a steep learning curve in 2009. The squad reaped its development rewards at Brands Hatch when Onslow-Cole and his team-mate Tom Chilton both scored victories, and they also topped the timesheets in a recent test at Snetterton.

Steven Kane - Airwaves BMW - 5th - 92 points
Affable Ulsterman Kane only put a late deal together for this season, but he sprinted straight out of the blocks with a victory in the season opener at Thruxton. After taking podiums at every subsequent round this season, Kane could be a dark horse in this year's trophy fight.

Mat Jackson and Paul O'Neill - Airwaves BMW/Sunshine.co.uk Honda Integra - 6th - 79 points
Kane's team-mate Mat Jackson has also enjoyed a solid season to date, which includes a much-deserved victory on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. Jackson is currently tied on points with another fans' favourite, Merseyside racer Paul O'Neill - who continues to deliver results far beyond the supposed capabilities of his BTC-spec Honda Integra.

Snetterton will feature a trio of nail-biting BTCC races including a reverse grid for race three, which often produces dramatic and unexpected podium results. There will also be support action from the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Formula Renault UK, Renault Clio Cup, Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta G50 Cup.

In addition, fans will be able to meet the stars of the British Touring Car Championship at a free of charge pit lane walkabout on Sunday morning.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton on 7/8 August are now available from £24 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.