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What to look out for in the BTCC's Snetterton rounds

Friday, July 31 2015

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns to Snetterton next weekend (8/9 August) and as the 2015 title battle enters its second half, here's MSV's guide to what to look out for at the Norfolk circuit.

Honda v BMR title fight

With four of the championship's top five driving for the Honda Racing and Team BMR outfits, it's fair to say that they are the title favourites in 2015. Gordon Shedden holds a ten-point advantage over Jason Plato, but the latter has excelled at Snetterton in the past and the stage could be set for a titanic scrap. Team-mates Matt Neal (Honda) and Colin Turkington (BMR) have taken a stealthier route this season, but don't discount them from the fight. Both are ready to pounce and whilst Shedden and Plato are likely to be leading the pack, don't be surprised if their colleagues rack up the points. And don't forget Aron Smith, who won for BMR at Snetterton last year.

Will WSR continue to gather momentum?

Croft was the perfect weekend for WSR but the circuit layout favours the rear-wheel-drive BMWs. On the evidence of last year, Turkington's BMW was quick even if he was defeated by Plato, so there's every chance that their drivers will continue the team's resurgence in Norfolk. Andy Priaulx was fast in testing, but Sam Tordoff has hauled himself into championship contention and always performs well at Snetterton, where he has won in the Clio Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup and the BTCC.

Will Jordan and MG fight back?

Andrew Jordan's season so far has been in the shadows. Whilst he's yet to challenge for pole position he's come close to winning and his progress throughout race weekends has been strong. Snetterton could be where he breaks his 2015 duck - certainly on the evidence of testing, he should be quick here and it won't be for want of trying after racking up 120 laps of the 300 circuit earlier this month. The MG was always quick around Snetterton in the hands of Plato and Tordoff, but then the same could have been said for Oulton Park...

Promising challengers

Adam Morgan and Tom Ingram have been consistent top ten finishers this season and the former is a race winner and title contender. It would certainly be timely for Ingram to make a podium appearance and both are battling much bigger teams. Keep an eye out for impressive rookie Josh Cook in the Power Maxed Chevrolet and his former Clio Cup title rival Mike Bushell, who will be aiming to put a tough few weekends behind him as he tries to make his mark on the series.

The return of Motorbase

The biggest impression at Snetterton is likely to come from Motorbase, after a frustrating half-season watching from the sidelines. The team's Ford Focus won races last year, but it's now running a brand-new Mountune-built EcoBoost engine, which team boss Dave Bartum reckons is the final piece of the puzzle for a genuine title assault. It's come too late to win the 2015 championship, but expect Mat Jackson, who topped the recent test, to be determined to remind everyone of his talents as a racing driver.

Nic Hamilton's progress

Lewis Hamilton's younger brother makes his second BTCC appearance at Snetterton, after an encouraging debut weekend at Croft. Whilst he qualified at the back of the grid, his progress in the races was mature, and that should continue at Snetterton. He tested well here two weeks ago, and cites this circuit as his favourite. It will be interesting to see how close to the points-scoring positions he can get.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton on 8/9 August are available from £26, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.