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Brands Hatch set for thrilling BTCC title duel next weekend

Friday, September 22 2017

Two contenders will duel for the biggest prize in British car racing at Brands Hatch next weekend (30 September-1 October), at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) season finale on the Kent venue's legendary Grand Prix circuit.

Brands Hatch will be hosting the BTCC title decider for the sixth consecutive season and over the years fans have packed out the venue to witness many of the championship's iconic moments. This includes double champion Jason Plato's record-equalling hat-trick of race wins in 2009 and Gordon Shedden's last-gasp title victories over the last two seasons.

Heading the 31-car bumper-to-bumper grid filled with souped-up saloons and hatchbacks is championship leader Ashley Sutton. The Subaru ace has set his sights on a sensational maiden championship in his second BTCC season. Just ten points behind - with a total of 67 on offer at the event - is double champion Colin Turkington, who will be out to get his revenge having left Subaru for the Sunbury-on-Thames based BMW squad last winter. Both have an army of team-mates on hand; Sutton has double champion Plato, race-winner James Cole and rookie Josh Price as assistance, whilst Turkington has fellow champion Andrew Jordan and race-winner Rob Collard to help his title push.

Title leader Sutton said: "I'm in a very strong position heading into the final round and I am looking forward to carrying this momentum. It is my strongest track of the season, I love Brands Hatch GP and I am feeling confident heading into the finale."

Title rival Turkington said: "Brands Hatch is the ideal theatre for a BTCC showdown, it's delivered many classics over the years which I've been lucky to be involved in. I'm very much looking forward to the weekend; I know that over the past four years, the leader going into Brands Hatch has always dropped more than ten points relative to the next man, so the odds are on my side and the strategy's clear - I just have to go for it."

Behind the main contenders, reigning champion Gordon Shedden still retains a very slim chance of retaining his crown with Honda, whilst Speedworks Toyota ace Tom Ingram also remains in mathematical contention. In addition there are 17 former race winners in the pack, including Mat Jackson who drives for Wrotham's Motorbase team, and other rising stars such as Tunbridge Wells racer Jake Hill who competes for Strood's Team HARD. With three races on the Sunday plus a reverse-grid finale that could decide the title, the atmosphere will be electric.

Visitors can meet all of the drivers on the Sunday with a free-of-charge gridwalk and autograph session at the start of the day. Giant TV screens will show all of the raceday action and fans have the chance to join the champion's coronation on the grid at the end of the event.

The weekend also has a packed programme of support races with many local competitors in action. This includes new Renault UK Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell from Tunbridge Wells, and British F4 title favourite, Warlingham's Jamie Caroline. Other locals in action will be Maidstone's Kiern Jewiss, who is set to be crowned rookie champion in the Ginetta Juniors Championship for 14-17 year-olds, and Wrotham's Jack Mitchell, who will be keen to make an impression in front of his home crowd in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup category.

Visitors will also be treated to a high-speed display from British Le Mans winner Nick Tandy in Porsche's stunning 919 Le Mans and World Endurance Championship-winning racer. The car will be joined on the Saturday by the 918 hypercar and Panamera Hybrid saloon for a parade lap, before a high-speed run on the Sunday accompanied by the 2018 911 GT3 racecar.

Off-track entertainment includes a classic Honda car display on raceday Sunday, go-karting, fairground, Diggerland, children's playground and face painting.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title contenders
1. Ashley Sutton, Subaru, 338
2. Colin Turkington, BMW, 328
3. Gordon Shedden, Honda, 272
4. Tom Ingram, Speedworks Toyota, 271

Tickets for the BTCC at Brands Hatch on 30 September-1 October are available in advance from £27 with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.

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