The new British Touring Car Championship season kicks off this weekend at Brands Hatch. To get you all prepared for a season of awesome racing, here are things you need to know:
The BTCC confirmed a huge 32-car grid for the 2015 season. Impressively, 11 different manufacturers and 13 different car models will race this year.
BTCC races are always packed full of excitement, and we will be treated to 30 of them in 2015. Here is the full 10-round calendar, with three races at each event:
- Brands Hatch Indy: 4-5 April
- Donington Park: 18-19 April
- Thruxton: 9-10 May
- Oulton Park: 6-7 June
- Croft: 27-29 June
- Snetterton: 8-9 August
- Knockhill: 22-23 August
- Rockingham: 5-6 September
- Silverstone: 26-27 September
- Brands Hatch GP: 10-11 October
The BTCC will remain on ITV4 in the UK, with seven hours of free-to-air coverage from each event. The shows will also be available to watch live on the ITV website. Meanwhile, a one-hour highlights show will be broadcast on the Wednesday after each event in North America on CBS Sports Network.
Infiniti is the newest manufacturer to join the BTCC grid. The Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing team will run one Q50 at the season opener this weekend, with a second car being added later on. Injured ex-servicemen from the British Parachute Regiment will be preparing and working on cars, and all profits will be donated to its official charity, Support Our Paras.
The 2015 BTCC field looks very, very different compared to last year. A number of high-profile changes have been made, with reigning world champion Colin Turkington and Jason Plato both moving to Team BMR, racing VW CCs.
Plato’s 2014 MG/Triple Eight team-mate Sam Tordoff has also switched teams, joining West Surrey Racing. They have been replaced by Andrew Jordan – who leaves his family-run Eurotech Racing – and Jack Goff. Triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx will return to the BTCC for the first time since 2002, racing alongside Rob Collard and Tordoff at WSR.
Be sure to watch out for Kieran Gallagher’s striking Team HARD Toyota Avensis, which features a very familiar logo!
Lewis Hamilton’s half-brother Nicolas will make his debut in the BTCC this year. The 22-year-old will compete in five rounds driving for AmD Tuning in an Audi S3, with the first being at Croft.
Hamilton has cerebral palsy and will become the first disabled driver to race in the BTCC. He has previously competed in the Renault UK Clio Cup and the European Touring Car Championship, and is looking to secure a full drive for 2016.
Honda Yuasa Racing will not compete with the eye-catching Civic Tourer in 2015, instead replacing it with the all-new Civic Type-R. Its line-up remains unchanged for the sixth consecutive season, with Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden looking to return to title glory.
A number of changes to the rules have been made for 2015. The first is a modification of the success ballast regulation, which will now go down to 10th place in this format: 75kg, 66kg, 57kg, 48kg, 39kg, 33kg, 27kg, 21kg, 15kg and 9kg.
The Jack Sears Trophy has changed once again and will now be awarded to the top rookie. Meanwhile race two grids will be determined by fastest laps on race one. The soft tyre must be used in one race per nine events, but three times in race one, three times in race two and three times in race three.
Are you excited about the BTCC’s return? Let us know in the comments!