The 2017 British Touring Car Championship season has been a hard hitting, but close campaign up to this point. As we spend the summer break reflecting on the first half of the season, we look ahead to what the second half has to offer us in the way of fast, exciting and inspiring racing from the UK’s premier racing series.
What have we seen so far?
The season so far has been full of both nice surprises, as well as typical consistencies. The likes of Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden have been consistently scoring well and leading the sharp end of the championship. On the contrary, the BTCC also witnessed a surprising, but well deserved, maiden race victory for Aidan Moffat back at Donington Park in April. However, the real revelation of the opening half of the 2017 campaign, has been the outstandingly brilliant Ashley Sutton. The Essex youngster has been the star of Warren Scott’s BMR Subaru outfit, upstaging BTCC legend and former double champion Jason Plato, who himself has been uncharacteristically off the pace all season.
What can we expect in the second half?
Looking ahead to the second half of the season, Shedden leads the way with an 11 point buffer to the imperious WSR duo of Rob Collard and Colin Turkington, with the aforementioned Sutton having climbed strongly in the last two meeting, to find himself 4th in standings. This leaves him only 20 points off the seemingly unassailable Scotsman, who himself chases a record-equalling 4th British Touring Car Championship title.
The BTCC fans can look ahead to a heavily contested closing half to the season, with the top 10 in the championship still in with a realistic chance of battling for the title. Including the likes of Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan and Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin, both strong campaigners for the past few years, and both scoring well, but still in search of their first victories of the season, expect some strong performances from both going forward. Both men also vying for the Independence Drivers Championship with the strong season-starting Tom Ingram, as well as Eurotech’s Jack Goff and the returning-to-form Motorbase driver Mat Jackson.
In the final few rounds, expect the combined 6-time driver’s championship duo of Team Dynamics Hondas, Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal, to both perform strong, with both drivers chasing Andy Rouse’s record of 4 drivers titles. As well as the strong WSR trio of double champion Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Pirtek-run 2013 champion Andrew Jordan. Also, expect the strong performing young guns of Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram and BMR Subaru’s Ash Sutton to be in the mix, as well as typical strong runners, still seeking their first victories, like Adam Morgan, Rob Austin, Jason Plato and 2017 returnee Tom Chilton.
In any case, it’s far too early to predict who will win each championship. So BTCC fans can just sit back, and watch how this continuously unpredictable season wraps up, and enjoy the pinnacle of British motorsport, and the most exciting touring car championship in the world.