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Kwik Fit BTCC battlers set for Donington duel!

Friday, April 19 2019

Britain's biggest car racing championship, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), is heading to Donington Park this weekend (27-28 April) for a two-day thriller of top class British motorsport.

After a sensational opening round at Brands Hatch a couple of weeks ago, it's BTC Racing's Josh Cook that holds the early initiative, thanks to a win in the opening race and then two strong points finishes at the wheel of his new Honda Civic.

As ever, he's got an ultra-close pack behind him, headed by Team Shredded Wheat's Tom Chilton, and Leicester's Stephen Jelley at the wheel of the Team Parker BMW 1 Series, who enjoyed his best BTCC weekend for 10 years last time out.

Series leader Cook is under no illusions, but determined to create a recipe for success in the East Midlands.

"At the minute, being championship leader doesn't really count for much - it's where you end up at the end of the season that's the important one," he commented. "For me, heading to Donington with maximum ballast brings in another challenge. In the past few years I've always gone well at Donington and took my first win there last year which was obviously memorable for me. I don't feel like there's any pressure as championship leader, but we do have the added challenge of arriving with maximum ballast."

Local-man Jelley's dream weekend at the season-opener at Brands Hatch was his first trip to the podium since winning twice at Rockingham in 2009. He's looking to build on that form at Donington.

"After Brands Hatch, we fully believe we're back to where we should be, and we are going to be up there all year," he commented. "It's great for a small team like Team Parker Racing to be fighting with the manufacturer teams. The BTCC is so competitive, if you're a fraction of a second off you're 10 places further back, but we're out to make it as good as possible!"

The championship top-10 has a distinctly youthful feel to it at present, but series legends Jason Plato and Matt Neal had encouraging showings at Brands Hatch, which suggest they're still operating at their best. Meanwhile the new BMW 330i M Sport for Colin Turkington, local man Andrew Jordan and Tom Oliphant looked rapid, and all three should be key players on the swoops and inclines of Donington Park.

As well as the three BTCC contests on Sunday (28 April) there's the usual full support card featuring sports cars from Ginetta and Porsche, more epic tin-top action from Renault Clios, and F1 hopefuls in the British F4 single-seater category. All will take place in front of the superb spectator areas at Donington Park, which offers some of the best views of any motorsport venue, and big screens in the most popular areas will mean none of the action will be missed. More changes to the Donington infrastructure over the winter months mean that access to the venue will be even easier than before, thanks to a major new spectator entrance area.

As well as the superb racing, there's plenty for the family to see around the venue too, with easy access to the stars of the day thanks to the open paddock policy plus a free-of-charge pit walk on Sunday, which includes an autograph session with the BTCC drivers.

Full interviews with Josh Cook and Stephen Jelley will be available in the official event programme, available throughout the weekend for just £5.

Adult tickets are available on the gate, priced £16 on Saturday and £35 on Sunday, and kids under 13 go free.