Btcc 2009 Entries
For me however, i was felt, with many others i suspect, dissapointed. I have followed BTCC as my second motorsport behind F1 since 1998. I make yearly trips to Donington, Oulton and Silverstone to see the guys race. I've been a big supporter of the series, for many reasons. One of wich was the very "open" feel at all meetings you go to, allowing you to go to the paddock for free, and go into the pits at the designated time slot for free, meet the drivers, get their autographs and have a quick photo and chat. It's something that all race series should do, and i've been anoyed that F1 hasn't used a similar system in the past few years.
So anyway, why would i be dissapointed on a series that has had worlwide recognition the last couple of years for providing excellent racing? Some American people i have even spoke to about the BTCC say it's how Nascar should be now. Cheap, accsessable for fans, and lastly, great action and passionate fans. I am not in the best possition to comment on Nascar, but it seems like Nascar only has two of those things. Accsessable for fans and the latter.
But when the cars rolled out yesterday and the entry list for revealed, they only suprises fans got were negative ones. Firm fan favourite, Mat Jackson, who ran Giovanardi very close to the championship last year and had 2 very memorable drives last season, coming from 18th to 2nd and 13th to 1st respectivley, is without a drive. The home based team lost one of their many sponsors late last year, Accident Exchange, due to the economic climate, but the team still said they had wanted to race. How can a young guy with some much talent be without a drive? Team WSR have said they want to run 3 cars later this year, get Mat in that 3rd car!
Other notable names missing were Plato and Thompson. Both ex champions, 3 championships between them. Plato lost his drive after SEAT confirmed they would pull out with immediate affect from the championship after the 2008 season had passed. He was in talks with several teams over the winter about getting a drive, but that seems to have come to nil. Same for Thompson who tested for Motorbase, Tempus and Dynamics. Tempus and Team AON have yet to confirm their second drivers, but i'm not confident many with have the funds to pay for such top flight guys.
3 other notable drivers missing from the entry is young Irish drive Steven Kane, who impressed so much in his debut season with Motorbase last year. Steven, like Mat, should have a bright career ahead of him, but as yet, has nothing lined up for 2009. Onslow-Cole, another young driver was dropped by VXR in place of Andrew Jordan for this season, even after Onslow-Cole showed tremedous form, putting even team leader Giovanardi to shame over the summer.
Micky Doyle, another young driver from Scotland is also without a drive. He who did so much in an old car, even putting some of the bigger teams to shame late last year is on the sidelines. Everyone knew about 50 year old Mike Jordan retiring from racing this year, but the popular veteran will be sorely missed from the entry list this year.
Shows the very hard times affecting young, promising drivers all around. I for one hope the on track action is better than the entry list is looking. Otherwise now will be the time to get the 2007 and 2008 review DVDs before they are selling on Ebay for a high price.
The full 2009 BTCC entry list can be found here