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JHS18

Btcc Thruxton - Rounds 6, 7 And 8.

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Brands Hatch and Donington have been and gone in the space of a few weeks, and now it is on to Thruxton. After this first round it is the first of a couple of long breaks in the season, due to the Olympics and other matters the BTCC does not want to clash with. So this weekend is the last chance for many drivers to get their seasons off to a good start.

Thruxton does possess a real challenge for drivers however, particularly for this weekend (which I'll come to in a moment). The track is in fact the fastest circuit in the entire of the UK, with average speeds of well over 130mph. Additionally, the track is famously the hardest on tyres of any of the tracks the BTCC visits and we've seen countless examples down the years of race leaders being caught out with late race punctures. It is a well known fact that if you want to succeed here you have to stay off the kerbs in the opening laps.

thruxton_circuit_map.gif

Last year, it was a strong day for Honda with Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden took a victory apiece, whilst Jason Plato rebounded from a crash in the first race of the day to win the reverse grid race three. Hopefully with all cars running turbos there will be a little less moaning and more equality between all of the cars.

Oh, and the unknown quantity I mentioned earlier? Rain. With the weather how it is at the moment (very wet) and more expected for the weekend, it is very likely that both Saturday and Sunday will feature rain. I can't remember the last time it rained at Thruxton. But it will surely make an action packed weekend even more interesting.

Following Mat Jackson's disqualification and Jason Plato's penalty from race three last time out at Donington, this is how things currently stand.

1. Jason Plato 84 points

2. Matt Neal 80 points

3. Andy Jordan 76 points

4. Rob Collard 72 points

5. Gordon Shedden 70 points

6. Mat Jackson 60 points

7. Jeff Smith 52 points

8. Tom Onslow-Cole 47 points

9. Dave Newsham 47 points

10. Tony Gilham 33 points

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Timetable of events:

[url="http://www.tsl-timing.com/timetables/2012/121703.pdf"]http://www.tsl-timin...2012/121703.pdf[/url]

Points of interest to watch out for in the support races: my man Richard Plant in the Porsches - plus JHR - a team so local to me I didn't realise how local they really were. Just about a mile away from where I live. I could walk there now. They run cars in all the support race classes.

Someone who won't be there is Thorney motorsport. The team has ongoing issues at the moment and is going to maximise the time they have to test the car over this break rather than racing this weekend. With the team running on a tiny budget, no idea if they'll be at any future races at all.

Oh, and a couple of notable incidents that have happened at Thruxton over the years:

Rob Collard gets turned around at the first corner which fires his car backwards through the pack. Predictably, he ended up taking out a futher three cars.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80jdbN_aJg8[/media] Edited by JHS18

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A few years later, Kelvin Burt managed to clear the catch fencing in a Porsche race. Thankfully, nobody was injured.

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A very dramatic qualifying session on a damp circuit. Unfortunately quite a few accidents, notably Matt Neal, Jason Plato, Andy Neate and Rob Austin.

Shedden should have pole, but his fastest time was disallowed for a technical infringement. He therefore lines up 18th only, with Neal 20th. Plato, despite crashing, had better luck and was able to set a quick time before the incident and lines up second, but Triple 8 will have work to do tonight.

Top ten:

1. Andy Jordan

2. Jason Plato

3. Frank Wrathall

4. Mat Jackson

5. Dave Newsham

6. Rob Collard

7. Aron Smith

8. Lea Wood

9. Liam Griffin

10. Tom Onslow-Cole

Full line up later.

Times from today's mostly dry qualifying session are probably meaningless. This is the weather forecast for tomorrow - heavy rain and strong winds - aka a stop inside and watch it on TV day. :P

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2657324

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This is good racing...a bit hard to see it, with the cameras covered in rain, but it's been pretty good. I have no idea how they do this. Driving on the highway in rain is terrifying enough.

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Gilham's car is absolutely hideous...I love it. Good battle and just as I was going to say he was doing so well...there he goes.

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Gilham did what I do all the time in EA Sports F1 2001 on simulator mode with all aids off.

"Awe-inspiring," when said by a Brit, sounds a lot like "orange-piling."

Good move from Jordan.

Team orders sends Neal through...and not relinquishing yet to Shedden.

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Glad you enjoyed it Eric.

Interesting day. As expected rain pretty much all day - althought it looked as if it was clearing after race two. Came back at the end though.

Fantastic Porsche race preceeding the last BTCC race - everyone on slicks then it started raining - amazingly, no-one goes off. Incredible car control.

Entertaining BTCC races too. Shedden was a man on a mission today - two wins and closed up on on Plato in the title hunt. I said from the start of the year he is my favourite for the championship...

Oh, and an onboard clip from Plato's accident in qualifying yesterday. Literally ends up in the woods.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ0_qk_57pU&feature=g-all-u

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Plus brilliant job by Motorbase to get Liam Griffin's car ready after this huge crash in race one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NhaHiZRMhk&feature=g-all-u

Plus on Toby Moody - at one stage he made a comment to a driver that it was as "wet as an otter's pocket" errr...I'm 99.9% sure he doesn't know what that actually means, because it doesn't strike me as the comment you'd want to make on live TV.

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