The BTCC title contenders
As the British Touring Car Championship heads to Oulton Park to mark the halfway point of the championship, there are seven drivers all with a realistic chance of fighting for the title.
In this article we look at the seven drivers and their prospects of winning the 2019 BTCC championship.
Colin Turkington is the reigning champion and has won the series on two other occasions.
He knows what it takes to win the title and he is in arguably the best car on the grid. The Northern Irishman has won all of his titles with current team West Surrey Racing and he will be hoping to fend off teammate Andrew Jordan at the end of the season.
If he maintains his current form he is going to be difficult to beat.
Josh Cook has improved massively in the last few BTCC seasons. He finished sixth in the standings last year and has been in impressive form his season, winning the opening round and again at Thruxton.
Cook has found a new level of consistency and has only finished outside the top ten on two occasions so far.
He needs to keep calm and not let the pressure get to him when it cranks up later in the year, but if he can stay cool, he could just be in with a shout.
Once again Ash Sutton is in the title hunt and there is no doubt he will still be in with a shout at the end of the season.
He has his Subaru in the sweet spot and seems to be the only driver capable of maximising its performance.
The Essex driver won the BTCC in 2017 and finished fourth last year. He will be hoping he can now turn the tables on Turkington and take the 2019 title.
Like Cook, Sutton has only had two finishes outside the top ten this season but he is yet to win a race. He will surely need to add a few more victories to his tally if he is to remain in the title battle for the rest of the season.
Andrew Jordan is in brilliant form. Despite being unable to start the last two races at Donington, he sits fourth in the championship.
He has won five of the opening 12 races and had it not been for his DNS’ at Donington, it is likely he would have been leading the championship.
It has been six years since Jordan won his BTCC Driver’s title and, with next year’s plans up in the air after Jordan announced in May that he will split with his main sponsor, Pirtek at the end of the season, he will want to make this year count.
If Jordan does maintain his current form, he will soon be on the move up the championship standings.
The three-time BTCC champion knows all about winning the championship. He has had a difficult few seasons but he has put together a string of strong results this year.
Neal may not be dominating at the front like we used to see, but he is always there or thereabouts.
He needs to start picking up some victories if he is to stay in the title hunt but never disregard the canny 52-year-old.
Since switching from the MG to the Honda Civic, Butcher looks like a completely new driver.
He took his maiden victory in the third round at Brands Hatch and this kick started his season. He had a strong weekend at Thruxton and although he had a difficult time at Croft, he will be hoping to rectify that this weekend at Oulton Park.
It will be tough for Butcher to remain in the title hunt for the whole season but he is improving at a rapid rate and could just be a dark horse.
Tom Chilton has had a great start to the season and lies seventh in the championship after winning the last race at Croft.
Despite being seventh, the 14-time BTCC winner can not be discounted. Chilton has had a better start this year than he did in 2018 and he went on to finish third last season.
After a tough round at Thruxton, failing to finish in the top 10, Chilton bounced straight back next time out at Croft. He will be hoping he can maintain that momentum and have another strong round at Oulton Park.
Chilton is capable of winning the championship and has a car that is able to fight at the front. He now needs to keep the consistency going and have some luck fall his way.