Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the British Touring Car championship will play out at the iconic Knockhill circuit in Scotland this weekend.
It’s been two weeks since Oulton Park played host to Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the British Touring Car Championship.
Needless to say, drama unfolded in every race and tension rose between everyone on the narrow Island circuit.
For the BTCC’s one and special trip to Scotland, it looks like it’s going to be one of the most hotly contested set of races the championship has seen so far this season.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton suffered a challenging time at Oulton Park, especially after that spin and crash in the third race.
EXCELR8 TPC’s Tom Ingram was not running any better, and so their margin as a duo at the top of the standings came down – further opening up the championship.
Jason Plato’s pursuit for 100 wins continues at Knockhill
After not being competitive last time out at Oulton Park, the decorated Englishman will want to start clawing back that progress he’s lost in his pursuit for those final required wins.
Plato has been one of the most consistent drivers since his debut in 1997, and his willingness to risk everything for that win has certainly not dwindled away over the years.
His unfortunate contact with Tom Oliphant left no consequence for him, but he secured solid finishes in the first two races.
The two-time champion has already shown he has not lost any ability to race in the BTCC after missing out 2020, but will be one to watch for.
At a track favoured by the rear-wheel drive BMWs and Infinitis, he will want to add to his 10 victories at the circuit.
The title is there for the taking, but who wants it most?
The title battle is starting to really hot up as we start to look towards the tail end of the 2021 season.
There is a 31 point gap between first place driver Ash Sutton, and 7th place driver Josh Cook meaning that any of those seven drivers could potentially come out of this weekend a lot higher up the points order than when they going into the weekend.
Ash Sutton, the defending champion is currently leading the title fight by just 5 points to the extremely fast and consistent Tom Ingram.
Ingram has certainly given Sutton a lot to think about after the last few rounds, piling pressure onto the defending champion race-after-race.
Will this be the weekend where Sutton cracks and makes a mistake? Or will he follow history and take opportune of the circuit’s inclines and descents for his Infiniti to attain better mid-to-exit speed out of the corners?
Whatever he does, he needs to do it here and make sure he builds a margin over Ingram without getting caught in incidents.
The likes of Dan Rowbottom, who found himself making the most of the weekend, can be a threat to the duo as he is third in the standings.
An incident or mistake from either Ingram or Sutton could spill away their margin at the top, so expect them to change their thinking for this weekend as strong points finishes across all races will be key.
Speaking of which, Colin Turkington has had an uncharacteristically difficult start to the season.
It will be at Knockhill where he can, and needs to, run his redeeming chances if he wants to stay in the heat of a title fight.
Knockhill, 2021 Schedule
|Qualifying||2.50pm||Saturday 14 August|
|Race 1||11.45am||Sunday 15 August|
|Race 2||2.40pm||Sunday 15 August|
|Race 3||5.25pm||Sunday 15 August|