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BTCC Racing Stays On Free-To-Air TV

BTCC Racing Stays On Free-To-Air TV

It’s always nice to report good news and for motor sport fans the news is especially great. Hot on the heels of the report that ITV4 will be showing World Rally Championship highlights (MB 12/3) comes the report that their deal to broadcast the British Touring Car Championship has been extended to at least 2017. That’s hours of live coverage from every event. This makes a change from a lot of sport that disappears onto the pay channels and puts further strain on pockets if, indeed, viewers can afford it at all.

What’s more, 2013 should be a bumper (literally) year for this series as the grid is completely full with a total of thirty two cars entered, the maximum allowed. This is top flight motor sport that guarantees high speed, close fought competition from the best drivers in the country. As usual Fifth Gear’s Jason Plato will be bidding to become champion again after last year’s bitter loss to Gordon Shedden.

An incredible thirteen models from eleven different manufacturers will compete over three rounds at every meeting; that’s a total of thirty races in the season. As well as the established stars there are some young guns eager to topple their idols. The factory supported works teams are from Honda and MG and the independent teams will be fielding cars from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Proton, Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Toyota, SEAT, Ford plus a couple more Honda Civics.

Dunlop continue to sponsor the series and this year, to add a bit of spice, they will provide a softer compound tyre for the teams to use in one of every three races, as well as the more usual harder compound. There’s a reason for this. Although the new rubber will aid performance the teams will have to nominate which races they will use them – the day before. The idea is to cause the teams to have to mix up their strategies for each different circuit which is sure to enliven the races.

A lot of motor racing these days can sometimes be a bit dull. Mostly this is down to safety rules but, on the other hand, the number of fatalities in the sport has dropped dramatically so we can’t complain. The cars are safer too which is just as well in the BTCC because these boys don’t quit and the racing is shoulder to shoulder. Viewers who are new to this will soon be rooting for their favourite drivers and yelling at the villains on the grid. Racing starts at Brands Hatch on the 31st March. Tune in – you’ll enjoy it!

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==