NEAL IN DRIVING SEAT AS BTCC HEADS TO OULTON PARK
VX Racing's Matt Neal leads the title chase as the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Oulton Park this weekend.
The British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is the biggest car event on Oulton Park's calendar, attracting a record 35,000 spectators in 2008—the largest crowd at any BTCC event in a decade.
Oulton Park also guranatees a dramatic backdrop for the 1,000th race in Porsche's hotly contested Carrera Cup race series, which is set to take place on Sunday (31).
This year the BTCC season is wide open, with seven different winners from the nine races to date.
Among the competitors in 2009 are 11 former race winners including four champions: Vauxhall's Fabrizio Giovanardi and Matt Neal, Racing Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato and Team Dynamics Honda's James Thompson.
Neal currently has the advantage in this year's title chase, holding a 13 point lead over the Team RAC BMW of Colin Turkington. However, with more than 45 points available from next weekend's three BTCC races, the series lead could easily change hands at Oulton Park.
There will be plenty of local support for Paul O'Neill from Widnes, who returns to the BTCC in 2009 after a two year absence.
The 29-year-old driver—and brother of Spice Girl Mel C—will be hunting for podium finishes in his Sunshine.co.uk Honda Integra.
As well as the British Touring Car Championship, Oulton Park will also host support races including Formula Renault UK, the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and the Ginetta Junior series.
In addition, there will be off-track entertainment with a performance by the RAF Falcons parachute display team and a free pit lane walkabout and driver autograph session on raceday.
Tickets for the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 30/31 May cost from £23 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or visit www.oultonpark.co.uk.
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