World Touring Car Championship Comes to Brands Hatch
The World Touring Car Championship – whose Rounds 13 and 14 will be held at Brands Hatch this weekend – often has a small number of competitors choosing to feature in just one weekend as guest teams. The somewhat tough challenge is to be competitive with the regular entrants, and on Saturday and Sunday this is just what Volvo Olsbergs Green Racing team will attempt to do as it makes its WTCC debut.
One of the hurdles for one-off teams to overcome is in adapting their car set-up to the Yokohama ADVAN, the WTCC’s official tyre choice. Last year’s guest entry Colin Turkington, along with Team RAC, rose to the challenge and claimed a third and fourth place. The team prepared carefully, as Yokohama Technical Consultant Ian Beveridge recalls: “The teams are allowed to carry out a private test if they want. “That’s exactly what Team RAC opted to do. They booked time at Snetterton a month before the Brands Hatch rounds and contacted us for guidelines on the car setting.
“I attended the test and could see that they weren’t very far from a good WTCC set-up already. The settings were more about fine-tuning than major changes. Really, it’s part of a normal car set-up, you just need to take the new tyres into consideration.”
Among the regular WTCC entries, the championship’s three British drivers will be hoping for home support after fluctuating levels of success in earlier rounds. Reigning champion Andy Priaulx is currently fourth in the Drivers’ Standings, 15 points behind leader Gabriele Tarquini. Robert Huff follows in fifth place, enjoying his best WTCC season so far, whilst James Thompson hopes for a better weekend than his team’s recent bad luck in Estoril, which prevented him from racing.