Motor Sport News - - Btcc Preview: Supports -

Last sea­son, Am­a­teur class cham­pion Colin White had very few ri­vals – only three other driv­ers reg­u­larly com­peted. This year he’ll face more of a chal­lenge.

The most no­tice­able dif­fer­ence about the se­ries for 2016 is the rise of the Am class. It seems to be gain­ing mo­men­tum, with the field set to be split al­most equally be­tween Pros and Ams – with 10 en­tries to eight in favour of the Pro cat­e­gory.

“We only launched the Am class prop­erly last year and we ex­pected it would grow over time,” says cham­pi­onship man­ager Ash Gal­lagher. “It’s good for us that it’s prov­ing pop­u­lar and it’s nice the grid will be split as it gives ev­ery­one some­body they can race.”

A calendar change to skip the Thrux­ton and Croft TOCA rounds seems to have helped en­tice more am­a­teur driv­ers to the se­ries.

How­ever, the Pro class is not look­ing quite as healthy. A record grid at the last round of 2015 – when 17 Pros took part – has not trans­ferred into this year.

“There should be 10 or 11 Pro driv­ers, which is where we ex­pected it to be at,” ad­mits Gal­lagher.

Gone are last year’s win­ner Tom Oliphant and se­ries reg­u­lar fron­trun­ner Carl Breeze. For­mer Cater­ham cham­pion Jamie Or­ton will be the favourite af­ter fin­ish­ing third last sea­son, while fifth-placed Will Burns and race win­ner Tom Wrigley will likely be quick too.

En­try will be lower than record set at Brands Hatch

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