Plato? Turkington? Jordan? Shedden?
There is lots of intrigue as the BTCC gets ready to start 2016 at Brands Hatch
As usual, there are a number of potentially great storylines for the 2016 British Touring Car Championship. The most obvious one is that of Subaru as it attempts a serious track campaign in the UK for the first time. Given the people involved, I have little doubt the Levorg will become a competitive package, but the intra-team fight could be even more interesting.
Jason Plato and Colin Turkington have been two of the BTCC’S top drivers for a long time, but last year was the first chance we could see them battling in the same team. You’d have to say Plato won their 2015 bout, taking six wins on his way to second in the points table compared to Turkington’s four victories and fourth in the points. But Colin was reacquainting himself with front-wheel drive. This season the rear-wheel-drive Subaru should suit him and give Plato a period of adjustment. The 2001 and 2010 champion is too good to not successfully make the change, but it may just be enough to swing the pendulum in Colin’s favour at BMR.
Another fascinating contest will take place at Motorbase, with Andrew Jordan joining Mat Jackson in the Ford Focus squad. Jordan has the pedigree of a title behind him, but had a difficult campaign last year, while the Jackson-ford combo was often the fastest in the latter stages of 2015. Both should feature at the front.
Despite all that talent, I find it hard to disagree with my colleague Matt James as to who starts as the championship favourite. The Honda Civic has been the car of the NGTC regs, Team Dynamics has had more preparation time than usual, and Gordon Shedden was on top form last year. The number 52 machine will take some beating. Kevin Turner, Editor (Twitter: @KRT917)