Plato? Turk­ing­ton? Jor­dan? Shed­den?

There is lots of in­trigue as the BTCC gets ready to start 2016 at Brands Hatch

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

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)

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