MATT JAMES EDITOR
The anticipation at the start of the British Touring Car Championship is always huge. The 2016 contest would be no different, and I got so excited this year that I went to Brands Hatch a day early.
It was a good job I did, because a 15-minute shakedown had been arranged for last minute checks on several cars, and it gave Team BMR the chance to get its Subaru Levorg on track for the first time.
Just 87 days since the programme was started, four of the rear-wheel-drive machines were rolled on to the track in the hands of Jason Plato, Colin Turkington, James Cole and Warren Scott.
There were plumes of smoke emanating from each of the cars as the technicians struggled to make them work properly. But they were there, and they worked.
The grin on the face of team boss Scott was huge.
The programme struggled to gain immediate results, but it was certainly the most potent weapon over the latter part of the 2016 campaign.
Turkington drove it superbly, and he went into the last rounds with a shout of the crown, which would have been unthinkable at the start of the year. It was a credit to the team, and to the drivers.
It certainly has to be a hot tip for the 2017 title, despite rule tweaks to restrict the inherent advantage it has in terms of its centre of gravity.