THREE Yorkshire drivers will be on the grid for the opening round of the 2019 KwikFit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Leeds’s Sam Tordoff, Morley’s Dan Cammish and Bridlington’s Senna Proctor will be battling it out in the 30-race series held at nine circuits across England and Scotland.
Tordoff topped the time sheets at the BTCC launch day at Brands Hatch last week and is already looking like a realistic title challenger after switching to the Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance team this season.
“I’m in a fantastic car with a lot of championship pedigree,” said Tordoff, who narrowly missed out on lifting the title in a dramatic final race of the 2016 season.
“The Honda is a car that I’ve wanted to race for some time and when Gordon Shedden beat me to the title in one it only increased my desire to see what it was like.
“The car has been a dream to drive overall. It’s had five to six years of development and I’ve enjoyed it from the first moment I tested it. Everyone genuinely thinks that going into the first round we can be in the mix.”
I feel very confident. We are going to be very strong and we’ve got as good a chance as anyone this season.Dan Cammish
He continued: “I’m very confident ahead of the opening round. Last week’s test gave us a good indication of where we’re going to be for the first race, and it’s very promising.”
After an impressive BTCC rookie season last year at Halfords Yuasa Racing where he finished in 10th place, Cammish believes he is in a perfect position to make an assault on the title this term, particularly after picking up two wins out of three at last year’s season-ending round, also at Brands Hatch.
“I feel very confident,” said Cammish. “We are going to be very strong and we’ve got as good a chance as anyone this season.
“It’s great to back. I’ve got a year under my belt as a touring car driver. It was a steep learning curve, but I feel we’ve come a long way.
“It was a new car last year and we had some ups and downs, but I think this year we can have a much more consistent season and we’ve left no stone unturned in testing this winter.”
After finishing 12th in last year’s standings with the Motorbase team, Proctor has switched to the rear-wheel drive Adrian Flux Subaru Racing team this term where he will partner former champion Ash Sutton.
Proctor said: “I feel like I proved myself last year with consistently being in and around the top 10. I feel more prepared than ever and it’s all coming together. It’s going to be a tough season, but I’m ready to kick.
“Ash Sutton and I will be the youngest driver combination this year.
“I’ve got one of the fastest touring car drivers as my team-mate. If I can mirror him this year then I’ll make some real progress.”
Among the drivers also taking part this year will be defending champion Colin Turkington, multiple champions Matt Neal and Jason Plato as well as Lewis Hamilton’s younger brother Nicolas.
Qualifying gets underway on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit tomorrow with the first three rounds of the championship taking place on Sunday.