Auto Trader British Touring Car Championship
This should be a very easy preview to write a win for Tarquini and Alfa Romeo. The Italian has ignored all the controversy surrounding his car and got on with the job in-hand to dominate the series in a manner similar to the Sch nitzer BMWs early last season. The former Grand Prix driver won five of the first six races and the championship already looks a formality. However, this is the one track where the Alfa may be vulnerable for straightline speed is not its forte. Add to this the fact that this will be the first race with the new weight
limits the gap between the BMWs and the rest has been halved to 50 kilogrammes and we could have a surprise result this weekend. The quickest things down the straights are the Ford Monde° and the Renault Laguna, and along with Tarquini, expect the lead to be disputed by Paul Radisich and Alain Menu. These two have diced
together on numerous occasions and race well as a pair hard but fair. Their team-mates, Andy Rouse and Tim Harvey, could also get amongst them, and both are due some luck. These are the big three teams. However, the lighter BMW may be a little closer on this occasion as it debuts its
new aerodynamic package as do Renault, Ford and possibly Vauxhall.
Expect Steve Soper and Jo Winkelhock to feature strongly in the early stages as their rear-wheel drive car still holds a distinct advantage off the line. Also keep an eye out for Patrick Watts. The Kent man has always been highly
rated by his colleagues and has worked wonders with the year-old Peugeot. His style is both spectacular and speedy, and the new 405 is expected to be ready for this weekend. Nissan scored a dramatic 1-2 last season, but there seems little chance of
this being repeated. And if the Toyotas of Will Hoy and Julian Bailey give us an action replay of last year’s in-house roll, they will not be battling for the lead on this occasion.