The most hotly anticipated British Touring Car Championship in years kicks off at Brands Hatch this weekend. With a grid bursting with new entrants, familiar faces and an unprecidented seven former champions, here are the ten drivers most likely to set the BTCC alight.
1 Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing Honda Civic; Age 24; Wins 10
Reigning champion is sticking with the same car and family-run team as he hunts for a double. A real young charger who is getting better all the time and has now added an intelligent approach to his outright pace. Will be in the title fight.
2 Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Tourer; Age 35; Wins 34
Like team-mate Matt Neal, the 2012 title-winner is ditching the hatchback Civic for the Tourer version and could struggle early on. Has unquestioned pace and is a spectacular overtaker, but often lacks the fortune of his rivals. Still has the credentials to claim another crown.
3 Jason Plato, KX Momentum MG6; Age 46 Wins 82
The wily old fox of the BTCC, Plato’s like Marmite. Fans love him or hate him, but there’s always action when he is around. The MG6 is a well-sorted car run by former champions Triple Eight. If it can get on top of reliability, then Plato should star again this year.
4 Matt Neal, Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Tourer; Age 47 Wins 52
Neal has been in BTCC for more than 20 years and has three titles, and he uses that experience well to make sure he banks points. Maybe lacks the outright speed of team-mate Shedden, but uses his brain better than anyone else on the grid. Expect him to have an influence on the title result.