People will be talking about the third race at last weekend's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship event at Donington Park for quite some time to come.
It was a race that had everything: a stand-out performance from newcomer Josh Cook in his Chevrolet Cruze; a huge scrap for the lead; plenty of pushing and shoving and a stunning win for Honda Civic Type-R racer Matt Neal (even though the results have yet to be finalised because stewards are looking into early-race contact with Andrew Jordan’s MG6).
One of the key elements to keeping that race tight and action-packed is the layout of the circuit. Donington has ‘long’ and ‘short’ configurations; BTCC series boss Alan Gow says that he generally prefers the shorter circuits, and it is a philosophy that works.
Apart from a couple of exceptions, the BTCC will race on shorter configurations of circuits where there is a choice – Donington, Silverstone and Brands Hatch for example.
Gow’s theory is that a tighter circuit keeps the pack bunched up throughout the race and the spectators get to see the cars come past them more often, giving them better value for money. And that has the knock-on effect of producing fantastic racing, such as there was at Donington Park.