The 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets under way at Brands Hatch this weekend with a capacity entry of 32 competitors.
Among them, there are a number of intriguing new driver and car combinations. Here’s our pick of the 10 star drivers who are likely to stand out during the 30 rounds ahead.
1 Gordon Shedden
Age: 37 Career races: 287 Career points: 2544 Race wins: 41
2015 championship position: 1
It is hard to look beyond Shedden retaining his title in 2016. The Flying Scotsman has a solid Honda Civic Type R under him, fitted with a new-spec engine. His qualifying speed is undiminished and his prowess at overtaking is the best in the series.
2 Jason Plato
Age: 48 Races: 484 Points: 4411 Wins: 94
2015 championship position: 2
Plato has pulled Subaru into the BTCC while Team BMR, which will run the cars, has assembled he cleverest people in the pit lane to put together the new Subaru Levorg. It has been late on parade, but expect it to win in the second half of the year.
3 Matt Neal
Age: 49 Races: 575 Points: 3688 Wins: 56
2015 championship position: 3
There isn’t much Matt Neal doesn’t know about the BTCC, having made his debut in the category back in 1991. He has the rapid Honda Civic Type R and while he might lack the outright pace of team-mate Shedden, he knows how to put a title push together.
4 Colin Turkington
Age: 34 Races: 305 Points: 2474 Wins: 36
2015 championship position: 4
Alongside Plato in a Team BMR Levorg will be Northern Irishman and double title winner Colin Turkington. Both of his titles to date have come in rear-wheel-drive BMWs and returning to that configuration with the Subaru will be a boost for him.
5 Andrew Jordan
Age: 26 Races: 238 Points: 1740 Wins: 14