Bradley Jando | Tuesday 4th May 2021 11:12am
2021 Kwik Fit BTCC Season Preview
The clock continues to count down ahead of the start of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, as 26 drivers across 11 teams and eight different car brands prepare for 30 action-packed races at the nationís most iconic and challenging circuits.
With just under a month to go until the UKís premier motorsport series returns to action at the high-speed Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire (8-9 May), we preview the cars Ė and stars Ė set to battle it out for the ultimate prize.
Four previous winners Ė including current champion Ash Sutton (Laser Tools Racing) Ė will take to the grid this year in pursuit of another title to add to their collection, with the other chief protagonist in 2020ís COVID-struck season, Colin Turkington, also set to return for Team BMW.
Both drivers will spearhead three car entries for their respective teams, with Sutton joined by Aiden Moffat and Carl Boardley in a trio if Infiniti Q50s, and Turkington partnered once again by Tom Oliphant and WSR returnee Stephen Jelley.
Fan favourite Jason Plato returns to front Power Maxed Racingís challenge with BTCC race winner Daniel Lloyd, and triple champion Gordon Shedden is back in at Team Dynamics, albeit this time without long-term team-mate Matt Neal, who takes a sabbatical from the driverís seat this season.
Instead, the Scot will be partnered by Dan Rowbottom; former Dynamics racer Dan Cammish has made a return to the Porsche Carrera Cup GB for 2021.
Several familiar faces have a new home for this season, most notably Tom Ingram, the two-time Independents Trophy winner switching to pilot an Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 alongside Chris Smiley, Jack Butel and newcomer Rick Parfitt Jnr.
Filling Ingramís vacant seat in the Speedworks-run Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corolla is front-runner Rory Butcher, with Sam Smelt also on board as the Cheshire team expand to a two-car entry for 2021.
Team. HARD took the headlines in pre-season with the launch of their new CUPRA. Tony Gilhamís squad will field four challengers for the upcoming campaign, with race winners Jack Goff and Aron Taylor-Smith, experienced contender Nic Hamilton and British GT champion Glynn Geddie behind the wheel.
Thereís also a fresh look at Ciceley Motorsport for the new campaign, as Adam Morgan partners Tom Chilton in two WSR-built BMW 330i M Sports, the same machinery as the works BMW team.
Filling Chiltonís place at BTC Racing alongside Josh Cook and Michael Crees is Jade Edwards, back for a first full season after a solid debut in the series at Silverstone in 2020.
Motorbase Performance and MB Motorsport have joined forces, creating a four-car Ford Fiesta ST assault for Jack Hill, now-race winner Ollie Jackson, Andy Neate and Sam Osbourne.
The calendar returns to full strength for 2021, with Thruxton set to host the season-opening triple header on 8-9 May. Remember to catch the action live on ITV4, and keep an eye on our social media feeds for exclusive content straight from the paddock across the weekend!
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