It’s been a while since the BTCC has featured on thehairpincorner, and that partly reflects the lack of news and information made available over the winter break. Behind the scenes there will be plenty of negotiations and frantic deal making taking place, and with the Autosport International Show just a matter of weeks away, we can all look forward to at least a few team and driver announcements for the 2016 BTCC in a matter of weeks.
Considering the lack information about 2016, it would be foolish to begin making predictions about what may happen during the course of the season, however in a similar vein to my F1 2016 and V8SC 2016 predictions, I’ve put together a little list of what I’d would like to see from the BTCC in 2016 .
Jason Plato to reach 100 race wins. JP will reach 500 BTCC race starts at the mid point of the 2016 season, and how fitting it would be for him to also reach the 100 win milestone in the same year. The two time champion is sitting pretty on 94 BTCC race victories, and a repeat of his six race wins from 2015 could see him become the first BTCC driver in history to hit the century.
Mat Jackson to be confirmed alongside Andrew Jordan at Motorbase. Such was the form of Motorbase when they entered the BTCC at Snetterton this year, that Jackson would have almost certainly been a major player in the championship had the team acquired the necessary funds to compete from the start of the season. Eight podiums from the final twelve races underlines the fact that the EcoBoost Focus was by far and away the strongest car on the grid come the tail end of 2015, and by signing 2013 champion Jordan, Motorbase have given themselves every possible chance of taking their first BTCC crown. It would however, be a huge shame if Jackson wasn’t also part of the team he joined in 2010, for what surely will be their strongest year yet. Whilst funding is an ever present dark cloud over modern day motorsport, Jordan’s relationship with PIRTEK has enabled him to ensure he will be in the most competitive machinery available come the start of the season at Brands Hatch Indy, at it would be a treat to watch two of the BTCC’s biggest talents take each other on in the same machinery.
Another title decided in the final race of the season. It goes without saying, that a repeat of the closing rounds of 2015 would be the ultimate treat. Gordon Shedden’s drive through the field in that famous Brands Hatch finale will be fondly remembered in BTCC folklore and with the prospect of even more competition from Motorbase in 2016, I’ll keep my hopes up of the same thing happening again. That being said, given the pace of the Focus in 2015, Honda and Team BMR are already playing catch up.
Triple Eight returning to challenge at the front. I must be honest, I was quite surprised when I read that Triple Eight and MG had agreed to extend their contract through to 2018. The MG6 will be four years old in 2016, and both Jordan and Goff found themselves scrapping in the lower end of the top ten for most of the season. Jordan’s departure to Motorbase leaves a huge gap in the Triple Eight garage, and the signing of an experienced driver will be crucial to extracting even more from the ageing MG. That being said, it seems unusual watching the one of the BTCC’s most illustrious names go through a season with just one win, and I for one will be hoping that Triple Eight can return to the sharp end during 2016 the season.
What would you like to see from the BTCC in 2016? Be sure to let me know in the comments below if you have any other ideas!