British Touring Car Championship

Round 3: Thruxton – The stuff TV missed

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    Bradley Downton

    So, there is BTCC at Thruxton this coming weekend and I am making the annual trip a massive fifteen minutes up the road with my dad to attend both days. Will anyone else be going?

    Unfortunately the long distance forecast doesn’t look too good…

    Bradley Downton

    There were a few things the TV Camera’s missed at Thruxton today:

    During Race 3, around Allards, the lap before the Safety Car was called (we all thought this was the reason for it) James Cole rounded the corner and his front left light just exploded, littering the track with bits of light and glass. It was lucky none of it cleared the barriers, and very weird what happened.

    During one of the Ginetta races one pulled off a few laps from the end and the driver jumped from the cockpit and smoke started drifting out. Then a few minutes later the smoke got thicker, and then a few more minutes later once the race had finished it went really thick and black, and the marshalls had run out of fire extinguishers, so the fire tender blared off the airfield with his siren going, got onto the gravel and spun… then he got going and got over to the car, which was now pouring thick black smoke, and they eventually got it out. It looked a mess afterwards, the inside was just coated with foam. (I know some of this was shown on TV but the Fire Tender spinning wasn’t – boy did we roar with laughter from the crowd – and nor was how bad the smoke really got)

    And finally, while the on-track action was relatively tame, we had some fantastic off-track action. I’m only writing this so you lot can hopefully have a chuckle. An old gentleman was returning from the drinks van with two pints, and wandered slowly past us clearly looking for someone. Five minutes later he wandered back the other way still looking for someone with his two pints, and we all looked at one another confused. About forty minutes later and he’d walked past us about 12 times, still looking for people and still with two full pints! I’d had given up and drunk both. It was hilarious to watch and we (me, my dad and everyone around us, in fact everyone on the hill!) were laughing and making jokes. We did all say we felt sorry for him, but it was just so funny. Although if he had that much trouble finding the people he’d come with amongst the crowd, I’d imagine he’s still in the car park looking for his car!

    Speaking of car parking, it was terrible. Once again – as it is every year – exiting the field was a free for all, with cars everywhere and people getting frustrated and pushing in and creating queues of their own. But once again the organisers – who are so desperate to get you in as quick as possible – stood at the side and did nothing! This year was definitely the worst I’ve seen it however.


    It must have been great to be there. Only saw race 2 and 3 and I really enjoyed it. Race 3 for the touring cars was really entertaining. Thruxton is my favourite track on the BTCC calender actually. Seeing the cars go through those fast corners is astounding. I’d question the safety of the barrier at race three when some driver lost it at church? (I think it was the quick right hander where there is a marshal post on the right near the apex) He hit the barriers but they were damaged from before, so it basically acted as a ramp for the car to jump into the trees. Really scary. Can’t imagine what it’s like to lose it going through there.

    Piotr Koteryl

    I really enjoyed the racing (all watched on ITV4, despite living 45 minutes down the road in Winchester), and actually had the opportunity to do some practice commentary with a friend of mine, with whom I will be commentating on the 24 hours of Le Mans – that was a new experience!

    The accidents at Church definitely highlighted how rudimentary the safety facilities are at Thruxton, but I was incredibly glad when both drivers in race 3 emerged safely from the undergrowth. Methinks, perhaps Thruxton may consider investing in something a bit more up-to-date in order to avoid any worse accidents in future…


    The accident at Church shows how safety should be such an important feature. Can you imagine if one of the Formula Ford cars running earlier that day, had crashed similarly? It would have been a nightmare.


    Yeah they definitely need to do something about the run-off and barrier at Church. We can’t have cars being launched after hitting barriers:

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