Four-way battle for title honours in Brands Hatch BTCC finale
There's still time for fans to buy discounted tickets for what could be one of the most dramatic finales to the British Touring Car Championship with four drivers vying for the title at Brands Hatch.
In one of the tightest title fights in the BTCC, Matt Neal, Tom Onslow-Cole and Gordon Shedden are all hoping to pip Championship leader Jason Plato at the post and claim one the most coveted titles in world motorsport. It might be a British championship but its appeal stretches well beyond these shores.
Previously, no more than three drivers have gone ino the closing day's rounds with a chance of the title and with such a dramatic end in store, organisers are expecting a mammoth crowd at Brands Hatch.
Chevrolet driver Plato holds the upper hand and will be desperate not to miss out on the title again; the 2001 champion has played bridesmaid for the past four years, finishing second three times. To be denied again at the death would be a cruel blow for one of the sport's most popular and charismatic competitors but he is not losing sleep over it.
"I think I'm old enough and wise enough to know what to expect - so long as my team and I both give everything possible, then, win or lose, I'll be able to lie flat in my bed on Sunday night. What will be will be," he told BTCC.net.
"But the hunger is exactly the same as it always was to win this championship. It's a super important championship. It's one that everyone wants to win and it's not easy to win - God knows I know that!"
Seventeen points behind Plato is Honda driver and two-times BTCC Champion, Matt Neal, who is just four points ahead of fellow Honda driver Shedden with Onslow-Cole (Ford) the final piece in the jigsaw. Just 24 points separate all four drivers and with 52 points up for grabs on Sunday, positions could easily change over the course of the three races.
It's not just these four who will be chasing points though; there have been nine different winners in the Championship this season, so Plato et al can't expect Brands to be their private battleground - and there's another wild card that has been thrown into the mix as well in the shape of The Stig.
Recently-unmasked as Top Gear's hot lap man, Ben Collins has landed a drive with the Airwaves BMW team with a view to securing a longer-term deal for 2011, and unsurprisingly he's out to make an impression.
"At Brands I shall be racing to win and I can't wait," Collins boasted but as he was also quick to admit, there are probably one or two drivers ready to rub panels with the newcomer.
Discounted tickets are available online here or via the hotline - 0870 9509000 - until midday this Thursday (7th). We'll be at Brands and hope you can make it too.