On an unprecedented weekend for motorsport around the globe, British touring car fans were treated to a truly memorable occasion this past week as the greats from today and yesteryear came together at a brand-new festival to celebrate the magic of the Super Touring era at Brands Hatch.
Super Touring Power brought together some of the most iconic machines from that hugely popular era, together with a full programme of races that also showcased other tin tops from the ‘60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 00’s.
The main event of the weekend saw a 20-strong grid of cars competing in the four-race Laser Tools Super Tourers Championship, including not only current BTCC championship contender Jake Hill but also BTCC legends Paul Radisich (Ford Mondeo), Greg Murphy (Nissan Primera), Steven Richards (Volvo S40) and Anthony Reid (Nissan Primera).
Fittingly, it was Laser Tools Racing’s own Jake Hill that followed his success at Oulton Park a few weeks ago by storming his way to victory in not just one, but all four, of the races in ex-BTCC champion Laurent Aiello’s championship-winning Nissan Primera.
Steward Whyte, driving his Honda Accord, provided Hill’s closest competition of the weekend, claiming pole for the first race in qualifying and claiming second behind Hill in all of the first three races.
As if the on-track entertainment wasn’t enough, the fans in attendance were also treated to pit walks and autograph sessions, bringing them closer to their touring car heroes, as well as Q&A sessions which included appearances from record-holding four-time BTCC champion Andy Rouse and double-champion Alain Menu.
Menu’s ’97-championship-winning Renault Laguna also put in an appearance in an on-track demonstration which also included current BTCC front-runner Ash Sutton, in his Napa Racing UK Ford Focus ST.
In another poignant moment, the organisers placed Matt Neal’s Nissan Primera (driven by Greg Murphy) at the front of the grid ahead of the first race, in a pre-race tribute to Matt’s father, ex-Saloon Car Championship star and Team Dynamics founder, Steve Neal who sadly passed away at the weekend.
The tyres and tarmac had barely been given the chance to cool before fans were calling for the event to return again in 2024, or even become a regular fixture in the British touring car calendar.
With the nostalgia of the Super Touring era, and classic BTCC nostalgia in general, at an all-time high, let’s hope that these are pleas that will be impossible to ignore.
Chris Tetreault-Blay BTCC Journalist @ F1 Journal
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