2017 BTCC: Rockingham preview

This weekend the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues with rounds 22 through 24 at Rockingham Circuit.

Following their long-awaited return to the top step of the podium at Knockhill, the Speedworks Motorsport crew is full of optimism, hoping that Ingram’s unfortunate run is behind them. The young gun currently sits 61 points adrift of the championship leader but knows there is more than 200 points still available from the next three weekends.

Handy Motorsport driver Rob Austin is similarly fired-up for Rockingham, having finally uncovered the reason for his car’s mysterious lack of pace at Knockhill. It was an issue that could be traced back to contact from the previous event at Snetterton.

What else do we know about Rockingham circuit? Why not scroll down and get up-to-speed in advance of the action with our guide to the Northamptonshire venue.

2017 BTCC: Rockingham

Completed at the turn of the Millennium, Rockingham is one of the newest and fastest racing circuits in the country. The circuit complex offers 13 possible configurations, from a NASCAR-style banked oval speedway to a number of asphalt and gravel road courses. The BTCC adopts the 1.94-mile International Super Sports Car Circuit, which uses turn one of the oval before heading infield for a series of ten challenging hairpins and fast sweeping bends – all of which are visible from the grandstand.

The circuit begins on the oval, gathering pace through Turn 1 while keeping clear of the concrete wall on the right-hand side. It can be tricky to gauge the late apex turn-in for the Deene hairpin, but a slow entry is rewarded with a fast exit. A short downhill blast then leads to Yentwood, which requires another late turn-in but offers plenty of run out.

The steep climb towards Chapman is deceptive in only revealing the braking point after the crest. The apex is late, although nailing this will send you naturally to the right-hand side of the track in preparation for Pif Paf, the turn-in point of which is in line with the marshals’ box. You can let the car gently run out through Steel Straight’s long left-hander but look out for the end of the escape road as this is your late turn-in for the uphill climb to Gracelands.

From here, straight-line speed will fire you towards Tarzan, where another late apex and an exit that nibbles into the National Circuit pit entrance will maintain pace through School Straight. Edge back to the right-hand side through Brook and you’ll be well-positioned for Turn 4 and the return to the start-finish straight.

VENUE CORNERS CIRCUIT LENGTH LAP RECORD (QUALIFYING) LAP RECORD

(RACE)

Rockingham 11 1.94 miles 1:22.087s at 85.08mph 1:23.193s at 83.94mph

Fast fact: Rob Austin and Tom Ingram both achieved their maiden BTCC podium finishes at Rockingham, in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

2017 BTCC: Where can I watch the action?

If you are unable to attend the event in person, qualifying and all three races will be streamed live online with the race day action also screened live on ITV4.

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