The British Touring Car Championship was first held in 1958 when it was known as the British Saloon Car Championship. It was largely a car manufacturer affair as they sought to prove their models on the track. It started off with Jaguars, Rileys, Fords, Volvos and Austins but soon, foreign manufacturers such as the Japanese wanted in and their Toyota and Mazda models. In 1961 American muscle cars such as the V8 Chevrolet Impala joined the championship and gave the British-made cars a run for their money.

In 1966 racing regulations were changed whereby cars were required to retain their original body for ease of identification on the track but there was now more room to modify the engines and swap the touring tyres for new, sleek, racing tyres. Fans were now treated to spectacularly thrilling shows as the race then became faster and noisier. Crowds went wild at the sound of revving engines and the smell of rubber against road and excitement grew as winning the race was a matter of beating your opponent by mere seconds.

Typically the race goes on ten rounds with three races in each round that involve 16-25 laps depending on the length of the circuit. Each round is held on a different track in both England and Scotland. Last year, Colin Turkington took home the spoils of the national championship in his MG 6 under the MG Motors UK Limited banner, thwarting a 5-year successive win for the Japanese Honda Civic which had defended its championship since 2010.

This year’s BTCC season kicked off in high gear at Donington Park on 24th March then proceeded to the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in April. This weekend will see contenders take on the Thruxton circuit before proceeding to Oulton Park next month. Fans have a lot to look forward to as the BTCC 2015 season will hold monthly events until curtains close on October 11th.