Published: 11:00, 27 April 2020
| Updated: 09:49, 28 April 2020
A revised British Touring Car Championship calendar includes two dates at Kent’s Brands Hatch circuit.
The coronavirus pandemic led to the championship being postponed but organisers TOCA have issued revised dates including visits to Brands in August and the final round in mid-November.
TOCA insist the dates remain conditional and “upon receiving appropriate government directives and approvals regarding the resumption of sporting activities.”
The finale of the British Touring Car Championship was to be held on the weekend of October 10/11 but that date will now see the cars heading for Croft, for rounds 19-21. The 2020 season – as originally planned – will still conclude in Kent, but at the later date of November 14/15.
The first visit to Brands, on the Indy circuit, is now planned for August 8/9.
TOCA say: “The revised season is now scheduled to start on 1/2 August at Donington Park, which begins a run of four events in just five weekends, with Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Knockhill completing the opening month of action.”
One of two visits to Silverstone has been scrapped due to the compressed schedule.
Alan Gow, BTCC chief exec, said: “These are incredibly challenging times for the whole nation. Through it all, we have seen the importance of being both adaptable and pragmatic and the BTCC is no different.
“It’s entirely logical to draft plans and lock-in our provisional dates, with the ability to amend those if circumstances dictate.
“Obviously this calendar presents a hectic four months, with three separate back-to-back events and four events in the first five weeks alone. But our teams and drivers are fully up for the challenge - there’s such enormous energy, enthusiasm and passion for the BTCC that everyone will want to just roll up their sleeves and get the action underway when the time comes to go racing.
“However, the over-arching element will always be to ensure we have the correct procedures and protocols in place, in order to provide a safe environment. But before that time comes the most important thing we can all do is to please stay safe and also protect the health of others.”
MotorSport Vision, who own Brands, last issued a statement on March 24 and said that all circuit activity is suspended until May 7, at the earliest.
Among the teams taking part are Kent-based Team HARD racing and they are running a fundraising campaign in support of the Maidstone And Tunbridge Wells NHS, who are currently fighting the Covid-19 outbreak.
The team, located in Detling, will include special thank you messages on their car livery for the opening round of the 2020 season.
Managing director of Team HARD, Tony Gilham, said: “Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the technology or infrastructure that the Formula 1 teams have to manufacture devices to make a direct impact. However, we are desperate to use our resources where we can to help the effort to fight the Coronavirus.
“I’d like to thank our partners Right Choice Insurance Brokers, Fox Transport, Hub Financial Solutions and Autobrite Direct for being so supportive in this movement to help make our mark on fighting the coronavirus. When we do eventually get racing back underway the Fuller/Bushell RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport car will be awash with support messages and names accompanying them from everyone who has joined us in helping raise money for this very worthy cause.”
The team will also offer hospitality packages for NHS staff.
Names of those donating £10 or more will be included on a special race livery and the team also plan to take the car to Maidstone Hospital, on the run up to the opening round of the season, for patients and staff members to see who has donated.
You can visit Team HARD's justgiving page here.