With the MotoGP having somewhat going downhill in terms of spectacle following a thrilling wet race in Jerez earlier on in the season, you might want to spend your Sunday watching something else. Hence, may I guide you towards one of British motorsport's gems - the British Touring Car Championship.
It's been a long five-week hiatus from some great action at Thruxton where the turbo-charged Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden rubber-stamped their marks on their Championship ambitions, each leading a 1-2 between them in race 1 and 2 amid some traditional touring car chaos. And that's the beauty of this Championship.
The series started to open my eyes in 2010 when I watched a few events during the season (most notably the Donington Park event where there was chaos in race 1 between the leaders) but it wasn't until Brands Hatch Indy at the start of 2011 when I've really begun to take a real interest in the category.
The days are long, with three main races spread out across the day between 11am and 6pm, the support races are intriguing and action packed, the drivers aren't your superstar prima donnas that Formula One drivers maybe appear to be at times and, best of all, the category is very accessible. ITV4 presents strong coverage of the events, with a great commentary duo of Ben Edwards and Tim Harvey to guide you through the action. And if getting up close and personal to the action is more your thing, tickets for the whole weekend won't cost you an arm or a leg like many Formula One events want you to give these days.
But of course, the event wouldn't be the same if the BTCC didn't feature the close, hard and exciting racing that the category has become famous for. I would imagine there's been closer competition before in previous seasons (I hope you can forgive my lack of historical knowledge on the BTCC) as the Honda Civics look mighty - the Red Bull of the BTCC, if you will - but, just like F1, there are a lot of variables to consider which makes the BTCC so exciting to watch. The turbo-charged cars are a lot heavier on their tyres which brings the normally-aspirated cars such as the Chevrolet Cruze back into the fray.
|The 2011 Season has been great from the start at Brands Hatch|
And, with all of the accidents and safety cars that frequently occur, they even add on laps to the lap count as the safety car comes in. More action for us!
Crashes and carnage aside, the racing is incredible and frantic. I wonder how there are so many different cars, from Honda Civics to SEAT Leons and to Toyota Avensis', yet the performance difference is at times marginal. The straight-line power of the turbo-charged cars mixing it with cars that typically beat them off the start, such as the BMW 320si's, is very exciting to watch. It really is a great sight to see a plucky Volkswagen Golf mix it with established BTCC racers such as the Cruze or the BMW.
I'm loving the BTCC this season. I may not be the biggest fan, or know the most about the sport, but I bloody love the show they put on at each event. And I highly recommend that you watch the race day at Oulton Park this coming Sunday at 11.30am. I promise you won't be disappointed by what you see.