As has been proven over several decades, Alan Gow and his British Touring Car Championship know how to put on a show. With 2018 marking the series’ 60th anniversary, it was almost inevitable that the occasion would be celebrated.
On Wednesday, it was announced that Snetterton – host of the sixth round of the ten event calendar – would feature a revised schedule next season to include a 60-mile showpiece race. Double the distance of a usual BTCC race, the ‘endurance’ event will replace the final race of the day.
Everyone loves a sporting showdown. Be it a Super Bowl heading into overtime or a bitterly contested match point at the end of a gruelling Grand Slam final. In motorsport, an epic race has the potential to be defined by the final lap – a scenario that is widely regarded a collectors’ item.
However, a blockbuster conclusion is not an uncommon occurrence in Formula 2. Hardly surprising in a series featuring spec-machinery and 20 aspirational racing drivers who all believe that they are destined to reach the pinnacle of motorsport that is Formula 1.
Last weekend’s F2 feature race at Monza was eventually won by Prema’s Antonio Fuoco, following a final lap clash between championship leader Charles Leclerc and Nyck de Vries that eliminated both drivers. Russian Time’s Luca Ghiotto initially claimed the top step of the podium but was handed a five second time penalty post-race for taking the scenic route through the first chicane on the frantic last tour.
Credit: Portlock / FIA Formula 2
Some series have seen similar final lap shenanigans that have defined rivalries, careers and even championships. Others have seen races written into motorsport folk-law. Here are some of the most dramatic final laps seen in modern motorsport.
“It’s never boring” states MSA director Alan Gow when asked to describe the British Touring Car Championship for which he is ‘commander-in-chief’. Few could disagree with his statement.
The BTCC – and touring car racing as a motorsport subsection in general – is a thrill a minute, bumper-to-bumper, door-handle-to-door-handle spectacle. It is a championship that prioritises the racing over all else. The product is quite remarkable.
You may be sat reading what is primarily an F1 site wondering what this is all about, but variety is the spice of life. In 2017, rather than simply analyse and enthuse about one series, it’s high time I broaden my horizons. After all, I watch, enjoy and admire far more motorsport series than just F1.
Unquestionably, one of the most underrated series on the planet is our domestic touring cars. The British Touring Car Championship is frenetic. Bumper-to-bumper racing courtesy of a grid featuring a fascinating blend of youth and experience, on some truly brilliant race circuits.
What’s not to love?
Image Credit: BTCC.net