The British Touring Car Championship moves to Donington Park this weekend after the three opening races of the season at Brands Hatch.
The Championship is wide open as the top six drivers are covered by seven points and the reigning champion Colin Turkington came away with a podium from Brands as he settles into his new team BMR.
The Ulster driver is currently sixth in the championship standings and was satisfied with his third place in one of the opening rounds.
“It is still a learning curve for me, not only a new team, but a new car and unlike the BMW, which I raced for seven years, the Volkswagen CC is rear-wheel drive,” said Turkington.
The pre -season testing was carried out at Donington Park and Jason Plato topped the time charts from Turkington which points to the BMR cars being competitive this weekend.
Turkington’s teammate is none other than Plato and he finished runner up in the championship last season to the Portadown driver.
The BMR squad is a force to be reckoned with, a four car line up which in addition to Turkington and Plato includes Dubliner Aron Smith and team boss Warren Scott.
Smith came out best of the four at Donington Park and having driven the Passat CC last season he just has an early season advantage.
The biggest threat to the BMR cars are the two Hondas driven by Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.
Despite a lack of pre season testing the new Civic Rs were on race pace right away with both drivers taking a win each at the season opener.
This weekend is crucial for Turkington in defence of his title, more podium places are essential in what is shaping up to be one of the best in the history of the BTCC.
Meanwhile on the local motorsport scene, Kirkistown circuit is the venue for a championship kart meeting and Croft near Holywood is the setting for a hillclimb.