Circuit preparing for anniversary party

Stuart Gray - Knockhill Events Director
Stuart Gray - Knockhill Events Director
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KNOCKHILL is anticipating one of its biggest ever crowds for the 20th anniversary of the British Touring Cars this Sunday.

Not only is there an action-packed schedule that includes three BTCC races, the circuit will also be parading some of the best known Scottish BTCC drivers from the past 20 years.

Stuart Gray, Knockhill events director, told the Press: “We’re really looking forward to the weekend.

“Between all the ex-drivers coming, and all the fun activities planned as well, everything is really coming together.

“Add that to the fact that this year’s Touring Cars is probably the best this decade and we’re in for a great weekend.”

Knockhill staff have been hard at work preparing the track for its special day.

“The venue has never looked better,” Mr Gray added. “We invested a lot during the winter and the spectator viewing areas are vastly improved over last year.

“We’ve also laid a kilometre and a half of new road network within the venue so hopefully that will get everyone in and out of the venue quicker and easier.”

The BTCC weekend often attracts crowds in excess of 10,000 but Mr Gray is expecting even more this Sunday.

“The hope is that it could be one of our biggest crowds in the last 10 years,” he said.

“The anniversary has captured the imagination of specators. Ticket sales are ahead of target so we’re hoping that will be reflected with a bumper crowd on Sunday.”

There is local interest in the Touring Cars with Fifer Gordon Shedden vying for the BTCC title, while Kirkcaldy’s Rory Butcher lines up in the supporting Porsche Carrera Cup.

“The support will be there, not only for Gordon and Rory, but for all the Scots in all the classes,” Mr Gray added.

“We’ve gone out and bought hundreds of Saltire flags to give away on Sunday because we want to see them flying in support of the local drivers.

“It definitely gives them a boost and hopefully the results will follow.”

Mr Gray has been an employee of the circuit for 23 years, and has great memories of the last two decades of Touring Cars.

“The home wins of John Cleland and Gordon Shedden are definitely highlights,” he said.

“There’s been incidents and accidents aplenty over the years. The Tarquini roll in 1994 was one of the biggest incidents in Touring Car history.

“And who can forget the sight of the Volve Estate – one of most bizarre racing saloon cars in the world – leading a race up here.

“There’s dozens of great memories and I’m sure Sunday will provide it’s share of them as well.”

Ticket winners: FIVE lucky Fife Free Press readers will enjoy the 20th anniversary of the British Touring Cars at Knockhill for free after winning a pair of weekend tickets in last week’s competition. Karen Sinclair (Kirkcaldy), James Gathercole (Burntisland), Simon Creighton (Kinghorn) Robert Innes (Kirkcaldy) and Catherine Reid (Kirkcaldy) were the first correct entries drawn out of the hat. Free practice and qualifying will be held on Saturday, with three 24-lap Touring Car races, as well as a host of support races, taking place on Sunday from 9.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m. Adult tickets for race day cost £30, with concessions £15. A family ticket consisting of two adults and two concessions is £75. Kids under 12 go free.