A select group of stars from the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship drove their respective BTCC machinery across the iconic Forth Road Bridge earlier today (20 August), with a very important Road Safety message at the forefront of the activity.
In association with Road Safety Scotland and Knockhill, four current drivers brought their touring cars along to support the all-important ‘Race on the Track, Stay Safe on the Road’ message.
2012 BTCC Champion and homeland hero Gordon Shedden led proceedings in the Honda Civic Type R where he was joined by fellow countryman Derek Palmer in his racing Infiniti. Multiple race-winner and fans’ favourite Rob Austin was another to enter proceedings in his Audi A4 along with the car of Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship leader Tom Oliphant. Aiden Moffat – the youngest driver in the history of the BTCC – was also present as the drivers lined-up with Michael McDonnell from Road Safety Scotland to sign the Road Safety pledge and pose for photos.
With the formalities out of the way it was time for the drivers to cruise across the fantastic Forth Road Bridge in their liveried BTCC cars.
Not only did the hugely successful event send out an important road safety message but it also kicked off the series’ visit to Scotland in fine style. Nearly 30 cars and stars are set to blast round Knockhill this weekend for Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with the tight and twisty circuit always playing host to some sensational racing.
Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “It was a brilliant event with a very important message behind it. As the biggest motor sport series in the UK it’s vital that we support such road safety campaigns, and it’s hugely significant to join forces with local and national government initiatives. This has also been a fantastic way to start our action-packed weekend in Scotland, where we expect to welcome a great crowd to Knockhill for what I’m sure will be some unforgettable racing.”
Michael McDonnell, Director of Road Safety Scotland, said: “Spectators and racing enthusiasts travelling to Knockhill this weekend are sure to enjoy the thrill of watching the touring car drivers negotiate the circuit at speed, as some of the world’s best drivers demonstrate their expertise on the race track. But that’s where speed must stay.
“While we want the public to enjoy this event to the fullest, they must remember racing is for the track. Travelling too fast for the conditions or excessive speed is reported as a factor in too many accidents on our roads, and with higher speeds comes an increase in both the number and severity of accidents.
“That is why we welcome the great support of such vastly experienced drivers and their pledge today. Remember, leave the racing at Knockhill, race on the track, stay safe on the road.”
Stuart Gray, Knockhill Events Director, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our association with Road Safety Scotland with the action by the BTCC drivers. We have long supported many road safety campaigns at the circuit for both car and bike riders, and a number of RSS trackside banners will remain up around the track for the rest of the year to ensure that all our visitors see the message.”
Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, said: “I am hugely passionate about the BTCC, Scottish motor sport and indeed road safety, so what better way to bring them all together than driving across the iconic Forth Road Bridge. The media and public reaction has been fantastic and now I’m looking really looking forward to racing at Knockhill this weekend.”
Rob Austin, Exocet AlcoSense, said: “Wow, what an extremely cool thing to do and even more so because of the important message behind it. Due to our partnership with AlcoSense we are all too aware of some of the dangers that the road can bring and it’s critical that people adhere to these initiatives.”
Derek Palmer, Support our Paras Racing, said: “It was great to take part in this event where we were driving at a leisurely pace, but it’ll be a very different story come Sunday. That’s the point of today though: the roads are for safe driving and if you want to race, head for your local track. I know all the guys really enjoyed taking part in this brilliant opportunity and I hope we have helped in spreading the word on road safety, not just in Scotland but across the rest of the UK too.”
Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing, said: “If people want to drive fast then they should take up racing, which is carried out on a circuit in a safe and controlled manner. That’s really the message here today – leave the racing to the professionals and stay safe on the road. I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s been a great way to go into the Knockhill weekend.”
Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill are available from £28, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. Advanced booking discounts apply to all pre-booked tickets either online or by calling 01383 723337. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on the day at the gate. All admission includes access to Sunday’s autograph session with the BTCC drivers in the pit lane as well as free parking.
Plan your journey in advance and for real time travel updates, visit at www.trafficscotland.org.