Senna Proctor might be the only Yorkshireman on the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid as the UK’s biggest and best motor sport series speeds into Croft this weekend (10/11 June), but the rapid rookie is ready to put on a sparkling show for fans.
Proctor has stepped up to the BTCC this year from the Renault UK Clio Cup, and the Driffield-based teenager has made steady progress to-date behind the wheel of his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, comparing well against experienced team-mate Tom Chilton, a multiple race-winner in both the BTCC and FIA World Touring Car Championship.
Following his maiden top ten finish at Donington Park, last time out at Oulton Park, Proctor cracked the top ten in qualifying for the first time too, only to then find himself demoted by a yellow flag penalty and lose out somewhat in the heat of battle on race day. As the BTCC heads to his home circuit for its sole north-eastern jaunt of the year, the 18-year-old Jack Sears Trophy pace-setter is fired-up to convert his potential into on-track results.
“I can’t wait for the weekend!” he enthused. “It will be great to have so many friends, family and sponsors at Croft supporting me, and I really want to reward them with my best finish of the season. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the calendar, although I’ve never seemed to have much luck there, so hopefully this will be the weekend when we finally string it all together.
“Croft is a great spectator circuit and generates brilliant racing. The first two sectors are high-speed and you can really hang the car out on the edge, and then you have to rein it all back in again for the tight and technical final sector and be as clean and patient as possible. It’s very much a lap of two halves in that respect, which makes it extremely rewarding to drive – not to mention tough for the engineers to strike the perfect set-up.
“We’ve been consistently progressing the Astra over the opening rounds, and hopefully at Croft, we can really concretise the promise we showed at Oulton Park. After driving quite conservatively earlier in the season, my dad [former BTCC racer Mark Proctor] let me off the leash a bit at Oulton and I took a few more risks – some of which paid off, some of which didn’t. The target has to be to qualify inside the top ten again at Croft and then convert that into three strong race finishes, which is something we didn’t do last time.
“Competing in the BTCC has been a fantastic experience so far, and it really is incredibly hard-fought all the way up and down the field – the best series in Britain without a doubt. The closeness of the racing has been quite an eye-opener for me, but that’s a challenge that I relish and I’m planning to stick around for quite some time...”
Two-time BTCC Champion Jason Plato is somebody that has certainly been around the championship for quite some time. The Newcastle-raised Subaru star, however, has endured a torrid 2017 campaign to-date, meaning he will be keen to get his season back on-course at Croft – a circuit that has traditionally favoured rear wheel-drive machinery like his Levorg, which won in North Yorkshire last year.
To watch Proctor and Plato in action – as well as a plethora of local heroes throughout the support series, including Scorton’s Max Coates in the Renault UK Clio Cup – call 01325 721815 or head over to www.croftcircuit.co.uk/racing/btcc before midnight tomorrow (Thursday), with discounted advance tickets priced at just £11 for Saturday, 10 June, £24 for Sunday, 11 June or £33 for both days.
After that, tickets can still be purchased on the gate for £14 (Saturday), £28 (Sunday) or £36 (full weekend), with accompanied children aged 15 and under admitted free of charge. Sunday morning’s Pit Walk and Autograph Session is included with all tickets.
For more information on Croft’s race meetings and driving experiences, visit: www.croftcircuit.co.uk