1. Colin Turkington
Championship position: 1st
A deserving champion, Turkington added steel to his driving this year, just as he needed to. Bulletproof reliability from his BMW helped, but the real key was a string of four wins from six races at Oulton Park and Croft, allowing him to play the percentages on full ballast for the rest of the year. Just to round off a superb year, he became a Dad too.
2. Fabrizio Giovanardi
Championship position: 3rd
Started the season dreadfully with a puncture at Brands Hatch and took a while to recover, but he never lost that old Giovanardi class. The tougher the round for Vauxhall, the more the Italian's dominance over team-mates Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan would show. A double win at Snetterton - a track at which the Vauxhall was severely lacking in straightline speed - was the highlight.
3. Jason Plato
Championship position: 2nd
Didn't look like being on the grid until a few days before the season-opener. Once the lights went out though, he looked like he'd never been away. Closing down a 56-point deficit to just five during the second half of the year was remarkable, but his triple victory on the Brands Hatch GP circuit was just stunning. Should RML return in 2010 with Lacettis (or Cruzes), he could well break Andy Rouse's all-time wins record.
4. James Thompson
Championship position: 9th
Only did half a season, but still managed to turn the Team Dynamics Honda Civic into the regular race-winner that it always threatened to be. His wet Donington double was a reminder to the massed crowds that appeared all season of just how good the 2002 and '04 champion really is. Could have been a title contender if he'd had a full test and race programme.
5. Rob Collard
Championship position: 6th
Lifted his game this year to assert himself ahead of rookie Motorbase BMW team-mate Jonathan Adam and eradicate many of the 'Collard shoves' that had characterised his driving previously, as evidenced by a super-clean drive from last to fourth in race three at Oulton Park. Just as good was a determined chase down of Jackson at Silverstone after he wisely saved his tyres early in the race.
6. Mat Jackson
Championship position: 5th
Last year's runner-up was a late starter this time around and found it more difficult to get on top of an ill-handling Lacetti than Plato. Once a mid-season test made it the quickest thing in the field though, he was able to match his illustrious team-mate more often than not - although he always carried less ballast. Unfortunate to miss three of six races mid-season to illness and car problems.
7. Matt Neal
Championship position: 4th
A real season of two halves for the former champion in his second year with Vauxhall. Led the championship for the first half of the season and looked good value for it too, but fell into something of anonymity from Oulton Park onwards. A really exceptional show of speed on the Brands GP track, despite engine problems and having to bay to team orders, showed he was right back on form.
8. Paul O'Neill
Championship position: 12th
Did himself and the plucky Tech-Speed squad proud all season in the ageing Honda Integra-R. Third place at Snetterton - with his absent engineer Alex Somerset giving him set-up tips by text message - was the high point, and the podium tears provided one of the enduring images of the season, but Thruxton and Croft also looked likely to yield top-threes before mechanical problems intervened.
9. Stephen Jelley
Championship position: 7th
You'd never have believed it a year ago, but Stephen Jelley is now hot property in the BTCC following an impressive sophomore year. Followed up his maiden podium at Croft with two more in the space of a couple of hours and then became a winner (twice) at Rockingham, crucially denying maximum points to the title rivals of his WSR team-mate Turkington. He swears there's still plenty more to come.
10. Tom Chilton
Ford Focus ST
Championship position: 13th
Never let his head drop when Arena Motorsport's first race-ready Ford Focus ST proved itself to be the slowest car in the BTCC at the start of the year, and was rewarded with pole at the Brands Hatch finale and three podium finishes once rear-end aero revisions and a switch of engine tuner had taken place. If the improvements continue at the same rate over the winter, he could be a dark horse for the title.
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