Two years ago the British Touring Car Championship could boast just two series champions on its grid. And although Jason Plato and Matt Neal have provided some dramatic tin-top moments over the years, it's fair to say the championship needed some fresh blood, and perhaps a dash of foreign flair.
Now it has both. This season, assuming Colin Turkington re-signs with WSR, we will have seven BTCC champions lining up at Brands Hatch next month thanks to the return of Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi.
That's more than the series managed even during the height of the manufacturer-rich Super Touring era (1994 and '97 both featured six reigning or former champions, plus five future title winners). It's a remarkable turnaround.
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Kevin Turner is the editor of Autosport magazine, having previously been the editor of sister publication Motorsport News. He joined the magazine in 2006 after writing club race reports as a freelancer while studying history at the University of York. He has also covered international events for both the magazine and the website, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. Kevin covered the British Touring Car Championship from 2011 to '14 and has a keen interest in the historic racing scene. He lives in Fleet with his wife and two children.@KRT917 More features by Kevin Turner