After taking back the initiative back at Knockhill, Sam Tordoff has valiantly held onto the championship lead but the West Surrey Racing driver will now have to fend off a multi-car armada if he is to win his first BTCC title.

It would be unfair to say Tordoff has constantly been on the defensive since acquiring the points lead from his WSR BMW team mate Rob Collard. There have points in the year where Tordoff has threatened to establish some clear air between himself and the rest of the field but carrying the burden of running 75 kilos of success ballast has taken its toll in recent rounds.

Nevertheless, Tordoff has been near bulletproof in his title crusade so far. The 27-year old pulled off a minor miracle from the back at Rockingham to reengage his ascendency before successfully managing what was another tricky weekend last time out at Silvertone.

That means it's just too close to call heading to the Brands Hatch finale. A scarcely believable eight drivers remain in contention to lift this season's BTCC crown with 67 points left on the table.

So who, if anyone, can stop Tordoff?

Honda

As ever, the might of Honda can never be discounted. By their high standards, the Team Dynamics Type-R outfit, at times, have looked off the pace. But just when you're just about to discount them, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden pull something out of the ordinary to claw themselves right back into the thick of contention.

The Type-R has struggled with a lack top-end speed this year but it's prowess through the corners has guided reigning champion Shedden to four victories in 2016 while triple champion Neal has backed that up with three of his own.

Shedden and Neal could, and perhaps should, be heading into the decider as the men to chase but costly punctures for the Honda duo means they both remain in arrears of Tordoff with a near dozen point deficit to overhaul.

Collard and the Motorbase Fords

You could argue that Rob Collard and two Motorbase Performance Fords of Mat Jackson and Andrew Jordan are the last three capable of mounting a serious threat to Tordoff, with the latter of the trio Jordan sitting 31 points behind the championship leader.

All three at one stage or another have looked down and out this season. Collard's qualifying misery has severely hindered his charge this year but the BTCC veteran has somehow kept himself in contention following a series of awe-inspiring recovery drives back up the order. 2016 has marked his best season to date and 47-year old still has a very real opportunity of taking what would be a hugely popular maiden BTCC crown, just 17 points back.

Sitting just behind Collard in fifth and sixth, Jackson and Jordan have enjoyed something a late renaissance in this year's campaign. The Motorbase outfit started the year well but went slightly off the boil during the mid-part of the season.

That hasn't detracted from the fact that Jackson, along with Honda's Shedden, has won more races than anyone else this season while Jordan's run of 18 consecutive points scoring finishes has given the pair a fighting chance.

One thing the Motorbase duo should have in their armoury for the decider is a hugely potent weapon in the form of their Ford Focus ST. The Focus was damn near unbeatable around Brands Hatch GP layout last season after Jackson very nearly won all three races on offer.

Subaru

The fact both Colin Turkington and Jason Plato remain in mathematical contention is remarkable.

Making its BTCC debut in 2016, Subaru effectively missed the first three meetings of year as the BMR outfit faced a race against time in trying to develop the late arriving Levorg. The reigning teams' champions put their Thruxton anguish behind them and succeeded in doing just that. Straight-line speed issues aside, the RWD Levorg has arguably been one of the strongest packages for the second half of the season, which has helped keep Turkington and Plato in the frame.

A maiden title in the series for Subaru at the first time of asking does look unlikely, however. Turkington goes into the decider with a slim chance of making history 37 points back from Tordoff while Plato would need to overhaul a 58 point deficit to lift his third BTCC title.

While it's all too easy to look at the points table with a statistical view on proceedings, the unique nature of the BTCC makes finals day even more of a lottery. History has proven, the course of the championship can turn in just a blink of an eye.

Reigning champion Shedden knows that more than most. Remember last season...?

How the table looks...

1. Tordoff 278
2. Shedden 267
3. Neal 265
4. Collard 261
5. Jackson 257
6. Jordan 247
7. Turkington 241
8. Plato 220