HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship boss Alan Gow has said he is 'staggered' by the line-up for the second round of the season this weekend at Thruxton - where half of the grid will be past winners in the series.

Confirmation that Jason Plato has now put a full-season programme in place in his RML-run Racing Silverline Chevrolet Lacetti also ensures that four champions will hit the track in Hampshire, with another former champion James Thompson joining Matt Neal and Fabrizio Giovanardi on the grid.

As well as those four, Colin Turkington, Rob Collard, Mat Jackson, Tom Chilton, Dan Eaves, Paul O'Neill and Alan Morrison have all won BTCC races in the past and Gow said it was an amazing statistic to have such depth in the field.

"This is a simply staggering line-up of driver talent, even by BTCC standards," he said. "Our grids, trackside crowds and TV coverage and audiences have continued to grow during the past five years and now the BTCC has probably its most competitive grid of drivers for a decade. Plus the field is also boosted by a number of emerging young drivers all still aiming to reach the top step of the podium.

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"The fact that this grid will race at Thruxton - one of the most dramatic circuits on our calendar - only adds to the anticipation ahead of the weekend. Thruxton this Sunday will be an event for all motor sport fans to truly savour."

Between them, the eleven drivers have secured nearly 170 race wins, with Plato leading the statistics on 47 - second on the all-time list to BTCC legend Andy Rouse.