The British Touring Car Championship returns to the scenic Oulton Park Island Circuit in Cheshire for rounds 3 and 4 of the Green Flag MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend, the 20th and 21st April.

Oulton Park is very similar to Brands Hatch in many respects, with climbs and dips combined with an exciting mix of fast and slow speed corners, it really is a circuit that has it all.

One quite crucial difference between the two though is track width, or rather the lack of it, a factor that has played its part in previous years - especially on the start line. Many past BTCC masters have described Oulton Park as a mini Nurburgring and, just like the German circuit, it will provide a real challenge as Jim Edwards Jnr and John B&Q do battle with 30 others into the first corner.

"The track is tough on the brakes with two hard deceleration zones - into Island and then immediately after into the Knickerbrook Chicane. At the other end of the track you have corners such as Druids which are all about momentum and are vital for a really good lap time," explains Peter Cate.

Jim Edwards Jnr meanwhile looks forward to his second meeting for Team B&Q Jet York City Racing, "I am looking forward to Oulton as this track is one you can really get your teeth into, very challenging both technically and in terms of danger." Edwards Jnr lies in sixth place in the championship standings despite finishing just one of the two races at Brands Hatch after retiring with a fuel related problem in the Feature Race.

This weekend will see the debut of our second Honda Accord, newly delivered from Synchro Motorsport. Jim Edwards Jnr will be driving the 2001-spec car at Oulton Park, whilst John Batchelor will return to the team in the 1999-spec car that Edwards ran at Brands Hatch.

John Batchelor describes his views on the upcoming race, "I really can't wait to get back behind the wheel at Oulton Park and go out and have some real fun! Jim has proved that the car is capable of running much closer to the front of the field than I have been used to with the Integras and I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with the car. I am horribly short of testing mileage - I think I have about 3 laps of Brands Hatch under my belt - but where better to return than my home circuit of Oulton Park? The car has been repaired after Jim's moment at Paddock Hill in the last round, and a new suspension system has been installed - the car is ready and I'm raring to go!"

Although the second car will mean more work for the team, it does have its advantages. With the extra track time that comes with running two cars, the team should be able to improve the cars much more speedily and hopefully move them closer to the front of the grid, and up the championship table in the Teams Championship.

The aim at Brands Hatch was to get to the finish and hopefully score some points. The team achieved that in the sprint race, finishing a creditable fourth, and narrowly missed out on a repeat score in the feature race. At Oulton Park though the teams aims will be much higher.

Jim Edwards noted: "My hopes for the weekend will be for two solid results and a trip onto the podium would be a real treat, I've also got this feeling that keeping the wheels under the car wouldn't be such a bad idea either."

John Batchelor added: "The last time I ran in a race car was back in October 2001, so don't expect great things from me! I will be aiming to simply bed myself in and get used to the new car and the fact the steering wheel is on the wrong side."

So the motto for Oulton has to be "Progress" and plenty of it, as the team has now blown away the cobwebs and got the early season dramas out of the way.