The turn out for the final rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship exceeded all expectations at Silverstone after 33,000 fans turned up to watch Matt Neal secure his second straight BTCC title.

The race day crowd was one of the biggest at Silverstone since the 1980's and was the biggest crowd for a car meeting at the Northamptonshire circuit after the British Grand Prix back in June.

"It's fantastic that so many fans have come to Silverstone to enjoy the final rounds of the championship," managing director of Silverstone Circuits Limited Richard Phillips said on race day. "It obviously helped that the championship was still up for grabs, and that three drivers were still in with a chance of winning the drivers' title, but it's great to see so many people here. The open paddock, grandstands and spectator areas are buzzing.

"If I'm completely honest, there were more people here than we'd anticipated. Advance tickets sold well, and while we knew - being a title showdown - that it would be busier, there was nothing to suggest it would be as busy as this.

"We had already planned to open extra car parks and bring in extra resource to cope with the numbers, but the car parks were full. We even had to open the North Car Park for the first time in five years."

The only downside to the bumper crowd was the difficulty some fans had in getting into the circuit on race day morning with Phillips apologising to those who had has problems.

"The vast majority of fans were able to gain access to the circuit well in advance of the first race, although there were delays for a number of people coming off the A43," he added. "Our traffic management team had to deal with a race day attendance that equated to a third of a grand prix crowd, without the benefit of the Grand Prix traffic management programme - which implements road closures and a six lane tidal flow system. Due to the anticipated size and nature of the event, we were not in a position to implement this level of traffic management.

"We would like to apologise for any delays fans may have experienced, and thank them for their understanding and patience. The crowd has been fantastic, it's been a great weekend, and we look forward to seeing everyone back at Silverstone again in 2007."