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Two of the most popular and successful drivers of the iconic Super Touring era are set to roll back the years at Thruxton’s second Easter Revival meeting this weekend (19-20 April), as John Cleland and Patrick Watts prepare to renew battle in the inaugural rounds of the new Super Touring Car Championship.

Organised by the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC), the Super Touring Car Championship will reawaken memories of a golden era of saloon car racing, when a multitude of major manufacturers and leading drivers from all over Europe clamoured to compete in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Commonly regarded as the period between 1991 and 2000, Super Touring made the likes of Cleland, Watts, Tim Harvey, Steve Soper, Will Hoy and Alain Menu household names. Not only did the BTCC attract capacity crowds, it also attracted guest appearances from Formula 1 stars including Nigel Mansell, whose performances at Donington Park in 1993 and 1998 have become the stuff of motorsport folklore.

Following a number of outings last year, 2014 will usher in the new Super Touring Car Championship – with Thruxton’s Easter Revival as its first stop. Amongst a grid of Honda Accords, Alfa Romeo 156s, Nissan Primeras, BMW 320s and M3s, a Williams Renault Laguna, a Zakspeed MkII Escort and a flame-spitting Ford Sierra RS500 will be two cars with very familiar names on the side – a Peugeot 406 and Vauxhall Vectra.

The former will be piloted by Watts, a man who earned legendary status during his touring car career as one of the most spectacular drivers in the field. A BTCC regular from 1983 to 1997, the Englishman tallied a sextet of podiums for Peugeot in 1994 and 1995. He will climb behind the wheel of a 1998 Peugeot 406 at the Easter Revival – and offers some insight into just what made the Super Touring heyday so special.

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