Author: Russell Hogg

Two final chances to win a Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing replica on BTCC Finals Day

Fans attending the final rounds of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend will have the opportunity to walk away with a new car when Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s latest ‘money can’t buy’ competition draws to a close.

Launched back in August in conjunction with joint title sponsors AutoAid and RCIB Insurance, the competition will see one lucky winner secure a road-going replica of the Honda Civic that has been raced in the series this season by Rory Butcher, Sam Tordoff and Mike Bushell.

Ten competition winners will enter a special Scalextric shootout at the famous Kent circuit, with the person who wins that shootout securing the car.

It will be the second time that the team has given away a new car, with one lucky person having secured a replica of the MG6 GT that the team campaigned last year during the 2018 season finale.

Seven of those winners have already been chosen through a series of competitions run through AutoAid and RCIB Insurance’s social media channels in recent months – with a further one to be chosen prior to the race weekend.

Those eight will all enjoy a VIP trip to the circuit to cheer on the team as it goes for glory in the BTCC finale, with two more lucky people attending this weekend’s event set to join them in the shootout.

The first of those winners will be chosen at random from Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing fans at the circuit, with members of the RCIB Insurance team on the lookout for one lucky person showing their support for Rory and Mike in the team clothing trackside.

The final person will be drawn at random through a selfie competition, with people who want to enter able to do so by taking a selfie of themselves at the circuit before uploading it to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #RCIBHondaGiveaway and tagging in either AutoAid or RCIB Insurance.

The selfie competition will run until mid-day on Sunday, with the ten finalists then doing battle for the car at the circuit before the final race of the BTCC season.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Team Principal, said:
“The reaction to the competition since it launched in August has been fantastic and it’s great that AutoAid and RCIB Insurance are opening up the chance for two fans at Brands Hatch this weekend to get involved.

“On what promises to be a big weekend for us as a team as we chase championship silverware on track, we’re looking forward to rewarding a true BTCC fan for their support with the ultimate prize and good luck to all of those who find themselves doing battle for the Honda in the grand finale.”

A Rather Strange Weekend at Silverstone

Jack Goff wins at Silverstone

Wow. So, that was a very strange weekend’s racing. Those of you who watched the Silverstone BTCC on ITV4 will have heard the commentators reference race 3 in particular being one of the strangest they’d ever witnessed. Other comparisons were made to events on track during the 1992 season, a year which at least one of the RCIB sponsored drivers hadn’t even yet been born, with Aiden Moffat only celebrating his 23rd birthday on the eve of ‘race day’.

The weather forecast was always predicted to be a bit wet for Sunday and we’re not sure if it’s just us, but regardless of the time of year, any visit to Silverstone normally involves the need for waterproofs and an umbrella. This weekend was no exception. Race 1 wasn’t too bad weatherwise and Sam Tordoff ‘stand in’, Mike Bushell drove his heart out for a very respectable 7th place, whilst team mate Rory scraped into the points, not helped by the ballast he was forced to carry for this race. Jack Goff was showing promise too by biting at the heels of those in front.

Race 2 saw the weather close in, and a ‘prang’ between Rory and Ollie Jackson put Rory out with Mike again bringing in points with his 9th place finish.

But, race 3 is where it was at. This was a race that was almost comical in illustrating what a difference tyre choice makes in wet conditions. With the safety car out early on in the race, Aiden Moffat (who started at the near back of the grid in 29th) and Jack Goff, with one or two others, dived into the pits to swap tyres as the weather worsened. This was a decision that would have monumental effects on the overall result. With the safety car gone, and the track by now really quite wet, the cars of Aiden and Jack (Laser Tools Racing and Team Hard…both sponsored by RCIB) cut through the field like a knife through butter.

In fact, even when Aiden ran too wide on the run off towards the end of the race and did a rather spectacular ‘360’, he still climbed back up to 2nd with ease and confidence from position 4. Jack Goff by now, had opened up a spectaular lead having pulled away from Aiden who was his only real challenger until then, ending up with a significant lead. We can only but imagine what must have been going through Jack’s mind as the following pack became more and more distant in his rear view mirror.

The race finished with Jack Goff achieving his first ever win for Tony Gilham’s Team Hard, and it was a win based on determination and a great, and brave strategy. Aiden too deserved applause for his grit for climbing up from 29th to finish runner up and for listening to his tyre engineer’s suggestion of an early pit stop. Aiden also finished the Infiniti on the podium for the first time ever.

Unfortunately, the lack of points has formally meant Rory can’t now win the drivers championship, but Cobrasport AmD with Autoaid/RCIB can still win the Indy title, if points go their way at Brands. With Jack Goff now having a win behind him, and being on his team’s ‘home track’ for the final weekend, anything is possible for this remarkable conclusion to the 2019 season.

Cobra Sport AmD with Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing keen to maintain title challenge at Silverstone

Mike Bushell 1st Race replacing Sam Tordoff

The Cobra Sport AmD with Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing team will seek to maintain its bid for title honours when the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads for Silverstone next weekend for the penultimate meeting of the season.

The West Thurrock-based team enjoyed a fine weekend last time out at Knockhill, with Scottish star Rory Butcher securing his maiden pole position before storming to his third win of the season on home soil.

Team-mate Mike Bushell meanwhile broke the circuit lap record on his return to action, having never driven the team’s Honda Civic Type R prior to the weekend.

Fife racer Rory heads to Silverstone with confidence on a high on the back of his Knockhill weekend, where he also secured a podium finish alongside his race one win.

Those results mean Rory goes into the final six races of the season firmly in contention for the overall championship in just his second full season in the series, whilst he is also just a single point away from the lead of the Independents’ Trophy and heads the Jack Sears Trophy standings.

The 30-year-old showed strong pace at Silverstone twelve months ago with a fine drive through the field in the opening race of the weekend, and will hope to make the most of the pace of the Honda to fight towards the sharp end of the grid – with the FK2 Type R having taken three wins at the circuit in the past three years.

With Leeds-racer Sam Tordoff having taken the decision to withdraw from the remainder of the season following the recent loss of his newborn son, Kent-based Mike will continue at the wheel of the sister Honda and will also contest the season finale at Brands Hatch next month.

On his return to action at Knockhill, Mike was on the pace from the outset despite the fact that he hadn’t been at the wheel of a BTCC car since February, although an unfortunate set of circumstances on race day meant he wasn’t able to secure the results that his speed deserved.

Mike enjoyed one of his best weekends of the season at Silverstone twelve months ago with two points finishes and has multiple podium finishes at the circuit during his time in the Clio Cup UK; where he is a double championship winner.

With valuable experience of driving the Honda now under his belt – and running without the additional ballast he had to carry at Knockhill as a new entry – Mike will seek to try and push towards the top ten to aid the team in its championship challenge.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“All season we have tried to make sure that we didn’t get carried away about our results, and with two rounds to go, we now find ourselves right in the mix for each of the championships we are eligible for.

“To be able to say that against the competition we face in the BTCC is something I am hugely proud of, and we will be giving our all over the final two rounds to see what we can achieve in the final standings.

“On the back of his results at Knockhill, Rory can head for Silverstone with plenty of confidence behind him, and we are confident that he will once again be right at the sharp end of the grid and fighting for the podium places.

“Sam’s involvement with the programme and the experience he has been able to bring from racing with some of the top teams in the series has been invaluable this year. He has shown his undoubted speed and has been a key part of the success we have enjoyed, and certainly deserved more than the win he secured at Thruxton.

“Whilst it is unfortunate that his season has ended early, family must come first in these circumstances. His decision to sit out the final two rounds is one that is completely understandable, and he and Georgie remain firmly in our thoughts and have our ongoing support.

“After an unlucky weekend at Knockhill, I’m sure that Mike will do a good job on Sam’s behalf through the final two rounds and will be able to challenge for some strong points at both Silverstone and Brands Hatch.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“It’s all to play for going into the final two rounds and it is nice that we have got to the business end of the season in contention for some silverware, both for myself and for the team.

“On paper, Silverstone is a circuit that should be a good one for us with the Honda, and it is a circuit that I also enjoy racing at. What we need to do is work hard on Saturday to get the most from practice and qualifying because that can then set us up for Sunday, as was the case at Knockhill.

“I have a strategy in my mind about how I want to approach this weekend, and the aim is to try and put that into practice to secure as many points as possible and keep my championship challenges on track.

“I can’t control what other people are doing and can only focus on doing the best job possible behind the wheel. That approach has served me well so far this season, and hopefully the same will apply when we get to Silverstone.”

Mike Bushell, #21 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“Once I had shaken off the cobwebs and got rid of the ballast I had to carry into Knockhill, I showed what I could do with the new lap record in race two and although lady luck wasn’t on my side in terms of results, it has given me a lot of confidence ahead of Silverstone.

“Things are a bit more settled this time around as I have more time to prepare for fact that I’m going to be in the car again, and as a team, we have all had more time to come to terms with the circumstances that have led to me being back behind the wheel.

“Silverstone is a circuit where I’ve had some good results in the past, and I’d like to think we can go there and qualify out of the ‘danger zone’ where you can easily pick up some damage when racing in the pack – as was the case at Knockhill.

“We know that the Honda has been strong around Silverstone before and having been quite close to the pace in qualifying last time out with weight onboard, it would be great if I could push into the top ten next weekend.

“If I can then bring home at least one top ten from the three races then that would be great as this is a hard championship and I have to be realistic. I’ll be doing everything I can to help Rory with his title challenge, and trying to score as many points for the team as possible.”

Thanks to Dickon Siddall for the pics!

Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing storms to success at Knockhill

In memory of Arlo

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team secured a fourth win of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season on a stunning weekend of competition at Knockhill.

The West Thurrock-based team made the long trip to Scotland hoping to fight at the sharp end of the grid, with home hero Rory Butcher joined in the two-car line-up by the returning Mike Bushell.

At the circuit owned by his family, Rory was the man to beat throughout Saturday at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R, topping both free practice sessions before romping to his maiden pole position in qualifying.

Maintaining his lead at the start, Rory found himself under pressure when he lost second gear during an early safety car period, which left him to try and complete the remainder of the race with nothing below third gear.

Keeping the BMW of Andrew Jordan at bay, Rory briefly slipped back to second at the start of the final lap but then reclaimed the place at McIntyres and went on to secure a popular home win.

With the gearbox replaced, a battling drive to third in race two despite carrying maximum ballast and being on the medium compound tyre saw Rory secure more silverware, although he also picked up a five place grid penalty for race three after contact with Colin Turkington.

That left him right in the middle of the pack for race three, where he secured more points with 14th to maintain his Jack Sears Trophy lead and remain right in the hunt for both the overall and Independents’ championship titles.

Having been asked to step in for the absent Sam Tordoff after the tragic death of his newborn son Arlo, Mike was quickly up to speed in free practice and then qualified 16th on the grid for the opening race of the weekend.

Mike’s hopes of a points-scoring finish were ended on the opening lap of the race when contact at turn one damaged the rear suspension on his car and forced him to retire.

There was to be more misfortune in race two when he was forced to pit with a loss of power, which was traced to a loose connection under the bonnet.

Returning to the track a number of laps down to make sure that the issue was resolved ahead of race three, Mike was left to wonder what might have been as he posted a new lap record – making him the only driver to lap below the 51 second marker across race day.

Unfortunately, race three would end in disappointment when contact with Rob Collard’s Vauxhall Astra at Clark’s ripped the left rear wheel from the Honda and meant he failed to finish for a third time.

The team will now look to maintain its title challenge when the series heads to Silverstone on the weekend of 28/29 September.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“It’s been a fantastic weekend for us as a team, and to come away from Knockhill with pole position, a race win, another podium and a new lap record is just brilliant. To be honest, it’s a bit of a surreal feeling when you consider where we have come from as a team and I’m proud of the whole team.

“Rory has done a stunning job this weekend and to win in the manner he did in race one was fantastic. Mike has also done a better job than the results will show in difficult circumstances as he was on the pace from the moment he got in the car and his speed was shown in the fact that he broke the lap record.

“This weekend we were racing with Sam, Georgina and Arlo in our thoughts, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to bring home some good results for them.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“I think that has been our best weekend to date in terms of the results. We laid down a real marker on Saturday to top all three sessions with a good gap, although Sunday was a bit more difficult.

“Andrew kept me honest throughout race one and it was a real challenge after I lost second gear. I had to really drive to the maximum around the lap to build a gap because I knew that taking the hairpin in third gear would leave me open to attack.

“To bring the car home in front of the Scottish fans was an amazing feeling as there was a lot of expectation on me this weekend, and a lot of people here supporting me.

“A podium in race two was a good way to reward the guys for their hard work changing the gearbox, and race three was one of those where I had to get what I could whilst racing in the pack.

“Overall it’s been a fantastic weekend and I’d like to dedicate the win to the Tordoff family. They’ve all been in our thoughts, and that one is for them.”

Mike Bushell, #21 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“It’s nice to come away from the weekend with a new lap record to my name as it shows that I’ve not lost any speed during my time away from the car, but I certainly haven’t had any luck on my side.

“There wasn’t a great deal that I could have done in any of the three races to change what happened as two bouts of contact and a mechanical issues that was simply down to circumstances have prevented me from picking up some results.

“It’s a case of what might have been.”

Photo credit: Dickon Siddall.

Determined Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing targets strong Knockhill weekend

Ready for Knockhill

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team will hope to challenge towards the sharp end of the grid in difficult circumstances when the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads to Knockhill this weekend.

The West Thurrock-based team secured victory for the third time last time out at Thruxton after Sam Tordoff converted his second pole position of the year into a race one win, adding to the two victories secured by team-mate Rory Butcher earlier in the year.

Those wins, and four further podium finishes, mean the team now makes the long trip to Scotland sitting third in the teams standings, and with confidence high about a strong weekend at a circuit that should favour the Honda Civic Type R.

For Fife racer Rory, the Knockhill weekend will be the biggest of the season by far as the 32-year-old prepares to make his third BTCC appearance at the circuit owned by his father Derek.

Rory secured a hat-trick of top ten finishes last year at the wheel of an MG6 GT and will hope to use his local knowledge to return to the kind of form that has seen him secure 14 top ten finishes already this season.

Despite a difficult weekend at Thruxton that saw him log his first DNF of the year, the Scottish star remains well placed in the overall and Independents’ standings going into his home round, and also continues to head the Jack Sears Trophy for those drivers who hadn’t taken an overall podium before the season started.

Leeds-based team-mate Sam will not make the trip to Scotland however, after his new-born son Arlo passed away last weekend at just five days old.

The news has devastated the entire Cobra Sport AmD team, who will be racing this weekend at Knockhill with Sam, Georgina and the whole Tordoff family at the forefront of their minds.

With the blessing of the Tordoff family, double Clio Cup UK champion Mike Bushell will return to action in the second Honda this weekend, having spent the 2019 season in the role of lead engineer on Rory’s car.

The 30-year-old made his debut in the series at Knockhill back in 2013 in a one-off drive in a Chevrolet Cruze, and has since gone on to start 59 BTCC races – with a best finish of fifth at Brands Hatch last season.

Mike – who will run his regular #21 – will look to support Rory in his championship challenge, and also hope to battle for points in his first outing in the series since the 2018 season finale.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“It goes without saying that our thoughts going into this weekend are very much with Sam, his wife Georgina, and the whole Tordoff family following their tragic news. There is nothing that is more important than family, and we will be racing this weekend in Arlo’s memory. Our heads are focused on the job at hand, but our hearts will very much be with Sam and his family.

“As Rory’s home event, this is a big weekend for the team and we’re expecting to get a lot of support from the local fans. Hopefully that support can help Rory to secure some strong results, and we’re sure that Mike will also do a good job in what are difficult circumstances for him to make his return to the series.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“This will be the third time I’ve raced at home in the BTCC, but the first time where I have really had the package underneath me to fight towards the front of the grid.

“I know more than anyone that Knockhill is a very quirky circuit where you need a car that is working well underneath you. History says that we’ll have that with the Honda, but we can’t be complacent and know that we need to work hard on Saturday to qualify well and try to set ourselves up for a strong race day. Hopefully the support of the home fans will also help push me on to some good results.

“However, whilst there is the excitement that comes from my home event, I’ve been left deeply saddened by the news from Sam and Georgina in recent days. As a team, we are all very close and what has happened puts everything into perspective. This weekend, both Mike and I will be racing for them, and will be giving our all to do them proud.”

Mike Bushell, #21 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“Whilst it is lovely that the Tordoff family are trusting me to step into the car this weekend, it is absolutely devastating that the opportunity to get back behind the wheel has come along in these circumstances. I will be going out on track to race for Sam and his family 100 per cent this weekend, and any results are for them and for Arlo.

“I’m not going to set any expectations because I haven’t been in a BTCC car since February and I’ll also have to carry extra weight into the weekend; I just want to go out on track and do the most professional job that I can do in the circumstances. My priority is on Rory and his championship challenge and I’ll do all I can to help him, and it would be good if I could score some points for the team at the same time.

“I need to see how the car feels when we hit the track in FP1, and then just take each lap as it comes from there.”

Thanks to Dickon Siddall for the photo!

Mike Bushell to substitute for Sam Tordoff at Knockhill

Mike Bushell Stand In at Knockhill

Experienced racer Mike Bushell will return to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship this weekend with the Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team.

Mike, a two-time winner of the Renault Clio Cup, will be at the wheel of the Honda Civic Type-R usually raced by multiple race winner Sam Tordoff, who will miss the Knockhill race meeting following the tragic passing of his newborn son, Arlo.

The decision to put Mike in the car for the Scottish event has been made with the full agreement of Sam and the Tordoff family, with the 30-year-old seen as the natural choice to take up the drive.

Mike made his BTCC debut at Knockhill back in 2013 and has been working with the team this season as race engineer on the sister Honda of Rory Butcher, and also raced for AmD Tuning for a full season back in 2015.

“Sam and the Tordoff family saw Mike as a natural choice,” team boss Shaun Hollamby said.

“The whole team has made huge steps forward this season, and Sam has been integral in pushing the team forward over the last ten months.

“Without Sam’s strong work ethic and determination, the team wouldn’t have been in the strong position that we are currently in. Mike was his first choice as substitute driver, having worked together throughout the season.

“There is no pressure on Mike in terms of results and the priority this weekend is to show full respect to Sam, Georgina and the Tordoff family at this difficult time.”

Thanks for the pic to LAP – Laborne Action Photography.

Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing secures third victory at Thruxton

Sam Tordoff Wins at Thruxton

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team was able to celebrate a third victory of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season as the series returned to Thruxton for the seventh round of the campaign.

The West Thurrock-based team headed into the weekend hoping to challenge at the sharp end of the field, with its Honda Civic Type R having been one of the quickest cars on track during the first trip of the year to Thruxton back in March.

After two difficult practice sessions, Leeds-based driver Sam Tordoff produced a fine performance in qualifying to secure pole position, as he repeated the result he had taken during the first visit to the circuit earlier in the season.

Having missed out on a win then to power steering problems, Sam went into the opening race eager to fight for his first victory of the campaign and a measured drive saw him lead from start-to-finish for his first win of the season.

Carrying maximum ballast into race two, Sam was able to maintain his lead through the opening laps before his challenge was halted by debris going through the radiator of the Honda, leading to rising engine temperatures and leaving him to somehow bring the car to the finish in tenth place.

With the team changing the engine ahead of race three, Sam was able to bring the car home in eleventh place after surviving a late race deluge of rain, with his results from the weekend seeing him move up to ninth in the championship standings.

Fife-based team-mate Rory Butcher had qualified sixth on the grid in the sister car but would endure a more difficult race day as he looked to maintain his championship challenge.

Seventh place in the opening race saw the Scottish star add more solid points to his tally before Rory found himself right in the middle of the action in race two.

Despite looking well placed for a top ten finish, Rory would be shuffled back to 14th on the final lap, leaving him with work to do in the final race of the weekend.

Sadly for Rory, a broken CV joint on the green flag lap then prevented him from taking the start and he leaves the weekend sitting fifth in the standings.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda team principal, said:
“I’m delighted that Sam has been able to get the victory he missed out on when we visited Thruxton earlier in the season, and for us to win for the third time is fantastic. He drove really well to build on his performance in qualifying, and it was a result that was richly deserved.

“It’s been challenging aside from that and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t secure more from the other races. Sam was just unlucky that some debris damaged his engine in race two and it’s been one of those race days for Rory where things just didn’t go his way.

“However, we know that we have a quick car as we showed in taking pole and the race one win, and we’ll look to build on it when we got to Knockhill.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“It’s been a really tough race day for us. The highlight of the weekend was certainly qualifying because for some reason, we struggled in the races. I didn’t feel able to attack and had to drive with an eye on the mirrors in the opening two races, and we planned some big changes for race three.

“The aim was to try and salvage something from the weekend in race three but unfortunately it wasn’t to be with the issue before the start.

“We just have to put this one behind us and focus on what is to come. Clearly it hasn’t gone our way here, but Knockhill is a big weekend for me next time out and I’m looking to come out fighting on home soil.”

Sam Tordoff, #600 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“Overall it’s been really good. To get pole and then lead race one from lights-to-flag with fastest lap was perfect, and a result that was long overdue. It wasn’t easy to lead from the front as it is easier to follow someone round here and use them as a reference point, and it was certainly more difficult than it might have appeared. Dan kept me too honest for my own liking and it was the longest 16 laps of my life, but that makes it all the more rewarding.

“From there, we should never have finished race two with the problem we had with the car, and were lucky to then even get out for race three so we’ve really pulled something from the jaws of defeat from those two. We have picked up good points this weekend to move into the top ten in the standings and I’m glad we’ve now got the victory. We’ll have to see what Knockhill brings.”

Thanks to Dickon Siddall for the photography!

Win a road-going replica of Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s BTCC challenger

BTCC Honda Prize

For the second successive season, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team can today announce the launch of a money can’t buy competition to win a road-going version of the car being used in this season’s Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

Following on from a highly successful competition last year that saw one lucky winner walk away with an MG6 GT, the team will give away a road-going replica of the Honda Civic being raced in 2019 by Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff.

The prize will be provided by joint title sponsors AutoAid and RCIB Insurance, whilst West Thurrock-based AmD Tuning will add a range of special upgrades before the car goes to its new home, including a new set of tyres provided by long-time BTCC supplier Dunlop.

A number of competitions will take place through AutoAid and RCIB Insurance’s social media channels from the next round of the season at Thruxton, with the competition winners all securing a pair of VIP Hospitality tickets to join the team at Brands Hatch for the final race of the season.

Over the course of the Brands Hatch weekend, a special Scalextric shootout will take place at the circuit to determine which of the competition winners secures the ultimate prize and wins the car.

To be in with a chance of winning the Honda Civic, potential entrants will need to follow both AutoAid and RCIB Insurance Racing on Facebook and Twitter using the accounts below, where the various qualifying competitions will take place.

AutoAid:
www.facebook.com/autoaidbreakdown
www.twitter.com/autoaidbreakd

RCIB:
www.facebook.com/RCIBInsuranceRacing
www.twitter.com/RCIBRacing

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“When the idea was created to give away the MG last year, the reaction from race fans was fantastic and it proved to be a hugely successful campaign for everyone involved.

“When AutoAid and RCIB Insurance suggested running a similar competition this season as part of our on-going partnership, it really was a no-brainer and we’re excited to now launch the 2019 version to win a road-going version of the Honda Civic.

“The Civic is a fantastic base car to work with, and it will undergo a number of upgrades at our workshop before going to its new owner.

“We’re sure that fans will embrace the competition in the same way they did twelve months ago, and we look forward to meeting the various winners when we get to Brands Hatch to see who gets to drive away with the main prize.”

Mike Joseph, AutoAid & RCIB Insurance managing director, said:

“We are very excited to be able to launch the 2019 version of the competition we ran with such success twelve months ago, and would like to thank AmD and Scalextric for once again helping to pull it all together.

“I’m sure that fans will get behind the competition and will embrace the opportunity to win a truly one-off prize. Hopefully the competition will prove to be as exciting for fans off-track as the action we have seen on-track this season, and would like to wish everyone who enters the very best of luck.”

Thanks to LAP – Laborne Action Photography  for the photo! 

Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing seeks to maintain title challenge on Thruxton return

Butcher wins at Snetterton

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team will look to maintain its bid for title honours when the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns to Thruxton this weekend for the seventh meeting of the campaign.

The West Thurrock-based team makes its second trip to the high-speed Hampshire circuit on the back of a stunning weekend last time out at Snetterton, where a race win for Rory Butcher and a third podium of the year for Sam Tordoff saw the Honda squad secure more points than any other team on the grid.

Rory’s second victory of the campaign saw him move back into the top three in the championship standings, and also strengthened his lead in both the Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy standings.

The Fife racer enjoyed a strong weekend at Thruxton during the third round of the year back in May, with a podium finish being the highlight of a meeting that ended with him in a share of the overall championship lead.

The 32-year-old will once again have to carry additional success ballast on his Honda Civic Type R but goes into the weekend confident of trying to replicate the results he enjoyed earlier in the season to keep his championship challenge firmly on track.

Leeds-based team-mate Sam endured a frustrating weekend during his first trip to Thruxton earlier in the season, when a battery issue in the closing stages of race one robbed him of a certain victory after an impressive drive from pole position.

Although he was still able to secure a podium finish from the weekend, it was very much a case of what might have been for the 30-year-old, who heads into round seven of the year looking to build on a strong run of form in recent events.

After a tough start to the year, Sam has bounced back with a six straight top six finishes – including two podiums – and will look to try and replicate the pace he showed back in May as he seeks to climb into the top ten in the overall championship standings.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“We head for Thruxton with confidence high on the back of a fantastic showing for the whole team last time out at Snetterton, and hopefully we can build on our results from there during the weekend ahead.

“We know that the Honda is going to be a good package from the pace we showed when we raced at Thruxton earlier in the year, and we now have the added benefit of more time with the car which can only help us.

“I’m confident that both Rory and Sam can get the job done during the weekend ahead and it would be great if we can challenge for some more silverware to maintain our good form.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“We were able to learn quite a lot when we raced at Thruxton earlier in the year, and I know there are places where I can improve when we return this weekend. I know other drivers will say the same, but I’ve spent time looking back at the May event and I know exactly where I can gain time and improve when we return; it’s just a case of putting it into practice.

“It’s looking like the weather might not be too good, which could really mix things up as Thruxton is a challenging circuit at the best of times. On the back of my victory at Snetterton, I’m in a good place in the standings and I know what I need to do in the remaining rounds.

“If I’m being honest, I’m not going to worry about the two BMW drivers ahead of me in the standings as it really is their championship to lose. My focus is on doing the best job I can and beating the drivers around me in the standings because it’s so close between us all and I want to make sure I stay ahead.”

Sam Tordoff, #600 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“I showed really good pace at Thruxton earlier in the season to secure pole and would have won race one had it not been for a mechanical issue we could do nothing about. We go into the weekend with no ballast again so have to focus on qualifying and hopefully that will set us up for a strong showing across the remainder of the weekend.

“Of all the circuits we could go back to for a second go, Thruxton is ideal and the fact we have been there this season is hugely important. It’s the same for everyone in terms of the data they have, but we were quick there in May and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.”

Thanks to Dickon Siddall for the Photo!

Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing takes stunning Snetterton victory

Snetterton BTCC Victory

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team enjoyed a stunning weekend on track as the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season resumed at Snetterton.

The West Thurrock-based squad was hoping to build on a strong opening half to the campaign, with drivers Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff having secured multiple podium finishes with the team’s new Honda Civic Type Rs.

Qualifying saw Leeds racer Sam leading the team’s challenge as he secured third on the grid, with Rory just missing out on a place in the top ten despite the additional success ballast he was forced to carry into the weekend.

With drivers forced to run all three compound of Dunlop tyre on race day, strategy would be key heading into Sunday, with Sam electing to run the most favourable soft tyre at the first opportunity.

Although he would lose a place to the Ford Focus of Tom Chilton at the start, Sam reclaimed the position when Chilton went off at Coram with a puncture and kept it to the finish for his third podium result of the campaign.

Running on the medium compound tyre in race two, Sam would go under the radar somewhat with a solid drive to fifth place, which left him on the second row of the grid for the final race of the weekend thanks to the reverse grid draw.

With the hard tyre fitted for the final race, Sam duly wrapped up another solid weekend on track with sixth place, with his results across the Snetterton meeting leaving him on the fringes of the top ten in the standings.

Fife ace Rory elected to run the hard tyre in race one, taking the decision to get rid of the least favourable rubber and the additional weight at the first opportunity.

Although he would slip back to 14th during the hustle and bustle of lap one, the Scottish racer was able to work his way back to eleventh by the finish for a solid points score.

Rory would also elect to run the medium compound tyre in the second race, but contact from Tom Oliphant’s BMW at Coram saw him lose places having battled into the top ten, with twelfth place being his end result.

Running on the soft tyre in race three, Rory would produce one of the drives of the season to battle his way through the pack into third place, where he became embroiled in a three-way battle for the lead with Jason Plato and Ash Sutton.

Going three-wide with the pair into Brundle, Rory was able to get ahead into the lead and went on to secure his second victory of the campaign, and his first ‘on the road’.

The combined points across the weekend also saw Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing secure the teams’ trophy for the first time, having picked up more points than any other team.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“Race three was what touring car racing is all about and for us to get that win is fantastic. It’s also brilliant to have won the teams’ trophy and to be honest, I didn’t even know that existed as it isn’t something we have ever been in contention for!

“There is a massive amount of team work that has gone into this weekend. Sam picked up two great results in the first two races and then Rory has done a brilliant job in race three.

“Credit has to go to Sam, because he let Rory through in that final race when he knew he was quicker, and it is great to have two drivers who are mature enough to work together in that way. Rory’s move for the lead was then one of the best overtaking moves I’ve seen; how exciting was that race!

“We made some big changes to the car this weekend and it all paid off. We’ve learned a lot about the Honda that will help us going forwards and a huge thank you to everyone involved.”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“I’m absolutely buzzing at the end of the weekend. It was nice to get the win at Brands Hatch at the start of the season, but that was given to us because of a penalty for someone else, and to now win on the road means so much to me and the team.

“We had a tough time in qualifying and the opening two races didn’t quite go to plan for us. The engineers made some pretty radical changes to the car, and it really came alive in the final race. I had to take a few risks and make some hard moves, and when I got up towards Ash and Jason, I knew a podium was on.

“Mike [Bushell – engineer] was on the radio and told me to play it smart and when we were going down the back straight, I got a run on them both and had to go for the inside. It was a big risk to go three-wide, but it was a risk I had to take and we got the reward.

“It’s an incredible feeling to secure the win and to be able to stand on the top step of the podium. I’m grinning from ear-to-ear and this is the perfect way to kick off the second half of the season.”

Sam Tordoff, #600 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“We’ve had another good weekend, put some good points on the board and have been able to make up more ground in the standings as a result. The car has been tricky this weekend as the circuit was different to when we came here for the test, but we qualified well and it set up race day.

“It shows that if you qualify at the front, it’s easier to stay out of trouble and that is what we’ve been able to do. It’s all about being consistent and that is what we have done with our results. Three top ten finishes is a good return.

“Rory did a great job to secure the victory in race three, and as a team this has been a brilliant weekend. To get the teams’ trophy at the end of it is a fantastic reward for the work everyone has put in.”

Photo thanks to: LAP – Laborne Action Photography.