Month: May 2017

British GT Championship, Rounds 4&5: Snetterton

Those following the British GT Championship will know that there are two classes competing in the same race series; GT3 and GT4. To best explain the differences, and how the classes came about, the words of Wikipedia probably explain a lot better than we ever could:

“A consolidation of GT regulations and significant manufacturer support saw British GT first introduce a GT3 class in 2005. The category later mirrored that of the FIA GT3 European Championship and has used near-identical regulations from 2006 onwards. GT3 rules include extensive performance balancing and handicap weights to make cars artificially more equal. Cost-saving measures saw the series’ previous premier class, GT2, phased out at the end of 2006.

The FIA GT4 class was adopted in 2008 as a stepping stone towards GT3. Regulations governing GT4 ensure the cars more closely resemble their road-going counterparts than GT3 machines. This replaced the unique GTC category that was previously a part of British GT.”

Anyway, we digress. In the latest rounds of the British GT Championship, which were held at Norfolk’s Snetterton race track over the May Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, in the GT4 Class which sees the likes of Porsche Caymans racing against McLaren 570S’, Nissan 370Z’s and Aston Martin Vantage’s, the Ginetta’s (driven by our team on the track; Team HARD, and other teams as well) put in an improved performance finishing top of the class (HHC Motorsport and Lanan Racing).

The Team HARD run, RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored cars finished in 22nd and 26th in Race 1 and 18th and 21st (9th and 12th in class), with Lanan Racing again representing one of the 2 top spots in their own Ginetta G55. More impressively are the times that separate the top of the table from the bottom – there isn’t a huge amount in it, showing that the cars are always seemingly up with the pack, even when they aren’t necessarily winning races.

Perhaps Snetterton is the track best suited to Ginetta’s. Perhaps they are finding their form as the season progresses, or perhaps the other cars in the series hit their stride earlier in the season and Ginetta badged cars are now competing more evenly. We’ll have more of an idea after the next rounds, at Silverstone on 10-11 June but the signs are looking really positive as we approach mid season…

Picture courtesy of Ian Cutting Photography.

Team HARD’s Callum Jenkins Discusses VAG Trophy and Round 2 at Snetterton

Callum Jenkins

RCIB Racing sponsored, TEAM Hard’s 17 year old driver Callum Jenkins will be participating in the second round of the VAG Trophy Championship in less than a week. He will be one of the younger drivers competing at the race. Among some of the circuits that Callum has driven at, is Silverstone, Brands Hatch and Donington Park. He’s also no newbie when it comes to Snetterton, last year he had his best results here and is expecting to receive nothing below those, this time.

 

You are a very young driver, how do you think this works to your advantage and disadvantage?

It definitely works both ways. The disadvantage is a lack of racing experience in comparison to other drivers in the VAG trophy. However, I have had two years racing in a junior championship prior to graduating into seniors, which means that I have been able to develop a good understanding of most of the circuits I will be racing at this year. Pre-season testing has given me the opportunity to focus on getting used to the differences in handling and speed of my car and some people saying being young is an advantage due to being in the prime of your learning, I feel there’s truth in that as the feedback from the instructors I’ve worked with is that I’m always quick to learn and put skills into practise

 

What impression did you have of the first round at Rockingham? Were you happy with your results?

Callum Jenkin’s VW at 1st Round in Rockingham

Rockingham holds sentimental value to me being the first circuit I ever raced a car at back in 2015, however for my style of driving it isn’t my favourite track.  A mistake in qualifying on my flying lap meant my position didn’t reflect the pace I had shown which was disappointing but I knew I could make it through the pack in the races. One of a racers worst fears is to stall on the start line and I couldn’t believe it after spending last year working on my race starts, there I was stuck on the start line with the rest of the pack flying past me, I got my head down though and fought through the pack to finish 8th, which I was really pleased with.  A first corner incident in race 2 coupled with worn tyres meant I came over the line in 12th and although these results weren’t what we were hoping for, it was a fantastic first weekend with team-HARD and I had some amazing racing.

 

How have you been preparing for Snetterton? How have the testing days went?

Having had my best results last year at Snetterton, I am looking forward to getting back there to see what I can do with a different car and a completely different field of drivers. Hopefully everything will go well next week at pre-race testing and my focus is to not let myself put extra pressure on myself trying to compete with last year’s results.

 

Above Jenkin’s ‘Hot Lap’ video from his last year’s round at Snetterton

 

What are your expectations for the second round?

The main thing I want is to take away better results than Rockingham, I need to focus on a good points haul to push me up in the driver standings, but also I hope to have lots of clean, fun racing in the process and to continue learning!

 

Catch Callum Jenkins at round 2 of VAG Trophy on the 27th of May.

BTCC Triple Race Weekend at Oulton Park

If you tuned in to BTCC live video or ITV4 this weekend, you will have seen a three-round race that left a lot of spectators lost for words over the very different outcome that each round brought. Halfords Yuasa Racing, 2015 and 2016 BTCC champion, Gordon Shedden who came 7th in round 10 and 4th in round 11, ended the final race with a clear victory and 1st position in the overall drivers standing board. Not far behind him now stands Team BMW’s Rob Collard, with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in third.

With Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal already in front, more than half a dozen of cars were fighting for third position coming up to the end of race one, Aiden Moffat pulled a bold stunt and squeezed Ashley Sutton’s Subaru onto the grass on the exit of Island Bend, making both of them leave their secured positions and allowing Colin Turkington back by.

However, Sutton got back on the track without too much hassle and repeated the trick on Moffat at Old Hall moments later and regained his position to secure third place at the end. Due to an electrical problem, Turkington was soon out of contention and slowly scraping for the finish line.

Sutton then went on to succeed in the second round and claimed victory by 1.066s, ahead of Rob Collard, securing a first win for Subaru and the second of his BTCC career.

While race three proved to be a Halfords Yuasa Racing trophy, with Gordon Shedden finishing first and Matt Neal running right behind with 0.279s difference. Shedden however, didn’t finish with an overall support after an incident with Josh Cook of Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport, left the latter with significant damage and out of the race, however no penalty was given to Shedden.

Oulton Park proved to be a bit of a challenge for RCIB Racing sponsored, Laser Tools Racing driver Aiden Moffat, dropping his rank by one spot and leaving him currently standing in 11th place. However, he did finish the qualifying round in 4th and has gained himself an overall independent driver standing of 5th place!

Michael Epps, sponsored by Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing, also showed a brilliant performance and finished in 15th place in an an overall drivers standing. Epps is pleased with the race outcome and is looking forward to gaining more points in the upcoming rounds:

“Things went well. We’ve been making gradual steps forward with the car and it’s been consistently better each time out. I knew Oulton would be a better circuit for us, but I’m confident now that we can move forward with each weekend and hope to bring home even better results and take that RCIB logo right to the front!”

Check out the TOP 10 BTCC drivers standing list on our homepage

BTCC Weekend at Oulton Park is Promising Thrilling Rounds 10, 11 and 12

The Second British Touring Car Championship round of this month will be taking place this weekend. Oulton Park will see the three rounds of BTTC split over two days, promising an exciting event. The drivers have only had a two week gap between the last round at Thruxton and the one upcoming at Oulton Park. Rainy past couple of weeks do not seem too promising for the drivers either, wet tarmac will without a doubt affect some of their performance, especially as this circuit is already known for being tricky.

However, spirits are flying high, especially for RCIB Racing sponsored, Laser Tools driver Aiden Moffat who managed to finish in respectful tenth place on the overall points board. With a few tweaks to the car and improved handling, Moffat feels confident that a higher rank awaits for him and his team:

“It’s typically a rear wheel drive track but we’ve done some testing there and developed the car, so it will be interesting. I feel pretty confident.”

Thruxton however proved to be a lot more problematic for one driver, RCIB Racing sponsored, MG driver, Daniel Lloyd had quite a slam on the circuit’s infamous Church Corner, which damaged his car quite a bit and caused the race to be stopped for 90 minutes. Luckily he managed to get away from it with no serious injuries. Lloyd feels prepared for Oulton and is looking forward to driving on a track that has proved to be the most successful one for him in the past:

“Looking forward to the weekend, it’s where I qualified in second place last year, so my first front row for BTCC. It’s my local circuit so I have a lot of sponsors and support this weekend, which is always great! The team have been working very hard to make progress and the things we learnt at the Croft test should be relevant for Oulton as well.

The car wasn’t able to recover for this weekend, so I actually have a different chassis! I’m not too bad myself but still stiff, I’ve had quite a bit of Physio over the last week to help me as much as possible! I’ll be fighting fit for the weekend though!”

His team mate, Aron Taylor-Smith also feels very hopeful and is looking forward to improving his position, which currently is 18:

“Oulton has historically been a very strong track for MG so I’m certainly full of optimism for the weekend. In the past couple of weeks we’ve also had the car on the rig which has given us a better understanding of what’s happening with the chassis. I think we’re honing in on where the MG needs to be and hopefully this weekend will be a big step in the right direction.”

Don’t miss Round 10,11 and 12 happening on 20th to 21st of May

 

Coming Up To VW Cup Round 3 at Snetterton

Dust from the second VW Cup round at Rockingham has set and round 3 at Snetterton is less than two weeks away. Drivers have been preparing for the race by organising as many test days as possible. Two of the RCIB Racing sponsored TEAM Hard drivers, Jamie Bond and Toby Davis have both completed their first test days on 11th of May and are growing in confidence for round 3. Jamie Bond had quite a tough second round, but managed to end it on the podium stand, with an overall points standing after Oulton and Rockingham, in third position, behind Phil House in second and Tom Witts in first.

Rockingham proved to be rather dynamic for Bond, he qualified in moderate 9th place, but eventually climbed his way through to 4th and had a great battle for the podium, only 100th of a second between his rival and him, he ended up 4th. However with the 3rd place finisher being excluded, he was automatically promoted up to 3rd. Race 2 was probably as much of a roller coaster as race 1 for Jamie. He started 4th and had a great run up until he went to get second gear and missed it, which dropped him down to 9th place. With his tyres going off more and more each lap, it was a real struggle to keep the car on the tarmac. However, he managed to fight his way back to 6th place, which again is still a great result and more importantly scored him very decent points. Jamie is pleased with his progress:

“I am happy with the results from Oulton Park and Rockingham. We are still learning every time we get in the car and I know that there is a lot more to come.

The preparation for Snetterton has been going well, it will be the first time that I will have raced at Snetterton. Regardless, our first test on the 11th of May went great – really enjoyed the track, it suits my driving style wonderfully. Gym work has also been going very well – making sure I’m fully prepared for the race ahead.

I do have very high hopes for the third round at Snetterton, after my test there I truly believe we can go for the win!”

Davis had struggled over the winter to put a package together for this season, hence was quite late confirming his place in the team:

“We didn’t get the testing that we were hoping for! That said, we came out of Oulton with a great 2nd race, where I finished 7th having started in 20th position, and the pace was really good. Of course, at Rockingham we took a podium in race 1 and came from the back of the grid in race 2 to finish 5th, with a fastest lap also. The car was new for Rockingham and felt really awesome! I have driven a lot of Golfs over the last couple of years and this one is by far the best that I have driven.”

In preparation Toby likes to watch his on boards from the previous season and doing a few laps on the simulator. To increase support and continuation of funding he had also been promoting his latest vlog. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and it really isn’t as simple as arriving at the track and driving. Currently standing with 70 points, in 12th position, he expects to only go higher up the board in the next round:

“I have to say that Snetterton is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, so I’m hoping for good things. The flow of the circuit really suits my driving style and I have had a lot of success there in the past in Superkarts. Hopefully I can be at the front of the field, showing the RCIB logo off to the fans and the cameras!”

Don’t miss round 3 on the 28th of May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round 3 of The British GT Championship at Rockingham

Round 3 of The British GT Championship

This challenging track, just shy of 2 miles in length and with a dozen corners to negotiate became host to Round 3 of the British GT Championship on 29 April. There has been no consistant manufacturer winner at this round/location in 5 years, and this year wasn’t without a little twist, or two either in how the results were eventually announced…

The Team HARD run, RCIB Insurance Racing Ginetta G55’s were again up against some impressive, and highly expensive rivals including Bentley, McClaren, Aston Martin and Ferrari. Whilst the two pairs of RCIB Insurance Racing put up a good fight (and let’s face facts, they looked pretty gorgeous too), they finished the day with most of the other Ginetta’s on this occasion in the bottom half of the results table.

But, the 2 hour long race was not without controversy. A safety car came out for a brief spell on lap 3, and the eventual race winners were Team Parker Racing with their Bentley Continental GT4. But this wasn’t before ‘Spirit of Race’ (Ferrari) were knocked back into 2nd place as a result of a post race penalty.

Whilst some in the crowd wondered what was going on, and questions were inevitably asked about the Safety Car procedure which led to the course of events on track, it seems things were handled correctly ‘by the letter of the regulations’. But there was a 2nd, subsequently un-warranted investigation too regarding possible ‘avoidable contact’ between other drivers, meaning the whole race was fraught with nose to tail driving at the front in the big supercars, and a close checking of rules and scrutinising of driving behaviour after the event by officials too.

One thing is for sure, and that is that this round at Rockingham is never dull and if you like seeing the likes of Ferrari battling head to head with old foes, Lamborghini, or traditional British marques including Bentley, Aston Martin, and of course our own Ginetta’s showing the world why they’ll always be red, white and blue in the sport for the forseeable, you’ll not go away disappointed.

Next round is at Snetterton on 27 – 28 May.

Photo courtesy of Craig Wheeldon Photography.

‘Phenomenal’ Triple Eight Crew Work Following High speed MG Crash At Thruxton

High speed MG Crash At Thruxton

Last weekend’s BTCC race saw plenty of unexpected ‘turns’ and some big developments in the leaders board. For one driver, this race proved to be more dramatic than the others – RCIB Racing sponsored Daniel Lloyd experienced a High speed MG Crash At Thruxton that almost ended his round. However, an absolutely incredible performance by the Triple Eight mechanical crew, meant that Lloyd was able to be back in his car within 90 minutes of the accident taking place. A representative from MG RCIB Insurance Racing had this to say:

“As a result of contact with another competitor, Daniel’s MG was forced off the circuit at the highest speed corner and into a crash barrier. The barrier took over an hour to repair, but that was nothing compared to the damage on the car! After an impact in excess of 130mph, the damage to the car was severe and it was touch and go as to whether or not the car could be repaired. The Triple Eight crew examined the entire vehicle with minute detail, all the while being obsessed with safety. If the car was damaged to the extent where it would be unsafe to repair it and send it out for the next race, it would not have been repaired.”

A decision had to be made whether the staff are good enough, and whether the equipment carried by the team on site are also extensive enough to repair the car. In total, just under 90 minutes were available to totally rebuild the car and it was clearly a phenomenal effort from the whole crew that made Lloyd’s third race possible.

“The chassis suffered severe damage which was welded up on site by the teams fabricator. Both front and rear sub-frames were also replaced. The engine and gearbox were all removed and replaced with our spares, after an impact that great the team took no chances on reusing the engine that was involved in the crash.There are few teams in the paddock with the resources and experience to repair a car that fast and so badly damaged. Luckily, Triple Eight have an amazing crew of lads with buckets of experience. This was simply seen as a challenge, and one that they smashed out the ball park!””

Chief mechanic of Triple Eight, Paul Hartley describes the chaos of the repair:

“I knew from what I had seen on TV that it was bad. Before the car even got back to the garage, I had every part I knew we needed laid out on the floor ready to go. I’ve been with Triple Eight the whole time they’ve raced the MG’s and I have never had to repair one that badly damaged before. The whole crew were amazing, both Number ones were flat out on the car and somehow between us, it rolled out for race 3!”

Lloyd finished with ‘not classified’, however, he is extremely pleased with an amazing effort from the entire team and is now simply looking forward to getting back on track.

 

 

 

Top 10 Finish for RCIB sponsored Aiden Moffat at Thruxton

RCIB sponsored Aiden Moffat

Round 3 at Thruxton saw last round’s first place winner, RCIB sponsored Aiden Moffat, this time finish in overall 8th place, at the end of 3rd race. He admitted to have struggled with his Mercedes A class throughout Saturday, which had put them on the back foot a little, however they did manage to get a good set up for qualy. When asked about his thoughts on Thruxton, Aiden seemed disappointed with the overall result, however he is very confident about the upcoming race at Oulton Park, in two weeks:

“Saturday could have gone better for us, I made a mistake through the final chicane and that ruined a lap that had the potential for 5th place.

During Race 1 we were held back by battling in the pack gaining and losing places, finishing in the end 12th which was disappointing.

Race 2, we made a great start and got up to 8th as the race progressed. I went to make a move for 7th but got hit wide in the process after leaving room and not being returned the favour! So, we ended up 9th due to that.

During Race 3 I had another good start but picked up a very heavy vibration on the first lap, and was pretty confident a puncture was just around the corner as it got worse and I struggled for front end grip. Luckily the tyre held out and we got place 8.”

Perhaps it wasn’t really the performance that Laser Works were looking for, as Aiden said that they “should really have had pace to challenge for a podium”, however they did pick up good points and now sit 10th in the championship despite getting not a single point at Brands Hatch. Donnington Park had proven Moffat to be an extremely talented, young driver, seeing him finish in first place – with this standing he remains in a very strong position to climb to the leaders top 5, if not the podium again, over the next couple of rounds.

Thruxton saw Team BMWs, Colin Turkington live up to his potential and with extra determination take home the victory. Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram came in second and Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff finished third. A high speed smash between two MGs and Senna Proctor’s Vauxhall, led to a serious barrier slam and accident for one, on the famous Church corner. It luckily did not result in any injuries, but stalled the race for over an hour when a red flag was raised, while Autoaid RCIB Racing’s sponsored Daniel Lloyd was being helped out of his badly damaged car, he finished with non-classification.

 

BTCC Round 3: In Prep For Thruxton

With the British Touring Car Championship taking place this weekend, 6th and 7th of May, there has been no time to waste for the competing drivers. Two of the MG Racing RCIB Insurance sponsored drivers, Aron Taylor-Smith, who is currently standing in the 17th spot and Daniel Lloyd, who is 25th, are both in confident mindsets that they think will push them further up the ladder towards the leaders board. They will be holding a Q&A event on the 5th of May where more details will be given about how their preparation has been going and what expectations they have for the future rounds.

However, Smith did tell us that he feels confident coming up to the race and hopes to move at least a few positions up in Thruxton:

“The entire day spent at Croft was of huge benefit. The two MG’s ended up being the only two cars out on circuit which meant we had all day to test a variety of different theories on the car. The engineers along with Dan and myself left feeling very confident with some of the areas we had tested.

The car felt the best it’s been all season, its finally starting to react as we need it to and we’re now really capitalising on the RML components and maximising their ability. On the back of the successful test day, I’m now feeling really confident as we head into Thruxton and look forward to achieving strong finishes.”

While Lloyd is in a lower position, he still feels confident about Round 3 and is looking forward to raising his rank, which we are also certain he will be able to achieve:

“The test at Croft went really well, we had a list of things to go through and we got through 50% of them. Even though we wanted to get more done we were very pleased on what we found. Thruxton is always a an oddball in terms of set up so we hope these changes transfer and benefit to this round. The team has done a great job and I hope we get more chances like croft to keep moving forwards!”

The leaders in the top 5 positions remain in this order: Tom Ingram with 86 points in first, Colin Turkington with 72pts in second, Adam Morgan with 69pts in third, Gordon Shedden with 67pts in fourth and Rob Collar with also 67pts in fifth. Ingram is very much ahead of his fellow leaders, however Turkington has his eyes set on first position and will not go down easily. We are being promised an exhilarating race. Head down to Thruxton this weekend and see it for yourself!

 

 

Warren Scott Discusses His Move to British Rallycross

Warren Scott Discusses His Move

At the start of 2017, Warren Scott confirmed that he will not line up on the grid for a fifth successive season of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and instead will be switching to the MSA British Rallycross Championship, where he will be sponsored by RCIB. Warren Scott discusses his move and experience up until now:

 

This is a new venture for you, you have left BTCC this season and entered British Rallycross. Are you happy with that move?

 

“Although I remain 100% hands on with BMR in the BTCC in the role of Team Principle, I decided to give RX a go because I found that the BTCC was no longer a hobby for me. Running numerous cars in the BTCC with very high profile drivers made it almost impossible for me to concentrate on my own racing.

I am absolutely loving RX, The car is awesome and I can relax and enjoy my racing. With LD Motorsports running the RCIB Racing Citreon DS3 for me, I can literally just turn up and focus on my own racing and enjoy the day.

I am still a farmer at heart, so I do love a bit of dirt, so that mixed in with the tarmac racing is a perfect scenario for me!”

 

How did you find the first two rounds? What would you say were your highlights?

 

“My highlight of both rounds so far is how enjoyable it is, and how fun the car is to drive. Outright highlight must be to have lead the Final at Lydden right up to the last lap, when I sustained 2 rear punctures, but still managed to come in second.”

 

Are you pleased with the results from the previous two rounds?

 

“I am very pleased with the results so far, I have literally only driven the car for about 1 hour so far, so still so much to learn especially on the dirt part of the tracks where I still have lots of time to find. I am aiming to do some more testing before the next round at Pembrey.”

 

Third Round of the championship will take place at Pembrey on the 25th of June.  How has the preparation for this next round been going?

 

“Liam Doran and his team at LD Motorsports will make sure the car is in tip top condition for the next round.”

 

Are you confident that you will be standing on the podium again?

 

“Absolutely, but most of all I am just looking forward to getting in the car again and having a lot of fun!”