Month: June 2017

Scott Misses Points at Round 3 of 2017 British RX Due to Fire While Godfrey Bags a Podium

Round 3 of 2017 British RX

25th of June saw round 3 of 2017 British RX taking place at the newly improved Pembrey Circuit in South Wales. Julian Godfrey saw a brilliant start and finish to the round and managed to finish in the overall 1st place. He set fastest time in Q2 and Q3 and without too much effort took the lead after the first corner in the final.

However, the race proved unlucky for the RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored, Team BMR Principal Warren Scott, who had a misfire in Q1 and endured a sudden combustion of his Citroen DS3’s engine in Q2. Yet, with great effort from LD Motorsports team, Scott was able to get back in the race for Q3 and finish with impressive time, leaving him 5th in the drivers standing board.

Warren Scott remained unharmed during the fire. Photo by Tom Longley

However, due to technical difficulties Scott decided to use this round as a his drop one. Nevertheless he is looking forward to the next round : “The circuit at Pembrey is a great rallycross track which I enjoyed driving, the speed was there but unfortunately a catalogue of bad luck was endured so unfortunately I will need to use Pembrey as my drop round as no points were scored.  I am looking forward to Mondello Park in a couple of weeks time and we will have the added bonus of testing there on the Friday so we will be very well prepared for the weekend ahead!”

Oliver Bennett, driving Ford Fiesta and Nathan Heathcote in Renault took second and third places respectively. For Bennett this has been a second podium win in his maiden season, successfully pushing him into championship lead. Nathan on the other hand had a tougher run, he retired in Q1 and did not start Q2. However, he was lucky enough to scrape onto the back of the grid and make his way up the order through a clever and well-timed joker lap strategy.

Next round will be taking place at Mondello Park in Caragh, Ireland, between 22nd and 23rd of July

 

 

 

 

Legendary Goodwood Festival of Speed to Take Place Over 1st July Weekend

Goodwood Festival of Speed

30th of June will see the beginning of the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed, which will last 4 days and culminate on the 2nd of July. The largest and most prestigious racing motor event of its kind, will once again be attracting scores of diverse classic sports cars and some new models that you won’t be able to see on the roads until next year. Like every year, you will be able to see a wide range of competition cars and famous drivers side-by-side.

However, this year a very special treat awaits Ferrari fans – to celebrate its 70th Birthday, a grand display of the company’s magnificent motors through the ages will be presented at the festival. This is also a great chance to see and find out more about the all new Ferrari 812 Superfast, a road car made for those who want to hear and feel a sports car engine’s roar, no matter the tarmac.

This year, Goodwood Festival of Speed has also chosen to celebrate the legendary driver and man who led F1 to become the most watched sport in the world, Bernie Ecclestone. As well as attending the event and giving a speech at the front of the Goodwood House, Ecclestone will be bringing a number of Grand Prix cars from his incredible private collection. The Central Feature of the event, a towering sculpture outside Goodwood House, will display cars from the five different chapters of his life, as driver, manager, team owner, impresario and finally as a legend of Motorsport.

Hundreds of retro cars and latest models will be on display as well as performing in action on the famous Goodwood’s Hill climb. In addition to that, Goodwood also features an exhibition area, which features hundreds of motor sport related memorabilia, art, literature and much more – perfect opportunity for any racing world enthusiast to extend their collection or begin a new one.

Goodwood Festival of Speed is certainly an event that you want to see double circled on a true sports car enthusiast’s calendar.

 

Newly Improved Pembrey Track Promises Thrilling British Rallycross Round 3

Newly Improved Pembrey Track

Enough time has passed since the last round to allow the dust from the mixed surface at Lydden Hill to set. The British RX drivers have been given over two months to mend their cars and prepare for the 3rd round, this time taking place at the South Wales town of Pembrey. The track circuit is known for its open paddock policy, which allows the spectators to get right up close to the action. Drivers will be welcomed by a newly improved Pembrey track, promising to provide them with a more thrilling driving experience and a great new approach to race watching for the spectators.

A substantial track developments took place last winter to revise and mend the track, spicing up the rallycross racing even more.The first alteration that drivers will notice will be the approach to the loose section. Previously drivers would head over the circuit crossing and onto the mixed surface, whereas they will now stay left and continue onto the original circuit before turning tight onto the loose – giving those watching an even greater view point. Pembrey has also seen a newly improved joker section, which should provide an added element to the already frenetic and unpredictable on-track thrills.

A driver who is very happy to have been given such long gap between the two rounds is unsurprisingly the Team BMR’s RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored Warren Scott, who received a hard hit to his Citroen DS3 at Lydden Hill. Plenty of mending and lesson learning has been taking places behind the scenes. However, Scott is excited about the next round and with his 4th place current standing, he’s got a good chance in raising his title and earning himself a podium position:

“I am looking forward to getting back into the Citroen DS3 For the Pembrey round of the Toyo Tyres British Rallycross Championship.  I really enjoy testing the BTCC cars around the tarmac circuit here and although I have never driven the Rallycross track at Pembrey, I am sure it will be fantastic. LD Motorsports have been working flat out to make sure the car is in tip top condition again after the tremendous amount of damage we sustained from the Lydden Hill Final “

Catch Round 3 of British Rallycross at Pembrey on 25th June

 

British GT Championship Rounds 6 & 7 at Silverstone

British GT Championship Rounds 6 & 7

British GT cars had once again lined up at the grid line on the 10th and 11th of June, this time at the famous Northamptonshire based, Silverstone Circuit. The British GT Championship rounds 6 & 7 shaped up to be quite superb, with two of the championship’s pole standing leaders, who are also youngest on the track, confirming their lead. HHC Motorsport’s William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton, both 17, are standing in an impressive 3rd place following this weekend’s race, where they lost their 1st place rank to Ginetta drivers Alex Reed and David Piattard. The two Lanan Racing drivers, both 19, were top of the pile after the opening weekend before slipping back at Rockingham and now climbing back up to 1st place. This weekend’s winners Adam Balon and Adam Mackay are not far behind with only 3,5 points difference. Applying further pressure to the two rivals will be vital, if the drivers want to see themselves ahead in the game.

In 5th place, 17 points behind the first place winners, are the teammates that many regarded as pre-season favourites for this year’s GT4 title: Black Bull Garage 59’s Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty. The two drivers were very close to achieving a podium position, before being overtaken by 4th place winners Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson. Autoaid Insurance Racing Matt Chapman, Sam Webster and Michael Caine were left to share 17th position and are left with only 4 points to hold on to.

With the championship being half way done, can we start speculating who will be bringing home the crowning glory of the British GT championship? Well, looking at the current standings, it seems like it will be a close call. Currently there is a 16 point difference between the 1st place and 5th place drivers, which can easily be changed with a tinniest mistake or technical fault from the leader’s side, putting the current lower scorers in the front.

The 2017 British GT Championship continues at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on 7th and 8th of July 

 

 

Triple Crash at Croft BTCC Triple Race Weekend

Triple Crash at Croft BTCC

Triple crash at Croft BTCC triple race weekend is believed to have been caused by unexpected worsening of weather conditions. Heavy rain during the qualifying race for Round 13 lead to an extremely wet and slippery tarmac, making the cars slip and slide uncontrollably at almost every turn.

The sharp and wet Bancroft corner however, was too much to handle for MG Racing RCIB Insurance’s Aron Smith, Eurotech Racing’s Jeff Smith and Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo driver Luke Davenport. All three drivers suffered serious, yet not immediately life threatening injuries. Jeff Smith is in a serious but stable condition, with multiple chest injuries, extensive shoulder injuries and concussion. Luke Davenport is currently in intensive care in an induced coma, and is in a serious but stable condition, with multiple chest injuries, lung damage, broken right leg, broken pelvis, broken right arm and concussion. Aron Smith got away with a fractured leg and concussion and even though he was released the following day, he was unable to compete in any of the weekend rounds.

Triple Eight Racing Team had released a statement following the crash:

“Árón was taken to the James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough and we are saddened to report that, following assessment, it has been confirmed that he has suffered a fracture to his left leg. Árón will remain in hospital overnight so he can be closely monitored for a concussion he suffered. We are however delighted to report, probably unsurprisingly to his many fans, that he is in remarkably good spirits and from his hospital bed has been issuing instructions to his mechanical and engineering colleagues on his expectations for the immediate repair of his stricken MG6!”

“Árón, his family and friends have been incredibly moved by the goodwill messages received from across the paddock and the wider BTCC family and have asked that we convey their sincere thanks. Everyone involved with the MG RCiB racing team would like to pay tribute to the Marshals, medical staff, Circuit and competition officials for their incredibly prompt and effective work managing such a serious incident. Our thoughts and best wishes go to both Árón and the other drivers injured in this incident – Luke Davenport and Jeff Smith – for a speedy recovery”

Bad news aside, this BTCC weekend proved to be very fortunate for the young Ashley Sutton, he managed to show the best performance during all of the three rounds and now stands in 4th place. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden once again pulled it out of the bag and is continuing to be ranked 1st in the overall championship standings board.

Josh Cook, who came back to race for MG RCiB Racing, managed to climb his way to 13th place, following impressive p5 win during qualifying race and p7 win during 13th round. Team Triple Eight Racing are extremely delighted with this result and are looking forward to having both Josh and hopefully completely recovered Aron back for the next set of rounds taking place at Snetterton at the end of July.

 

Josh Cook Returns To MG Racing Amid Daniel Lloyd’s Sudden Split

Josh Cook Returns To MG Racing

News of Daniel Lloyd’s split came as a surprise to all of us BTCC fans, especially considering that the next BTCC round at Croft is just a couple of days away. The 25 year old Yorkshire born driver and Team MG Racing have decided to part ways following Lloyd’s unfortunate BTCC season. Lloyd encountered many issues during the season, including a high speed crash at Thruxton which led to his MG6 being severely damaged. He had expressed his dissatisfaction with the MG car in the past and that he feels that this may have altered his performance. However, as Lloyd leaves, Josh Cook returns to MG Racing Triple 8 team.

Lloyd’s High Speed crash at Thruxton                         Image byTouring Car Times

However all speculations aside, Lloyd’s unsuccessful season meant that his sponsorship and funding had decreased, leading to him making a very difficult decision and leaving the team MG and BTCC this season. However, both parties are parting on good terms, Lloyd’s teammate Aron Smith is disappointed with his leave, but is wishing him the best of luck in future racing.

Newly appointed Team Principal Nico Ferrari is delighted with the new signing: “It’s a shame things didn’t work out with Dan (Daniel Lloyd) but now we’re in a great position to continue improving the MG6 and we can start to prove the capability of the car.  The team have gone through a huge shake up in recent weeks and this is only adding to the strength of the new look Triple Eight Racing.”

Josh Cook will be stepping in to replace Lloyd and finish this BTCC season. Cook is not new to the MG ‘family’, in 2016 he raced for MG Racing RCIB Insurance and showed some great driving performance by finishing the championship in overall 12th place, as well as racking up an impressive fourteen ‘top ten’ finishes during his maiden year in the MG6.

Josh who has already competed in the first four rounds of the 2017 BTCC season for Maximum Motorsport is pleased with his progress so far and is looking forward to steering MG up the leader’s board: “Firstly I would like to thank all those at Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport for the opportunity at the start of the season and for all of their hard work.  I wish them further success and now look forward to building on my 2016 season with MG in the MG6.”

Triple Eight Racing Team Manager Micky Sergeant is also pleased with Cook’s return: “Fantastic to have Josh back in the team. A great ambassador for Triple Eight, MG and the sport in general both on and off track. There was always unfinished business from my point of view and I relish the chance to work with him once again”

Don’t miss Josh Cook’s BTCC rounds 13,14 & 15 at Croft on 10/11th June 

Drivers In Prep for BTCC Triple Round Weekend at Croft

BTCC Triple Round Weekend at Croft

With only five days to go til the BTCC triple round weekend at Croft, what should we be expecting? On 10/11 June, Croft will be marking its 2nd decade of rejoining the British Touring Car Championship calendar, following a long absence. A North Yorkshire circuit well known for favouring rear wheeled cars, will be taken over by 32 roaring engines and will be sure to be packed with spectators from all over the country.

Halfords Yuasa Racing, Gordon Shedden with his current standing in 1st place and 157 overall championship points , will be aiming for another win and speculatively feels very confident about this weekend. Just behind him, Team BMW’s Tim Collard and his team mate Colin Turkington are prepared for a sharp race. Both drivers have previously proven their abilities on this circuit, with Turkington pinning himself a title of the King of Croft – we should definitely be expecting to see a thrilling head to head performance by the three drivers.

Previous round at Oulton Park, however also proved successful for Team HARD’s, RCIB Racing sponsored Mike Epps, who finished 15th and is feeling positive about climbing higher up the leader’s board at Croft:

“I’m feeling pretty good. We’ve reached a point with the car setup where we don’t feel the need to move about too much with changes. Just tweaks now, that’s where you want to be. Hopefully Croft will be similar. Everyone is shouting about it being a rear wheel drive circuit but I think we all stand a fair chance at some good results. Ready and raring…”

At the same time, Laser Tools Racing, RCIB Racing sponsored Aiden Moffat, feels a little less comfortable with the upcoming race, he mentions how rear wheeled cars have advantage, however does not rule out high scores for Team Laser Tools Racing:

“Croft is a very challenging track for us. Previously we have struggled with the car there, and it’s a track that generally suits rear wheel driving cars. However, the same applies to Oulton yet we qualified 3rd there.  We have unlocked something new with the setup, so it will be interesting to see how we perform. Prep wise, the car has had a lot of work done due to the crash last time at Oulton, and I personally just look over footage etc to get more insight into my driving – so we are ready for the weekend ahead!”

Don’t miss rounds 13, 14 and 15 taking place on 10th and 11th June.

2017 VAG Trophy Rounds 2 & 3 at Snetterton

2017 VAG Trophy Rounds 2 & 3

On the 27th of May, Snetterton circuit didn’t only see the sun burning its tarmac, drivers were burning their tyres on the track from the early qualifying race at 9am to the second and last race at 5:30pm. Exciting and fuel packed 2017 VAG Trophy rounds 2 & 3 saw some drivers climbing up the points ladder, while others ending up with unfortunate car mishaps that led them to fall behind on the leaders board. Team HARD’s, RCIB Racing sponsored Callum Jenkins had a roller coaster of a race, however managed to come on top and managed to finish 5th in the over all championship standings board.

“I had a reasonable qualifying finishing in 9th place, however underestimating the time left in the session I pitted prematurely, a mistake that I feel cost me a higher grid position and although happy coming 9th, I feel it’s not reflective of the HARD work the team put in. Race 1, again didn’t have a great start, which saw me lose a few places off the start line, I managed to pick my way through the pack to 3rd – tough defending and the heat meant I couldn’t keep it there as I tried to manage my tyres, defended as best I could and crossed the line in 6th. Race 2 was quite eventful – the reverse grid put me in 2nd position on the grid but I was hit from behind going into turn 1 which sent me off track rejoining at the back. I fought hard to work my way through up to 7th place and got my target 2:08 lap in the end!”

Snetterton wasn’t as lucky for others, another Team HARD’s, RCIB Racing sponsored driver, Chris Milford ended up with zero points during both races:

” Race 1, I was up to second by lap 2, but contact with Paul Ivens on lap 3 at “Nelson”corner forced me to retire the car.”

“I started the 2nd race from 17th position, made a great start and made it up to 5th by the start of lap 5, but the next time by my gearbox failed. so I had to retire, leaving me with 0 points.”

Paul Taylor and Ben Wallace continued from where they left off last time with another great performance and came first and second respectively, with Kenan Dole in 3rd. Matthew Wilson and Simon Tomlinson, as well as previously mentioned Chris Milford, unfortunately all had to retire from both races due to technical difficulties.

VAG Trophy drivers will be back on track on the 5th of August at Brands Hatch.