Month: August 2017

Sutton Comes on Top as Cook Receives Race Ban at Rockingham BTCC Weekend

Rockingham BTCC Weekend

26th to 27th of August saw another triple round BTCC weekend head up to North of England, this time to a Northamptonshire based Rockingham circuit. As the championship nears to its end, steaks are getting undoubtedly high, which is evident in the number and seriousness of penalties received by the drivers this time round. Round 22 saw Stephen Jelley receiving a £500 fine and three penalty points for incidents involving Senna Proctor and Matt Simpson, while Martin Depper was officially reprimanded and received two penalty points for an incident involving Brett Smith.

Rounds 23 and 24 were rather unfortunate for the MG Racing RCIB Insurance driver Josh Cook, who was first reprimanded and received two penalty points, which was his third strike and lead to him starting Round 24 from the back of the grid. Round 24 did not look any better, Cook was fined £500 and received three penalty points, which was his fourth strike and constitutes a one race ban. His team have appealed the decision, which will be heard on Friday 15 September at Silverstone, if not overturned this race ban will be the first one to take place since 2001.

However, Cook did show some good effort throughout the three rounds, with a fourth place finish in Round 22, a highest finish for MG team this season. When asked to comment on his Rockingham performance, Cook said: “Qualifying was very tricky for us at Rockingham whilst battling a few car gremlins, however we were lucky to pull a P8 starting position in the final moments.  With these problems solved for Race One the pace is clearly in the MG having our season best result of fourth, as well as being 0.02 seconds off the fastest lap of the race. We were very unlucky in Race Two having our race ended early after a slightly miscalculated overtake by a Honda at Turn Two.  Starting from the back of the grid in Race Three was always going to be tough on the hard tyre – however this race was also cut short after a mechanical failure under braking at the end of the straight. There is clearly great pace in the MG which is leaving us excited for the remainder of the season.”

Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Ash Sutton showed another magnificent performance at Rockingham BTCC weekend and earned himself a sixth race win of the season with a comfortable 2,43s advantage in Round 23. The 23 year old finished the overall meeting with a 12 points advantage above second place holder, Team BMW’s Colin Turkington in the championship standings board. Halford’s Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden in the meantime struggled to push himself into a single top 10 finish and fell 50 points behind Sutton.

Sutton commented on his success and thoughts about the Rockingham BTCC weekend: “Overall thoughts from the weekend, I’m very very pleased.  Race one went to plan, especially for James, that was a particularly great result for him and to get a one-two finish was good.  Race two was a case of just get out of there and it was great to get another solid result, to pick up really strong points and the fastest lap was what we needed.  Race three however was a bit more of a challenge with dropping back to eleventh it wasn’t quite as easy to come back from there but we stayed out of trouble and to top it off we overtook Turkington which was the main aim. Thoughts for Silverstone are that it’s going to get difficult, but I’ve got a few things that I want to try in qualifying but carrying seventy-five kilos round there is going to hurt so we will see.”

Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor claimed another Jack Sears Trophy success, as the 19 year old driver maintains his firm grip on the overall rookie honours.

 

 

 

Taylor Extends 2017 VAG Trophy Points Lead at Brands Hatch Indy

2017 VAG Trophy

19th of August saw 17 2017 VAG Trophy contenders returned to Brands Hatch for the second time in a row to complete rounds 7 & 8 of the championship. The VW cars lined up on the grid for the first round of the day ready to be challenged by predicted bad weather conditions, however, as the red lights went off, no rain was to be seen and dry tarmac allowed all the drivers to receive a good start to the race. RCIB Insurance Racing logo bearing Paul Taylor, who took the pole position grid slot showed us some impressive driving and even after great efforts by fellow Team HARD drivers Kennan Dole and Ben Wallace to displace the points leader, Taylor managed to end the first race in first, claiming his fourth win of the season. Dole and Wallace took second and third place respectively, with Simon Walton passing the chequered flag right behind Wallace in fourth.

Brands Hatch Indy race 1 podium winners
Race 1 podium winners. Taylor in centre, Wallace right and Dole left (Photo by MaximumGroup.net)

Second race grid line up looked quite a bit different to that of the first race. Paul Dehadray who came 6th in the previous round, lined up on a pole position, with Brayden Fletcher also sat on the front row of the grid and Simon Walton parking his Audi TT close behind prepared for the reverse grid race.

However, true champions once again showed that grid line up couldn’t hold them back, Taylor and Dole took no time to catch up with Walton after he made a strong start. The three drivers were in an almost zero gap positioning exiting druids. With Walton clearly leading the way, Dole and Taylor were only left to fight for the second place. Ben Wallace started to pose threat for the top 3 coming up to third lap, after taking to the inside down the start finish and pushing Dole to defend into Paddock, Wallace displaced his teammate and racing on completed the lap setting a new fastest rotation of the indy circuit so far this race.

Cars line up on the grid for Race 2 at Brands Hatch
Cars line up on the grid for Race 2 (Photo by MaximumGroup.net)

Wallace’s advantage was short lived, soon after taking 3rd position, Team HARD’s young driver began slowing down and dropping positions, which made him return to the pits with mechanical issues, seeing Dole being promoted back to third.

The chequered flag was dropped on Simon Walton speeding across the finish line with impressive 3 second margin back to second place taker Paul Taylor, who had collected a hefty amount of points, allowing him to keep his first place 2017 VAG Trophy championship points lead. Kenan Dole took his second Class A podium finish in third, leaving Dehadray and Brayden in fourth and fifth.

 

BTCC Rounds 19, 20 & 21 At Knockhill

BTCC Rounds 19, 20 & 21

It’s only been two weeks since the last British Touring Cars Championship triple rounds weekend went down in Snetterton, this time the ‘battle ready’ drivers are heading up North for BTCC rounds 19, 20 & 21, to be held this weekend (12-13 August). Knockhill, a Scotland based circuit will be celebrating its 25 year anniversary of hosting BTCC event, hence promising those attending more surprises and special appearances as well as a ‘super support line-up’ featuring Porche, Ginetta and British F4 Championship racing.

Gordon Shedden, the current standings board leader with 221 points, couldn’t be more excited about returning to his home circuit. The brilliant Scottish driver is speculatively looking forward to being back on a track where he feels comfortable and as we suspect he will not hold back in putting up a strong fight! With Team BMW’s Colin Turkington standing 2nd with 219 points and Rob Collard just behind in 3rd with 217 points, a head to head ‘battle’ will not be avoided. As well as that, Knockhill is also knowingly famous for its sudden turns and roller coaster like driving experience, which in turn should provide the spectators with an extra exciting spectacle of a race.

RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored Aiden Moffat is another racer calling Knockhill a home circuit. The young Scot who took his maiden win in Donington Park earlier this season is looking forward to racing on a track that is well known to him. Even though as well as preparing for the next BTCC race Aiden also had to prepare and complete university exams, when asked about his approach to Knockhill race, he replied confidently:

“I am taking my usual approach, looking over TV coverage from previous years racing, as well as on board pole laps from previous years..We always expect to go well around Knockhill however it is a track that typically suits RWD cars due to the tight uphill hairpin, and they tend to manage there tyres better so come the end of a race that is a concern. However we are in a good place with the car set up just now, so we feel confident going into this weekend!”

All three BTCC races on Sunday, 13 August – and the day’s other races – will be broadcast live and in high definition on ITV4. Those in attendance at the circuit can stay in touch with the commentary and live timing from every session, available at btcc.net/live throughout the weekend.

 

 

 

 

2017 VW Cup Rounds 7 & 8 at Brand Hatch

2017 VW Cup

Favourably bright and sunny Brands Hatch circuit welcomed a swarm of enthusiastic 2017 VW Cup drivers on the 6th of August, who were ready to tackle the Kent based track. As the green lights went, so did the drivers, rushing to reach the chequered flag at the end of the 2.61 mile long Brands GP loop. Team HARD’s, RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored Jamie Bond showed some great steering and successfully qualified in P1. JWB Motorsport’s drivers Phil House and Kieran Gordon both finished in P2 and P3 respectively.

Race 1 came to the start with a Team HARD front row lock out. Shortly into the race a harsh contact between Phil House and Tim Docker led to a hard hit to the side, leading to a slide down Paddock Hill for Scirocco. This was then followed by a multiple car slow down while passing the scene, however Paul Ivens couldn’t avoid the spinning Scirocco which spiked him into the air before wildly rolling multiple times and finally coming to a rest on his roof. Stephen Johansen’s Polo was next to get caught up in the accident, ending up in the tyre wall after a strong impact.

The heavy multi-impact caused the race to come to a halt. With a red flag waved the medical teams rushed to the drivers. The worst off Paul Ivens had to be removed from the car and stretched off, before eventually being taken to the hospital for further checks. After the marshals and medical teams cleared the incident, drivers were allowed back onto the track, however with the race being shortened to ten minutes there was no time to waste. Jamie Bond held on to his advantage and finished the race first with Bobby Thompson in second and Simon Walton in third.

The second race meant that three drivers were now unable to appear on the grid following the earlier incident. Two more drivers, Russell Joyce and an RCIB Insurance sponsored driver Toby Davis had to also leave the track. Davis’ driver side door flew open coming up to the last leg of the race due to previous contact forcing him to pit and eventually retire whilst sitting third on track. however this didn’t mean that there would be any less thrilling scenes for the spectators to see.

Passing the waving chequered flag was the current points leader Tom Witts who took the pole, with Kieran Gordon taking second and Jamie Bond in third place – the top three separated by less than a second bunched together. Matthew Evans collected the Sportman Trophy honours after finishing the race in eleventh place.