British Truck Racing Association Championship joins forces with Truck & Driver

The British Truck Racing Association Championship will now be brought to followers of high-speed HGV motorsport in association with the best-selling truck magazine in the UK – Truck & Driver – following the agreement of a partnership between T&D publisher DVV Media International (DVV) and the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC).

Following two early rounds the championship is about to hit top gear with racing meetings at Germany’s famous Nurburgring (30 June to 1 July) followed by ‘the fastest circuit in the UK’ at Thruxton in Hampshire (July 7/8) and the ultimate festival of all things trucks and trucking – Truck & Driver’s Convoy in the Park – which takes place at Donington Park on July 21/22.

Championship Director, Glen Horncastle, said: “It is fantastic news that the Championship will be working with such a long standing publishing group as DVV, and knowing how much support and exposure Truck & Driver will bring through its editorial and social media channels is exciting for all concerned.”

DVV Sales Director, Vic Bunby, added: “We’re delighted to be entering this partnership, especially as we build towards the festivities at Convoy in the Park. This is a unique opportunity to bring truck racing and truck racing sponsors to a wider audience who love their trucks.”

DVV will also be responsible for sponsorship sales for the championship and has a variety of packages to get the best results for your brand.

Truck & Driver, Truckanddriver.co.uk and its sister publication Commercial Motor will bring you all the action, as well as taking you behind the scenes with interviews and profiles of the drivers, teams, trucks and circuits – bringing the British Truck Racing Association Championship to life.

You can also follow all the action on Twitter @TrucknDriver and the Truck and Driver homepage on Facebook – and the stars of DVV’s You Tube phenomenon A Week in Trucks will be filming at both Thruxton and Convoy in the Park to bring you their unique take on the truck racing experience.

The race season continues to Snetterton, Norfolk, on September 8/9, Pembrey in West Wales on October 13/14 before culminating at the Bonfire Night extravaganza at Brands Hatch in Kent on November 3/4.

Copies of Truck & Driver will be available to pick up in the paddock areas at all race meetings.

British Schools Karting Championship title to be decided at Whilton Mill

The destiny of the 2018 British Schools Karting Championship will be decided at Whilton Mill this Saturday (June 30) as 26 schools and colleges battle it out for the coveted title across what are set to be ten high-octane races.

Following months of local and regional finals that have whittled down the competition, the fastest teams and drivers from around the country are primed to hit the track for one last time.

Of the finalists competing, many will have their sights set on stopping Brentwood School A from completing what would be a sensational hat-trick of wins. Triumphing in 2017 and 2017, the Essex school has been the benchmark for the past two years and were impressive on their path to this year’s final.

Other teams that have come to the fore in the run up to the final include Southend High School, Peter Symonds A and Wymondham College, who picked up victory in the Midlands and East Regional on their first appearance.

Beyond those that have been mentioned, this year’s crop of teams boasts a wealth of talent, all of which is set to be showcased at the Northamptonshire venue.

As has been the case in years gone by, a raft of prizes will be up for grabs for the winners this year. The three students from the winning team and one representing adult will be given the opportunity to enjoy a Heritage Tour of the Williams Grand Prix Collection.

Touring the state-of-the-art, multi-million pound Grand Prix Collection, the winners will be able to walk around the interactive museum that houses around 40 Williams Formula One cars dating from 1978 onwards.

Ginetta Cars will also offer entry into the prestigious 2019 Ginetta Junior Scholarship for the highest placed competition licence holder [whose date of birth falls between 1st January 2003 and 21st March 2005, and who has not previously competed in an MSA circuit car race].

Giving them the opportunity to battle for free entry onto the 2019 Ginetta Junior Championship grid, the prize is one that can spring board any junior race onto great things.

Super Green Racing’s Howard and Ben Green will also continue their support of the BSKC by offering a pair of tickets to an event that Ben competes at later in the year. Now riding high in the British GT Championship, Green is a former winner of the event having triumphed with Debden Park High School in 2014.

BSKC 2018 Finalists:

BGS A

BGS B

BRA A

Bancroft’s A

Barnet & Southgate College A

Bolton School

Brentwood A

Brentwood B

Bristol Grammar School

Bushey A

FHS A

George Heriot’s School

Gordon’s School A

Grange A

Grange B

Grange D

Hanley Castle A

Kingdown A

Kingham Hill A

Peter Symonds A

SHSB A

Sidcot

Williamwood

Woodmill High School

Wymondham College

Information on how your school or college can get involved in the 2019 British Schools Karting Championship can be found by visiting the BSKC website.

BTCC brings sunshine, spectacular racing, a homegrown winner and fabulous fundraising

The sun shone as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship sped into Croft Circuit last weekend (23/24 June), with thousands of fans enjoying riveting racing capped by a new, homegrown winner and helping to raise more than £550 for a local charity.

On a weekend of sky-high temperatures, the action on-track was every bit as sizzling, with the best very much saved until last as Huddersfield’s Dan Lloyd converted pole position into his and BTC Norlin Racing’s maiden triumph in the UK’s premier motor sport series in dominant fashion – to the clear delight of the packed spectator banks.

In a true victory-against-the-odds story, both BTC Norlin cars had to be completely rebuilt after incurring heavy damage not of their own making in a start-line shunt at Oulton Park two weeks earlier – with Lloyd’s spectacular success, in only his fourth race for the team, repaying the mechanics for all their hard work.

“I’m absolutely buzzing – just lost for words and so, so happy,” the 26-year-old enthused at the end of the weekend. “This win means so much to the team – we didn’t even know if we were going to be out at Croft after the damage at Oulton, so full credit to the boys. Emotionally, I was really having to hold it all together for the last few laps. To finish the weekend with this kind of result is just awesome – absolutely perfect.”

Lloyd was joined on the race three rostrum by Power Maxed TAG Racing’s Senna Proctor (Driffield), while a third Yorkshireman – Halfords Yuasa Racing ace Dan Cammish – may have been out-of-luck on the circuit but made his own mark by organising and leading a track walk on the Saturday evening in aid of nearby Butterwick House Children’s Hospice.

Along with Lloyd, Chris Smiley, Stephen Jelley and Ollie Jackson, Cammish visited the Stockton on Tees-based hospice – which cares for babies, children, teenagers, young adults and their families – and was so moved by what he saw that he was determined to set up a fundraising activity over the weekend.

A track walk for spectators was hurriedly devised, with more than 100 fans joining Cammish, Lloyd, Smiley, Jackson, Andrew Jordan, Tom Ingram, Rory Butcher and local hero Max Coates for a rare opportunity to spend some time with the BTCC stars and an even rarer opportunity to literally follow in their wheeltracks.

“Doing what we do and with the profile that the championship enjoys, we are in a position to make a difference in this kind of situation,” Honda driver Cammish explained. “Going to the hospice and seeing the vital work they do, there was a lot to take in and I was in no doubt that we needed to do something to help them.

“It was all pulled together very last-minute, but it was great to see so many people turn out for the track walk. It’s good for the fans to spend some time with us – everybody that came along said how much they enjoyed it – and most importantly of all, we raised some vital funds for Butterwick House, which is what it was all about.”

A total of £551.30 was collected, while Jelley has additionally established a Virgin Money Giving page in aid of the hospice for the Ironman UK challenge he will tackle in Bolton on 15 July, comprising a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a marathon. Donations can be made at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StephenJelley

Next up during Croft’s summer of non-stop entertainment will be No Limits two-wheeled thrills on 14/15 July, the fast-and-furious MSA British Rallycross Championship on 29 July and the much-loved Nostalgia Festival on 4/5 August, showcasing a feast of retro racing, classic cars, military magic and culture from yesteryear. Discounted advance tickets are available for all events from www.croftcircuit.co.uk/racing or by calling 01325 721815.

More information on all of Croft’s driving experiences and racing events can be found at www.croftcircuit.co.uk

BARC championships shine in Oulton Park thriller

Oulton Park played host to an unmissable day’s track action this past Saturday (June 23) as four British Automobile Racing Club championships resumed battle.

In sweltering conditions, the picturesque Cheshire venue provided the perfect backdrop for a frenetic day’s racing which was organised and run by the Club’s North West Centre.

Heading up the action was Britcar’s Dunlop Endurance Championship, which saw a 50-minute and two-encounter run. Bringing together a raft of eye-catching and mesmerising machines onto one grid, both races proved to ha

In the shorter 50-minute Sprint race, Richard Neary piloted his Mercedes Benz AMG GT GT3 to victory – more 25 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger after completing 28 laps.

Neary continued that form into the day’s longer race, which had a 50-minute sprint incorporated into it too. Once again starring in his Mercedes, Neary romped to clinch the chequered flag to make it a dream double and uphold his position as being in a league of his own.

Whilst Neary and many others peeled off at the end of their race, the endurance contingent continued to tackle Oulton Park and come the end of the two hours, the pairing of Sean Cooper and McCollum drove their Track Focused KTM X-Bow to the top of the podium.

The solitary CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship race had a familiar feel to it as Paul Rose further cemented himself as the man to beat in 2018. Having produced countless race-winning performances already this season, Rose was in his usual superlative form at Oulton.

At the wheel of his Saker RAPX S1-400, Rose converted pole position into a dominant win as he streaked clear, winning by more than 55 seconds. Despite their best efforts, the duo of Danny Bird and Luke Arminger could do nothing about Rose’s charge and settled for second and third respectively.

Garrie Whittaker emerged as a one-man juggernaut in the Kumho BMW Championship, picking up two overall race wins. Home to some of the most iconic models from the German manufacturer, a grid of more than 20 cars went wheel-to-wheel for supremacy, with Whittaker prevailing. Race one saw Whittaker edge out a close affair with Piers Reid and Colin Wells in close proximity, ultimately filling the rostrum. Whittaker’s performance in race two was to be more dominant, triumphing by more than 12 seconds ahead of Wells and James Card.

In the Classic 2CV parts.com Championship staged the latest two rounds of their popular one-make category, with experience coming to the fore. Race one saw reigning champion Lien Davies bag a win before Pete Sparrow did the same in the second.

For the full classification of results from all championship sessions over the weekend, click here.

Ollie O’Donovan takes a clean sweep in British Rallycross double-header at Pembrey

Ollie O’Donovan produced a stellar performance in rounds four and five of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship this past weekend (June 23/24), sweeping his way to two wins at Pembrey Circuit.

Soaking up the Welsh sunshine on the brand-new rallycross circuit at the British Automobile Racing Club-operated venue, the high-octane championship delivered its usual mix of thrills and spills across both days. Having prevailed at Croft last time out, O’Donovan arrived at Pembrey as the form man and dually carried that momentum with him. Qualifying heats on day one saw five-time champion Julian Godfrey cement himself as the man to beat in the newly rebuilt Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage.

Topping the times across all three sessions, Godfrey entered the latter stages of the day in superlative form, however he was unable to convert that into victory – with a puncture halting both his and Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins in the final.

At the wheel of his Ford Focus, O’Donovan surged to victory, his second successive triumph in the championship whilst Steve Hill and Roger Thomas rounded off the podium in their respective machines too.

If Godfrey had been the king of the qualifying heats on day one, Higgins claimed that mantel on day two as he looked to be in irresistible form. Topping the times in every session that he took part in in the run up to the final, the Manxman looked like he would be hard to deny a second win of the season.

O’Donovan however had other ideas as he got the jump on the Peugeot driver during the second Supercar final of the weekend and despite Higgins’ best efforts, he was unable to find a way past the Irishman – who scored victory and with it strengthened his lead at the summit of the championship standings. Godfrey capped off his weekend with a third place finish.

Elsewhere, spoils were shared in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship as Simon Ovenden and Max Weatherley took a win apiece whilst Jack Thorne and Tristan Ovenden were victorious in the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship.

The MSA Junior Rallycross Championship proved to be a family affair as Tom Constantine and Luke Constantine prevailed. Rounding out the list of race winners were Kris Hudson and Drew Bellerby, both of whom scored victory in the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship.

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship resumes on July 29 as the series makes its second visit to Croft for round six.

TOCA support championship deliver non-stop entertainment at Croft

There was high-drama, championship warning shots being fired, first-time wins being claimed and local drivers coming to the fore on the TOCA support package at Croft this past weekend (June 23/24).

Marking the latest stop on the calendar and the last before the annual summer break, four championships were in action in front of a bumper Yorkshire crowd, all of which were basking in the searing sun.

Entering the weekend just a handful of points off of the standings summit, Max Coates enjoyed a dream weekend in the Renault UK Clio Cup. Living just a stones throw away from the circuit, the Pyro driver had home support on his side as he charged to pole position in both races.

Losing the lead in race one to Paul Rivett, Coates hounded the multiple champion in the opener but was ultimately unable to make his move, settling for second whilst Daniel Rowbottom finished third.

Coates wasn’t to be denied in race two however as he led Rivett from lights-to-flag, taking an emotional home victory and vaulting to the top of the points. James Dorlin, who had entered the weekend as the series leader, endured a nightmare two races – scoring a best finish of sixth.

Carl Boardley took a sizeable chunk out of Charlie Ladell’s lead in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup over the course of three races. Boardley stormed to victory in races one and two around the Yorkshire venue, issuing a severe warning shot to his title rival in the process.

Ladell had looked set to score a win of his own in the third race however tyre degradation proved to be his undoing. That therefore opened the door for Harry King to pounce on those ahead of him and power onto a win that was more than seven seconds come the chequered flag.

There was a double-winner in the Ginetta Junior Championship too, with Adam Smalley strengthening his position atop the points standings. The Elite Motorsport driver powered his distinctly coloured machine to wins in races one and two, leaving his chief title rivals in his wake.

Race three proved to be an action-packed encounter with Smalley losing out at the start to Luke Browning. His lead wasn’t to last long though as Fin Green slipped past Browning on the opening tour and from there wasn’t challenged – going on to score his maiden victory in the series.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost was in fine form too as Kiern Jewiss starred once again, scoring his fifth victory of the season. Jewiss’ triumph further emphasised his status as one of the leading contenders for the single seater crown.

Jewiss bagged his latest victory in round 14, either side of wins for Dennis Hauger as he threw his hat into the mix for title glory too.

For the full classification of results from all championship sessions over the weekend, click here.

The TOCA support package returns to action on July 28/29 at Snetterton, with all five categories hitting the track to kickstart the second half of the 2018 season.

Ashley Sutton ignites BTCC title defence with Croft double

Defending Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Ashley Sutton ignited his title defence at Croft this past weekend (June 23/24) with two wins, whilst Daniel Lloyd scored his and BTC Norlin Racing’s maiden victory in race three at the Yorkshire venue.

On what was a scorching weekend which saw a bumper crowd soak up the sun trackside, Sutton underlined his credentials as the reigning champion by vaulting up the championship standings.

After a frustrating first half of the season up to Croft, the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing driver came out of the block flying on Saturday as he charged to pole position, leading a Team BMR 1-2 in the process as Jason Plato ended the session second.

Sutton’s charge to the chequered flag in race one was relatively straight forward as he held position as the lights went out and then dually began to stretch his advantage. Behind, Plato diced with the BMW of Andrew Jordan for much of the contest, getting the better of him in the end and then going on to chase down Sutton.

Struggling with tyre degradation, Jordan’s hopes of a podium slipped away as he ran wide at Clervaux, which allowed the impressive Tom Ingram to take the final podium spot in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis.

The start of the second race saw Ingram make a flying start as he emerged from the first sequence of corners in the lead having gone three wide with Sutton and Plato.

Further behind Josh Cook found himself in strife as he suffered brake failure at the wheel of his Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra. Heading down the back straight and into Tower Bend, the two-time race winner experienced a heart-stopping moment as he narrowly missed those ahead of him and went sideways into the field. Cook was thankfully okay and managed to return to the pits.

Back at the front and despite being ladened with 75kgs of success ballast, Sutton wasted no time in wrestling the lead back off of Ingram, making his move at the final hairpin on lap two to reclaim control. Plato meanwhile was adjudged to have jumped the start and was forced to serve a drive through penalty, ruling him out of contention.

Almost flying under the radar in race one, points leader Colin Turkington was firmly in the mix in the second, halving the amount of ballast he was carrying on his BMW and hot on the heels of Ingram. Drawing on all of his experience around the challenging layout, the ‘King of Croft, couldn’t find a way past Ingram, who had put up a resolute defence, for second place. Sam Tordoff meanwhile notched his sixth fourth place finish of the season.

Back at the front, Sutton proved to be a in a league of his own and romped to his second win of the day, becoming the first driver to win two races on the same weekend and with 75kgs on-board this season thus far.

The reverse grid draw was made by double champion John Cleland and the Scotsman pulled number nine out of the bowl – promoting local star Daniel Lloyd onto pole position.

Joined on the front row by fellow Yorkshireman Senna Proctor, the BTC Norlin Racing driver launched his Honda Civic Type R off the line and into a lead that he would never lose. Tom Chilton fired his way from fourth to second off the start but couldn’t challenge Lloyd, who ultimately crossed the line little under six seconds ahead of the Motorbase driver.

Further behind Proctor gave the Croft crowd plenty to smile about as he ensured to Yorkshire drivers would end the day on the podium, finishing third. Matt Neal starved off a raft of drivers to take fourth whilst Sutton ended the day with a seventh place finish.

Virtue of the weekend’s results, Turkington leads the championship standings heading into the annual summer break, 19 points ahead of his nearest challenger Ingram.

In the BTCC Teams Championship, Team BMW sit at the summit of the standings whilst BMW also lead the BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Championship. The Independents category sees Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport lead the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championship’s. Rounding off the list of points leader is Dan Cammish, who controls the Jack Sears Trophy at the half-way stage.

For the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions over the weekend, click here.

The 2018 Dunlop MSA Touring Car Championship returns on July 28/29 for rounds 16, 17 and 18 at Snetterton. As part of the series’ 60th anniversary celebrations, the third encounter at the Norfolk circuit will be contested over 60 miles, equating to 20 laps.

Half-way marker approaches for TOCA support categories at Croft

There have been all manner of high-octane thrills from the TOCA support championships this season and the action is set to intensify in North Yorkshire this weekend (June 23/24), with four categories heading to Croft.

Like the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the traditional summer break awaits the TOCA package following this weekend and it is all to play for in every series.

Yorkshire’s own James Dorlin and Max Coates will be keen to draw on what is expected to be plenty of home support in the Renault UK Clio Cup. In what is set to be a battle of North vs South, the Yorkshireman will go wheel-to-wheel for supremacy.

Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin arrives at Croft with a slender four-point advantage over the Pyro driver. Five wins on the bounce have been the foundations of the teenagers charge to the summit and he will be keen to continue his winning ways. Coates, who lives a stones throw from Croft, ended Dorlin’s winning run at Oulton Park and he too will be itching to taste victory.

Whilst the top two have been grabbing the headlines, a host of other drivers are firmly in the mix to, including proven race winners Paul Rivett, Lee Pattison and James Colburn. Also in contention is Dan Zelos, Mike Epps, Jack McCarthy, Daniel Rowbottom and Jade Edwards – who will look to bounce back from a big crash last time out.

The Ginetta Junior Championship is renowned for producing a feast of entertainment and that is expected to continue across the weekend’s three races. A proving ground for the next generation racers aged 14 to 17-years-old, the series will see a trio of races be played out on what is home soil for the manufacturer.

Heading into the fifth stop on the calendar, Adam Smalley leads the way in the points having paired consistency with three race wins. Smalley doesn’t have things his own way however as impressive rookie Louis Foster and four-time race winner Luke Browning are on the hunt and shouldn’t be discounted at all.

Charlie Ladell has been a tour-de-force in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup up to now and it would be hard to bet against him further strengthening his position at the top of the standings. On the podium in every race thus far and taking five wins, the Rob Boston Racing driver has a healthy points lead, however he can’t rest on his laurels.

Hot on his heels are Carl Boardley, Harry King, Tom Roche and Carl Shield; a quartet of drivers that are all capable of triumphing on any given day. With three races lying in wait for the popular series, all eyes will be on Ladell to see if he remain being the man to beat.

Single seater thrills will be provided by the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost, with three races also on the billing. Following a memorable outing at Oulton Park, Kiern Jewiss now leads the way with Ayrton Simmons instead taking on the role of hunter.

The pair have been the standout performers to-date, dicing countless times already. Expected to renew their on-track rivalry this weekend, Jewiss and Simmons will be looked at as the favourites for victory however threats are coming from all angles.

Jack Doohan, Sebastian Priaulx, Johnathan Hoggard and Dennis Hauger have all topped the rostrum at one stage and there is no question why they can’t again.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, priced at £15 for Saturday, £30 for Sunday and £38 for the full weekend. Children 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult whilst gates open at 08:00 both days.

Four championships gearing up for Oulton Park race day

The British Automobile Racing Club heads to Oulton Park this Saturday (June 23) for what is set to be a full-throttle day of track action around the picturesque International layout.

Organised and run by the Club’s North West Centre, four championships will do battle to write the latest chapter in their 2018 memoirs.

Topping the bill will be the hugely popular Britcar Dunlop Endurance Championship. Continuing to go from strength-to-strength under the stewardship of Claire Hedley, a 50-minute sprint race and two-hour encounter will take place in the afternoon.

Boasting a bumper entry list of jaw-dropping machinery and top names, both the Sprint and Endurance categories are beginning to heat up. Maximum Motorsport’s Stewart Lines and Adam Morgan currently lead the way in the Endurance series, however with Morgan on BTCC duties this weekend Lines has had to draft in a new team-mate. Step forward former BTCC racer Mat Jackson.

Piloting the teams SEAT Cupra, Jackson will get back behind the wheel and will be keen to taste champagne as he targets victory. The pair will have to keep on their toes though as the pairing of Matt Greenwood and Sarah Moore lead the chasing pack, which is quickly followed up by Andreas Demetriou and Luke Williams.

Elsewhere in the Sprint standings, Tim Docker is the benchmark driver at the moment at the wheel of his VW Scirocco. Richard Neary and the duo of Alex Day and Robert Day are in hot pursuit of Docker arriving at Oulton Park.

As the flagship category for the BARC North West Centre, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship will undoubtedly deliver a banquet of thrills ’n’ spills. Staging just a single 20-minute plus one lap race, expect there to be plenty of action.

Running under a multi-class system, all manner of cars compete in the series, and with the engine sizes being so vast, there literally is action right throughout the field. Paul Rose and Jamie Cryer took an outright win apiece at Cadwell Park last time out and with Paul Dobson, David Harvey, Oliver Thomas and Tony Ellis, amongst others, joining those two in contention, it is anybody’s race to take this weekend.

The Classic 2CV parts.com Championship will roll back the years with two 20-minute encounters poised to keep fans on the edge of their seats. One of the most low cost categories to compete within in the UK, the 2CV series continues to garner interest and big grids, thus adding up to exciting races.

Whilst the speeds aren’t the highest, overtaking is high on the agenda and there will likely be plenty of it at Oulton Park. Peter Sparrow, reigning champion Lien Davis, Tom Perry, Sandro Proietti and Luca Proietti are just a handful of names to keep a watchful eye on during the day – all of them having known what it takes to succeed.

Rounding off the action at the Cheshire venue will be two races from the Kumho BMW Championship. Bringing together some of the most iconic models from the German manufacturer onto the same piece of tarmac, the championship has a long and rich history.

Marking the half-way point in the season, the sweeping curves of Oulton Park are set to add another twist in the tail. The multi-class format of the championships means that there are battles running throughout the field, not just at the sharp end, lending itself to dramatic wheel-to-wheel duels.

Notable names to look out for over the course of the day include Colin Wells, Ian Crisp, Russell Dack, Kevin Denwood, Giuseppe Callari and Darren Morgan-Owen.

Brand-new Pembrey layout awaits full-throttle British Rallycross Championship

Pembrey Circuit will see its brand-new rallycross layout used this weekend (June 23/24) as the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship heads to South Wales for rounds four and five.

In what is the only double-header on the 2018 calendar, the first of two visits to British Automobile Racing Club-run venue is likely to set pulses races for drivers and spectators alike.

Since the series visited late last year, significant work and investment has gone into improving the rallycross section of the venue over the winter, headed up by Circuit Manager Phil Davies.

With trackside crowds continuing to grow, careful planning has been taken to create a new track layout that will produce more of an arena atmosphere for fans spectating on the bankings – allowing them to see a majority of the action unfold in front of the.

Firstly the start line, which was previously situated on the main pit straight, has been moved to just before the pedestrian crossing. From there cars will then head through Senna’s before heading into a new left-handed turn titled Toyo’s, immediately tacking Brooklands Haiprin afterwards.

Up next for competitors will be Speedway Straight, which leads into the transition from tarmac to loose, tackling the challenging Carter’s Hairpin at the same time.

Using all of their skills and experience, drivers will thread their way through the next sequence of corners, some taking the joker section, before rejoining the tarmac at Ollie’s and on to start a new lap or take the chequered flag.

The same set of corners will be used when the circuit is run in the reverse direction as well; competitors turning right instead of left off the start.

With events at Silverstone, Lydden Hill and Croft serving up three different winners, the battle for this year’s British Rallycross title is being fiercely fought over.

Arriving at Pembrey, Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins sits atop of the championship standings having matched front-running consistency alongside his breakthrough win at Lydden. Holding a slender four-point leader, the Peugeot driver will be keen to score big and stretch his lead come the end of play on Sunday.

Higgins’ nearest challenger to the summit is five-time champion Julian Godfrey, however it is yet to be determined whether he will compete and if he does, how competitive he actually will be. Godfrey suffered a major crash at Croft which effectively wrote off the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage he was driving. With frantic work taking place to ready the machine, Godfrey could be one to watch if he lines up.

Ollie O’Donovan was a winner last time out at Croft and is always in the mix whilst Steve Hill and Mad Mark have both shown glimpses of promise along the way too. Throw into the mix the likes of Kevin Proctor and Andy Scott and you begin to see why it the depth of talent is so deep in the series.

In addition to the Supercar action there will be racing from the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship, MSA Supernational Championship (inc. Super 1600), Swift Sport Championship, BMW Mini Championship and the RX150 Championship.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, priced at £15 per day or £36 for the full weekend (which includes camping). Children 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult whilst gates open at 08:00 both days.

‘King of Croft’ leads BTCC battle into Yorkshire

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reaches the half-way point of the 2018 season this weekend (June 23/24) at Croft Circuit, with Team BMW’s Colin Turkington leading the charge as the series heads to North Yorkshire.

Marking its 60th Anniversary this year, the BTCC has once again hit new heights with the usual mix of wheel-to-wheel thrills being produced and nine different drivers picking up race wins along the way.

Celebrating 50 years since first hosting a BTCC event also, Croft has become a popular fixture on the calendar and one that is favourite amongst drivers and spectators alike.

Nobody undoubtedly has a greater love for the North Yorkshire-based venue than series leader Turkington, who enters the weekend with a 12-point advantage. Well-suited to rear-wheel-drive cars, Croft has become a happy hunting ground for the West Surrey Racing driver down the years.

Scoring 12 wins, 19 podiums, five pole positions and eight fastest laps, Turkington has earned himself the moniker of being called the ‘King of Croft’ and many expect him to be on top form once again. Winning last time out at Oulton Park, the Northern Irishman could well add to his impressive strike rate, despite carrying 75kgs of success ballast into qualifying and race one.

Hot on the heels of the BMW driver are a quartet of young guns, all of which are leading the fight against the established guard. Adam Morgan and Jack Goff sit tied on points in second place whilst two-time race winners Tom Ingram and Josh Cook are also in the mix.

Matt Neal, a winner at Thruxton, sits on the fringe of the top five and should go well in the Honda Civic Type R, as will Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard. Both sit behind the wheel of a BMW 1-Series and both will be highly confident of scoring big around a circuit which has delivered success for WSR in the past.

Tom Chilton edged closer to a taking his maiden Motorbase Performance race win at Oulton Park, bagging two podium finishes and he too will have his tail in the air.

Four of the 32 drivers on the BTCC grid are proud Yorkshiremen and each would count themselves as potential race winners heading into next weekend as they look to leave their mark in front of their home crowd.

Daniel Cammish, Sam Tordoff, Senna Proctor and Daniel Lloyd have all at some stage underlined their credentials in the BTCC and all four will be keen to sign off the first half of their campaigns with silverware in front of what is expected to be a bumper turnout of fans.

Matt Simpson scored a popular breakthrough pole position and race win in Cheshire a few weeks ago and the Type R racer will be eyeing further success too.

One team that will be looking for a change in fortunes is Adrian Flux Subaru Racing. Enduring performance issues that have hampered their chances of fighting towards the front, the trio of reigning champion Ashley Sutton, Jason Plato and Josh Price will all be hoping to take a step in the right direction at a circuit that has treated them well in recent seasons.

With rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship marking the half-way point of the season, expect to see everyone fighting to head into the annual summer break on a high.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, priced at £15 for Saturday, £30 for Sunday and £38 for the full weekend. Children 15 and under go free when accompanied by an adult whilst gates open at 08:00 both days.

Croft braced for more magic moments as BTCC speeds into town

Fans will have ‘plenty to get excited about’ when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races into North Yorkshire this weekend (23/24 June). That’s the prediction of Tim Harvey, as the 1992 title-winner forecasts more magic moments in the Croft Circuit story.

Croft first hosted the UK’s premier motor sport series all the way back in 1968 – then known as the British Saloon Car Championship – making 2018 the 50th anniversary of the circuit’s relationship with the BTCC.

That initial stint lasted until 1971, and while a major Croft regeneration in the 1980s meant the championship did not return to the north-east until 1997, it has featured on the calendar every year since, becoming a hugely popular stop on the schedule for competitors and spectators alike.

Harvey was on the grid for the 1997 event – one that very nearly didn’t go ahead due to rain flooding the circuit – and he has fond memories of the track.

“Croft always generates great action, with plenty of opportunities for overtaking and, dare I say it, incidents!” reflected the 16-time race-winner turned ITV4 commentator. “It’s a difficult circuit to master; the first half of the lap is a high-speed challenge, before you get to the Complex, where you need to slow it all down. There’s a bit of everything, which is what the drivers really appreciate.

“I always enjoyed racing at Croft, whether in the BTCC, Porsche Carrera Cup GB or my one-off outing in the Ginetta GT SuperCup a few years ago. The first year – 1997 – was certainly an interesting one. The one thing no venue can control is the weather, and Croft didn’t drain well back in those days – it’s much, much better now – but it’s testament to the circuit’s strength-of-character that the race meeting went ahead and went well, and Croft has remained a favourite on the BTCC calendar ever since.”

Fast forward 19 years to 2016, and Croft provided the platform for Ashley Sutton to scythe through the spray in changeable conditions to claim his breakthrough BTCC victory. Barely a year later, the Subaru star clinched the coveted drivers’ crown at the end of only his second season, but it was Yorkshire where he first made his mark.

“That was a really significant moment – the point at which people properly sat up and said, ‘boy, this kid has got something special’,” acknowledged Harvey. “He made the most of his opportunity in tricky conditions, so I’d say Croft was where he really announced his arrival – and in some style. And then obviously he went on to fulfil that potential by winning the championship last year…”

Results might be proving hard to come by for Sutton at present, but the man currently leading the charge – BMW’s Colin Turkington – has earned the sobriquet ‘King of Croft’ for his stellar success at the track over the years, tallying 12 race wins, 19 podium finishes and eight fastest laps. Harvey, however, suggests the Ulsterman won’t have it all his own way this weekend, with a quartet of local heroes all eager to steal the spotlight for themselves.

“Colin’s results can be attributed to consistently putting the standout rear wheel-drive driver in the best rear wheel-drive car,” he opined. “That said, things have now evened out a bit in terms of the front wheel-drive / rear wheel-drive difference at Croft, and while I still expect him to have a slight edge, running with maximum ballast in qualifying and race one as championship leader certainly won’t make life easy for him.

“The BTCC is proving absolutely impossible to predict this year, with ten or 15 drivers that can realistically win races – including the four Yorkshiremen in the field. None of them will be carrying any extra weight, and Sam Tordoff in particular has been quick everywhere while Dan Cammish is due a good weekend and the Honda he drives has traditionally gone well around Croft – so there should be plenty for the home crowd to get excited about.”

Tickets to the BTCC’s only north-eastern event of the year can be purchased on the gate, priced at just £15 for Saturday, 23 June (BTCC Qualifying), £30 for Sunday, 24 June (BTCC Race Day) or £38 for the full weekend. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free of charge.

More information on all of Croft’s driving experiences and racing events can be found at www.croftcircuit.co.uk