BARC NW Centre set for milestone Sports/Saloon Car Championship season

The British Automobile Racing Club’s North West Centre is set for a milestone season in 2023 as its Sports/Saloon Car Championship celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

First started back in 1984 after a successful inaugural campaign, the principles of the championship have remained the same over the past four decades; to provide cost effective racing and a flexible set of regulations – allowing for any sports or saloon car to compete in an ultra-competitive environment.

As the North West Centre embarks on what promises to be an exciting 40th season, multi-class series will once again be sponsored by CNC Heads; the company owned by regular competitor Ric Wood. Meanwhile, Graeme Laslett’s Car Service Packs will also continue their support too.

Maintaining its values of providing cost effective racing, the 2023 edition of the Sports/Saloon Car Championship will see a saving on some costs; one of which is a reduction to £400 per meeting in entry fees.

The number of race events has been reduced to six however each meeting will now include either two or three races – ensuring that the championship remains at a total of 14 rounds.

Further changes that will undoubtedly contribute to 2023 being arguably one of the best seasons yet will be the introduction of a separate class for motor cycled cars of any modification and a Guest entry; which will allow new drivers to sample the series at one-off meetings.

Full details of the championship, including how to register, can be found at or by contacting John Leck via

Vertu Motors named as new MINI CHALLENGE UK title sponsor

Organisers of the MINI CHALLENGE have announced a new title sponsorship agreement with Vertu Motors – part of the Vertu Motors Group – for the 2023 season.

The new partnership will see the popular single-marque series rebranded as the ‘Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE’ and will cover both the headline JCW class – which competes exclusively on the British Touring Car Championship support bill – and entry-level Trophy class.

Vertu Motors branding will feature on the windscreen of all competing cars across both classes, as well as on support vehicles and around racing venues up and down the country.

Robert Forrester, Chief Executive of Vertu Motors plc, said: “I am delighted that Vertu Motors is now an Official Partner with MINI CHALLENGE for this coming season. We have worked with the organisers for several years now and have admired their commitment, passion and enthusiasm for this series.

“Our Group’s brands already have strong roots in motorsport and a history of support across a multitude of disciplines, from the Birmingham Superprix in the 1980s, to sponsorship of Channel 4’s coverage of the Formula 1 in recent years, and of course, our Bristol Street Motors British Touring Car Championship team with EXCELR8 Motorsport.

“We strongly believe that this new partnership with MINI CHALLENGE, a very exciting, ‘Best of British’ motorsport series, epitomises many of the characteristics the Vertu Motors brand embodies including precision, innovation, technical advancement, commitment, determination and teamwork. We look forward to supporting each race weekend and connecting fans and communities with our ever-growing brand.”

Antony Williams, Championship Director for The Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE, added: “We’re incredibly excited and grateful to have the Vertu Motors brand on board with us for this coming season. Their enthusiasm and support have been brilliant already.

“The MINI CHALLENGE is the UK’s premier single-make race series and offers a great opportunity for drivers to put their skills to the test at some of the best tracks this country has to offer.

“The Vertu Motors group already holds brands that are well-known for championing motorsport at all levels, and we’re excited to see the Vertu Motors retail brand, which includes a multitude of MINI dealerships nationwide, fly the ‘chequered’ flag too. We’re all looking forward to the season ahead!”

Winter Stages Rally to return to Croft in 2024

Following the success of the 2022 Swift Signs and Shirts Winter Stages Rally held last November, Croft Circuit is planning on hosting the event again in 2024.

Rallying returned to the North Yorkshire circuit for the first time in three years and saw a near-capacity entry entertain a bumper crowd in the event organised jointly by Northallerton Automobile Club and Darlington and District Motor Club.

Plans were afoot for the event to return to Croft in November this year (2023) but there is a clash of dates with the bi-annual Roger Albert Clark Rally on the planned weekend, which would take away entries as well as marshals and other organisational resources. As such, discussions took place about Croft hosting a stage of the popular R.A.C. Rally, but geographical limitations on the provisional route made it unfeasible.

As a result, it was agreed that the Winter Stages Rally would return in 2024 at a date to be determined, but likely to be November, and it is hoped that a high-quality entry and a sizeable crowd will once again support the event which was won in 2022 by local ace David Henderson, with wife Katie co-driving in their Ford Fiesta R5.

Meanwhile, Croft has a busy calendar for the 2023 season featuring action on two, three and four wheels as well as numerous corporate and testing opportunities, so for further information and to book advance tickets, please visit

ROKiT British F4 champion to receive coaching from BWT Alpine F1 Team

The 2023 champion of the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA will receive a year-long coaching programme and expert guidance from BWT Alpine Formula 1 ® Team.

Based at the team’s state-of-the-art Alpine Racing Human Performance Centre at Enstone, the programme will last twelve months and will provide the next champion in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series with the resource and experience of a leading Formula 1 team to support them in their next steps.

Alpine will conduct an initial assessment at the start of the year to produce a structured and tailored development plan, with the focus centred around improving core physical condition and identifying areas of improvement.

The 2023 champion will have regular access to the facilities and expert personnel at the Alpine Racing Human Performance Centre.

Julian Rouse, Academy Director at BWT Alpine F1 Team, said, “We are pleased to collaborate with ROKiT British F4 for 2023 and offer the champion a variety of opportunities we have as a Formula 1 team.

“The facilities and knowledge we have here at BWT Alpine F1 Team is invaluable to an upcoming driver and their next step in their career, and we are eager to be onboard with this journey to promote young talent in grass-root series like British F4.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the 2023 champion to receive regular human performance coaching and instruction from a leading Formula 1 team as they take their next steps on the single-seater pathway,” commented Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK Chief Executive Officer.

“The facilities at the Alpine Human Performance Centre are well-equipped to support drivers in their development. We’re thankful to Alpine for supporting ROKiT British F4 and this is another excellent opportunity for our next champion.”

The announcement only strengthens the existing tiers between the single seater series and Formula 1, as Motorsport UK continues to forge meaningful pathways for drivers to progress through the sport.

Three graduates from the championship – Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant – will line up on the Formula 1 grid this year; underlining the springboard British F4 can provide.

2023 BARC race meetings now available to view

The British Automobile Racing Club is poised for a blockbuster 2023 motorsport season, with all race meetings and marshal training days now available view online.  

Following on from a hugely successful 2022 campaign, the Club has unveiled a bumper bill of race meetings which will see championships undoubtedly deliver edge-of-the-seat entertainment across the length and breadth of the UK between the months of March and November. 

Categories such as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, British Truck Racing Championship, British Endurance Championship, Classic Touring Car Racing Club and Caterham Motorsport, plus many more, are just some of the series that are set to take centre stage. 

In addition to running more than 40 race meetings, the Club will continue to take up its customary operational and organisational role across all three Goodwood events; the 80th Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival. 

To view the full list of scheduled 2023 British Automobile Racing Club race meetings, CLICK HERE.

John Wickham: 1949 – 2023

The British Automobile Racing Club is saddened to learn of the passing of John Wickham.

In a motorsport career that spanned more than five decades, Wickham enjoyed a storied career as he worked in a variety of racing categories all over the world.

Having briefly worked in banking, the start of his career began with the first of two stints at the British Automobile Racing Club where he took up the role of Competitions Manager in 1972, organising race meetings at the time.

From there he moved to the Surtees team to manage its Formula 2 operation before returning to the BARC for a brief second spell. 

In the years that followed, Wickham would enjoy plenty of success as he oversaw March Engineering clinch the 1979 European Formula 2 Championship and play a key role with the Spirit team, which brought Honda back to Formula 1 in 1983. 

He also went on to run the impressive Audi Sport UK team which charged to title glory in the British Touring Car Championship in 1996 and thereafter was team director of Bentley’s victorious Le Mans triumph in 2003.

Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with John’s family and friends at this difficult time. 

BARC thanks marshals with bumper end of year prize draw

The British Automobile Racing Club has shone a light on the hard work and dedication shown by its marshals throughout 2022 with a bumper end of year prize draw. 

In a season that saw more than 1000 marshals play their part in BARC race meetings across the length and breadth of the country, many are set to claim some incredible prizes via the annual end of year draw – which is aimed towards giving back to the army of volunteers that ensure the smooth running events week on week.

The Club would like to thank the following teams, drivers, venues and organisations for their kind donations of prizes:

ING Sport, Team Brit, Goodwood, Darkside Motorsport, Croft Circuit, West Surrey Racing, EXCELR8 Motorsport, Thruxton Circuit, JHR Developments, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK, MB Motorsport, CDR Racing, HiTech Racing, MINI Challenge, Barry Holmes, Leo Panayioutou, Virtuosi Motorsport, Motorbase Performance, Ginetta, SimTrack and the Junior Saloon Car Championship.

Winners will be contacted by the BARC Competitions Department in due course however some prizes may only be available for collection at future events.

BARC HQ 2022 Christmas & New Year closing dates

The British Automobile Racing Club headquarters at Thruxton Circuit will be closed during the following dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.

From: Thursday 22rd December 2022 at 17:00

To: Tuesday 3rd January 2023 at 09:00

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible trackside throughout 2023; be it if you are officiating, marshalling, spectating or competing!

From everyone at the BARC and all of our venues around the country; we wish you a safe, Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

McLaren Racing reaffirm commitment to ROKiT British F4

McLaren Racing have confirmed that they will continue to support the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA in 2023, with the eventual champion having the unique opportunity to embed themselves within a Formula 1 team at the 2024 British Grand Prix.

Newly crowned 2022 champion Alex Dunne will be the first recipient of the experience, designed to give drivers an immersive and thorough understanding of Formula 1, at the 2023 British Grand Prix. The prize also includes access to the Woking-based team and industry-leading engineering staff.

With the champion also being given a fully-funded Formula Regional test courtesy of tyre suppliers Pirelli as well as FIA Super Licence points, the championship continues to cement its position as a must-do for drivers with serious aspirations of progressing up the ranks.

Visibility to Formula 1 teams has never been higher in the series with the 2022 campaign seeing three F1 junior drivers feature; Ugo Ugochukwu (McLaren Racing), Daniel Guinchard (Mercedes-AMG) and Oliver Gray (Williams Racing).

Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK CEO, said: “McLaren Racing’s support of the ROKiT British F4 is greatly valued and offers a unique opportunity for a driver to embed themselves in a team at the top end of the sport.

“Motorsport UK is committed to creating meaningful pathways through the sport for drivers competing in the series. This unique opportunity to gain an insight into what it takes to compete in Formula 1 will be invaluable to the 2023 Champion as they consider their next steps.

“Silverstone is always one of the highlights of the Formula 1 calendar, so it should make for a very enjoyable, as well as instructive, experience. We’ll be watching on with great interest next year as 2022 champion Alex Dunne is the first to receive the prize. Our thanks go to Zak Brown and to McLaren Racing for their continued support of the championship.”

Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO, added: “McLaren Racing is delighted to continue supporting the British F4 Championship by inviting the 2023 champion to join our Formula 1 race team at the British Grand Prix in 2024.

“The series is an excellent platform for young drivers to continue their development as proven by our current Formula 1 line-up of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, who both excelled in the single-seater championship.

“We look forward to welcoming 2022 champion Alex Dunne to Silverstone with the team next year.”

MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport Championship set for 2023 launch

A club-level series for MINI racers is poised to hit the track for the first time in 2023 via the launch of new Clubsport classes within the hugely-successful MINI CHALLENGE.

The brainchild of MINI CHALLENGE racers Tom Halliwell and Robin Austin, along with the backing of Quaife MINI CHALLENGE promoter Antony Williams, the Clubsport classes operate as an affiliate to the hugely successful JCW and Cooper categories and will provide drivers with the opportunity to take their first steps onto the MINI CHALLENGE ladder.

The three classes within MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport will be Cooper S, Open and Cooper Am, with cars running together on track to create one bumper field.

A calendar featuring 15 races spread across six meetings has been put in place for the inaugural season, with visits to the likes of Cadwell Park, Thruxton, Mallory Park and Brands Hatch, amongst others.

Robin Austin, MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport joint championship co-ordinator, said: “Both Tom and myself were aware that there were a number of drivers out there who either own MINIs that aren’t eligible for the main MINI CHALLENGE, or who don’t have the budget required to compete in the Cooper or JCW classes.

“Rather than those people competing in a range of different multi-marque championships, we decided to investigate the possibility of creating a new championship where they could all race together.

“Having spoken to Antony for advice and guidance, we’re delighted to be in a position where we can now go public with our plans, and announce the launch of the MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport classes as an affiliate to the existing JCW and Cooper championships.

“We’ve been able to put together a calendar that provides the chance to compete at a number of high-profile events, and have put regulations in place that we know will provide exciting and competitive racing at an affordable level for drivers.”

Antony Williams, MINI CHALLENGE Promoter, added: “We are keen to support any MINI racers out there who want to compete on track, and there is clearly demand for the re-introduction of the Cooper S, Cooper Open and Cooper Am classes that were part of the MINI CHALLENGE prior to the pandemic.

“We’re delighted to now be working with Tom and Robin to enable them to run the three classes as a club-level option through the MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport classes, and look forward to seeing how it develops during the year ahead.”

MINI CHALLENGE Clubsport 2023 Calendar:

15/16 April – Cadwell Park – 3 x 12min
20/21 May – Mallory Park – 2 x 15min
8/9 July – Thruxton – 2 x 15min
5/6 August – Brands Hatch – 3 x 15min
16/17 September – Silverstone National – 3 x 12min
14/15 October – Donington Park GP – 2 x 15min

Porsche extend TOCA deal until at least 2026

Series organisers of the British Touring Car Championship, TOCA, have confirmed that the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Porsche Sprint Challenge GB will remain on the BTCC support package until at least 2026.

With the 2023 campaign set to mark 20 years since the Porsche Carrera Cup GB joined the support bill, this new three-year deal comes into effect at the end of the current term, with a further one-year option taking the agreement to the end of 2026.

Recently, Porsche Motorsport GB and TOCA announced an increased presence with the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB joining the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as regulars on the BTCC package from next year.

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “Having already announced that the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB would be expanding its presence on the BTCC support bill in 2023, I’m delighted to further cement its future and that of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

“This new contract underlines how the Porsche GB and TOCA partnership keeps going from strength to strength and, with both championships having already provided highly entertaining races for fans both trackside and at home via ITV’s free-to-air coverage, I’m very much looking forward to continuing our close relationship.”

James MacNaughton, Porsche Cars Great Britain Marketing Manager, said: “Porsche is delighted to further strengthen its relationship with TOCA. The TOCA package has been home to Porsche Carrera Cup GB since its inception 20 years ago and, from 2023, Porsche Sprint Challenge GB will also race exclusively alongside the BTCC – and at four events we will showcase both championships on the same billing. 

“The TOCA platform really is a modern sporting phenomenon, delivering exciting action on track, exceptionally strong crowds across each race weekend, incredible live TV coverage and broad media appeal. We extend our thanks to Alan Gow and his team in fostering our continued relationship.”

BTCC announces 29-car entry for 2023 season

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship has announced a maximum 29-car entry for the 2023 season.

Following the December 1st 2022 entry approval deadline for all TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs), the grid of the UK’s premier motorsport series will remain at 29 for a second successive campaign. 

Notable allocations for next year include Speedworks Motorsport increasing to three cars and West Surrey Racing expanding to four cars; a result of each team having purchased one TBL from the departing Ciceley Motorsport squad. 

Team HARD has also expanded its entry to four cars for the forthcoming campaign after securing one additional TBL from Carl Boardley Motorsport.

Teams will announce full details regarding their respective entries (drivers, team names and sponsors) over the coming weeks and months, prior to the release of the finalised entry list for the forthcoming season in April.

2023 TOCA BTCC Licence Allocation

EXCELR8 Motorsport – 4

Team Dynamics – 2 

Aiden Moffat Racing – 2

Motorbase Performance – 4

Team HARD – 4

Speedworks Motorsport – 3

West Surrey Racing – 4 

Power Maxed Racing – 2 

BTC Racing – 3 

Carl Boardley Motorsport – 1 

The 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship blasts into life at Donington Park on April 22/23.