BTCC heads to Oulton Park for latest chapter of 2018 season

Oulton Park awaits the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend (June 9/10) with rounds 10, 11 and 12 set to write the latest chapter in what is becoming a fascinating battle for the biggest prize in UK motorsport.

With nine races down so far, there has been a changing of the guard in the BTCC this year with the next generation of youngsters taking the fight to the established names and so far prevailing.

Arriving at what is his and Ciceley Motorsport’s home event, Adam Morgan arrives at the Cheshire venue topping the championship standings for the first time in his career.

Two victories, the second coming last time out at Thruxton, sees Morgan hold a slender two point lead over fellow double race-winner Josh Cook – a revelation of sorts with Power Maxed Racing in the Vauxhall Astra.

Oulton Park is also home turf for Speedworks Motorsport and Tom Ingram, who together have made another lightening start to the season. Two wins and big points saw Ingram as the man to beat heading into Thruxton but an electrical issue left him to fight back on race day.

In the past both Ingram and Morgan have endured rocky rounds around the sweeping curves of Oulton Park, both will be hoping to turn their fortunes around this time.

Beyond the top three Jack Goff has been impressive in the WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R whilst many will be looking to see what Colin Turkington can achieve. Sitting fifth in the points, the West Surrey Racing driver was back on song at Thruxton and has an impressive record at Oulton Park.

Matt Neal and Senna Proctor have each scored a race win this season too and the pair will likely be in the mix towards the sharp end of the grid. Dan Cammish, reigning champion Ashley Sutton and Chris Smiley round out the top ten and will be keen to top the rostrum for the first time this year.

Last year Oulton Park marked the start of Sutton’s title assault and the aim will be to replicate that during this year’s trip to the picturesque circuit, both for himself and Adrian Flux Subaru Racing.

Beyond the top ten is a whole host of race-winning drivers that could easily be in the mix for victory this weekend. Fighting fit Andrew Jordan, his BMW team-mate Rob Collard, Motorbase Performance duo Tom Chilton and Sam Tordoff, as well as Aiden Moffat and Rob Austin lead the charge for the top ten and are more importantly free of success ballast heading into qualifying and race one.

Britain’s biggest motor sport series braced for colossal Croft challenge

Croft Circuit is preparing to welcome the UK’s leading motor sport series later this month, as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship speeds into North Yorkshire on 23/24 June – with local stars to the fore.

The BTCC is the biggest deal on the national racing scene, with 32 of the most talented drivers in the country taking to the wheel of cars that would not look out-of-place doing the weekly supermarket shop – albeit with a few more galloping horses underneath the bonnet.

These flame-spitting, 160mph monsters produce spectacular action wherever they go, and you can be assured that when the BTCC rolls into town, drama, entertainment and thrills ‘n’ spills are never far behind, particularly in a season as close and competitive as 2018 is turning out to be.

As the flagship event on Croft’s annual sporting calendar, the BTCC always draws a huge and enthusiastic crowd to the popular venue located just outside of Darlington, and they are richly rewarded with head-turning doorhandle-to-doorhandle duels from lights-out to chequered flag.

The Pride of Yorkshire will be well-represented on the grid, with four locally-born chargers all firmly in contention at the sharp end of the field. Vauxhall young gun Senna Proctor (Driffield) claimed his breakthrough victory in the 2018 curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch, while Honda new boy Dan Cammish (Leeds) arrived in the BTCC with an impressive reputation and has thus far lived up to that billing and then some.

Former championship runner-up Sam Tordoff (Bradford) has rejoined the fray this season in a Ford Focus RS, and a front row start and three consecutive fourth-place finishes at Thruxton suggest he will be a force to be reckoned with on home turf. An even more recent returnee is Daniel Lloyd (Huddersfield), who qualified second the last time he raced at Croft so will certainly be one to watch as he takes to the track in the potent Honda Civic Type R.

Indeed, with one-eighth of the field hailing from ‘God’s Own County’, Yorkshire currently boasts more BTCC drivers than any other area of the country – all the more reason to come along to Croft on 23/24 June to cheer the locals on.

A raft of support series will add to the appeal, from the Ginetta Junior Championship for precociously gifted 14-to-17-years-olds to the Renault UK Clio Cup for tomorrow’s touring car heroes, the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup and the F4 British Championship, where fans may just spot a future Formula 1 driver or two.

Better still, Croft’s popular open-paddock policy means spectators can get up close and personal with the stars of the show, while Sunday morning’s traditional Pit-Lane Walkabout offers the opportunity to snap some selfies and add to autograph books.

“The BTCC is a major draw wherever it goes, and the series’ annual visit to Croft is the only chance for fans in this part of the country to enjoy a taste of its high-octane thrills, so this really is an event not to be missed,” enthused Circuit Manager, Tracey Morley. “Better still, with such a high chance of ‘home’ success, our four-strong local contingent are sure to receive rapturous support.

“The drivers are unanimous in their appreciation for the challenge that Croft presents, as one of the most technically demanding circuits on the calendar – and it is that same layout that generates fantastic racing and irresistible action. It really is a fantastic event for the whole family to enjoy.”

Advance tickets are available until 14 June, priced at just £11 for Saturday, 23 June (BTCC Qualifying), £24 for Sunday, 24 June (BTCC Race Day) or £33 for the full weekend. Tickets purchased after 14 June or on the gate will cost slightly more. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free of charge.

For further information or to book tickets, please visit www.croftcircuit.co.uk/racing/btcc or call 01325 721815.

Pembrey beckons for BARC categories

The British Automobile Racing Club heads to Pembrey this weekend (June 9/10) with the Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge, BARC Saloons, Classic VW Cup and Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge all looking to take centre stage.

Descending on the popular Welsh venue for a blockbuster two days, some of the best racing the Club has to offer is set to wow those in attendance.

Topping the bill will be more than eight hours of track action from the ever-growing Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge. Marking the second stop on the calendar for the low cost endurance series, the C1 Challenge heads to Pembrey looking to build on the success of its 2018 curtain-raiser, a first-ever 24hr race at Rockingham.

With more than 50 cars and 200 drivers competing at the event, the season-opener was a significant step forward from the 15 car entry that took to the track for its maiden meeting the year previous.

For this weekend, another bumper entry list has been confirmed and Saturday will see a bulk of the action take place. Kicking things off with a 60-minute qualifying session, a five hour endurance race will then round out the days track action.

Sunday will also see a feast of C1 competition too with a 50-minute shootout for pole position followed up by a shorter two hour race.

The Classic VW Cup has been another category to benefit from going from strength-to-strength this year, with a 20-car entry list competing last time out at Brands Hatch.

Bringing together some of the most iconic models of the Volkswagen brand onto one track, all manner of machines compete in the series – all of them proving to be highly competitive too.

With two events in the books already, the likes of Ken Lark, Daniel Rose, Brad Kaylor and Scott Fletcher are the notable drivers to keep a watchful eye on.

The BARC Saloon Series and Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge will also share a grid for the third time this year and will undoubtedly serve up plenty of high-octane thrills.

Open to drivers wanting to compete in the saloon car of their choice, BARC Saloons is the newest addition to the Club’s championship portfolio and it has been a smash-hit thus far. Boasting a diver range of cars that compete, Craig Rainer in his Ford Escort RS2000, Matt Ellis in his Citroen Saxo VTR and Paul Foreman in his Volkswagen Golf are just a handful of entrants to look out for.

Elsewhere in the VTEC Challenge, fans of the popular Japanese marque are in for a treat as some of the most iconic models from the brand go wheel-to-wheel. Double Brands Hatch race winner Ben Rushworth, as well as nearest challengers Robert Burkinshaw and Benjamin Griffiths have bene the benchmark drivers this year and could well shine once again, this time in South Wales.

In addition to the BARC action, a pair of races from the Welsh Racing Drivers Association is also set to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

BTCC shootout set for Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of 60th Anniversary celebrations

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will continue its Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, with a thrilling BTCC shootout set to be staged.

In-keeping with the series’ 60th Anniversary, the four-day event (July 12-15) will see some of the current stars of the championship duke it out for bragging rights on the infamous Hill.

A shootout was last held at Goodwood in 2016 with 2013 champion Andrew Jordan emerging victorious at the wheel of his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST.

Jordan will return to compete once again this year, however this time he will be at the wheel of his West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M-Sport.

Also returning to the Festival will be three-time champion Matt Neal, who will pilot his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R, and Adam Morgan, who will drive his race-winning Ciceley Motorsport with MAC Tools Mercedes Benz A-Class.

Power Maxed Racing will be in action too with their rapid Vauxhall Astra to be driven either by Josh Cook or Senna Proctor. There will also be Festival of Speed debuts for Tom Ingram and Rob Austin as they drive their respective machines in the shootout too.

Alongside the BTCC shootout will be a celebration of some of the most iconic saloon cars to grace the UK’s top venues down the years.

Those attending will be able to see the iconic Alfa Romeo 155, Mini Cooper S, Volvo 850 Estate and the car which took Jack Sears to championship glory in the series’ inaugural year in 1958, the Austin A105.

In addition to the BTCC shootout, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is set to mark its own Silver Jubilee – with a feast of all things automotive set to dazzle the bumper crowd that is expected to attend.

BARC championships dazzle at Donington Park

The British Automobile Racing Club produced two days of memorising racing this past weekend (June 2/3) at Donington Park, with six championships in action.

On what was a scorching event both on and off the track, the Leicestershire-based venue proved to be a fitting backdrop for the latest chapter of championship action across all categories.

In the BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns, three high-octane encounters served up a feast of thrills ’n’ spills. At the wheel of his Mallock MK23, Clive Wood proved to be the driver to beat as he charged to a trio of victories – all by more than ten seconds.

As Wood emerged as the yardstick for those behind to beat, a host of contenders all picked up rostrum finishes. Ian Crombie, Monika Arvidsson, Peter Richings and Michael Mallock all secured silverware over the course of the weekend too.

Boasting an entry list of more than 20 iconic German machines, the Kumho BMW Championship delivered two action-packed races. In the opening encounter, James Card piloted his BMW M3 E46 to victory, a mere two seconds ahead of Piers Reid.

Missing out on top spot in race one, Reid made no mistake in the second bout of the weekend as he too drove his M3 to win, narrowly pipping Garrie Whittaker.

Dave Rees was perfection personified in the Mighty Minis Championship, bagging a brace of victories whilst Paul Roddison did the same in the Max5 Racing Championship. Roddison’s double further underlined his dominance in the one-make Mazda series as he extended his win tally to seven victories from eight races.

Fans of single seater racing were treated over the course of the weekend too virtue of the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship.

Winding the clock back to a bygone era of open-wheeled racing, both races delivered exhilarating entertainment and ultimately saw Benn Tilley steer his Merlyn Mk20 to victory in both races. Ben Tinkler and Nigel Lingwood could only watch on and occupy the remaining podium positions as Tilley added to his impressive record in 2018.

The Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship rounded off the action from the Club, bringing together some of the most iconic models from the much-loved marques.

Spoils were to be shared come the end of the weekend with Martin Willis in his MG F and Steve Darbey in his MG ZR taking a win apiece.

In addition to the BARC championship action, MSA British Superkarts also duked it out around the sweeping curves under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.

Motor sport legends turn back the clock as Thruxton looks firmly to the future

Thruxton Circuit marked its historic half-century in style last weekend (2/3 June), serving up a feast of high-octane entertainment for an appreciative, sun-kissed crowd in the presence of some of motor sport’s biggest names.

Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration feted five decades of the UK’s fastest motor racing circuit, with fans pouring through the gates of the popular Hampshire venue to lap up a bevy of retro races, spellbinding high-speed demonstration runs, spectacular aerial aerobatics from world-famous British Army parachute display team the Red Devils, live music and show-stopping fireworks.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate Thruxton’s past, present and future. The past was in evidence everywhere you looked, from the evocative single-seaters, sportscars and GTs out on the track to the eye-catching Williams F1 line-up in the paddock, including an ex-Keke Rosberg FW08C from 1983, Nigel Mansell’s famous ‘Red 5’ title-winner and the last of the sport’s six-wheelers, the groundbreaking FW08B – a car so rapid it was banned before it got chance to compete in anger.

The Rosberg car took to the circuit in the hands of ex-grand prix racer and current Channel 4 F1 pundit Karun Chandhok, whose last on-track appearance at Thruxton had been all the way back in 2003.

“I love Thruxton!” he enthused. “I remember competing here 15 years ago in Formula 3, and it’s still just as quick and still has plenty of character. I enjoy coming here because it’s different. A lot of other circuits all have the same characteristics, whereas because Thruxton is so fast-and-flowing, the racing is always fantastic with all the slipstreaming and it’s nice to go somewhere that’s got bumps and kerbs and camber in the road.

“Better still, I got to drive it in what is one hell of a piece of kit – and the first F1 car that Ayrton Senna ever tested. Its screaming DFV engine – pulling 9,800rpm in top gear – seemed to please everyone on the grass banks, and I certainly had a lot of fun!”

An ear-splitting Lola T70 and a raucous 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 added to the dynamic demos in the blazing summer sunshine, while another ‘blast from the past’ was the appearance of Robs Lamplough – who contested the 1968 European Formula Two Championship race at Thruxton, an event won by future F1 World Champion Jochen Rindt. Similarly in attendance was Duncan White, whose association with the circuit stretches back even further to the very first meeting 50 years ago, when he campaigned an 1140cc Austin Healey Sprite. He now marshals at Thruxton.

Thruxton Group Managing Director Bill Coombs donned his racing helmet and overalls to climb into the cockpit of a March 733 – the car in which Ian Taylor clinched the 1973 British F3 Championship. Taylor founded the Ian Taylor Motor Racing School, which subsequently became Thruxton Motorsport Centre in 1998.

The present was represented by two-wheeled aces Taylor Mackenzie and Iain Hopcroft aboard Ducati’s 1199 Panigale R and V4 Panigale, while Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship stars Rob Collard and Rob Austin thrilled spectators in their BMW 125i M Sport and Alfa Romeo Giulietta respectively. Current BTCC championship leader Adam Morgan, for his part, teamed up with Ric Wood to triumph in the entertaining HSCC Historic Touring Car Challenge / Tony Dron Trophy encounter.

The Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid Sports Prototype took pride of place in the paddock, and to whet the appetite ahead of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship’s visit to Thruxton next month (7/8 July), a thunderous Mercedes cab left fans awestruck as it danced around the circuit’s flat-out sweepers at scarcely conceivable speeds.

Fast forwarding into the future, two special guests dropped in on Sunday to perform the official opening ceremony for the new Thruxton Centre, a state-of-the-art hospitality facility that is set to transform Thruxton’s offering for racegoers and corporate guests. The honour fell to 1992 F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell and legendary motor sport commentator Murray Walker, both of whom were palpably delighted to return to a venue that holds many happy memories.

“It’s been a great privilege to be here at Thruxton with Murray – bless him, he still looks like he’s a teenager,” joked Mansell. “He’s ever the voice of motor sport and a great friend. It’s been a fantastic day for the fans, with superb weather and just a wonderful atmosphere.

“I remember Thruxton very fondly. It’s one of my favourite circuits, because it is very technical and a really demanding, ballsy place round the back with the bumps and the long corners, and the braver you are, the faster you can go. It’s one of the last circuits that has kept its identity, which is great.

“BARC have done a fabulous job to evolve, and I think the new Thruxton Centre is absolutely brilliant. What people don’t realise is just how much work has gone into it – it’s a great credit to the whole team, so congratulations to them all!”

“I enjoyed the day immensely,” echoed Walker. “It’s been lovely getting out and meeting so many people and seeing a lot of old friends. I first came to Thruxton in 1951, so I’ve got about 17 years’ advance on most people! They had motorcycle meetings back then, and I am a motorcycle man at heart and one of the greatest races I have ever seen was Geoff Duke on the works Norton and John Surtees on a self-built Vincent HRD Grey Flash battling for supremacy – the top man of international motorcycle racing against the young newcomer.

“Not only did I commentate here, but years later, I actually had Graham Hill in the box with me – you know, like a taxi driver that says, ‘I had so-and-so in the back of my cab’, I had Graham Hill and Colin Chapman in the box while I was commentating. Graham did a bit of co-commentating, and I was very pleased and proud afterwards when he said, ‘I didn’t realise it was as difficult as this!’

“Looking back, I can’t think of any other track that has changed as little as Thruxton has – it’s the same now as I always remember it, which is one of its great strengths. Not only that, but it’s in this glorious rural setting in Hampshire, you get mammoth crowds and the racing is always good and varied – I’ve seen trucks here, I’ve seen touring cars, Formula 3, Formula 2, Formula 3000, Formula 5000, even a few Formula 1 cars. It’s just a great circuit.

“This fabulous new hospitality building is what Thruxton has really needed, and now it’s here, I’m sure the venue is going to go from strength-to-strength. Sponsors will want to come here, people will want to hold events here and it will all add to the lustre of Thruxton because there’s nothing people like more than to be made a fuss of. To be brought to a building like this and shown such terrific racing like the British Touring Car Championship or British Superbikes is something, I think, that will guarantee a bright future for the circuit.”

In evidence of the magnitude of the occasion, regional BBC and ITV crews both attended over the weekend, taking in some of the ‘terrific racing’ to which Walker alludes and capturing the memories of the great and the good who have competed at the circuit over the years. Thruxton Group Managing Director Bill Coombs said he was delighted with the success of the milestone event.

“What a wonderful weekend to celebrate our 50th Anniversary,” he enthused. “Thruxton has earned a legion of fans over the decades, and it was fantastic to see so many of them – from Nigel and Murray to people like Robs Lamplough and Duncan White – back here again to join in the festivities.

“That said, for me – and, I daresay, the crowds enjoying the summer sunshine on the banking and in the grandstand – the cars were the real stars of the weekend, and to see Formula 1 back at Thruxton was a truly memorable moment. The awesome sound and spectacle of the Williams FW08C is something I certainly won’t forget anytime soon.

“While our Anniversary Celebration harked back to the past, our focus moving forward is firmly on the future and the new Thruxton Centre is a signal of intent as we look to continually enhance our circuit and its facilities for forthcoming generations to enjoy. Here’s to the next 50 years!”

As a footnote, finally, the second ‘Spirit of Thruxton Single-Seater Race for the Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy’ saw Thruxton Circuit instructor Martin Bloss embody the spirit of going motor racing by claiming a brave fifth-place finish, less than 24 hours after rolling his FF2000 twice on the opening lap of Saturday’s contest.

Bloss’ mechanics worked through the night to repair the battered Van Diemen to enable its driver to make amends for his Saturday drama – proof, if ever it were needed, that the Spirit of Thruxton is still going strong, 50 years on.

For more on Thruxton’s race meetings and driving experiences, visit: www.thruxtonracing.co.uk

Pembrey Circuit launches new rallycross layout

Rallycross at Pembrey Circuit is set to be bigger and better than ever before moving forward following the completion of a new track configuration – aimed at providing even closer racing and giving fans the opportunity to see more of the action trackside.

Having implemented a raft of changes in recent years at the South Wales-based venue, including a new rhythm of tarmac to provide a second track layout for cars and bikes, improvements to the rallycross course have been high on the agenda.

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

The start line, which previously was on the main pit straight, has been moved to just before the pedestrian crossing – allowing grids to form as soon as one race finishes.

From there, cars will head through Senna’s before heading into a new left-handed turn titled Toyo’s, immediately tackling the Brooklands Hairpin straight after.

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 of the start instead.

The new layout was trialled at the recent BTRDA Clubmans Rallycross Championship meeting in May and will be used for the two-day Too Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship event on June 23/24.

Phil Davies, Pembrey Circuit Manager, said: “Over the past few years we have done a lot of work on improving the venue from both a competitor and spectator point of view, all of which has been hugely beneficial to both.

“For some time we have been looking at what we could do to ensure that rallycross reaches new heights not only in Wales but the UK as a whole, and the changes we have now made I feel reflect that.

“Moving the start line towards the crossing and the second half of the lap firmly into the middle of the circuit not only ensures that the racing will be even closer but also that the fans can see every second of the action – especially as there is a lot of it in rallycross!

“From the racing we have already seen on the new layout, it has proved to be very popular and I’m looking forward to seeing many more races take place on it as the years goes on.

“I have to thank the hard work everyone at Pembrey has put in to ensure we take this next step, as well as Driven International for all of their technical support.”

For more information on Pembrey Circuit and the events being staged there during the 2018 season, click – here.

MotoFest Coventry ready to roar into life in city centre

Competitive motorsport is will return to the streets of the UK this weekend (June 2/3) as the Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry delivers a glittering array of star cars, bikes and competitors to Coventry City Centre.

Running for the fifth year in succession, the two day event is draw in a big crowds as it blends motorsport competition and demonstrations, static displays, live music and anything else with a connection to Coventry and transport together.

Carving a unique circuit out of Coventry’s ring road, a series of time trials will take place thanks to new legislation and a licence being granted by the Motor Sports Association (MSA).

The event will mark the first time that competitive motorsport has been hosted on a UK city centre circuit since the Birmingham Superprix in 1990, with organisers having worked closely with the MSA, Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) and Coventry City Council.

Made up of competitors from various British Automobile Racing Club championships, the sprint is set to garner substantial interest by those in attendance.

Elsewhere across the two days will also be a host of demonstrations and iconic machines on display, ensuring that the locals can get closer to the action than ever before.

As event sponsors, Power Maxed will have a major presence and will bring along their Vauxhall Astra’s that have enjoyed great success in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season already, giving Josh Cook and Senna Proctor a win each. Both will be in attendance too to meet fans and hit the roads.

The Fueltopia Action Arena is not to be missed either as it stages the latest round of the Fueltopia Formula G Championship and lots of close-quarter action from Legends.

Around the venue live music and culture as well as hospitality is set to ensure that this years MotoFest Coventry event is the biggest and best yet.

BARC championships set to dazzle at Donington Park

The British Automobile Racing Club heads to Donington Park this weekend (June 2/3) with six championships set to produce plenty of wheel-to-wheel thrills as they continue their 2018 campaigns.

With summer approaching and events coming thick and fast, this visit to the Leicestershire-based venue for some will mark the second half of the season – igniting title battles even further.

Having been in action just last weekend, the Max5 Racing Championship descends on Donington Park for another two races this weekend with it all to play for. Marking the fourth stop on the calendar, the multi-class category has served up plenty of entertainment thus far.

Paul Roddison enters the event as the man to beat having won five of the six races already. Winning five in-a-row, the series veteran saw his winning streak come to an end at Anglesey last time out as Jeremy Shipley took the chequered flag. Keen to strike back with further triumphs, Roddison will be one to watch however Shipley, Matthew Tidmarsh, Richard Smith and Josh Malin are set to all be in the mix.

The BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns will be in action for the second time this season over the course of the weekend too. Kicking off their campaign at Brands Hatch, the popular prototype series is never short of producing close racing.

Mark Charteris, Steve Dickens and Michelle Hayward all took class victories around the Indy layout last month and the trio will be looking to add to their ever-growing silverware collections under the flightpath of East Midlands airport this weekend.

Small in size but packing a real punch on-track, the Mighty Minis Championship will undoubtedly be deliver a host of edge-of-the-seat moments. Boasting a bumper grid made up of the iconic car, Donington Park marks the halfway point in the season and it is all to play for.

In the more powerful Super Mighty Mini class wins have gone the way of Stuart Combes, Lee Polman, Greg Jenkins, Damien Harrington and Alex Comis – making picking a winner for outright glory at this event almost impossible to choose from.

Elsewhere in the Mighty Mini class, the likes of Seven Kirkpatrick, Scott Kendall and Jo Polley have all been the leading lights and each will be looking to add to their impressive 2018 resumes.

There will be a diverse range of machinery in the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship as it too reaches the halfway stage of the season. Events at Oulton Park, Rockingham and Snetterton have set the tone already, with the likes of Jim Baynam, Stuart Plotnek and David Mellor as the perennial contenders to look out for.

Fans of single seater racing will be well catered for over the course of the weekend too via the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Taking a trip down memory lane of the once popular category, the jaw-dropping machines of yesteryear continue to spark great racing.

Mike Gardner, Mark Armstrong, Benn Tilley, Adriano Mederios and more have all tasted success this year and will be looking to do so once again.

Capping off the BARC competition will be a pair of races from the Kumho BMW Championship. Bringing the best models from the German manufacturer together onto one grid, the series has continued to keep going from strength-to-strength with Colin Wells, Ian Crisp and Russell Dack are three of just many drivers that have made their mark this year.

In addition to the feast of BARC action, the British Superkarts will also be in action around the sweeping curves of Donington Park.

Thruxton Circuit geared up to celebrate 50th Anniversary in style

Thruxton Circuit is set to mark its 50th Anniversary in style this weekend (June 2/3) with two days of iconic races, mesmerising displays, jaw-dropping off track attractions and famous faces all set to feature.

The first motorsport event to be held at the home of the British Automobile Racing Club in its current guise took place in 1968 and since then, the Hampshire venue has welcomed all manner of machinery, all of them making an indelible mark.

One of the very few circuits in the UK that has remained untouched, all five decades of Thruxton will be showcased during the weekend on what is set to be a spirited trip down memory lane.

Part of that visit to yesteryear will come from the bumper 13-race programme that has been put together which encompasses a wide range of illustrious machines that have starred at the venue down the years.

Action from the Historic Touring Car Challenge/Tony Dron Trophy, Spirit of Thruxton Single-Seater Race for the Jochen Rindt Memorial Trophy, RAC Woodcote Trophy/Stirling Moss Trophy, Ian Taylor Trophy Race for HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship, HSCC Guards Trophy, M7RC Mini Se7en Championship and M7RC Mini Miglia Championship are set to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

Away from the racing there will be a host of eye-catching demonstration runs, all of which will be out to steal the show. Formula 1 will return to Thruxton for the first time since 1993 to top the demo run billing as Karun Chandhok takes the reins of the flame-spitting Williams FW08C, the 540kg, 530bhp Ford Cosworth DFV V8 powered car that Keke Rosberg drove in 1983.

The last time a Formula 1 car tackled the sweeping bends of Thruxton was when Damon Hill drove the title-winning Williams FW15C 25 years ago, clocking a stunning average speed of 147.25mph.

Other machines that will take to the track include a Lola T70, March 721g, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford GT and a host of motorcycles from different eras.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will also have a presence too with old and new machines turning a wheel; Rob Austin and Rob Collard in the machines they currently compete in whilst James and Anita Dodd pilot a Honda Accord and Nissan Primera, two icons of Super Touring.

The array of stunning machines don’t just stop on the track however with a wealth of much-loved static cars on display. In addition to the Rosberg Formula 1 machine, Williams will also showcase the famous ‘Red 5’ of Nigel Mansell that powered him to championship glory in 1992, the unique six-wheeled FW08B and the FW38 – the teams 2016 car.

Porsche’s last hurrah in the FIA World Endurance Championship – the stunning technical marvel that is the 919 Hybrid Sports Prototype – will join the likes of the Aston Martin GTE, Ford GT40 and much more.

Mansell himself will be in attendance too and will be joined my Murray Walker as they both officially open the brand-new, state-of-the-art £2 million Thruxton Centre at 12:00 noon on Sunday.

Beyond all of the track and paddock attractions there is set to be even more entertainment taking place around the venue across both days.

Coach rounds around the circuit, car club reunions, live music and fireworks on Saturday, as well as a funfair will ensure there is fun for all of the family. One eye should also be fixed on the skies on Sunday morning as the world-famous British Army parachute display team the Red Devils will perform their thrilling, adrenaline-fuelled aerial choreography over the circuit.

It is set to be a fitting way to mark five decades of Thruxton and it will also serve as the perfect start to the next 50 years as well.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the gate from £15.00 on Saturday, £20.00 on Sunday and £24.00 for the whole weekend.

Classic Touring Cars and Coupe Cup serve up feast of action at Mallory Park

The British Automobile Racing Club’s bank holiday Monday (May 28) visit to Mallory Park proved to be a memorable one as the Classic Touring Car Championship and Hyundai Coupe Cup produced plenty of wheel-to-wheel thrills.

Basking under the bright sunshine, both categories dually entertained those in attendance as ten action-packed races were run on the day.

A majority of the encounters came from the Classic Touring Car Championship, which boasted bumper and diverse grids – of which some were amalgamated together.

The MRF Classic & Historic Thunder Saloons & Burton Power Blue Oval Saloon Series saw Dale Gent score a brace of victories at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza, each by more than six seconds to his nearest rival, which was Adrian Hawkins on both occasions.

Ray West notched a double of his own as he piloted his BMW M3 to two wins in the Envirotec Pre 93, YourITMan Pre 03 & Toyo Tires Pre 05 Touring Cars races. Steve Barden and Simon Ward were the nearest challengers to West in the end, each taking a second and third place finish each.

There was a win apiece for Alan Greenhalgh and David Heale in the two Paul Inch Pre 66 Classic Saloon & Historic Touring Cars races whilst Mark Osboure and Stephen Primett banked a victory each in the Pre 83 Group 1 Touring Cars races.

In the Hyundai Coupe Cup, spoils were shared between Steve Kite and Alex Cursley. Entering the weekend as the man to beat, winning a majority of the races from behind the wheel of his Misty Racing machine, Kite further established himself as the dominant force.

Qualifying third behind Cursely and fellow front-runner Wayne Rockett, Kite scythed his way to the front of the field, bringing the aforementioned duo with him. As the top three scrapped to the chequered flag, Kite held on to score another victory whilst Rockett and Cursely followed.

A mere 0.639s separated the trio as they crossed the line, with the next driver on the road trailing them by more than 12 seconds.

Race two saw Cursely finally land his maiden win of the 2018 campaign. Like Kite, Cursely started the race from the second row of the grid but was not to be denied as he stormed to the front of the field, and on to victory, with less than a second covering himself, Kite and Rockett by the end of it all.

For the full classification of results, click here.

The Classic Touring Car Championship is next in action at Rockingham on June 16 whilst the Hyundai Coupe Cup visits the same venue on August 4.

BARC produces all-out action at Anglesey

A trio of British Automobile Racing Club championships travelled to North Wales this past weekend (May 26/27) for what turned out to be a memorable two days of frenetic action at Anglesey Circuit.

Renowned for its picturesque views and the unique challenge it provides driver and car, Anglesey proved to be a fitting backdrop to the latest chapter of several categories.

As the BARC North Western Centre’s flagship series, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship was back on track and boasting another capacity entry list, this time fielding grids of more than 20 cars.

Despite a variety of machines making up the grid, there was no change at the top of the timesheet as Paul Rose further asserted himself as the man to beat.

At the wheel of his Saker RAPX S1-400, Rose scored a sensational hat-trick whilst Steve Harris could only look on in awe, unable to stop the championship leader. David Harvey and Oliver Thomas were the other competitors to make their way to the rostrum, albeit they struggled to keep on terms with the unstoppable Rose.

There was no shortage of drama from the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres, with six races keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Stephen Whitelegg and John Mickel shared the spoils in Saturday’s two races before multiple champion Mickel went on to win the final, further strengthening his position at the summit of the championship standings.

On Sunday, the day arguably belonged to Jordan O’Brien who hounded Miles Rudman in the opening race to finish second. From then on however, O’Brien couldn’t be stopped as he charged to victory in race two before replicating his performance in the final.

With the Scottish and Irish Legends also competing over the course of the weekend, the battle

Rounding off the BARC action was a pair of races from the Max5 Racing Championship. Having dominated every round that had been run so far, Paul Roddison took yet another race win in the opening 20-minute encounter before Jeremy Shipley stopped the latters run with a win of his own.

In addition to the BARC championships, there was also on-track action from the Scottish Mini Championship and Scottish Fiesta Championship.