Julian Godfrey dominates BRX season-opener at Silverstone

The Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship roared into life this past Sunday (March 24) at Silverstone with five-time champion Julian Godfrey setting his stall out as the man to beat, dominating proceedings to take victory.

Having narrowly missed out on capturing a sixth crown to Mark Higgins last year, Godfrey proved to be a tour-de-force behind the wheel of his Spencer Sport-run Mitsubishi Mirage.

With both Ollie O’Donovan and Oliver Bennett both early retirements during the meeting, the baton feel to Irish Rallycross champion Derek Tohill and former title winner Pat Doran to displace Godfrey at the summit of the times.

Taking a clean sweep across all three qualification races, Godfrey’s unstoppable charge continued in the final as he showed his rivals a clean set of heels, ultimately pipping Tohill by more than two seconds – Doran ultimately rounded out the podium.

Behind the top three; Steve Hill, Mike Manning and Steve Mundy capped off the list of finishers to bring a close on a pulsating opening event for the Supercar category.

In the Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship, Luke Constantine kicked his 2019 campaign off on the right foot with a clinical performance to take victory ahead of Patrick O’Donovan and Roberts Vitols.

The Motorsport UK Supernational Rallycross Championship had a familiar feel to it as former champion Tristan Ovenden underlined why he is still the man to beat with a flawless drive to take the chequered flag in the final. At the wheel of his Renault Clio V6, Ovenden reigned supreme as he led Jack Thorne and Peter McGarry around the Northamptonshire-based venue.

David Bell, another series veteran, savoured success at Silverstone too as he clinched honours in the BMW MINI Rallycross Championship whilst Dominic Flitney did the same in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship.

Capping off the list of winners from the opening round of the season was Steve Harris and Brett Harris, who won the OBP Motorsport Retro Rallycross Championship and RX150 Championship respectively.

To view the full results from all classifications, click here.

The Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship heads to Lydden Hill next for what is set to be a blockbuster bank holiday race day on April 22.

Legends Cars Championship announces full-season TV package

Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres is set to mark a milestone year with unrivalled television coverage, with one-hour shows confirmed for all 14 events.

Produced by Digitex Television and with Richard John Neil on commentary once again, all 42 races will be filmed – providing the definitive story as the season unfolds and thus ensuring that the championship offers the widest ever exposure for teams, drivers and commercial partners.

A key sponsorship partnership with 24hr Solutions will mean that the series will be broadcast in the UK, Europe and America through a variety of platforms including Amazon Prime UK, Amazon Prime USA, Front Runner and BARC TV.

Phil Cooper, Legends Cars owner, said: “We are absolutely elated to have been able to put together such a fantastic package of television and online coverage for the Legends Cars this year, by far the most extensive offering we’ve ever been able to provide, thanks to the partnership with Phil Turner and 24hr Solutions. We’re extremely grateful to 24hr Solutions for their outstanding support.

“Of course, we’re all very much looking forward to working with Barry Welch and his team at Digitex who have done a terrific job for us in recent seasons and, it goes without saying, we’re delighted Richard John Neil will be taking care of commentary duties – what he doesn’t know about Legends isn’t worth knowing!”

Speaking on the Legends Cars TV deal, 24hr Solutions’ Phil Turner said: “As a business owner you always aspire to provide the best service, the best branding, to be the best at all endeavours, so when the opportunity to sponsor such a great TV motor racing deal with Legends presented itself, it was one to snatch quickly! 

“Working with Phil Cooper is always a pleasure, we entered Team 247 last year in support of Help for Heroes, with great support from Phil, and this new sponsorship deal just highlights the family atmosphere of the pitlane in the Legends Cars National Championship.”

An Easter extravaganza on April 21/22 at Brands Hatch will mark the start of the 2019 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season. 

Ciceley Motorsport adds reigning JSCC champion to driver development scheme

Race-winning British Touring Car Championship outfit Ciceley Motorsport have set about finding the next generation of motorsport talent by launching a driver development scheme, with reigning Junior Saloon Car Champion Lewis Saunders its first signing.

Becoming a force to be reckoned with in the BTCC with Adam Morgan in recent years, the Lancashire-based squad will help Saunders in all aspects of racing during the forthcoming campaign.

Stepping into the JSCC last year, Saunders was a tour-de-force as he swept the competition away, clinching five victories and a total of 14 podiums – leading him to becoming the youngest ever JSCC champion.

In addition Saunders was also awarded The Peter Collins Trophy, bestowed upon the most successful newcomer, by the British Automobile Racing Club for his performances during 2018.

Commenting on the addition of Saunders, Morgan said: “I am really looking forward to working with Lewis, he is clearly already very talented and an accomplished race car driver, he will be joining me at as many British Touring Car Rounds as he is able to attend and I will begin teaching him how to interpret data, watching how I work with my engineer Marco Calovolo which will be invaluable to Lewis later in his career.

“Lewis smoked them all last year and he drives with a maturity well beyond his years, he starts this year’s campaign as red hot favourite, his car, like ours, has been immaculately prepared by his dad and that’s the same way I started out, they absolutely love their racing.”

Norman Burgess, Ciceley Commercial Director, continued: “Lewis is exactly what we have been looking for rapid, driven, committed, focused and passionate. Adam will help take care of any help he might need on track and my job will be to raise his profile and help to secure sponsorship and further opportunities, it’s been a pleasure to get to know both Lewis and his dad Ralph and he fits into our team dynamic perfectly.

“We at Ciceley Motorsport are on the rev limiter this season with our BTCC, TCR and GT commitments but when the chance of signing Lewis came up, it was too good an opportunity for us to miss, we are as excited about our association with him as we are any of our other projects.”

“I am incredibly grateful to Adam, Norman, Russell and the team at Ciceley Motorsport, for the opportunity they are giving me,” added Saunders. “I will work hard to repay their faith in me.”

Saunders begins the defence of his Junior Saloon Car Championship title at Oulton Park this Saturday (March 23).

British Rallycross Championship revved up for Silverstone curtain-raiser

The Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship will roar into life this Sunday (March 24) with Silverstone playing host to what is expected to be an edge of the seats 2019 season-opener.

Providing thrills and spills at almost every turn last year, the championship is aiming to scale new heights as it embarks on another pulsating campaign which will see four venues visited over the course of the year.

Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins clinched the 2018 title however the reigning champion won’t be on the grid for the opening round. Instead, many eyes will be focused on former champions Ollie O’Donovan and Julian Godfrey, both of whom narrowly missed out on beating Higgins last year.

Bidding to become a six-time champion, Godfrey returns behind the wheel of the Mitsubishi Mirage he campaigned last year, whilst O’Donovan will pilot his striking yellow Ford Fiesta.

Former British champions Pat Doran and Steve Mundy will also line up on the grid at the Northamptonshire venue. Elsewhere many will be keen to see how Irish champion Derek Tohill gets on in his Fiesta.

Rounding out the grid for the opening round of the season in the Supercar category will be Liam and Mike Manning, Steve Hill and World Rallycross competitor Oliver Bennett.

Whilst the Supercar class is set to be the main event, the British Rallycross Championship once again has a feast of supporting categories too, including the Motorsport UK Supernational Championship and Motorsport UK Junior Rallycross Championship.

Notable names to look out for across both championships include Paul Coney, Tristan Ovenden, Paige Bellerby, and the Constantine brothers, James and Luke.

Elsewhere the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship, BMW Mini Rallycross Championship, Retro Rallycross Championship and RX150 Championship will all be in action too.

To ensure you don’t miss a second of the action this weekend, head to the official event page here.

Oulton Park primed to welcome four BARC championships

The British Automobile Racing Club will head to Cheshire this Saturday (March 23) with four championships kick-starting their 2019 campaigns around the infamous Oulton Park International layout.

Serving as the traditional starting point for the Club’s North West Centre, who organise and run the race meeting, Oulton Park has become renowned down the years for producing exhilarating action whenever the BARC is in town.

That theme looks likely to continue as months of preparation and anticipation comes to fruition for the Junior Saloon Car Championship, Classic Touring Car Championship, CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship and Kumho BMW Championship.

Providing a clear path into motorsport for drivers aged 14 to 17, the Junior Saloon Car Championship has become a force to be reckoned with in recent years, with 2019 set to arguably be one of the strongest yet for the single-make series.

Reigning champion Lewis Saunders enters the year as the teenager to beat as he bids to become the first JSCC racer to score back-to-back titles. The challenges however will come from all angles with Ben Kasperczak and Scott McIntyre leading the list of returning drivers.

The day’s two races will also feature a host of new faces, all of whom will be making their first foray into car racing. Of those on the entry list, recent Scholarship winner Harry Rice will one many will be keeping a keen eye on.

Fans of saloon cars from yesteryear will be well catered for as the Classic Touring Car Championship also kicks off their campaign with a raft of races. Once again providing a variety of different classes, all of which span different decades, the series will hit the track for six races over the course of the day, with edge-of-the-seat thrills predicted in each.

Notable names to keep an eye include the long list of 2018 champions such as Stephen Primett, Steve Barden and Piers Grange, all of whom were in fine form when the championship last took to the track.

The BARC North West Centre’s flagship series, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship will also hit the track over the course of the day as they lift the curtain on their 2019 campaign. A popular fixture on the calendar for the championship, this weekend marks the first of three visits to Oulton Park

Open to a whole host of cars, variety really is the spice of life when it comes to the CNC Heads and it is a championship that was dominated by Paul Rose last year. With Rose having moved onto pastures new for this season, the door is open for a new driver to step under the spotlight, with James Cryer and Richard Wood just two season veterans to look out for.

Capping off the action will be a pair of races from the Kumho BMW Championship. Showcasing the very best machines built by the German manufacturer, the series will add another chapter with its illustrious history this year as it continues to go from strength to strength.

With a blend of returning and new faces set to line up on the grid, picking not only an outright race winner but also class winners has never been more difficult.

For more information on this Saturday’s Oulton Park event, head to the official race meeting page here.

C1 Racing Series kicks off 2019 season with a splash at Croft

The British Automobile Racing Club’s kicked off its 2019 motorsport season with a splash this past weekend as the Distrigo Parts Distribution C1 Racing Series starred at Croft Circuit.

After months of preparation and anticipation, exhilarating wheel-to-wheel action finally returned with two frenetic two-hour encounters taking place around what turned out to be a rain-hit North Yorkshire venue.

Serving as an ample opportunity to clock mileage before the C1 Racing Series’ 24-hour race around the Grand Prix layout of Silverstone in late April, a bumper grid of 33 cars duked it out for supremacy.

With rain battering the circuit throughout the day, qualifying threw up a pulsating affair as the Amigo Motorsport squad stormed to pole position. Made up of Rhys Lloyd and Matthew Dawson, the Amigo trio set a best time of 2:04.768 to pip Kraken Motorsport to top spot by just 0.015.

Despite starting on the front row Amigo Motorsport were unable to convert their pole position start into victory as McAttack Racing took the spoils. With Simon Walker-Hansell leading the charge in their C1 machine, McAttack hit the front within the first hour of the race and didn’t look back from there onwards.

Completing a total of 69 laps, the McAttack outfit crossed the line 1:43.915 ahead of their nearest challengers Team Merlin International, whilst also lapping up to fifth place at least once. Rounding out the top three was pole sitters Amigo Motorsport.

Riding high off the success from earlier in the day, McAttack Racing were unable to make it back-to-back victories as Amigo Motorsport struck back to earn an impressive win.

Guiding their C1 to a total of 81 laps ahead of Team Merlin International, the Amigo team proved to be in a league of their own as they put a lap on everyone but their nearest challengers.

With the 2019 season now underway, the Distrigo Parts Distribution C1 Racing Series heads to the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, on April 26/27/28.

To view the full classification of results from Croft, click here.

UK Sports Prototype Cup introduces new class at selected rounds

The UK Sports Prototype Cup has confirmed that it will introduce a new ‘Sports Prototype Open’ class at selected rounds of its inaugural season in 2019.

Launching with the aim of providing a multi-marque racing environment for lightweight sports prototype, the category will already play host to the BARC Radical SR3 Trophy and Revolution Race Series this year.

The Sports Prototype Open class will provide an opportunity for a diverse range of lightweight sports cars to compete in additional longer distance races alongside their own official championship commitments.

Cars as diverse as Sports 2000, Sports 1000, Clubmans, Kitcars, Caterham Sevens and the Radical SR1 will all be eligible to compete.

“Since announcing the Cup, we have had many enquiries from owners of other sports cars who are interested in our generous track time,” said Championship Promoter James Bailey. “We expect over 15 cars to compete in the first year of the main Cup, but on the longer circuits we have the ability to accommodate additional cars.

“There are some championships that don’t get the opportunity to race on the longest versions of these circuits, particularly the Silverstone Grand Prix layout. The Sports Prototype Open also provides racers with the chance to experience an endurance race format on four great circuits in addition to competing in their main championship.”

The class will feature at Silverstone in late April before then tackling Donington Park, Snetterton and Oulton Park.

For more information on the BARC’s newest championship to hit the track this year as well as entry forms, head to https://www.sportsprototypecup.com/open-class.

Vital Equipment to fuel Legends Anniversary season

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres has confirmed that racing fuel specialist Vital Equipment have been named as the brand new supplier for the forthcoming 2019 season.

In what is a milestone year for the series as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary, the championship has further strengthened its position within the UK motorsport landscape with this deal.

With more than a decades worth of experience in the safe and efficient supply of racing fuels, Vital Equipment will provide all teams and competitors with Careless Hiperflo fuel for the entirety of the coming campaign.

Vital Equipment Managing Director, Alistair Roberts, said: “We are delighted to be adding the highly successful and popular Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres to the growing list of motorsport championships we are working with. We look forward to meeting all the Legends teams and supporting them throughout the season.”

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Vital Equipment ahead of our 25th anniversary season and very much looking forward to working together through, what will certainly be, another outstanding season for the championship,” added Legends Cars owner Phil Cooper. 

“Vital has a lot of experience, within the UK and around the world, with the supply of racing fuel and it’s very important for Legends Cars competitors to be able to benefit from such a service. We always strive for the most level playing field we can, and the deal with Vital is a key part of that.” 

The opening round of the 2019 Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season gets underway at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend on April 21/22, with six pulsating encounters scheduled to take place around the Indy circuit.

BARC launches brand new striking website look

On the eve of the British Automobile Racing Club’s 2019 motorsport season roaring into life at Croft Circuit, the Club is delighted to unveil its brand new website.

Having been in the pipeline for a number of months, the Club has worked closely with creative website design, branding and marketing agency MOJO Media to deliver a striking new online look.

Overhauling the Club’s previous website, this new website allows for a smoother and more intuitive user experience. In addition, it enables users to navigate their way through the site with, jumping from membership to how to get further involved in motorsport for example with ease.

Delivering a fully responsive experience, the new website also gives users a seamless transition across devices – be it PC, tablet or mobile phone – and all quickly and easily.

The new site retains a majority of the same content as its predecessor, albeit comprehensively revamped, with in-depth championship and event information pages showcasing all you need to know about both.

Chris Ashby, BARC Multimedia Communications Co-ordinator, said: “This new website has been a really fantastic project to work on alongside MOJO Media and to see the culmination of an enormous amount of work behind the scenes come to fruition is something everyone can be proud of.

“The BARC is always striving to improve and the addition of a brand new bespoke website allows us to do just that from an online perspective. Over the past few years we have raised our profile via our social media channels and introducing this new website is the latest stage in our ongoing aim of being the best there is.”

The BARC’s new website will be regularly updated with news, features and reports on all of the Club’s championship, events, venues, centres and much more, with visitors encouraged to go and explore it.

Champions of 2018 honoured at star-studded BARC Awards Evening

On what is one of the marque events of the BARC calendar each year, the best of UK motorsport came together in February for a night of celebrations at the prestigious BARC Championship Awards Evening.

Returning to the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth after a solitary year away, more than 200 drivers, marshals, officials and leading BARC figures were collectively in attendance during the evening, hosted once again by the superlative Alan Hyde.

Leading the illustrious list of winners was British Touring Car Championship victor Colin Turkington, who’s title-winning West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M-Sport took pride of place in the main room.

Elsewhere at the venue Stuart Coombs’ Mighty Mini, Lewis Saunders’s Junior Saloon Car and Jon Curry’s Caterham were also on display for all to see, turning heads and drawing plenty of attention throughout the night.

With a mesmerising and deserving list of champions being honoured throughout the evening, those in attendance also had the opportunity to look back on some of the best bits from each championship too.

Alongside the customary championship awards were a further three secret accolades, all of which were handed out to unsuspecting winners. The Densley Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding female driver in the BARC, went the way of BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns CSP2 champion Michelle Hayward, who delivered an emphatic performance throughout the 2018 campaign.

The Peter Collins Memorial Trophy, which is bestowed upon the most promising newcomer competing at BARC events during the year was awarded to Lewis Saunders, who stole the show in the Junior Saloon Car Championship.

Max5 Racing champion Paul Roddison meanwhile scooped The Presidents Cup, presented to the most successful driver competing below International level after producing an astonishing performance in 2018 on the way to the title.

Two marshals also shared the spotlight on the night too as Dave Hodgson picked up the coveted BARC Marshal of the Year award. Meanwhile Ken Watts lifted The Sir Clive Bossom Trophy virtue of completing the most volunteering days over the course of 2018, 30 in total.

Capping off the list of winners was Sonny Howard, who was awarded with the coveted Gerry Marshall Trophy. Bestowed upon a driver or BARC member that the BARC believes epitomises Gerry Marshall’s philosophy to motorsport, with Howard fitting the bill perfectly.

Having been a significant force behind the Pickup Truck Racing Championship and a variety of other BARC categories as well, Howard was honoured for his outstanding service to motorsport – upon which he has always gone above and beyond to serve down the years.

Passing comment on a momentous evening of celebrations, BARC Chief Operating Officer Drew Furlong said: “The annual BARC Championship Awards Evening is always a memorable night and a fitting way to celebrate those who succeeded last year.

“The 2018 season proved to be another spectacular year for the Club and its championships with an abundance of edge-of-the-seat thrills and entertainment being provided throughout.

“Returning to Chesford Grange, having cars on site was a fantastic touch and they all looked fantastic situated around the venue. Every award was richly deserved and the evening has set us up to kick the 2019 season off in fine style in roughly a months time.

In addition to the prize-giving, a total of £1860 was raised and donated on the night to the BARC Marshals and Rescue Fund.

BARC kicks off 2019 season in style at Autosport Show International

The British Automobile Racing Club kicked off the 2019 motorsport season in style this past week with a successful four days at the Autosport Show International.

Serving as the perfect launchpad to lift the curtain on another year of motorsport, tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans descended on the NEC Arena in Birmingham for the event.

Showcasing a brand new vibrant stand, the BARC once again flourished in the National Motorsport section as it welcomed drivers, marshals, officials, co-ordinators and fans to discuss plans for the forthcoming campaign across all four days.

Adorning the striking stand were a multitude of cars too, showcasing the diversity that the BARC offers when it comes to motorsport in the UK.

Ollie O’Donovan’s front-running Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship Ford Fiesta drew plenty of attention, as did vehicles from the Caterham Graduates Championship and Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge.

In addition, the British Superkarts Championship were also in attendance with a bespoke kart available for all to see.

Drew Furlong, BARC Chief Operating Officer, said: “The Autosport Show International has long been the traditional starting point for the motorsport season each year and the BARC has always enjoyed exhibiting there too.

“As always, this years show proved to be a huge success with lots of exciting announcements and meetings taking place across all four days. Our new stand certainly stood out from the crowd, as did the cars that were displayed on it as well.

“The 2019 season is shaping up to be another busy one for the Club with a raft of exciting championships and events all set to be played out. It is an exciting time for the BARC and we’re looking ahead to move forward.”

If you missed out on any of the big stories from the show then click here to catch up.

Bigger BTCC prize confirmed for milestone Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres will mark what will be a milestone season with an even bigger prize package for the 2019 campaign.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, the popular 5/8 scale series will continue its partnership with race-winning British Touring Car Championship outfit HMS Racing.

A ‘touring car experience’ will be awarded to at least 10 drivers come the end of the 2019 season, in-keeping with the revised qualifying format as of past seasons.

The top ten drivers in the overall points at the end of the penultimate event, staged at Pembrey, will be invited onto the specially arranged day. Should the lead rookie driver at that point of the season sit outside of the top ten, he/she will also be part of the prize.

Alongside high-speed passenger laps in the squad’s stunning Alfa Romeo with multiple BTCC race winner Rob Austin, the Legends Cars drivers will also get to see behind-the-scenes with HMS to understand the inner workings of a top touring car team, with hospitality also included.

Phil Cooper, Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner, said: “We’re delighted to begin our 25th anniversary year with this fantastic announcement here at the Autosport International Show.

“The partnership with HMS Racing is one we value immensely and to be able to offer 10, potentially 11, of our drivers the chance to experience a day with the team is tremendous.

“It will provide a wonderful opportunity for a much bigger number of Legends Cars competitors to see behind the scenes with HMS, and to also experience the full capability of the team’s incredible Alfa Romeo with Rob Austin at the wheel – he’s not bad in a touring car, so I hear…! Obviously, we’re incredibly grateful to Simon Belcher for his continued support.”

HMS Racing Team Principal Belcher added: “We’re very excited to be providing this touring car experience day to more drivers than ever before, particularly in Legends’ 25th anniversary year.

“Having the opportunity to sit alongside Rob [Austin] for some full-on hot laps, and then experiencing a full day with the team to see the inner workings of what we do, is a great opportunity and one hopefully everyone will enjoy.”