Porsche Carrera Cup GB stars at Monza

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB headed to Italy this past weekend (May 12/13) for rounds five and six of the season, with Dino Zamparelli and George Gamble sharing the spoils, taking a win apiece.

Taking to the iconic Autodromo Nazionale Monza, the 22-car field picked up where they left off at Donington Park late last month, producing a brace of breathtaking races.

Daniel Harper emerged as the man to beat in qualifying as he stormed to the top of the timesheets, ultimately never being beaten to score his maiden pole position.

Starting on the front row at the iconic venue, Harper was unable to convert his pole position into the lead as he dropped back to third at the start. Heading into the first gear chicane looking to regain second place, the Scholarship winner locked the wheels of his JTR machine and made contact with Lewis Plato.

With both cars strewn across the circuit, the incident inevitably triggered a multi-car pile-up, bringing out the safety car. Will Bratt and James Orton also found themselves in strife as they struggled to escarp the carnage.

Profiting from the first corner incident, Redline Racing’s Zamparelli resisted the challenges of Gamble and Tio Ellinas during the mid-point of the race. Beginning to stretch his advantage, Zamparelli was able to pull away from the chasing pack to become the first double winner of the 2018 campaign.

Further back, Ellinas finally broke Gamble’s resolute defence after the latter of the duo locked up heading into the final corner, handing the former second position on a plate. Tom Wrigley also benefited from Gamble’s mistake, securing the final step of the podium.

Despite missing out on the rostrum in race one, Gamble made no mistake in the second encounter of the weekend, taking a memorable victory.

In what was another enthralling battle for supremacy, the Team Parker Racing driver vaulted from third on the grid into the lead, ahead of team-mate Seb Perez and pole-sitter Esmee Hawkey.

Another early pile-up saw the safety car make another appearance but once the debris was clear, fans were treated to a frenetic spectacle.

Holding his lead over Perez at the restart, all eyes were on Ellinas and Zamparelli as they made their move on Hawkey, demoting her down the order. Zamparelli’s charge wasn’t done however as he soon slipped past Ellinas and Perez, moving into second place.

Being caught by the race one winner as the laps ticked by, Gamble ensured he hit his marks, making no mistakes, to go and clinch what was his second win of the season too.

For the full classification of results, click here.

Ten championships head to Brands Hatch for BARC bonanza

The British Automobile Racing Club is set for a blockbuster weekend (May 12/13) of racing at Brands Hatch as a total of ten different championships write the latest chapter in their 2018 campaigns.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series hits the track for the third time this season with reigning champion Ben Palmer firmly in control of the standings. Perfection personified so far, Palmer has won all four races and has shown no signs of letting up in the Race class. Simon Freeman and Ben Colburn are the champion’s nearest challengers and both will be looking to bring his winning run to an end.

In the Road category, Nic Harrison has enjoyed a similar level of dominance and he is also bidding to retain the title he won last year. Four wins from four races leaves James Joannou and Darren Geeraerts needing to fightback in Kent.

Providing a cost effective first step on the motorsport level for drivers aged between 14 to 17-years-old, the Junior Saloon Car Championship is set to dazzle those in attendance over the weekend. Already visiting Silverstone and Rockingham, the one-make tin top category sees Joel Wren leading the way after scoring a dominant double last time out, however Ben Kasperczak, who also netted a pair of wins at the curtain-raiser, is hot on his heels.

Peter Sparrows will look to extend his slender lead in the 2CV Parts.com Championship as the much-loved category heads to Brands Hatch. Emerging as the man to beat at Cadwell Park, Sparrows will look to further cement his status as the early pace setter, with reigning champion Lien Davies and Tom Perry in close proximity.

The BARC Clubmans Sport Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns will kick off a five-event season this weekend, with a healthy grid of cars. Front-engined sports racing cars that originated in Britain in 1965, the championship has become a stable of the BARC and this year’s crop of racers are set to put on a memorable show. Notable names to keep an eye on include Barry Webb, Peter Richings and Ben Mallock.

All three of the BARC South Eastern Centre championships will be in action over both days too, with it all to play for after their Easter season-opener. The BARC Modified Saloon Car Championship sees Adrian Bradley and Steve Rothery tied on points at the top of the standings whilst Rikki Taylor holds a slender advantage over Daniel Fisher in the BARC South East Tin Tops Championship. Expect fireworks from both categories as some of the most much-loved saloon cars do battle.

Elsewhere, Malcolm Blackman will be looking to continue his strong start to the year in the Scrapco Metal/Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship. Blackman swept his way to a pair of wins at Brands Hatch last month and is shaping up to be a formidable force at this early stage in the year.

Rounding off the bumper programme of racing around the Indy layout will be the BARC Saloon Series, Honda VTEC Challenge and Classic VW Cup. Amalgamating grids between themselves, this trio of categories have enjoyed a strong start to the 2018 campaign with bumper grids and a diverse range of cars competing.; all of which is set to continue here.

Britcar headlines BARC weekend at Silverstone

A handful of British Automobile Racing Club championships are set to make their mark this weekend (May 12/13) as they head to Silverstone.

Taking to the iconic Grand Prix circuit, four BARC categories will duke it out for supremacy with Britcar Endurance headlining with its vast array of machinery.

More than 35 cars are expected to contest the second event of the season, a 50-minute sprint race which is then later followed by the customary two-hour endurance encounter.

Blending the likes of Ferrari 458 GT3’s and Ginetta G50’s, amongst a host of other jaw-dropping cars, the championship has continued its meteoric rise over the past couple of years, with 2018 no different.

Arriving at the Northamptonshire-based venue, the Sprint category sees a host of drivers in early contention for outright honours. The Mercedes of Richard Neary scored two wins at Rockingham and will likely be a threat again whilst Ferrari duo David Mason and Ross Wylie will be keen to add to their silverware collections. Add into the mix the BMW of Mike Moss and Tom Howard and you begin to build a picture of how competitive this year’s crop of drivers is.

Elsewhere in the Endurance standings, Black Mamba Racing duo Andy Demetriou and Luke Williams will have their sights set on building on what was a dream opening weekend at the wheel of their Ginetta G55.

The APL Health Caterham Graduates Championship resumes during the weekend too after last racing in mid-March at Oulton Park. Another to boast a significant entry list, two 20-minute encounters, with all classes being amalgamated, will be run around Silverstone.

Notable names to look out for include Oliver Gibson, Lee Collins, Declan Dolan and Graeme Smith who lead the Sigmax, Sigma, Mega and Classic classes respectively.

Single seater action comes in the form of the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship, who are making their second visit to Silverstone this year. Bringing together some of the most desirable open-wheeled machines from yesteryear, the championship continues to produce edge-of-the-seat thrills.

Benn Tilley and Mike Gardner shared the spoils the last time the series hit the track and both will be keen to top the podium once again.

The Kumho BMW Championship is also set for action this weekend in what will also be their second event of the season. Roaring into life at Brands Hatch over the on Easter Sunday, the championship has once again attracted a big grid with drivers competing in all manner of models from the popular German manufacturer.

Colin Wells, Ian Crisp, Gareth Montgomery, Kevin Denwood and Russell Dack leading the long list of potential front runners to keep a watchful eye on.

Capping off the racing around the home of British motorsport will be the MSA British Superkarts Championship and Speed Group OSS Championship.

C1 Challenge set to make history at Rockingham with blockbuster 24hr race

The British Automobile Racing Club is set to play its part in a small piece of history at Rockingham this weekend (May 11/12/13) as the Corby circuit gets set to stage its first-ever 24hr race.

Having hosted a wide variety of events since opening in 2001, Rockingham will welcome the Trade Team C1 Challenge for three days of unmissable, wheel-to-wheel action.

Launching in 2017 with just a handful of cars, the C1 Challenge has become a phenomenon in UK motorsport, with grids having grown at a rapid rate. Giving drivers the opportunity to go endurance racing at a low-cost, the series is set for its biggest weekend to date at Rockingham.

A capacity 53-car entry list has been confirmed by organisers with a diverse range of drivers filling the seats across each team. Whilst some o

Notable names taking to the track include FIA World Endurance Championship racer Andy Priaulx, who will share a car with his son Sebastian, Richard Solomans and Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Series Director Alan Gow.

Recent BTCC race winner Josh Cook, former BTCC stars Anthony Reid and Lea Wood and Jade Edwards are just a handful of the other notable names that are competing. In total, 203 drivers will take to the track over the course of what is set to be a memorable 24hrs of competition.

Given the high demand to race in the 24hr race, an additional three-hour encounter is now also set to run on Saturday, with a capacity 35-car entry list confirmed for that as well.

Aside from the C1 Challenge, the Pickup Truck Racing Championship makes its first of four visits to Rockingham. Having raced around the venue for the past 15 years, this weekend will see the championship descend on the same circuit that the BTCC uses instead of the oval.

Boasting a 23-car entry for Saturday’s two races, all eyes will be on Lea Wood and whether he can extend his points lead at the summit of the standings. Winning both races at Brands Hatch and notching another victory at Croft, Wood holds a commanding lead in the standings and will be keen to add to his silverware collection this weekend.

Hot on his heels however will be defending champion Scott Bourne and David O’Reagan, both of whom also triumphed at Croft last time. Throw into the mix the likes of Mark Willis, Dale Gent and Paul Tompkins, to name a few, and it is set to be an intriguing two races around the ISSC configuration.

Britain’s premier motor racing championship poised for high-speed thriller at Thruxton

Thruxton will be the next port of call for what is already proving to be a Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship campaign to remember, with 32 of the best tin-top stars set to take on the UK’s fastest race circuit, 19-20 May.

The BTCC is celebrating its 60th, Diamond Jubilee, anniversary in some style so far this year, with typically fierce competition evidenced at two storming weekends at Brands Hatch and Donington Park – producing five different winners from the opening six rounds. There have been a host of new faces take to the podium, and somewhat of a changing of the guard in the Drivers’ standings with the top eight’s drivers harbouring an average age of just a little over 25.

Thruxton is set to celebrate what is all set to be a special weekend’s racing by offering one lucky winner the chance to wave the chequered flag on the opening BTCC race – with anyone who has purchased or is set to purchase advance race day or weekend tickets for the meeting entered into the prize draw.

Last year at the Hampshire Speedbowl, as Thruxton is affectionately known, BMW secured a landmark 100th victory in the BTCC at the hands of Rob Collard and Colin Turkington, who took a round apiece, while Matt Neal sealed a win on home turf for Honda.

This year, though, the form-book certainly looks to have swung the way of the young-guns – headed at the top of the table by Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in the Toyota, who secured a pair of rostrum finishes at Thruxton last time around, and is also the only double winner so far this season.

Incumbent champ Ash Sutton was quickest back at the annual TOCA test-day a month ago and, currently fifth in the standings, he’ll be looking to fire his Subaru Levorg to a maiden top-step appearance of 2018 and the start of his title defence proper. Judging by his pace back at that test, he’ll be one to look out for.

The WIX Racing with Eurotech-run FK2-generation Honda Civic Type Rs have historically gone well around Thruxton’s high-speed sweepers and if the outfit’s start to the season is anything to go by, it would take a fool to doubt their race-winning credentials, especially given Jack Goff has already notched a victory this year and is sitting pretty in fourth in the overall standings.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Classes are perfectly suited to the balance and poise required around the Hampshire racetrack. Adam Morgan is hot on the heels of standings leader Ingram in second spot after his victory at Donington Park and the Lancashireman is twice a winner at Thruxton – it’s shaping up nicely for Ciceley Motorsport. Aiden Moffat, in one of the sister Mercedes’, is a man on a charge, too, after a podium double back in Leicestershire.

A host of other names are vying for top honours, with the intense competition of Britain’s biggest motor racing spectacle making predicting the outcome of any one race, let alone the three that take place over a race weekend, an impossible task. Whatever the outcome, it’s sure to be a day of unmissable action.

Thruxton itself celebrates its 50th Anniversary, and the beloved circuit, a favourite of many a driver, always yields unparalleled racing. In addition to the three touring car races, there are nine more top-tier encounters on the TOCA package – the Renault UK Clio Cup, the Ginetta championships and the F4 British Championship.

Visitors will also get their first proper look at the circuit’s brand-new, industry-leading £2 million hospitality facility – The Thruxton Centre – ahead of an official opening on Sunday 3 June amid a weekend of 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Highlights there include 15 special races as well as high-speed demonstrations from Williams’ 1983 FW08C, wielded by ex-F1 star Karun Chandhok, and a number of other iconic racing cars and bikes. There will be appearances, too, from a number of high-profile guests including Murray Walker and Nigel Mansell.

“We’re always thrilled to host what is undoubtedly the premier four-wheeled series in the country,” said Thruxton Group Managing Director, Bill Coombs. The BTCC has storied history – spanning 60 years – and the championship never fails to come up with the goods over a race weekend.

“As we’ve seen this season, it’s entirely unpredictable. You don’t head into a BTCC race weekend knowing who will be coming out on top – it’s just too close to call, and that makes for some of the best doorhandle-to-doorhandle racing around with 32 cars all racing within a second or so.

“The test day a month ago gave us an insight into just how competitive it’ll be come race day. Some of the times were quicker than we’ve ever seen before here from BTCC machinery – it really whetted the appetite.

“The beauty of the TOCA package means that not only do you get the three headline BTCC races, but nine further races of the highest quality across a number of leading championships.”

Advance tickets for the BTCC’s visit, 19-20 May, are available from £12, with weekend passes with paddock access running to just £40. Saturday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

BARC produces bank holiday blockbuster at Snetterton

Bank holiday Monday (May 7) saw a trio of British Automobile Racing Club championships soak up the sun with a bumper day of track action at Snetterton.

Descending on the Norfolk venue for the one-day meeting, fans were treated to the usual edge-of-the-seat thrills that each category has become accustomed to producing.

Enjoying big grids and close-quarter racing, the Hyundai Coupe Cup was once again in action for the third time this season. As he has done on countless occasions already in 2018, Steve Kite emerged as the man to beat in both races, sweeping his way to a brace of victories.

Despite taking both wins, the Misty Racing driver was made to work from them as he withstood pressure from Alex Cursley in the opening encounter before then fending off the advances of Wayne Rockett in the second. All three drivers would occupy the podium in both races.

The Max5 Racing Championship had a similar feel to that of the season-opener held at Pembrey in late April. Replicating his performance in South Wales, Paul Roddison romped to a pair of wins with Jeremy Shipley in tow as well.

Rounding out the BARC representatives was the Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship, which saw David Mellor power his MG ZR to be first across the line in both races that were run.

Joining the three BARC championships was also the Ford Saloon Series, Sports 2000 Championship and BSA National Championship for F125 Open.

Ollie O’Donovan scores British Rallycross victory at Croft

Ollie O’Donovan made it three different winners from three events as the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship entertained a bumper crowd at Croft Circuit this past Sunday (May 6).

In what is the first of two visits that the mixed surface series will make to the North Yorkshire venue this year, searing temperatures meant that it proved to be a scorching day both on and off the track.

Having qualified second on the grid for the Supercar final, 2007 champion O’Donovan found himself with an easier task of taking the lead after two restarts. Firstly Steve Hill retired from the first running with engine problems before pole sitter Andy Scott jumped the start of the restart, leaving the Irishman the sole occupant of the front row.

Leading from lights-to-flag, the Ford Focus driver withstood late pressure from round two winner Mark Higgins to clinch victory by 0.061 – the closest finish the championship has seen in recent memory.

Virtue of his second place finish, Albatec Racing’s Higgins has now vaulted himself to the summit of the points standings, whilst team-mate Scott made it a day to remember for the squad as he rounded out the rostrum by finishing third.

Fourth place in the final went the way of Croft local Mad Mark Watson in his Citroen Xsara whilst Hill was classified fifth overall, despite not completing the race distance.

Julian Godfrey found himself ins serious strife in the final too as he became embroiled in Hill’s exit from the final. Entering the weekend as the points leader, Godfrey glanced the side of Hill’s Mitsubishi, sending him into a series of rolls – the five-time champion walked away from the incident unharmed.

In the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship, Renault Clio V6 racer Tristan Ovenden made the most of the conditions to dominate proceedings – setting the fastest time in each of the three qualifiers before then winning his semi-final and the overall final.

Tom Constantine made it back-to-back victories in the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship whilst Morgan Bailey did the same in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship.

Elsewhere, David Bell was the winner of the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship encounter whilst RX150 Rallycross Championship points leader Chrissy Palmer further cemented his status as the man to beat with another victory.

Rounding off the action was the Retro Rallycross Championship, where Barry Stewart piloted his Porsche 911 to the chequered flag, narrowly pipping former title winner Ray Morgan.

For the full classification of results, click here.

The next round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship will see the series descend on South Wales for rounds four and five at Pembrey, on June 23/24.

British Rallycross heads to Croft for third instalment of 2018 season

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship speeds into Croft this Sunday (May 6) for round three of what is proving to be another highly competitive season.

Events at Silverstone and Lydden Hill, both in treacherous weather conditions, have set the scene for a captivating third chapter of the year, with a host of contenders set to challenge for victory.

Five-time champion Julian Godfrey arrives at the North Yorkshire circuit in control of the points, holding a slender four-point advantage. At the wheel of the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi, Godfrey was the best of the Brits at the season-opener, scooping 30 points in the process.

Another strong showing at Lydden Hill, finishing in second, leaves him in a favourable position for Croft. Hot on his heels however is Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins, who has recently confirmed he will be competing in the British round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

On just his second outing in the series last time out, Higgins powered his Peugeot to victory in the wet at Lydden, cementing himself as a title contender. With just four points separating himself and Godfrey at the top of the standings, all eyes will be on the duo to see who gains the upper hand this weekend.

Beyond them, a mere four points separate Steve Hill, Ollie O’Donovan and Roger Thomas; all of whom also remain within striking distance of Godfrey and Higgins.

There will be plenty for local fans to cheer about too with home heroes Kevin Proctor, Mad Mark Watson and Dave Bellerby all competing across the different championships.

On top of the Supercar category, there will also be action from the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship, MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship, Retro Rallycross Championship, RX150 Rallycross Championship, BMW Mini Rallycross Championship, Super1600 Rallycross Championship and Swift Sport Rallycross Championship.

In the Retro Rallycross category, a special tribute will also be paid to Jordan Bowes, who tragically lost his life in a road accident late last year. Having undergone a winter of work and redevelopment, Bowes’ brother Jason will race Jordan’s Volkswagen Golf Mk1 in what is hoped to be the first of many outings.

Tickets are available to purchase on the gate from £18.00 with race programmes also available to buy from as little as £3.00. Track action is scheduled to get underway at 09:30 with practice before a full day of racing.

TOCA support package shines at Donington Park

All five TOCA support championships were in action at Donington Park this past weekend (April 28/29) with some new faces topping the podium.

Competing under the flightpath of East Midlands airport alongside the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the customary edge-of-the-seat thrills were on display for the thousands in attendance.

James Dorlin emerged as the man to beat in the Renault UK Clio Cup as he stormed to a pair of race victories, spring boarding himself up the points table. Clinching pole position on Saturday, the Westbourne Motorsport driver took a commanding victory in race one as he streaked clear of his rivals.

Further back Paul Rivett left WDE Motorsport with a mountain of work after he exited the circuit heading down the Crane Curves, hitting the wall hard – thankfully he walked away unhurt and made it out for race two.

If race one had been memorable, the second encounter for the one-make tin top category was a different spectacle altogether. In what turned out to be a dramatic three-way fight for victory, Dorlin went wheel-to-wheel with Jack McCarthy and Bradley Burns, pipping the pair as he bounced through the gravel to take the chequered flag and make it a dream double.

The Ginetta Junior Championship saw Luke Browning come to the fore as he scored two wins, narrowly missing out on completing a memorable hat-trick. Establishing himself towards the top of the times from the outset, the Richardson Racing driver powered his way to victory in races one and two.

Browning then played his part in a race three that will live long in the memory, as he chased kept himself permanently on the bumper of Louis Foster, who held his nerve to score a maiden victory in the series.

Spoils were shared in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup as Charlie Ladell, Tom Roche and Harry King took a win apiece. Underlining the depth in quality the championship once again boasts this year, Ladell strengthened his position at the helm of the standings.

His third victory of the year came in a fast-paced opener before Roche repeated his heroics from the corresponding event last year in race two. Capping off the action was youngster King, who on just his second outing since graduating from Juniors, took a popular win for Elite Motorsport.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB saw four different winners from four races as both Tio Ellinas and Lewis Plato joined the list of winners. Ellinas was measured in his race three win, holding his nerve off the start to take the chequered flag in a league of his own.

Plato meanwhile faced a stern test in the longer 33-lap encounter at the Leicestershire venue, fending off a trio of cars on the final tour to take his maiden victory.

Rounding off the support race action at Donington Park was the British F4 Championship, which once again took on a starring role. Johnathan Hoggard bagged a pair of wins whilst Kiern Jewiss also found his way to the to the top of the rostrum.

Spoils shared as BTCC young guns come to the fore at Donington Park

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship saw another three frenetic races at Donington Park serve up three different race winners this past weekend (April 28/29) – with the series’ young guns coming further to the fore.

Coming off the back of a memorable curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch, the capacity 32-car grid descended on the Leicestershire venue with it all to play at the top of the standings.

Qualifying proved to be a dramatic affair with times tumbling right until the end of the session. As the clock ticked to zero, Power Maxed Racing’s Josh Cook displaced Chris Smiley to score his first BTCC pole position.

Cook’s Saturday dominance translated to race day as he converted pole position into a commanding first victory – becoming the 19th different driver to have scaled to the top step of the podium.

Launching his Vauxhall Astra off the front row, Cook held off the advances of Smiley on the opening tour before stretching his advantage over Dan Cammish and Aiden Moffat, who moved themselves into the remaining rostrum places.

Race two went the way of championship leader Tom Ingram, who became the first driver to win two races this year. Having scored a handful of points with maximum weight and the hard tyre in race one, the Speedworks Motorsport racer scythed his way through the field from P13 in the second encounter.

Picking his way through the top ten, Ingram shuffled BTC Norlin Racing’s Smiley to second on lap ten and was never challenged thereon after. WIX Racing with Eurotech’s Jack Goff rounded off the podium after also charging through the pack.

Goff had been hot on the heels of Ingram at one stage but a valiant defence from Cammish, who had led early on, saw the Honda Civic Type R driver lose ground to the leaders.

One of the star performers in race two however was the Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes Benz A-Class of Adam Morgan, who crossed the line fifth having started 25th.

With the top nine reversed for race three, Rory Butcher lined up on pole position with reigning champion Ashley Sutton lining up alongside him. As the lights went out, five cars fell victim to the close-quarter racing down the Crater Curves, with James Cole, Josh Price and Sam Tordoff all out on the spot.

At the front, Sutton propelled himself into the lead but soon fell into the clutches of the chasing pack, with Morgan leading the way. Making his move on lap eight, Morgan held his nerve, withstanding a late charge from Cook to score his first win since Thruxton 2016.

Laser Tools Racing’s Moffat made it two Mercedes on the podium as he scored his second third place finish of the day. Standout performances from Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan saw them round out the top five, piloting their West Surrey Racing BMW’s through the field.

Following on from another exciting day’s racing, Ingram extended his advantage in the drivers standings with Morgan and Cook filling the top three spots.

For the full classification of results, click here.

The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns on May 19/20 with rounds seven, eight and nine taking place at Thruxton.

Karun Chandhok to steer Williams’ FW08C on Formula 1’s return to Thruxton

Formula 1 will return to Thruxton for the first time since 1993 at the circuit’s 50th Anniversary Celebration weekend (2/3 June), with former F1 racer Karun Chandhok set to take the reins of the flame-spitting Williams FW08C as it blasts around Britain’s fastest racetrack.

Damon Hill was the last man to round Thruxton’s flat-out sweeping bends in F1 machinery, then in a title-winning Williams FW15C, averaging a stunning 147.25mph. Chandhok – wielding Keke Rosberg’s 540kg, 530bhp Ford Cosworth DFV V8 powered FW08C from 1983 – admits he feels like a kid in a sweet shop ahead of what is sure to be quite the spectacle when he takes to the Hampshire speedbowl in June. Notably, it is the first F1 car that Ayrton Senna tested ahead of an illustrious career at the pinnacle of motorsport.

“It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m really excited for the event,” said Chandhok – himself a fiend for everything historic when it comes to motor racing.

“I’ve driven the Williams FW08C a few times before. It’s a very special car with its manual gearbox and Ford DFV engine, which is probably the most important engine ever produced in Formula 1 and it still sounds as good as it did all those years ago. It’s a truly iconic piece of kit, and there aren’t many opportunities to see these legendary cars in action anymore.

“I’ll be giving it a blast at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix before Thruxton’s 50th, which will serve as a nice warm-up. I’d obviously love to open it up properly, but at the same time, I’m very conscious that this car is being wheeled out of a museum for me. That said, as a racing driver, you’re never inclined to take it particularly easy, and I’ll certainly do my utmost to put on a real show for everybody watching.”

It’s been some 15 years since Chandhok was last on-track at Thruxton, but it’s a circuit he holds in high esteem, citing it as a true one-off and a must for spectators – even more the case given the visual and auditory feast the Williams is sure to imbue.

“I’ve not driven at Thruxton since 2003, back in my British F3 days, so it’s been a little while but I always loved racing there. The action is never anything less than spectacular, with plenty of fantastic, high-speed slipstreaming battles. It’s a unique challenge with its bumps and big kerbs – a proper old-school track.

“I love coming to Thruxton to spectate, too – it’s every bit as enjoyable for fans as it is competitors. Watching at the approach to the chicane at the end of the lap and seeing the cars roaring up the hill towards you is quite a sight to behold – I thoroughly recommend it.”

In addition over the 50th Anniversary Celebration weekend, The Thruxton Centre – Thruxton Circuit’s new, £2 million state-of-the-art hospitality facility – will be officially opened at 12:00 noon on Sunday, 3 June by 31-time Grand Prix-winner and 1992 Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell CBE alongside his lifelong friend – legendary motorsport commentator and journalist, Murray Walker OBE.

There will be 15 enthralling races and high-speed demonstrations not just by the FW08C, but a host of iconic two and four-wheeled motor racing machinery, while Mansell’s 1992 Formula 1 World Championship-winning Williams FW14B is also set to be displayed. Penned by Sir Patrick Head and legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey OBE, the FW14B was a pioneer of the sport’s game-changing active suspension technology – with ten Grand Prix wins on the way to the Constructors’ title as Mansell sealed the Drivers’ crown.

Away from the racing and on-track action, static displays and car club reunions, as well as a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display ensuring the festival’s family-friendly appeal.

Donington Park next up for TOCA support package

The TOCA support package rolls into Donington Park this weekend (April 28/29) with five championships set to do battle and continue their 2018 campaigns.

In what proved to be a dramatic opening event of the year at Brands Hatch, each category served up plenty of high-octane entertainment alongside the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Plenty of tin top thrills came from the Renault UK Clio Cup as Max Coates and Paul Rivett took a win apiece at the Kent venue. Establishing themselves as early title contenders both will have to be at their best to ensure they remain towards the summit of the standings following rounds three and four.

More than a dozen drivers are hot on the heels of Rivett and Coates with Lee Pattison and Mike Epps leading the charge. Daniel Rowbottom, Jack McCarthy, James Colburn, James Dorlin, Bradley Burns, Zak Fulk are all on the fringe of throwing themselves into contention too – making picking a winner for this weekend as difficult as ever.

The Ginetta Junior Championship will no doubt do its best to steal the show with its latest crop of teenage racers. Former Scholarship winner Adam Smalley heads the field entering the weekend after scoring a win and a second place at the curtain-raiser. No doubt looking to either replicate or better those results from Brands Hatch, the Elite Motorsport driver arrives at the Leicestershire venue as the man to beat.

Both Luke Browning and Ruben Del Sarte scored rostrum finishers last time out and are the closest challengers to Smalley as it stands. Throw into the mix the likes of Fin Green and Louis Foster and you begin to see why the one-make championship is renowned for producing stars of the future.

The Juniors won’t be the only Ginetta championship competing under the flightpath of East Midlands airport this weekend however as the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup continues. Charlie Ladell grabbed two wins at Brands Hatch and he will be looking to continue his fine start to the season with further silverware.

Holding a slender three-point advantage at the summit, Ladell will need to be on top form across all three races, especially with the likes of Carl Boardley, Harry King and Jac Constable all breathing down his neck.

Spoils were shared between Dino Zamparelli and George Gamble in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB last time out and the battle for supremacy is set to further intensify at Donington Park. In what is shaping up to be a wide-open title fight this year, just four points separate the top three heading into the weekend with Zamparelli in control.

After narrowly missing out on the crown last year, the Redline Racing driver is gunning for glory and will be one to watch across both races this weekend, as will Tio Ellinas, Gamble and the ever-improving Lewis Plato.

Rounding out the track action at Donington Park will be three races from the F4 British Championship. Viewed as a crucial step on the motorsport ladder for those aspiring to make it to Formula 1, the single seater category has produced plenty of stars already.

Ayrton Simmons walked away with a brace of wins last time out and the youngster will be looking to go one better this weekend and make it a hat-trick, which in turn will see him scoop a prize of £10,000.

Sebastian Priaulx was the other race winner from the 2018 curtain-raiser and he will be keen to add further trophies to his collection in what is his maiden season in the category. Other drivers to keep a watch out for include the impressive Kiern Jewiss, Dennis Hauger and Jack Doohan.