Action aplenty on opening TOCA support package weekend

The TOCA support package was back in business at Brands Hatch this past weekend (April 7/8) with five championships kicking off their 2018 campaigns.

Once again competing alongside the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, there was high-drama throughout each category as they battled challenging conditions across both days.

In the Renault UK Clio Cup, spoils were shared between two title favourites. Multiple champion Paul Rivett showcased his experience in the opening race of the weekend, only after making contact with Max Coates early on.

Coming off the better of the two, Rivett powered away from the pack to the take a memorable victory. Behind him, the wounded Coates was unable to hold of the advances of James Colburn and Daniel Rowbottom, both of whom rounded out the podium.

Coates was the clear race winner in a wet race two, taking control from the start before storming into a lead he would ultimately never lose. Behind him though the tremendous battle for the remaining rostrum spots were decided as Rivett and youngster Jack McCarthy recovered from early struggles to join Coates in lifting silverware.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB produced two different winners as well, with Dino Zamparelli and George Gamble taking a win apiece. Off the back of clinching pole position, Zamparelli asserted himself as one to watch this year with a dominant display in the curtain-raiser ahead of Tio Ellinas and Lewis Plato.

Plato had been on course to take race two honours until a mistake cost him, handing Gamble top spot on his first weekend in the series. Joining him on the podium was Ellinas and Zamparelli, who left the Kent circuit as championship leader.

The Ginetta Junior Championship delivered its usual mix of thrills ’n’ spills in true style, setting up what is set to be another fascinating campaign.

Last year’s scholarship winner Adam Smalley entered the season as one of the drivers to watch and he backed up his pre-season promise by grabbing the early advantage in the championship standings.

Claiming pole position in qualifying, the Elite Motorsport driver bagged victory in race one ahead of Ruben Del Sarte and Fin Green before then finishing hot on the heels of race two victor Luke Browning.

It is set to be a wide-open year in the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup too with Charlie Ladell cementing his status as an early title favourite. The Rob Boston Racing was in imperious form around the 1.2 mile Indy circuit, taking two wins, with Carl Boardley capping off the weekend with a win of his own.

Rounding out the action in front a bumper trackside crowd was the British F4 Championship, which saw Ayrton Simmons enjoy a near perfect weekend, scoring a brace of wins. Sebastian Priaulx topped the rostrum in the remaining race.

For the full classification of results across all championships, click here.

BTCC delivers memorable season-opener at Brands Hatch

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship kicked off the 2018 season with three high-octane, edge-of-the-seat races at Brands Hatch this past weekend (April 7/8).

Months of anticipation, hype and pre-season testing came to a head at the Kent circuit as the series’ 60th anniversary year roared into life.

Boasting a capacity entry list, the first qualifying session of the year brought with it its own drama as Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish dipped under the lap record to score provisional pole, before then losing his best time due to failing to stop for a red flag upon entering the pit lane.

That promoted Jack Goff to the top of the times and the WIX Racing with Eurotech driver was unchallenged at the summit, going on to record his third consecutive pole position.

Race day saw wet conditions greet teams and spectators alike, further adding to the opening round spectacle. Blasting off the line from the front row, Goff converted pole position into a lead that he would ultimately never lose in the tricky conditions.

Fellow front row start Sam Tordoff saw his return to the series cut short as he struggled with wheel spin off the line and was then caught up in a collision at the end of the lap, ending his charge.

At the front, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan settled into second and third, the latter dispatching Cammish early on. Turkington soon began to hunt down Goff’s Civic Type R but the Independent driver drove a near-perfect race, defending where he need to and ultimately going on to take victory.

With conditions becoming ever-more difficult to judge, race two turned out to be one of the classic BTCC races. A majority of the front runners elected to stick with the Dunlop wet tyres whilst several further back decided to gamble and run the Dunlop soft option compound.

Turkington’s chances of glory ended before the race even started as his BMW went into limp mode, forcing him to pit and dropping a lap down. Team-mate Jordan launched his 1-Series into the lead from third with Goff and Ingram following.

The trio enjoyed a stellar scrap with Ingram leapfrogging the 2013 champion; further back reigning champion Ashley Sutton slotted into fourth and soon began closing on the top three.

Whilst conditions continued to improve and lap times dropped, it became apparent that the race was only just beginning as those on slicks began to carve their way through. Senna Proctor and Aiden Moffat were the big movers, lapping more than three seconds quicker than everyone else at one stage.

On lap 22 of 27, Proctor and Moffat were on the back of the leaders and took no time in dispatching them. Jake Hill, Ollie Jackson and Tom Boardman pounced just a few corners later and it was soon a five-car battle for the lead.

For Moffat, his aspirations of topping the rostrum came to an end after contact with Proctor sent him into the barrier, however he was able to continue. Proctor meanwhile held his nerve to score his and Power Maxed Racing’s maiden victory in the BTCC, with Hill and Jackson scoring their first podiums too.

Race three didn’t hold the same drama but it did produce another three different podium finishers as Ingram continued his Brands Hatch love affair with a seventh career victory. Adam Morgan and Rob Austin rounded off the podium, scoring an emotional podium in the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

Following the opening weekend of the season, Ingram holds a slender three point championship lead heading to Donington Park with Goff and Morgan hot on his heels.

For the full classification of results, click here.

Rounds four, five and six of 2018 take place at the Leicestershire circuit on April 28/29.

TOCA support package ready to blast into life for 2018

Brands Hatch is set for an enthralling weekend (April 7/8) of wheel-to-wheel, edge-of-the-seat thrills as the TOCA support package blasts into life.

Following months of hype and anticipation, five championships will join the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at the Kent venue to kickstart their 2018 campaigns.

Serving as the perfect stepping stone for drivers to graduate into the BTCC down the years, the Renault UK Clio Cup boasts another bumper entry list for this year. With champion Mike Bushell moving on to the BTCC, the quest to find a new title holder begins around the Indy circuit and there are no shortage of contenders.

Multiple champion Paul Rivett will be one to watch, as will the ever-impressive Max Coates, who returns for another crack at clinching the coveted crown. Throw into the mix the likes of Lee Pattison, James Dorlin, Mike Epps, Jack McCarthy and James Colburn, to name a few, and you begin to see how competitive this years crop of contenders are.

Two races around the famed Brands Hatch layout will serve as the perfect starting place for what is set to be another enthralling year.

Serving as the first step on the motorsport ladder for aspiring racers, the Ginetta Junior Championship is set to provide plenty of excitement on the opening weekend of the season too.

Having had the likes of Lando Norris, Tom Ingram and many more cut their teeth in the championship down the years, this years crop of youngsters will be hoping to springboard onto great things too.

The 2018 intake of racers sees a blend of familiar and new faces line up on the grid. Ginetta Junior Winter Series champion Adam Smalley tops the entry list, returning for a shot at the outright title, however the likes of Fin Green, Luke Browning and Matt Luff lead the rest of the pack in trying to stop his charge – starting with this weekend’s two encounters.

Action from the Yorkshire brand will also come from the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, with immense quality running throughout the Pro and Am categories. Setting its stall out as one of the top proving grounds for young racers in the UK, the championship is back once again, with three races set to be run at the season-opener.

Notable names to keep an eye on include Jac Constable, Michael Crees, Jack Minshaw, Carl Boardley and Ginetta Junior graduate Harry King.

A new champion will be crowned in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this year, due to title holder Charlie Eastwood moving on to pastures new. With a new car, new points system and new faces; the battle for supremacy this year is set to provoke serious intrigue.

Runner-up last year, Dino Zamparelli enters the season as an early favourite however he will have a whole host of drivers keen to take the fight to him at the front. Junior Scholarship winner Daniel Harper, George Gamble, Rory Collingbourne, Lewis Plato and Tio Ellinas are just a handful of contenders.

To cap things off, there will also be single seater action from the British F4 Championship. Despite the departure of Carlin, another stacked entry list has been confirmed for the 2018 edition of the popular series.

Arden, Fortec Motorsports, JHR Developments and Sharp Motorsport lead the way to Brands Hatch with the likes of Jack Doohan, Sebastian Priaulx, Ayrton Simmons and Patrik Pasma ones to watch.

Ultra-competitive BTCC set for Brands Hatch curtain-raiser

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns this weekend (April 7/8) at Brands Hatch with arguably one of the most competitive grids in the modern era set to do battle.

In what is a milestone year for the series as it celebrates its 60th anniversary, another capacity 32-car grid will duke it out for the most coveted prize in British motorsport, starting at the Kent venue where three races will be run.

An unparalleled five champions, four manufacturer entrants and 17 race winners make up the bumper line-up, which will hit the track in anger for the first time.

Heading up this year’s entry list is reigning champion Ashley Sutton, who will adorn the prestigious number one on the side of his Subaru Levorg. Remaining with Adrian Flux Subaru Racing for a second successive season, the 24-year-old will look to make it back-to-back triumphs with BMR Racing and is joined once again by double champion Jason Plato.

The manufacturer-backed team are down to three entrants this year with Josh Price filling the final seat, running under the Autoglym Racing Academy banner.

West Surrey Racing are back with the BMW 1-Series and a unchanged line-up with Colin Turkington, Rob Collard and Andrew Jordan flying the flag for the Sunbury-based squad.

Elsewhere it is all change at Halfords Yuasa Racing as the brand new Honda Civic Type R makes its debut in the BTCC. Triple champion Matt Neal remains at the helm of the championship-winning outfit but has a new team-mate in the shape of Daniel Cammish, who replaces three-time title winner Gordon Shedden.

The final Manufacturer/Constructor entrant for the forthcoming season is Power Maxed Racing, who once again fields a pair of Vauxhall Astra’s for reigning Jack Sears Trophy holder Senna Proctor and the returning Josh Cook.

A number of Independent entries will run Honda Civic Type R’s this year too with Jack Goff and Brett Smith locked in at Eurotech Racing, now with WIX sponsorship. Matt Simpson will join them both after switching from Team Dynamics.

BTC Norlin Racing have swapped their Chevrolet Cruze’s for Type R’s and have secured the services of the former Independents champion James Nash, who returns to the series for the first time since 2011. Northern Irishman Chris Smiley remains with the squad for a second full season.

Motorbase Performance will once again run three cars, albeit slightly different to last year. The iconic RS badge has returned to the BTCC on the Ford Focus’ with Tom Chilton and James Cole running under the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher banner. After a one year sabbatical, 2016 runner-up Sam Tordoff is back and will pilot the third car for Team GardX Racing.

Finishing third overall and wrapping up both Independent titles for Speedworks Motorsport last year, Tom Ingram is set to be one to watch as he bids for outright glory in his Toyota Avensis. Ingram will be the only Toyota on the grid as Rob Austin and HMS Racing switch to the eagerly anticipated Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

AMD Tuning have expanded to four cars this year having acquired the two MG6 GT’s formerly run by Triple Eight Racing. Rory Butcher and the returning Tom Boardman will drive the race-winning machines whilst Ollie Jackson and rookie Sam Smelt will drive the teams Audi s3’s.

Another outfit that expands to four cars this year is Team HARD with their quartet of Volkswagen CC’s. Renault UK Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell, Jake Hill, Bobby Thompson and Michael Caine will spearhead Tony Gilham’s quest for silverware.

Podiums will be expected from Ciceley Motorsport this year too as Adam Morgan returns in his Mercedes Benz A-Class, and the former race winner has a team-mate in the shape of Tom Oliphant. Aiden Moffat will also be back in his Mercedes with Laser Tools Racing.

Rounding out the capacity entry list for this year is Stephen Jelley, who has remained with Team Parker Racing. Embarking on his second season with the Independent squad, Jelley will return to his BTCC roots and drive a BMW – a former West Surrey Racing 1-Series.

Red Devils to dazzle overhead at Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

World-famous British Army parachute display team the Red Devils will take to the skies over Thruxton on Sunday, 3 June, with their adrenaline-fuelled aerial choreography set to thrill fans at the popular Hampshire circuit’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Formed back in 1964, the Red Devils have been the official parachute display team of the British Army and the Parachute Regiment since 1979. Remaining ever-faithful to its ‘Ready For Anything’ motto, it is a non-profit organisation whose purpose is to recruit for the British Army and support its charities by raising funds and profile through awe-inspiring public displays.

All recruits are full-time serving paratroopers and as such, can be called back to Regimental Duty at any time. During the winter off-season, team members complete mandatory military training and career courses to ensure their green army skillset can always be relied upon.

The team is currently composed of 14 professional skydivers, who have conducted air shows and tandem parachute descents as far afield as America, Bahrain and at poignant Regimental memorial events such as Arnhem in the Netherlands. Thruxton Group Managing Director Bill Coombs says spectators attending the 50th Anniversary Celebration will be in for a real treat.

“We already have a fabulous line-up of on and off-track entertainment planned for our milestone anniversary weekend, but to now secure the Red Devils as part of the high-octane bill will add another dimension to an event that truly does have something for everyone,” he enthused.

“The skill and courage of these paratroopers is quite extraordinary, and we have no doubt that they will wow the crowds as they perform their spectacular routine above Thruxton’s sweeping curves on the Sunday. As an active airfield, it is almost a ‘home-from-home’ for them and we are sure they will put on an extra-special show to celebrate our landmark year in style.”

The first motorsport event to be held at Thruxton in its current guise was in March, 1968 and half-a-century on, a whole host of single-seaters, sportscars and saloons from the last five decades will hit the track for a spirited sprint down memory lane at the circuit’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on 2/3 June.

The weekend will feature 15 races, high-speed demonstrations from Williams’ 1983 FW08C amongst other iconic racing cars and bikes and a static display of Nigel Mansell’s all-conquering, title-winning Williams FW14B. There will notably also be high-profile appearances from 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Mansell and legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker, who together will officially open The Thruxton Centre, the venue’s new, £2 million state-of-the-art hospitality facility.

In addition to the Red Devils, off-track activities will include car club reunions, a funfair, live music, overnight camping and a fireworks display in evidence of the festival’s family-friendly appeal.

Advance tickets for Thruxton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on 2/3 June are available from just £12 for Saturday entry and £15 for Sunday – or £24 for both days. Sunday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Mark Higgins victorious in second round of British Rallycross at Lydden Hill

Bank holiday Monday brought with it plenty of edge-of-the-seat, sideways thrills at Lydden Hill as the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship put on a show in front of a bumper crowd.

Following on from the season-opener at Silverstone last month, where five-time champion Julian Godfrey grabbed the early advantage in the points, the series descend on the spiritual home of the sport for round two.

With another strong entry list hitting the track, Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins proved to be the man to beat as he swept his way to make it two different winners from two rounds in 2018.

Kevin Proctor opened the day by charging to victory in Q1, leading the way ahead of Godfrey and fellow Ford driver Ollie O’Donovan.

The returning Liam Doran, at the wheel of a Citroen C4, then staked his claim in Q2 as he utilised his experience and home knowledge to edge out his opponents and score victory.

Showing consistency throughout each of the heats, Higgins imposed himself on the event in the third and final round of qualifying at the wheel of his Peugeot 208 RX Supercar. Going from fourth to first in Q3, Higgins made it back-to-back wins as he produced a dominant display in his semi-final.

With heavy rain battering the circuit for the final, the former British Rally champion made a perfect start, blasting into the lead. Surviving early pressure from Doran, who would later retire, Higgins controlled the final to take victory on just his second outing.

Elsewhere, Tom Constantine was the winner in the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship whilst Supernational honours went the way of Tristan Ovenden.

Bradley Durdin was the victor in the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship, narrowly pipping Leigh-Anne Sedgwick crossing the line.

Morgan Bailey and Roger Thomas took the spoils in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship and Retro Rallycross Championship respectively, with Chrissy Palmer rounding out the list of winners with an RX150 triumph.

For the full classification of results, click here.

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship is next in action at Croft on May 6.

BTRA headlines blockbuster Brands Hatch bank holiday weekend meeting

The BTRA Truck Racing Championship headlined what proved to be a bumper bank holiday weekend at Brands Hatch (April 1/2) for the British Automobile Racing Club, with a total of seven championships in action.

Tackling the infamous Indy layout of the Kent venue in mixed conditions across both days, a bumper crowd was treated to a feast of wheel-to-wheel battles.

In the heavyweight Truck encounters, Division 1 served up a host of storming races with Stuart Oliver kicking off proceedings with victory in race one, narrowly pipping David Jenkins. Roles were reversed in race two however as Jenkins got the better of Oliver to clinch his maiden win of the season.

Despite joining Mat Summerfield as a late entry reigning champion Ryan Smith showed his class on day two as he romped to a host of victories.

In Division 2, Luke Garrett was in similar form as he set his stall out as an early title contender, triumphing on three occasions. John and Steve Powell were the other victors in the more production-based category.

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres was back in action too for their second event of the year and six races being run. Day one saw Miles Rudman notch his first win of the season before 2017 runner-up Ben Power scored wins in race two and the grand final.

Defending champion John Mickel hit the front on day two with a win in race one before Rudman once again underlined his speed with a second triumph of the weekend. Following a high speed crash earlier in the day on the pit straight, Will Gibson bounced back to finish the day on the top step of the podium.

The Pickup Truck Racing Championship saw Lea Wood exert his dominance with a near perfect weekend as he romped to a brace of wins. The former BTCC racer scythed his way through the field in the opener before stamping his authority as a serial title contender in race two with an equally impressive performance.

Dominance was the norm in the Kumho BMW Championship and Scrapco/Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship too as Colin Wells and Malcolm Blackman clinched double wins respectively.

Rounding the list of race winners was Rod Birley, who was back on track in his rebuilt Ford Escort RS, and Adrian Bradley – both of whom took to the top step of the podium in the amalgamated BARC Modified Saloon Car Championship and BARC South East Tin Tops Championship races.

For the full classification of results, click here.

Brands Hatch set for BARC Easter extravaganza

Brands Hatch is primed for a bank holiday weekend of blockbuster proportions on Sunday and Monday as the British Truck Racing Association Championship roars into life for another season.

Headlining what is a bumper programme of track action around the Indy layout, a mammoth crowd is set to descend on the Kent venue for an Easter extravaganza of thrills ’n’ spills.

Weighing in at more than five tonnes and producing more than 1000bhp each, nothing quite compares to British Truck Racing. This weekend’s opening event will see a total of seven races run across both Divisions, however the landscape of both has changed.

In the top tier, double and reigning champion Ryan Smith has elected not to return, meaning his title is very much up for grabs. Leading the list of contenders that fans will be looking out for is multiple champion Stuart Oliver, prolific front runner Dave Jenkins and Luke Taylor, amongst others.

Division 2 champion Mika Makinen will also missing from the grid this year, opening the floodgates in the more production-based category. Former title holder Adam Bint will be keen to get back to winning ways whilst the likes of Simon Cole, John Powell and Luke Garrett lead the long list of fellow contenders.

Elsewhere, one man that will be defending his title this year starting at Brands Hatch is Scott Bourne. Climbing to the top of the Pickup Truck Racing Championship mountain in 2017, Bourne is back with a new livery and the coveted number one adorning his truck.

In what has been a strong off-season for the championship as a whole, with an influx of entries being submitted, the popular category is set for another memorable year. Usual protagonists Lea Wood, David O’Reagan, Michael Smith and Mark Willis are all joined by a host of familiar and new faces – making the opening two races impossible to call.

Following on from a memorable opening weekend in mid-March at Oulton Park, the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres are back in action. Making the first of three visits to Brands Hatch this year, a bumper grid of the 5/8 scale machines are set to put on a show across the six races that are set to be run.

Jack Parker’s opening round consistency has placed him at the top of the standings however he has a host of race winners nipping at his heels. Will Gibson and Steve Whitelegg both took wins at Oulton Park and sit second and third in the points, with reigning champion John Mickel not far behind either.

Fans of all things BMW will be drawn to the Kumho BMW Championship, which gets underway this weekend too. Open to all models of the German manufacturer, the championship will once again run a multi-class system depending on specification.

Notable names to look out for during the season-opener include Russell Dack, Giuseppe Callari, James Card and Gareth Montgomery.

Rounding out the weekend’s jam-packed race programme will be the three categories from the BARC’s South East Centre; the BARC Modified Saloon Car Championship, BARC South East Tin Top Championship and Scrapco Metal/Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship.

All bringing together a diverse range of machines to their individual grids, a wealth of local talent is set to shine through over the course of the two days.

One of the big stories will lie in the Modified Saloon Car races as Rod barley bids to get back on track following his high speed crash at the same venue last November, injuring him and causing substantial damage to his Ford Escort RS.

Julian Godfrey leads British Rallycross standings into Lydden Hill

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship returns to action this bank holiday Monday at Lydden Hill with Julian Godfrey holding the early advantage.

In sub-zero conditions a little under two weeks ago, the 2018 season roared into life with a history-making event at Silverstone. Tackling the Northamptonshire venue’s all-new rallycross circuit

Whilst FIA World Rallycross Championship stars Sebastian Loeb, Timmy Hansen and Andreas Bakkerud locked out the podium, Godfrey flew the flag for the British contingent, finishing best of the rest.

Remaining at the wheel of the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage RX, five-time champion Godfrey will look to extend his advantage at the summit of the points at the iconic Kent venue.

Godfrey will have challengers from all angles however with Steve Hill, also in a Mitsubishi, keen to been on what was a strong curtain-raiser for himself and look to progress from second in the standings, where he currently sits.

The experienced Ollie O’Donovan and Kevin Proctor will be keen to get back towards the sharp end after both enduring difficult opening rounds. Elsewhere, Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins will be another driver that is keen to continue making strides after showing glimpses of pace at round one.

Mad Mark Watson endured his fair share of bad luck at Silverstone in his Citroen so he will be another to watch as he bids to make his way up the pecking order.

Arguably the most notable additions to this Monday’s entry list are the two LD Motorsport entrants of Jake Harris and Liam Doran. Both piloting Citroen’s, Harris and Doran are proven front runners in the championship and will likely be in the mix from the outset.

Also on the billing on Monday is the MSA Junior Championship, MSA Supernational Championship, Retro Rallycross Championship, RX150 Championship, BMW Mini Rallycross Championship, Super1600 Rallycross Championship and Swift Sport Rallycross Championship.

TOCA unveils state-of-the-art Safety Truck

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Series Organisers, TOCA, have revealed its all-new ‘TOCA Safety Truck’ that will be used during the 2018 season.

Imported from the USA solely for TOCA events, the state-of-the-art Ford F250 is the only one of its type in Europe and is equipped with the very latest and best in rescue and cutting equipment.

Undergoing a host of tests in recent weeks, the vehicle made its operational debut at the BTCC Season Launch at Donington Park on March 27 and will be a permanent fixture of the paddock and pit lane across all ten race weekends this year.

The truck will be deployed to any incident where needed, not only in the BTCC but also across all support championships that feature on the TOCA package.

Manning the truck will be a dedicated and fully trained TOCA safety team and paramedic, with Safety Team Crew Chief Martin Hunt and TOCA Medical Director Dr Paul Trafford overseeing all operations.

In a ground-breaking deal with TOCA, Holmatro is supplying their latest state-of-the-art rescue set, including the Inclined Cutter, which is a unique design to Holmatro. The set will be continually updated as further new tool innovations and technologies are developed.

Holmatro is the world leader in producing advanced rescue equipment, including the hydraulic Cutters and other tools in widespread use across top-level motorsport including the INDYCAR Series in the United States.

Elsewhere, MacTools and its sister company DeWalt, global leaders in their own fields, are also providing a full range of battery-powered equipment and other essential tools.

BTCC Series Director, Alan Gow, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the new ‘TOCA Safety Team’ truck. It represents an investment of nearly £200,000 by TOCA and its partners, underlining our real and ongoing commitment to the very highest level of safety, rescue and recovery.in UK motorsport.

“This state-of-the-art rescue vehicle carries the very latest in cutting and rescue equipment and, most importantly, will be manned by the same dedicated crew at all events. Our team have worked with the BTCC for many years and I consider them to be the ‘best of the best’.

“This introduction provides the BTCC and its supporting series’ with the very latest equipment and expertise available anywhere in the world for when dealing with serious incidents.”

TOCA Medical Director, Dr Paul Trafford, added: “TOCA has always supported the safety initiatives we have made over the years and the ‘TOCA Safety Team’ rescue truck is going to make a huge difference to our ability to respond to any serious incidents in the British Touring Car Championship and its support series’.

“It really is state-of-the-art equipment from Holmatro, MacTools and DeWalt. This will be complimented by the latest medical monitoring equipment supplied by Remote Diagnostic Technologies (RDT), operated by a dedicated crew, making the vehicle very special indeed.”

BTCC launches for 60th anniversary season

Following months of anticipation and pre-season testing, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has officially launched for 2018.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of one of the most much-loved and prolific touring car categories in the world, the forthcoming campaign is set to be another blockbuster affair.

Four manufacturer-backed teams are joined by a host of Independent-run squads, further cementing the strength in depth of the series.

Ashley Sutton enters the year as the man to beat, donning the mantel of defending champion after producing a stunning campaign in 2017 to lift the title in just his second season. Running the famed number one on the side of his Subaru Levorg, Sutton will seek to become a double champion, but will have a whole host of competitors to take on.

Former champions Jason Plato, Matt Neal, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan will all be keen to add to their impressive CV’s. Elsehwere, the likes of Tom Ingram, Jack Goff, Sam Tordoff, Tom Chilton and Rob Austin lead the long list of former race winners (17 in total) that will all be looking to be amongst the championship fight.

In addition to the 30 races that will take place across ten weekend’s at some of the countries top circuits, a special 60-mile race will take place in the third encounter at Snetterton in late July.

Titled the ‘Diamond Double’ race, all cars will run on a base weight and double points will be on offer, further adding to the drama of the 2018 championship battle.

Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “Our capacity line-up for the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with a remarkable record 17 race-winners, yet again underlines the championship’s strength and depth.

“Last year saw the incredible rise-and-rise of eventual champion Ash Sutton, and he is just one of an ever-growing number of emerging talents in the BTCC. The mix of young guns taking on the established stars has been one of the fascinating stories in recent years, and that looks set to continue in 2018.

“Once again, we expect to see battles throughout the field with the Manufacturers’, Independents’ and Jack Sears Trophy providing as much entertainment as the fight for the overall Drivers’ title.

“Whilst firmly focussing on the future we are also immensely proud of the BTCC’s illustrious 60-year history, which we will be celebrating throughout 2018. We are delighted to have confirmed the ‘Diamond Double’ race at Snetterton as part of these diamond jubilee celebrations, and look forward to a number of other 60th anniversary activities during the year.

“This is a truly phenomenal period for the BTCC. The continued and unrivalled support from Dunlop, ITV, IHG and our host of loyal partners remains the envy of comparable motor sport series’ around the world.

“Add to this our incredible fanbase, the media interest that you see here today and of course the unparalleled excitement provided on-track… the BTCC remains the greatest show in British motorsport.”

The opening rounds of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place on April 7/8 at Brands Hatch

Seven championships kickstart campaigns in Silverstone thriller

Seven championships from the British Automobile Racing Club kicked off their 2018 seasons this past weekend (March 24/25) at Silverstone.

Tackling the National layout of the popular venue, high sped edge-of-the-seat thrills were on order in contrasting conditions of rain and sun.

Battling the wet weather on Saturday, the Hyundai Coupe Cup roared into life with a record 24-car entry list. Now entering what is it’s third full season as a standalone series, the one-make tin top category produced a memorable two encounters around Northamptonshire venue.

Like he did on countless occasions last year, Steve Kite proved to be the man to beat as he stormed to a brace of victories, both by more than three seconds. Kite fended off Alex Cursley and Wayne Rockett in the opener before then leading Rockett and Neil Hurren in race two.

The theme of dominant doubles continued in the Michelin Clio Cup Series as Ben Palmer kickstarted his title defence in fine style. With the number one adorning his car for this year, Palmer underlined why he is the benchmark by romping to victory by more than 19 seconds in race one ahead of Simon Freeman and John Hamilton.

Both Hamilton and Freeman locked out the podium in race two but both could only watch on again as Palmer took the chequered flag, this time by just two seconds. In the Road class, Nic Harrison also enjoyed a strong start to the defence of his crown by picking up a pair of wins.

In the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship, Nick Reeve had a dream debut as he took a clean sweep, claiming a pair of pole positions and then converting them into wins.

A five-car entry produced plenty of thrills ’n’ spills with Gus Burton winning on the road in race one after making a robust move on Reeve on the penultimate lap. Following a review, the positions were swapped by officials, giving Reeve the win.

The Specialized Motorsport driver proved to be in a league of his own in race two as he led Lorcan Hanafin and Burton to vault himself to the top of the championship standings.

Ben Kasperczak was in similar form in the Junior Saloon Car Championship, another one-make series that caters for drivers 14 to 17-years-old. At the wheel of his brightly coloured Citroen Saxo, Kasperczak stormed to a brace of victories to establish himself at the helm of the points.

Jemma Moore, Steven Chandler, Tony Rodriguez and Lewis Saunders all also picked up silverware across the two races too.

In the Mighty Minis Championship, Scott Kendall kicked off the defence of his title in style with an impressive victory in race one, taking the chequered flag ahead of Neven Kirkpatrick by four tenths of a second – a sizeable gap in Mini terms.

Race two proved to be a much tighter affair with a host of cars all dicing for top spot. In the end, Jo Polley made it a debut to remember as she took the win ahead of Greg Jenkins, Kendall and Kirkpatrick – a mere tenth of a second covering the four of them.

A diverse range of tin top thrills were also provided by the Classic Touring Car Racing club, which boasted more than 80 cars competing in a range of classes.

The amalgamated Classic, Historic Thunder Saloons & Blue Oval Saloon Series races brought outright victories the way of Dale Gent and Dave Cockell. The Pre 66 Classic Saloon & Historic Touring Cars saw Jonathan Lewis emerge victorious in both races at the wheel of his Mini Cooper S.

Rounding out the action at Silverstone was two races from the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Catering for fans of single seater machines from yesteryear, Mike Gardner and Benn Tilley were the drivers to beat as they shared the spoils, taking a win apiece.

For the full classification of results from all championships, click here.