Rockingham ready to race into the evening with trio of BARC championships

The British Automobile Racing Club is set to race into the evening at Rockingham this Saturday (June 16) in what is set to be another first.

Following on from the venue’s inaugural 24hr race last month, the popular Corby track will now race into the sunset with the Pickup Truck Racing Championship, Junior Saloon Car Championship and Classic Touring Car Championship.

Kicking off the action with qualifying sessions at 09:00, fans will be treated to a feast of on-track entertainment as the categories race through the day and into the night, with the final chequered flag set to fall at 21:30.

Headlining proceedings on the iconic oval circuit, the Pickup Truck Racing Championship makes its second visit to Rockingham this year – having already competed on the infield section of the track for the first time in its history.

Establishing himself as the dominant force early on, Lea Wood heads into the weekend as the championship leader. Now in his third full season, the former BTCC racer has strung together an impressive run of results which has seen countless victories.

Reigning champion Scott Bourne is hot on the heels of Wood and although he may not have won as many races as the points leader, Bourne has been the epitome of consistency. Also in the mix this weekend will likely be David O’Regan, Michael Smith, Mark Willis and Paul Tompkins.

Two high-speed, adrenaline-fuelled 30 lap races around the banked oval are set to be as enthralling as ever.

There will be plenty of variety in the Classic Touring Car Championship during the day too, with no less than eight races being run. Bringing together some of the most iconic tin top and saloon machines from yesteryear, championship will be amalgamated

Notable names to look for during the day include Stephen Primett in his Ford Escort, Dale Gent in his Subaru Impreza and also Mark Cholerton, Mark Osborne and David Howard, amongst others.

The Junior Saloon Car Championship reaches the halfway point in the season with the next generation of racers all set to serve up further thrills and spills.

Events at Silverstone, Rockingham and Brands Hatch so far have proved fruitful with three drivers taking two wins a piece, Frankie Taylor the latest of those. Entering the weekend as the championship leader, Taylor will be keen to extend his advantage across both races whilst fellow winners Joel Wren and Ben Kasperczak will be nipping at his heels.

Thruxton gains second event as 2019 BTCC calendar is unveiled

Series organisers, TOCA, have confirmed the official calendar for the 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – boasting a fresh look.

Comprising of 30 races spanning ten weekend’s across the length and breadth of the UK, Britain’s premier race series will once again dazzle thousands throughout the year.

The most notable change to the 2019 calendar sees Rockingham not included due to the impending sale of the facility not providing TOCA with sufficient clarity at the time of finalising the calendar.

In its place instead is a second event at Thruxton, which will add an August summer visit to its regular May date. Croft and Oulton Park have also changed berths in the order of events, the latter now following the annual trip to North Yorkshire.

Brands Hatch Indy will once again play host to the curtain-raiser on April 6/7 before the series moves on to Donington Park, Thruxton, Croft and Oulton Park. Following the traditional mid-season break, the action will resume at Snetterton before once again returning to Thruxton.

Knockhill, Silverstone and the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit cap off the season, where a champion will be crowned.

2019 BTCC Calendar:

Rounds 1, 2 & 3 – Brands Hatch Indy – April 6/7

Rounds 4, 5 & 6 – Donington Park – April 27/28

Rounds 7, 8 & 9 – Thruxton – May 18/19

Rounds 10, 11 & 12 – Croft – June 15/16

Rounds 13, 14 & 15 – Oulton Park – June 29/30

Rounds 16, 17 & 18 – Snetterton – August 3/4

Rounds 19, 20 & 21 – Thruxton – August 17/18

Rounds 22, 23 & 24 – Knockhill – September 14/15

Rounds 25, 26 & 27 – Silverstone – September 28/29

Rounds 28, 29 & 30 – Brands Hatch GP – October 12/13

BARC categories take on starring role at Pembrey

The Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge took on a starring role at Pembrey this past weekend (June 9/10) as the British Automobile Racing Club visited South Wales.

Under glorious sunshine, the much-loved tin top category was joined by the BARC Saloon Series, Classic VW Cup, Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge and Welsh Racing Drivers Association – making it a weekend not to be missed.

Boasting a bumper entry list and more than eight hours of track action across both days, the C1 Challenge dazzled those in attendance with lap after lap entertainment.

In the longer five-hour endurance race on Saturday, the McAttack Racing pairing of Declan McDonnell and Joe Wiggin proved too much for their rivals as they triumphed ahead of Old Hat Motorsport by 24 seconds at the flag. The top three all took the chequered flag on the same lap, touring the picturesque Pembrey layout 197 times.

The shorter two-hour race may have had less entrants but no less entertainment as Old Hat Motorsport bounced back on Sunday to take victory. The duo of Callum Hutchings and Daniel Bruce clocked 80 laps to take the chequered flag 15 seconds ahead of their nearest challengers.

Ken Lark proved to be the dominant force in the Classic VW Cup as he took a lions share of the spoils during the weekend. At the wheel of his Volkswagen Corrado, Lark was in a league of his own in races one and two, taking the chequered flag in comfortable fashion.

Had it not been for a retirement in the third and final encounter, Lark may well have completed a sensational hat-trick around the challenging circuit. Instead, Nick Sanderson powered his SEAT Leon Supercopa to the chequered flag, pipping Alex Kite by a mere 0.660s.

It was a similar result in the amalgamated BARC Saloon Series and Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge races too as one driver bagged a pair of race wins. Leading the way in qualifying, Chris Sparks produced a mesmerising display in races one and two at the wheel of his Honda Civic.

James Tracey halted Sparks’ chances of taking a clean sweep in the third encounter as he prevailed from a tense battle with Andrew Mizzi to win.

Rounding off the weekend’s action was two races from the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship, both won by the Westfield SE of Damian Longotano.

For the full classification of results from all sessions and categories, click here.

The next major event at Pembrey will take place on June 23/24 when the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship rolls into town for two days of thrills ’n’ spills. Discounted tickets are available to purchase online from as little as £12.00, click here for more information.

Action aplenty from TOCA support package at Oulton Park

Oulton Park played a host to a blockbuster two days of TOCA support race action this past weekend (June 9/10) as familiar stars prevailed and a variety of new faces came to the fore.

On what proved to be a scorcher both on and off the track, all five championships were in action around the Cheshire venue to write the latest chapter in their respective 2018 campaigns.

Spoils were shared in the Ginetta Junior Championship around the 2.23 mile circuit as Adam Smalley and Luke Browning took a win apiece. Browning had looked to be an unstoppable force in the series for 14 to 17-year-old’s, winning a fraught race one – however that was only the start of the story.

Due to the differential of his Richardson Racing machine having an insufficient amount of oil, Browning was excluded which therefore gifted Smalley the win ahead of Fin Green and Louis Foster. The team have since appealed the decision meaning the results remains provisional.

Having lost victory on Saturday, Browning and Richardson Racing struck back on Sunday with a flawless performance in race two as he romped into the distance to triumph by more than 11 seconds ahead of Foster and Greg Johnston.

The Renault UK Clio Cup had a familiar feel to it as James Dorlin continued his recent domination. Entering the weekend as the championship leader having won four races in-a-row, the Westbourne Motorsport driver stormed to pair of pole positions and dually backed it up in race one.

Launching off the line, Dorlin propelled himself into a lead that he ultimately never lost as he controlled the pace at the front to comfortably take his fifth victory on the bounce, extending his points advantage at the same time. Paul Rivett and Max Coates filled the remaining podium positions.

Dorlin’s win streak came to an end in the second race of the weekend however as Coates made a triumphant return to the top step of the podium. Getting the jump on Dorlin off the line, the Pyro racer withstood race-long pressure from Rivett, Dorlin and Bradley Burns to seal a second win of the year – closing the gap to Dorlin in the points too.

There was a brand new winner in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB over the weekend as Tom Wrigley took a breakthrough victory in race one. In a league of his own in qualifying, the JTR driver controlled proceedings to take a lights-to-flag win ahead of Lewis Plato and Tio Ellinas.

Race two of the popular tin top category saw another first-win take place, this time for Daniel Harper. In another frenetic bout, the JTR youngster kept his cool to storm to the chequered flag, with Plato and Ellinas once again occupying the remaining podium spots.

Fans were treated to two races from the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup and neither didn’t disappoint. Charlie Ladell further established himself as the man to beat in the series in the opener as he bagged victory in race. Withstanding early pressure from Harry King, the Rob Boston Racing driver stretched his legs out front and took victory by more than four seconds ahead of Carl Boardley and Adam Shephard.

Ladell further extended his ever-growing championship lead in race two in the GT4 Supercup as he once again put on a dazzling display at the front of the field, beating Boardley and Shepherd to the chequered flag for the second time in succession.

There was the traditional blend of high drama and entertainment in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost over the course of the weekend too, with a trio of races keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Dennis Hauger became the latest driver to enter the winners circle in race one, clinching his maiden win in the single seater category despite finishing behind Kiern Jewiss on the road. A three-second time penalty demoted Jewiss to second whilst Patrik Pasma rounded off the podium.

Ayrton Simmons underlined his title credentials in the second race of the weekend as he won a tense 20-minute battle ahead of Jack Doohan. Outright honours fell the way of Jewiss in the final race as he led home Pasma and Paavo Tonteri.

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

The Ginetta Junior Championship, Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Renault UK Clio Cup and F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost heads to Croft on June 23/24 for the latest chapter of the season.

Advance tickets for the fifth meeting of the year are available until June 14, priced at just £11 for Saturday, £24 for Sunday and £33 for the full weekend. Head to the Croft Circuit website for more information.

BTCC shines at Oulton Park as three new winners make their mark

Matt Simpson, Colin Turkington and Rob Collard took a win apiece as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship served up a scintillating three races at Oulton Park this past weekend (June 9/10).

In searing temperatures and a bumper crowd, Britain’s premier racing series saw three different drivers scaled the top step of the podium – taking the 2018 tally to nine victory from 12 races.

Qualifying saw history made as Simpson set a new lap record on his way to his first-ever BTCC pole position. Firing a warning shot in free practice after setting the pace, the Simpson Racing driver backed-up his front-running pace by setting a blistering time of 1:25.750 around the 2.23 mile Cheshire venue – a lap that would was ultimately never bettered.

Motorbase Performance also enjoyed a strong qualifying session as Sam Tordoff pipped team-mate Tom Chilton to second place whilst BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan rounded out the top four.

As the lights went out for the opening encounter of the weekend, Simpson launched his Honda Civic Type R into a lead that he ultimately would never lose. Controlling the pace, Simpson delivered a measured drive and despite coming under late pressure in the closing stages, he had enough in hand to score a popular breakthrough triumph.

Behind Simpson was the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS of Tom Chilton, who bagged his and the teams maiden rostrum finish of the year. The former Independents champion resisted a near race-long challenge from the BMW of Andrew Jordan to keep second place as Jordan capped the podium.

Unfortunately for Simpson he was unable to see if he could replicate his race one performance, forced to instead watch on from the sidelines as his race-winning machine underwent an engine change.

With everyone moving up a spot on the grid, Chilton blasted away from pole position and held off the early advances of Jordan as the field filed down The Avenue into Dentons. Further back there was action aplenty as Dan Cammish, Josh Cook, Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton were all caught up in an incident, Moffat and Cammish coming off worse out of the four.

Back at the front however all eyes were on Turkington as he made up places in no time at all, soon surging into second place. Producing a textbook pass on Chilton into Lodge corner, the double champion powered his BMW into the distance and on to an emotional first win of the season for both himself and West Surrey Racing.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal slipped past Chilton at Old Hall a couple of laps later but was unable to catch Turkington, settling for second whilst Chilton bagged a second podium of the day.

Race three saw Rob Austin drawn on pole position but there was to be drama further back as a multi-car accident brought the red flag out immediately. Coming together with Mike Bushell, the quartet of Tom Oliphant, Rory Butcher, Daniel Lloyd and Chris Smiley all saw their races come to a premature end – with substantial damage bestowing all of them.

On the restart, Austin was powerless to stop fellow front row starter Rob Collard from getting the jump on him off the line, setting into second place behind the West Surrey Racing pilot. Building up an early advantage, Collard soon gapped the Alfa Romeo driver and stamped his authority on the race.

Austin had looked on course for a second podium of the season but cruel fate was to strike as he slowed, forcing him to retire to the pits. That left West Surrey Racing to pick up a famous 1-2-3 finish as Jordan and Turkington followed Collard to a mammoth haul of silverware.

As a result of the weekend’s three races, Turkington leaves Oulton Park as the championship leader, 12 points ahead of Adam Morgan and Jack Goff.

For the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions over the course of the weekend, click here.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championships heads to North Yorkshire next with Croft playing host to rounds 13, 14 and 15 on June 23/24 – marking the traditional halfway point of the season.

Advance tickets for the fifth meeting of the 2018 campaign are available until June 14, priced at just £11 for Saturday, £24 for Sunday and £33 for the full weekend. Head to the Croft Circuit website for more information.

TOCA support package ready for party in the park at Oulton

The TOCA support package is back to full capacity this weekend (June 9/10) with five championships descending on Oulton Park for the latest event of the 2018 season.

With three categories only making the annual visit to Thruxton last time out, the hugely popular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship supporting cast are back to full strength and ready to steal the show.

It has been a frenetic three events for the Renault UK Clio Cup and that is only set to continue at the Cheshire venue, with James Dorlin leading the way. The Westbourne Motorsport driver enters the weekend in control of the championship standings and with momentum on his side having won four races in-a-row.

Keen to extend that winning run, Dorlin will be one to watch although a host of front runners are all waiting in the wings, keen to score a win and end Dorlin’s victory streak. Max Coates, Paul Rivett and Daniel Rowbottom have all been firmly in the mix thus far, and along with a host of others, should be not be discounted at all.

The Ginetta Junior Championship is guaranteed to provide edge-of-the-seat entertainment wherever it goes and arriving at Oulton Park, Adam Smalley controls the standings after scoring a win and a second place at Thruxton.

Flying the flag for Elite Motorsport, Smalley has been one of many leading lights so far this season along with Louis Foster and Luke Browning, fellow race winners and the drivers that occupy second and third overall.

Having not raced at Thruxton, the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup returns to action this weekend with Charlie Ladell looking to pick up from where he left things as the dominant force. On the podium in every race thus far, as well as scoring three wins, the Rob Boston Racing driver has established himself as the early pace-setter, but his rein could come under a threat from a host of contenders.

Carl Boardley, Harry King, Tom Roche and Jac Constable are all firmly in the mix towards the front and none of them can be overlooked to take the fight to Ladell this weekend.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB is back on British soil and back on the TOCA package too after racing at Monza shortly after Donington Park. Returning from its traditional trip overseas, the one-make category currently has Dino Zamparelli leading the way after a string of impressive performances.

Spearheading the Redline Racing charge, Zamparelli has lived up to the mantel of title favourite so far but pressure from the likes of Lewis Plato and George Gamble will test him further.

Rounding out the track action from the TOCA support paddock this weekend will be three high-octane single seater encounters from the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

With nine races in the books already, Ayrton Simmons remains the man to beat at the top of the standings have notched seven podium finishes already. Consistency has been key for the JHR Developments driver but the pack is chasing him and leading it is multiple race-winner Kiern Jewiss – a youngster who is getting better as each round passes.

Also in the mix for outright honours this weekend will likely be the Red Bull duo of Jack Doohan and Dennis Hauger, as well as Fortec Motorsports’ Johnathan Hoggard.

BTCC heads to Oulton Park for latest chapter of 2018 season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pembrey beckons for BARC categories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BARC championships dazzle at Donington Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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