Bumper entry list steps back in time for Croft Nostalgia Festival extravaganza

The curtains are ready to raise on the 2018 Croft Nostalgia Festival this weekend (4-5 August) with a huge entry list of iconic racing machines primed to take the North-East’s premier circuit by storm for a spectacular two days of riveting retro racing.

Showcasing majestic machinery spanning the decades, the annual historic racing festival never fails to deliver a terrific spectacle as the thrilling competition on track is complemented by stunning military exhibitions and parades, plus a packed programme of performers and entertainment.

Now into its ninth year, the Croft Nostalgia Festival has established itself as a major highlight on the North-East region’s social calendar, with thousands of visitors annually being transported to the halcyon days of motor sport.

With 180+ entries going wheel-to-wheel around the challenging Croft Circuit across 19 races – including some classes with more than 25 cars packing the grids – many leading lights of the historic racing scene are joined by numerous local drivers, who will count on the home support from those packing the banks of the North Yorkshire circuit.

Racing categories at the Croft Nostalgia Festival include Historic Touring Cars, Historic Formula 3, Classic Clubmans, the 70’s Road Sports, Spridgets (Sprites & Midgets), Historic Road Sports Formula Junior, URS with Historic Formula Ford 2000 and the Guards Trophy – all brought to you by the Historic Sports Car Club.

Among the many highlights is the perennially popular Historic Formula Ford race, which has attracted a huge 35-strong line-up across 14 different makes of single-seater car, while 26 drivers will hunt glory in Historic Formula Ford 2000 with URS featuring an intriguing battle between Reynard, Lola, Delta, Dulon, Royale and Crossle entries.

The evocative 70’s Road Sports category features a mouth-watering array of iconic cars, including a number of British favourites, such as the Lotus Elan and Europa, plus a brace of TVR 3000Ms and Triumphs. Fans will also have their heartstrings tugged by a cavalcade of Italian entries, including a Ferrari 308GT, Lancia Monte Carlo, Lancia Beta and Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint, while a plethora of Porsches add German engineering excellence to an exciting line up.

In the year Croft contributed towards the British Touring Car Championship’s (née British Saloon Car Championship) 60th anniversary celebrations, the enduringly-popular Historic Touring Car Championship tips a nostalgic nod to its modern successors with a showdown featuring many of the series’ most renowned contenders, including the fearsome Ford Mustang muscle machine and the more-nimble ‘Brit pack’ of the Lotus Cortina, Ford Anglia and the evergreen Mini Cooper S.

In addition to the enthralling track action, flying demonstrations by the Twisters Aerobatics Display team will take over the skies and classic car parades will take a lap of the circuit, while trade stalls will be selling a variety of products from vintage clothing and military kit to fashionable accessories and a period hair style makeover.

Moreover, the weekend’s entertainment in the marquee will be hosted by Colin Bourdiec ‘AKA’ George Formby, who perform classics including ‘When I’m Cleaning Windows’ and a World War II ENSA (Entertainment National Services Association) routine that will take you back to the 1940s. Back by popular demand, harmony trio ‘The Daisy Belles’ and The Evernotes will also perform in the marquee on both days.

“The Croft Nostalgia Festival is one of the region’s veritable summer highlights and this year’s event is shaping up to be another memorable one, enthused Circuit Manager Tracey Morley. “With the unmistakable sights, sounds and smells of magnificent historic racing machinery filling the venue across two days of glorious competition, the Croft Nostalgia Festival really is a treat for motoring enthusiasts and motor sport fans alike.

“More than that though, with noble military machinery on display, period exhibitions and activities, plus a wealth of entertainment and performances harking back to days gone by, there really is something for the entire family to enjoy.”

Tickets for the weekend are available on the gate from just £15 for Saturday, 4 August and £20 for Sunday, 5 August – or just £30 for the weekend. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Hybrid power set to be introduced into the BTCC

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has confirmed that hybrid power will be introduced to the series within the evolution of the current technical regulations at the end of 2021.

Currently the hugely successful NGTC regulations are into the second half of its ten-year term. At a recent BTCC Technical Working Group (TWG) recently, a pathway for the introduction go hybrid energy was agreed.

Confirmed at the TWG was that a specified hybrid unit would be fitted to all cars as an addition to their current drive train.

The addition of this part will allow each car to have a reserve supplementary hybrid power available during each race. which drivers can use as part of their overall race strategy.

Detailed engineering aspects of the project are set to commence in close conjunction with the TWG, with technical decisions to made over the coming 12-18 months.

It is possible that some current cars will be fitted with hybrid units during 2020/2021 as part of the project’s test and development programme.

BTCC Series Director, Alan Gow, said: “We’re going through a very important and exciting time for this great championship, so I’m delighted to now confirm that the BTCC will be introducing hybrid energy as part of our evolution.

“This concept was very welcomed at our recent TWG meeting and now the real work begins as to the technical implementation. But different to hybrid development within the likes of Formula 1, this certainly shouldn’t – and won’t – be an ‘extreme’ technical exercise, but rather will be one which we will introduce within our NGTC technical regulations relatively seamlessly and very cost-effectively.

“Just as importantly, by incorporating hybrid it keeps the BTCC absolutely relevant to manufacturers, sponsors and the public… with the added benefit of further enhancing our great racing. Drivers will have a given reserve of additional hybrid power to use during each race, which will provide an extra element of race-craft and excitement to the fantastically close and entertaining racing that is the hallmark of the BTCC.”

Further updates will be provided by TOCA during the course of the project.

Matt Neal hails Diamond Double win ‘one of the best of his BTCC career’

Matt Neal has hailed his victory in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s Diamond Double at Snetterton this past weekend (July 28/29) as one of the best of his career.

On what was a milestone weekend for the series as it continued its 60th Anniversary celebrations, the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver once again wrote his name into the history books with a 63rd BTCC victory.

Instead of the customary reverse grid format for race three at the Norfolk venue, round 18 was to be a 60-mile, 20-lap race where all cars would run without success ballast and on the same tyre. More importantly that than, double championship points were also on offer.

Having qualified in second place in the second of two qualifying sessions on Saturday, the triple-champion served up a masterful performance at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R.

Chasing the WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda of Jack Goff, Neal took the lead on lap nine when a brief rain shower caught out Goff, sending him wide at the Wilson hairpin and allowing Neal to make the pass down the inside.

Despite coming under race-long pressure from Goff and the charging Tom Ingram, the 51-year-old used of all experience to power towards the chequered flag to take yet another famous victory.

“What a fantastic race,” Neal enthused. “To produce a result like we have done on a completely level playing field is testament to all of the hard work that everyone at Halfords Yuasa Racing has put in and underlines how strong this new Type R is.

“We qualified well but with the drizzle I wasn’t quite sure how we would fair – I was expecting us to go backwards at a million miles an hour. The car was really loose on the opening laps but it settled down soon after and I was able to push on a little bit more from then on.

“I was running halfway between a dry and full wet brake setting and that worked well for me. Both myself and Jack were strong in different areas but he was caught out a little bit by the rain at the hairpin, that opened the door for me and I was able to take the lead from there. Jack and Tom though both hounded right until the end.”

Since 1991, Neal has been a permanent fixture of the BTCC and in that time he has enjoyed some memorable moments. From becoming the first Independent driver to win a race outright and scooping £250,000 from Alan Gow in 1999 to his trio of championship wins, Neal has continued to add to his ledger as being one of the all-time greats in the series.

Basking in the glory of winning the coveted Diamond Double, Neal admits that his latest triumph ranks right up there as one of his best BTCC wins.

“I was hoping Alan was going to present me with another cheque when I got onto the podium,” Neal joked. “I’m not to sure where I am going to put this big trophy though, I think it will go in the workshop with the boys as they have earned it just as much as me.

“The BTCC has been my life so to win this race is so special, it was our day! There have been some highs and lows down the years but this is definitely up there as being one of the best achievements I have had in the BTCC.”

Virtue of his historic victory, Neal remains third in the overall standings, trailing new leader Ingram by just 16 points.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues its 2018 campaign in under two weeks times on August 11/12, with Rockingham playing host to rounds 19, 20 & 21.

Battle lines drawn as British Superbike title fight powers into Thruxton

Thruxton sets the stage for round seven of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship next weekend (3-5 August), with the high-speed Hampshire battleground awaiting the nation’s most fearless two-wheeled warriors in what promises to be another gripping all-action encounter.

Among the fastest motorcycle racing venues in the world, the Thruxton round of BSB represents arguably the most exhilarating challenge for Britain’s premier biking heroes as they battle handlebar-to-handlebar at eye-watering speeds in excess of 170mph in Britain’s tightest and most keenly contested racing series.

Indeed, with precision passes, multiple changes for the lead and races decided by mere thousandths of a second proving the rule rather than the exception in this thrilling championship, BSB is one of the many dazzling highlights of Thruxton’s 50-year Golden Anniversary celebrations.

JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam tops the table heading to Thruxton as he bids to maintain forward momentum in his quest for a long-awaited maiden BSB title. The Superbike stalwart is one of the series’ most successful racers with 37 victories to his name, six of which he has accumulated in 2018 alone.

However, while Haslam is no stranger to title fights at the pinnacle of Superbike racing both in Britain and on the world stage, many his main rivals for 2018 represent the best of a growing group of promising young talents seemingly destined along the path for success.

Leading this exciting new wave is Jake Dixon, who has forged a relentless route towards the sharp end of the standings in 2018 following a breakout race-winning 2017 campaign. At just 22-years old, Dixon is quickly establishing himself as a Superbike star having amassed no fewer than 12 podiums – including three wins – in little over 12 months aboard the RAF Regular & Reserves Kawasaki ZX-10R.

In third place overall, Glenn Irwin has dutifully stepped up to lead the Be Wiser Ducati team in the absence of Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne. The defending champion remains on the road to recovery for injuries sustained in a testing crash just as his quest for another record-breaking seventh BSB title was gathering momentum. Nevertheless, the mantle could well remain in the team’s hands courtesy of Irwin who has featured towards the front all year.

Then there is Bradley Ray – aged just 21 – who stunned the paddock at the start of the year with a double victory on the distinctive Buildbase Suzuki GSX-R1000 and has been touted for future success, while Danny Buchan has been the model of consistency riding the FS-3 Kawasaki ZX-10R.

That’s not to say familiar fan favourites won’t be out in force for more Thruxton silverware this weekend. Former champion Josh Brookes arrives on the back of a triumphant double victory aboard the McAMS Yamaha R1, while the charismatic Australian has reason to be confident around a circuit he has enjoyed immense success at in previous years. Indeed, Thruxton marked his first-ever BSB win back in 2010, while he was a double victor in both 2014 and 2015, and topped the podium again last season.

With everything still to play for ahead of the ‘Showdown’ – where the top six riders go forward to battle it out for the coveted title over the final three rounds – don’t rule out the likes of Smiths Racing’s Peter Hickman, who was a race winner at Thruxton in 2017, and fellow BMW contenders Christian Iddon and Michael Laverty on the Tyco Racing-prepared S1000RRs.

Moreover, fans will have every reason to get behind the local brigade this year as Etchilhampton’s Tommy Bridewell teams up with Winchester-based Moto Rapido Ducati in the ultimate regional ‘dream team’.

Beyond the British Superbike Championship races, the packed Thruxton itinerary features a superb support programme delivering electrifying action worthy of a headline act. The Dickies British Supersport, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 in association with Black Horse, HEL Performance British Motostar and the Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecars in association with Molson are all in action to keep visitors entertained from the first green light to the final chequered flag.

As well as three days of back-to-back track action, fans have the chance to meet the riders and grab their autographs and selfies with the Pit Walk at 09.30 on Sunday morning, while the addition of two more big screens at the first corner Allard and in the paddock will ensure not a single moment of the action is missed this weekend.

“It is a truly awe-inspiring spectacle to witness these masters of the discipline racing so hard and fast in breathtaking encounters,” remarked Group Managing Director, Bill Coombs. “With riders getting their knees and elbows down at staggering speeds as they jostle for position just inches from one another, it’s little wonder this annual Thruxton highlight draws such passionate bumper crowds each-and-every year.

“The British Superbike Championship has been the cornerstone of our racing calendar for decades now and we’re proud it is regarded as one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, venues among the most accomplished Superbike riders in the country – indeed, some of the finest riders in the world! Together with an action-packed support programme and a wealth of entertainment, exhibitions and activities for the entire family to enjoy, there really will be something for everyone!”

In addition to the on-track action, Thruxton has also launched an exclusive competition that will see one lucky advanced ticket holder experience a high-speed pillion ride around the UK’s fastest circuit on BSB race day. This once-in-a-lifetime prize can be won by anyone who makes or has already purchased an advanced race day or advanced weekend ticket.

Advanced tickets for the BSB’s visit on 3-5 August are priced at £28 for Sunday (race day) but only until tomorrow (31 July). Tickets are available on arrival priced £5 for Friday (practice), £16 for Saturday (qualifying and support races) and £33 for Sunday. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

For further information, see www.thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/bsb or call 01264 882200 and select Option 1.

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

Snetterton serves up blockbuster weekend of TOCA support championship action

All five TOCA support package championships returned to action at Snetterton this past weekend (July 28/29) and there were edge-of-the-seat thrills all the way.

Resuming battle following the annual mid-season break, the Norfolk venue provided a fitting backdrop to two full-throttle days of high-octane entertainment.

The Ginetta Junior Championship produced a host of thrills and spills, with Luke Browning and Adam Smalley sharing the spoils. Races one and two belonged to Richardson Racing’s Browning as he took back-to-back victories, both on Saturday as the Norfolk venue basked in the sunshine.

Championship leader Smalley, who had to look on as Browning cleaned up, ensured he claimed the final bragging rights of the event with a win of his own in race three. The Elite Motorsport driver was made to work for his sixth victory of the season though as he was hounded to the chequered flag by Browning, the pair seemingly in a league of their own.

Harry King and Charlie Ladell emerged as the stars of the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup with King bagging a pair of race wins too. The Elite Motorsport hotshot proved to be the man to beat early on in the weekend and he solidified that fact with two perfect drives in races one and two.

Ladell meanwhile added yet another victory to his 2018 record as he maintained his lead in the championship heading into the business end of the season.

There was an emotional first win in the Renault UK Clio Cup for Daniel Rowbottom during the weekend too. In treacherous conditions, Rowbottom scythed his way from ninth into second on the opening tour, and then was involved in an almighty scrap for the lead with James Dorlin. After several laps of going back and forth, Dorlin out-braked himself at Wilson, giving the Cattaclean driver a lead he ultimately never went on to lose.

Race two from the Clio Cup saw championship leader Max Coates bounce back from his race one woes to notch another win. Losing the lead at the start, the Team Pyro driver battled back to pass Dorlin and then pull away from his rivals, taking victory ahead of the aforementioned Dorlin and Lee Pattison.

Spoils were shared in the two Porsche Carrera Cup GB races with Dino Zamparelli and Tom Wrigley each toping the podium. In wet conditions, Zamparelli controlled proceedings in race one as he grabbed an early lead and was ultimately never headed.

The second race of the day saw the circuit substantially drier, giving Wrigley the opportunity to showcase his talents and stake his claim to the title with a measured performance, taking the chequered flag by a mere eight tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Plato.

Finally, the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost produced three exhilarating races to kickstart the second half of their season. With another bumper grid of single seater machines primed for battle, Snetterton provided the perfect backdrop for rounds 16, 17 & 18.

Dennis Hauger came out on top in a dramatic opening encounter, leading home an Arden 1-2 with Sebastian Priaulx hot on his heels. Race two saw a new driver come to the fore as Paavo Tonteri scored his maiden F4 victory, taking the lead at the start and then never being challenged from there.

The final race of the weekend from the F4 contingent saw Jack Doohan make it three different winners from three races, pipping fellow race winners Hauger and Tonteri.

For the full classification of results from all of the weekend’s session from each championship, click here.

The action continues for the TOCA support package on August 11/12 as the Renault UK Clio Cup, Ginetta Junior Championship, Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup and F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost head to Rockingham.

Julian Godfrey wins at Croft to take British Rallycross Championship points lead

Julian Godfrey propelled himself to the top of the standings in the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship this past Sunday (July 29), taking victory at Croft Circuit in round six.

Visiting North Yorkshire for the second time this season, the series battled it out in contrasting conditions to last time, with heavy rain added further spice to the action in front of a hearty crowd.

Entering the weekend third in the points, five-time champion Godfrey produced a stellar performance to take a maximum score, vaulting himself to the summit of the leaderboard.

Kevin Proctor led the way in two of the three heats in the run to the final, with Godfrey the other pace setter. Come the end of the day however nobody could stop the Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage as he got a good start and converted his front row start into a lead that he ultimately never lost.

Behind, Ollie O’Donovan saw his hopes of a podium disappear whilst giving chase to Godfrey and Proctor. The Ford Focus driver suffered broken right front suspension and finished the contest sixth, leaving him tied for second overall with Mark Higgins, a point off Godfrey.

Higgins benefitted from O’Donovan’s woes to round off the podium with Steve Hill and Liam Manning rounding out the top five.

Elsewhere reigning MSA Supernational Rallycross champion Tristan Ovenden overcame the challenging conditions to clinch his fourth victory of the season ahead of local star Paige Bellerby and Paul Coney.

Solberg Hansen recorded his second win in the MSA Junior Rallycross Championship as it boasted a record 12 drivers that started. As others lost their way during the final encounter, Hansen held his nerve to thread his way into the lead and power to victory ahead of Patrick O’Donovan and Ben Sayer.

Morgan Bailey delivered a champions performance in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship to pip Tom Llewellin and Simon Ovenden after a race-long battle.

There were two attempts to run the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship final but when it came to a close, David Bell emerged as the victor and in-doing so took the lead of the points too.

Rounding out the list of winners from a wet and wild weekend was Gary Dixon in the Retro Rallycross Championship final following a monumental scrap with James Harrold, Gary Simpson, Jason Bowes and Ian Biagi.

BTCC marks 60th Anniversary in style with Snetterton spectacle

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship marked its 60th Anniversary in fine style at Snetterton this past weekend (July 28/29) as Jack Goff, Ashley Sutton and Matt Neal all took race wins – the latter in the Diamond Double.

In-keeping with the series’ Diamond Jubilee, the second half of the season kicked off in Norfolk with two blockbuster races and a longer milestone encounter – all of which helped write the latest chapter in the illustrious history of the BTCC.

Saturday’s two qualifying sessions belonged to the WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R of Jack Goff. Having set the pace in the day’s earlier practice session, Goff came out of the blocks flying in the first battle for pole position, storming to the top of the times at the mid-point of qualifying and to a new lap record.

Following a short break, the BTCC contingent were back out on track for 15 minutes to decide the grid for the longer 60-mile race three encounter. As he had done previously, Goff produced a scintillating lap to break his own lap record and take the all-important pole position for the weekend’s marque event.

In contrast to the dry conditions of Saturday, drivers were greeted with heavy rain on Sunday morning as they lined up for the first race of the day – one that would ultimately go on to be an all-time classic.

Launching from pole position, Goff launched his Civic off the line and into an early lead. Further back, all eyes were on reigning champion as he jumped from ninth on the grid into second place by turn three.

As others struggled to master the treacherous conditions, Goff and Sutton got their heads down and began to build a gap to Dan Cammish in third. Further back, Tom Ingram joined the ever-growing list of retirements as he crawled to a stop having suffered an alternator failure on his Toyota Avensis.

With the laps ticking by, Sutton soon began eating into Goff’s lead – his Subaru Levorg working well in the pouring rain. Setting fastest lap after fastest lap, the 23-year-old soon began to fill the mirrors of Goff as they went onto the final tour.

Showing his nose at Agostini, Sutton made a bold and quite staggering move around the outside of the sweeping Coram corner, placing him on the inside for Murrays. Leading out of the final corner, the pair had a drag race to the line where Goff narrowly pipped Sutton to the chequered by just 0.152. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish rounded off the podium in third.

Riding high on the success of race one, Goff’s world came crashing down before the start of race two after missing the window to leave the pit lane and head to the grid. Forced to start from the back of the grid, Goff’s pole position spot was vacant and it gave Sutton clear road ahead.

With the track having predominantly dried out, all cars started on slick tyres and it was Sutton that made the best start. Resisting early pressure from Cammish, the Subaru driver began to stretch his legs out front whilst the chasing pack squabbled.

Whilst Sutton led, Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram proved to be the star of the show as he scythed his way through the field from P27. Picking off drivers one-by-one, the Independents champion eventually finished on the podium, clawing third away from Cammish at the line.

Back at the front, a safety car period with just a handful of laps to go eroded Sutton’s gap and despite a strong restart he was to come under pressure from the charging Josh Cook, who ran him close as they took the chequered flag covered by less than a second.

Having started from the back of the grid, race one winner Goff struggled with the additional 75kgs of success ballast and crossed the line in P17.

As the dust settled on races one and two, all eyes were firmly focused on the Diamond Double; the 60-mile, 20 lap, double championship point extravaganza race to cap off the weekend.

Back on the front row of the grid, Goff made another lightening start and immediately began to build a gap over the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda of Neal. Sutton’s chances of scoring big ended on the opening laps he was forced to serve a 30-second stop-go penalty for an infringement on the grid before the warm-up lap. Due to serving it incorrectly, he made a second visit to the pits a lap later to do the same thing.

At the front, the battle for the lead ignited after a brief safety car period. On lap nine, a sprinkling of rain hit the circuit, catching several drivers out. Heading into the Wilson hairpin, Neal showed his nose on Goff, who out-braked himself – thus giving the lead to the three-time champion.

From there Neal, Goff and Ingram were inseparable as they built up a substantial gap over Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton in fourth and fifth. Despite Goff or Ingram being able to make a move on Neal, the three-way fight for the lead kept fans on the edge-of-their-seats until the final lap.

Further down the order was an almighty scrap for sixth, with Chris Smiley leading a train of more than 10 cars at one point. Fending off the likes of Colin Turkington, Cook and more, Smiley looked on course to maintain the position before damage late on put pay to those aspirations.

The chequered flag saw Neal write the latest chapter in what is becoming a storied career as he took victory in the winner Diamond Double, finishing ahead of Goff and Ingram.

At the end of the weekend it is now Ingram that sits at the top of the points standings, six markers ahead of Turkington whilst Neal is a further ten behind.

For the full classification of results and standings from all of the weekend’s sessions, click here.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues in under two weeks time for rounds 19, 20 & 21 at Rockingham on August 11/12.

Junior Saloon Car Championship scholarship returns for 2019 with Croft event

The Junior Saloon Car Championship has confirmed that its Scholarship programme will once again return for the 2019 season, this time taking place at Croft Circuit.

Taking place on October 25th, the one-day event will bid to find the latest teenage star and give them the opportunity of a lifetime by racing in the 2019 Junior Saloon Car Championship.

Running for a third year, the event has elected to switch from Silverstone to Croft however the elements of the scholarship programme will remain the same.

Drivers competing for the prize will take to the circuit, face the media, have a fitness test and also take part in an auto test. A judging panel made up of the championships organisers and partners will then whittle dow the competition to select a winner.

Registration for the 2019 scholarship will be open soon. For more information, stay on top of things with via the JSCC website here.

Matt Neal wins the BTCC Diamond Double

Matt Neal has written his name into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship history books at Snetterton after winning the Diamond Double.

As a way of marking 60 years of the BTCC, round 18 of the series was a 60-mile, 20-lap race instead of the customary reverse grid format. In addition, and more importantly, double points were on offer for it too.

Following on from storming to pole position in the first qualifying session on Saturday, WIX Racing with Eurotech’s Goff produced another stellar performance to make it two pole’s from two sessions – underlining his superiority at the Norfolk venue. The cherry on top for Goff was that he also smashed his own lap record that he had set just a few hours before.

Joining Goff on the front row of the grid was Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal, whilst Tom Chilton and Tom Ingram filled the second row of the grid in their respective machines.

With mixed weather conditions battering the circuit throughout the day, all eyes were fixed on the skies to see if it would be a wet or dry race. With the rain holding off, all cars started on slicks and Goff launched from pole position into an early lead.

Behind, Tom Ingram hounded the back of Neal during the early running whilst Andrew Jordan vaulted himself into fourth. Towards the rear of the field, Aiden Moffat and Rory Butcher saw their races ended on the spot at the exit of Wilson.

Further back reigning champion Ashley Sutton found himself in strife as he was hit with not one but two 30-second stop-go penalties. The race two winner was issued the penalty on the opening lap but was adjudged to have not served it in the correct way the first time, forcing him to visit the pit lane for again a lap later.

As the laps ticked by Goff’s early lead was beginning to be whittled down as Neal and Ingram gave chase, especially after a brief safety car caused by Brett Smith and Tom Oilphant. Lap nine proved to be a decisive moment in the Diamond Double as light rain hit the circuit and Neal made his move. Running into the Wilson hairpin, Goff was unable to stop his Civic Type R and slithered wide, giving Neal the lead.

The splattering of rain ended soon after however Neal was unable to pull away from Goff. From lap nine onwards, Neal was chased by Goff and Ingram with no more than a second ever separating them.

Try as he might, Goff struggled to find a way past his Type R compatriot and he soon had his mirrors filled with the Toyota Avensis of Ingram. On lap 20, Ingram showed his nose at the Wilson hairpin but had the door shut. From there

Behind the top three, Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton enjoyed a feisty battle with the BMW driver getting the edge over the Motorbase racer, taking fourth.

The scrap for sixth was where everyone had their attention drawn towards as Chris Smiley defended the position. With a bumper queue building up, Smiley came undone after the multiple laps of scrapping with Colin Turkington, Josh Cook, Senna Proctor and more.

Smiley became undone near the end of the race, joining the long list of retirements with damage. That departure gave Turkington sixth with Cook, Matt Simpson, Daniel Lloyd, and Proctor rounding out the top ten.

In the wake of the Diamond Double, Ingram now leads the BTCC Driver standings by six points over Turkington. Neal’s victory brings him closer in third whilst Goff and Cook round out the top five.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns in two weeks time with rounds 19, 20 & 21 taking place at Rockingham on August 11/12.

For the full classification of results and championship standings, click here.

Jack Goff and Ashley Sutton share BTCC spoils in contrasting Snetterton races

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has marked its 60th anniversary at Snetterton in fine style so far this weekend (July 28/29), with Jack Goff and Ashley Sutton scoring wins in races one and two respectively.

In what is a totally unique meeting for the series, the opening two 12-lap encounters around the Norfolk venue are likely to live long in the memory.

Qualifying for race one of the weekend proved to be a record-breaking affair as Goff scorched his way to pole position in the searing heat. Powering his WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R to the top of the times at mid-point in the session, his 1:55.556 wasn’t to be bettered, giving him a second pole of the season.

Joining Goff on the front row was Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish in second whilst row two was made up of two more Civic Type R’s, Matt Simpson and Brett Smith.

Torrential rain and a bumper trackside crowd greeted the drivers on Sunday, with the weather adding further spice to the already unpredictable track action.

With all cars on wet tyres, Goff turned his front row start into a race lead that he ultimately would never lose, however it wasn’t easy. As the Honda driver enjoyed a strong start, reigning champion Ashley Sutton had an even stronger one as he scythed his way through the field, going from ninth to second on the opening tour.

Losing ground in the early stages to Goff, Sutton soon began to set fastest lap after fastest lap, closing the gap to Goff in the process. With just a handful of laps to go, Goff’s mirrors were soon filled with Subaru Levorg of Sutton, shades of 2017 where the pair diced for a victory at Snetterton then.

Having defended for a majority of the final lap, Goff found himself having a lary moment through the Bombhole, allowing Sutton to close the gap. Attempting to go around the outside of the Honda driver at Coram, Sutton was on the inside and in the lead exiting the final corner and onto the straight. In a drag race to the line, Goff and Sutton went door-to-door in the run to the line, with Goff emerging as the victor.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish rounded off the podium with a measured drive in third place; Josh Cook and Sam Tordoff capping off the top five.

The second encounter of the day saw drama before the race had even begun. Following on from his earlier victory, Goff missed the window to leave the pit lane and was forced to start from the back of the grid, automatically ending his hopes of scoring a second win.

With the rain having eased off, slick tyres were chosen by everyone and Sutton took advantage of the clear road ahead of him to storm to his third victory of the year. Despite coming under early pressure from Cammish, the 23-year-old was able to pull away from the Honda driver as the laps ticked by.

Further back, Tom Ingram proved to be the one to watch as he threaded his way up the order having started in P27. Championship leader Colin Turkington meanwhile endured a torrid time, suffering contact on the first lap that ended his race early.

Following a brief safety car period late on, Sutton attempted to make his escape but soon found himself defending on the final lap to Power Maxed TAG Racing’s Cook. Despite the best efforts of Cook, Sutton maintained his lead to thrust himself into title contention.

Ingram meanwhile continued to pick off his rivals and clinched third place on the line, taking his overtaking tally to 24 in race two.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will cap off the weekend at Snetterton with the Diamond Double, a 60-mile race with double points on offer. Scheduled to start at 17:15, Goff will once again start on pole position with Matt Neal joining him on the front row.

For the full classification of results from rounds 16 and 17, click here.

Special BTCC liveries unveiled to mark 60th Anniversary at Snetterton

Several cars on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid will sport different liveries at Snetterton this weekend (July 28/29) as part of the series’ 60th Anniversary celebrations.

In what is set to be a milestone event at the Norfolk venue, the second half of the 2018 season will kick into a life with plenty of Diamond Jubilee commemorations, including a reformatted race three titled the Diamond Double.

Instead of the traditional reverse grid encounter will be a 60-mile contest, which is almost double that of the customary BTCC race distance at Snetterton, run over 20 laps. In addition, double championship points will be on offer whilst all cars will run on base weight and the same tyre compound.

Honouring the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee, reigning champion Ashley Sutton’s Adrian Flux Subaru Racing is adorned in black, grey and white, instead of its usual striking blue for the weekend’s trio of races.

Commenting on the livery, Sutton said: “Seeing as it is the BTCC’s 60th years felt right that we had to do something. I’ve had this idea in my head since around about Oulton Park so to now see it in the flesh is brilliant.

“I’ve always loved the BTCC; I looked up to it when I was growing up so to be in it, let alone a champion is something that is very special to me. Going black, grey and white fitted in with the theme of going back in time and looking at some of the iconic moments.

“I think it looks fantastic. When you look at it alongside Jason’s (Plato) car you almost have to look twice, it really throws you. When it is on track alongside everyone else it will really stand out.”

Sam Tordoff meanwhile will add an extra splash of colour to the grid by hitting the track in his now bright pink Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS.

“We had such a great reaction to the JCT600 70th anniversary platinum livery that we ran at croft in 2016,” Tordoff said. “As soon as I had signed the contract with Motorbase to return to the BTCC this year, I was adamant that we should do something similar once again. The 60th BTCC anniversary celebrations at Snetterton seemed the perfect time to do it.

“We wanted to choose a colour that really made an impact on the track and also on TV. Bright pink has become my signature colour over recent years. My pink helmet attracts a lot of attentions and comments – as you’d expect – and we wanted something special for the car, so it was a no-brainer to run it.

“It’s definitely going to grab people’s attention – who knows, we may even decide to keep it.”

Rob Austin’s HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta will also carry a special roof design this weekend, with the colour matching the same paint that adorned the title-winning Alfa Romeo 155 of 1994.

Croft gearing up for second visit of British Rallycross Championship

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship returns to Croft Circuit this Sunday (July 29) for round six of what is proving to an exciting and unpredictable 2018 season.

Following a short summer break, the series resumes in North Yorkshire with sideways, high-octane thrills firmly high on the agenda in the forecasted searing sun.

It was in May that the British Rallycross contingent last visited Croft and fans were treated to a flat-out day of track action as the leading lights went wheel-to-wheel, and some even into the air – Julian Godfrey walking away unscathed from a scary roll and subsequent fire in his Mitsubishi Mirage.

Ollie O’Donovan walked away as the victor in the end and the Irishman arrives at Croft in control of the point’s standings. Three wins on the bounce has propelled the Ford driver to the summit, six points ahead of his nearest challenger Mark Higgins, who has been a revelation in his maiden season in the series.

A further four points back in the championship is multiple title winner Godfrey, who is keen to add another crown to his ever-growing list of accomplishments. These three will likely be the ones to watch in the Supercar category however there are a host of others that are all also sighting glory around the challenging Croft layout.

Local drivers Mad Mark and Kevin Proctor will be keen to put on a show in front of their home crowd whilst Steve Hill, Roger Thomas, Steve Mundy and Liam Manning make up the entry list in the flagship championship.

Aside from the Supercar action this weekend, fans will also have plenty of other categories to watch, undoubtedly keeping them on the edge-of-their seats.

Races from the MSA Supernational Championship (incl. Super 1600), MSA Junior Rallycross Championship, Swift Sport Championship, BMW Mini Championship, Retro Rallycross and Super Retro Rallycross will all be on the billing too.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day, priced at £18 per person whilst children 15 and under go free when accompanied by a paying adult. Gates will open at 08:30 and track action will kick off at 09:30.