BARC championships shine in Oulton Park thriller

Oulton Park played host to an unmissable day’s track action this past Saturday (June 23) as four British Automobile Racing Club championships resumed battle.

In sweltering conditions, the picturesque Cheshire venue provided the perfect backdrop for a frenetic day’s racing which was organised and run by the Club’s North West Centre.

Heading up the action was Britcar’s Dunlop Endurance Championship, which saw a 50-minute and two-encounter run. Bringing together a raft of eye-catching and mesmerising machines onto one grid, both races proved to ha

In the shorter 50-minute Sprint race, Richard Neary piloted his Mercedes Benz AMG GT GT3 to victory – more 25 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger after completing 28 laps.

Neary continued that form into the day’s longer race, which had a 50-minute sprint incorporated into it too. Once again starring in his Mercedes, Neary romped to clinch the chequered flag to make it a dream double and uphold his position as being in a league of his own.

Whilst Neary and many others peeled off at the end of their race, the endurance contingent continued to tackle Oulton Park and come the end of the two hours, the pairing of Sean Cooper and McCollum drove their Track Focused KTM X-Bow to the top of the podium.

The solitary CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship race had a familiar feel to it as Paul Rose further cemented himself as the man to beat in 2018. Having produced countless race-winning performances already this season, Rose was in his usual superlative form at Oulton.

At the wheel of his Saker RAPX S1-400, Rose converted pole position into a dominant win as he streaked clear, winning by more than 55 seconds. Despite their best efforts, the duo of Danny Bird and Luke Arminger could do nothing about Rose’s charge and settled for second and third respectively.

Garrie Whittaker emerged as a one-man juggernaut in the Kumho BMW Championship, picking up two overall race wins. Home to some of the most iconic models from the German manufacturer, a grid of more than 20 cars went wheel-to-wheel for supremacy, with Whittaker prevailing. Race one saw Whittaker edge out a close affair with Piers Reid and Colin Wells in close proximity, ultimately filling the rostrum. Whittaker’s performance in race two was to be more dominant, triumphing by more than 12 seconds ahead of Wells and James Card.

In the Classic 2CV Championship staged the latest two rounds of their popular one-make category, with experience coming to the fore. Race one saw reigning champion Lien Davies bag a win before Pete Sparrow did the same in the second.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Cook homing in on Thruxton glory as locals tipped to shine

Thruxton is preparing to welcome the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) on 19-20 May, with new race-winner Josh Cook primed as the local driver to watch at the forefront of what is being billed as a ‘changing of the guard’ in Britain’s top motor sport series.

In its 60th anniversary year, the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee season is already shaping up to become one for the ages as the championship’s perennial favourites go into high-speed battle against the new wave of precocious talents enjoying success in Britain’s premier tin-top series.

It is a ‘revolution’ Cook from Bath finds himself at the heart of after claiming his maiden BTCC pole position and victory behind the wheel of his Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra last time out at Donington Park, in so doing lifting himself to third in the overall Drivers’ standings.

Buoyed by the prospect of following up his landmark weekend with another successful event at the Hampshire speedbowl, as Thruxton is affectionately known, Cook is convinced that local support has the power to carry him further on the crest of his current wave.

“It was fantastic to stand on top of the BTCC podium for the first time in my career and I cannot wait to experience that winning feeling again and again,” the 26-year-old commented. “Thruxton is an exhilarating circuit to race at and nothing would make me happier than to carry our momentum through to another great result. I will be giving it my all and I am sure the vocal home support for me and the team will be worth those extra tenths of a second.”

With the BTCC headlining an action-packed TOCA racing weekend, visitors will get their first proper look at the circuit’s brand new, industry-leading £2 million hospitality facility – The Thruxton Centre – ahead of its official opening by Nigel Mansell and Murray Walker on Sunday, 3 June amid a weekend of 50th Anniversary celebrations.

“I am looking forward to exploring the state-of-the-art Thruxton Centre,” Cook continued. “It is a brilliant new centrepiece for the circuit and one that represents an exciting future for this legendary venue.”

Cook’s burgeoning BTCC success comes as part of an unmistakable ‘youthful charge’ among some of the series’ up-and-coming participants, one that currently sees the top eight drivers in the standings average little more than 25 years of age.

Even so, there remains arguably no substitute for experience and few in the BTCC come as seasoned as fellow local favourite Rob Collard, the Frimley man seeking more silverware at Thruxton after a triumphant performance in front of a bumper crowd at the hugely popular Andover venue 12 months ago.

Competing in his 19th season of BTCC competition, Collard in the factory-backed Team BMW 125i M Sport has demonstrated some of his best form in recent years, finishing in the top five overall in both 2016 and 2017. He will be seeking to replicate his popular 2017 victory this weekend.

Armed with its striking new Civic Type R, Swindon-based Honda UK’s works team, Halfords Yuasa Racing, has enjoyed significant success at Thruxton over the years and is targeting a landmark first win for the latest-generation model with its accomplished driver pairing, BTCC veteran Matt Neal and rookie sensation Dan Cammish.

Fan favourite DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing will also strive for the top step at Thruxton with its all-new Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The Swindon team has re-introduced the iconic Italian marque to the BTCC for its first Thruxton appearance in more than a decade, HMS Racing hoping to hark back to Alfa Romeo’s iconic glory days when the Italian factory squad famously swept to the 1994 BTCC title with Gabriele Tarquini.

The RAF Falcons are additionally confirmed to perform their incredible display during Thruxton’s BTCC race meeting on Sunday, 20 May at approximately 10:15. More information can be found here

Tickets for the BTCC’s visit on 19-20 May can be purchased on the gate, priced at £16 for Saturday (qualifying) and £33 for Sunday (race day). Saturday grandstand seats are an additional £5. Accompanied children aged 15 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Donington Park next up for TOCA support package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ollie O’Donovan takes a clean sweep in British Rallycross double-header at Pembrey

Ollie O’Donovan produced a stellar performance in rounds four and five of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship this past weekend (June 23/24), sweeping his way to two wins at Pembrey Circuit.

Soaking up the Welsh sunshine on the brand-new rallycross circuit at the British Automobile Racing Club-operated venue, the high-octane championship delivered its usual mix of thrills and spills across both days. Having prevailed at Croft last time out, O’Donovan arrived at Pembrey as the form man and dually carried that momentum with him. Qualifying heats on day one saw five-time champion Julian Godfrey cement himself as the man to beat in the newly rebuilt Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage.

Topping the times across all three sessions, Godfrey entered the latter stages of the day in superlative form, however he was unable to convert that into victory – with a puncture halting both his and Albatec Racing’s Mark Higgins in the final.

At the wheel of his Ford Focus, O’Donovan surged to victory, his second successive triumph in the championship whilst Steve Hill and Roger Thomas rounded off the podium in their respective machines too.

If Godfrey had been the king of the qualifying heats on day one, Higgins claimed that mantel on day two as he looked to be in irresistible form. Topping the times in every session that he took part in in the run up to the final, the Manxman looked like he would be hard to deny a second win of the season.

O’Donovan however had other ideas as he got the jump on the Peugeot driver during the second Supercar final of the weekend and despite Higgins’ best efforts, he was unable to find a way past the Irishman – who scored victory and with it strengthened his lead at the summit of the championship standings. Godfrey capped off his weekend with a third place finish.

Elsewhere, spoils were shared in the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship as Simon Ovenden and Max Weatherley took a win apiece whilst Jack Thorne and Tristan Ovenden were victorious in the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship.

The MSA Junior Rallycross Championship proved to be a family affair as Tom Constantine and Luke Constantine prevailed. Rounding out the list of race winners were Kris Hudson and Drew Bellerby, both of whom scored victory in the BMW Mini Rallycross Championship.

The Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship resumes on July 29 as the series makes its second visit to Croft for round six.

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 battle heads to Donington Park

The latest exhilarating chapter of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be played out this weekend (April 28/29), with Donington Park providing the backdrop for rounds four, five and six.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the series kicked into life at Brands Hatch in blockbuster fashion at the start of the month and that level of excitement is set to continue under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.

Three breathtaking races around the Kent venue brought three different winners as Jack Goff, Senna Proctor and Tom Ingram all topped the rostrum. Such is the competitive nature of this years grid, nobody visited the podium more than once – meaning a total of nine different drivers picked up silverware.

Further proof of how open the BTCC is this year is that the top ten in the championship standings sees ten different marques operated by ten different teams filling those spots. At the helm of the points arriving at the second event of the year is Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram.

Adding a race win to a pair of solid points finishes at the curtain-raiser, the Toyota Avensis driver holds a slender three-point buffer over fellow Brands Hatch winner Goff and will carry 75kgs of success ballast into qualifying and race one.

Scoring a win at Donington Park last year, the Independent champion will be keen to further cement himself as the man to beat in the early stages; however challenges are set to come from all angles.

At the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R, Goff showcased that he isn’t a man to count out this year and he will be sighting further silverware for WIX Racing with Eurotech.

Adam Morgan and Rob Austin both scored podiums at Brands Hatch and the pair will be looking for more of the same in their respective machines. Despite expecting a tough time, reigning champion Ashley Sutton underlined his quality at the opening event to descend on Donington Park firmly in the mix in fifth.

Double champion Colin Turkington is another top name that will be eyeing victory to further ignite his title battle. Power Maxed Racing’s Proctor achieved that feat in a race that will live long in the memory for years to come having charged from P27 on slick tyres and a drying track.

Ollie Jackson, Rory Butcher and Mike Bushell round out the names that will carry success ballast into the weekend, virtue of their respective positions in the championship.

In total, 25 out of the 32 drivers competing this year having already scored points – once again echoing the level of competitiveness that the BTCC boasts this year.

Beyond the top ten, a host of names will be looking to strike at Donington Park and thrust themselves into contention. The likes of Andrew Jordan, Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff, Tom Chilton, Rob Collard, Josh Cook, Dan Cammish and Jason Plato, to name a few, will be notable drivers to look out for.

The introduction of the Dunlop hard option tyre will also no doubt play its part over the course of what is set to be a thrilling weekend of tin top action from Britain’s premier motor racing series.

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.

C1 Challenge & Pickup Trucks produce mesmerising Rockingham showing

A series of firsts took place at Rockingham this past weekend (May 11/12/13) as the Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge and Pickup Truck Racing Championship produced non-stop action around the popular Corby venue.

In what proved to be three days of high-octane on-track thrills, the weekend was largely dominated by the C1 Challenge, which staged both three and 24hr endurance races.

The event not only marked the first time that the one-make tin top category had visited Rockingham, but also the inaugural 24hr race the venue had held since its opened its doors in 2001.

Boasting an entry list of more than 50 cars and 200 drivers, action began on Saturday at 17:00 in treacherous conditions as the series roared into life. Following a frenetic opening hour, where positions were being swapped on a regular basis throughout the field, teams and drivers settled into the race as the laps and clock began to tick by.

Following a full days racing, Team C’est La Vie emerged as the victors, finishing two laps ahead of their nearest challengers. James Macintyre-Ure, Robin Welsh, Paul Dickinson, Max Maxted and Chris Chadwick shared driving duties of the #349 machine and were regular front runners, leading a majority of the race.

Second place went the way of Richard Dalton, Louis Tyson and Peter Rundle, running under the Daltonator banner. Leading the race for a couple of hours overnight, the trio were unable to remain at the summit of the standings, dropping to second.

Rounding off the podium after 24 hours was HE Racing, made up of Symon, Hannah, Edward and Harry Cockhill.

Such was the popularity of the 24hr race, an additional three-hour encounter was also run during the weekend for those that were unable to secure a spot in the main event.

Boasting a starting grid of 32 cars, Poorboys Racing emerged as race winners with James Kenyon and Stewart Linn behind the wheel. The duo notched 91 laps overall, winning the race by a single lap ahead of Old Hat Motorsport and Hurricane Motorsport, who finished second and third respectively.

History was also made in the Pickup Truck Racing Championship on Saturday as they made the first of several visits to the Northamptonshire circuit this year. Traditionally competing on the challenging oval layout, the series debuted on the International Super Sports Car Circuit, the same layout used by the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Lea Wood further cemented his status as the man to beat in the series in race one as he stormed to victory. His road to the chequered flag however wasn’t a smooth one as he fought back after dropping to fifth, ultimately threading his way into top spot on lap ten. From there, Wood powered his way to his fourth win of 2018 whilst reigning champion Scott Bourne and Mark Willis rounded off the podium.

In race two, Carl Boardley hit the front to take victory. Dicing with Wood throughout the race, Boardley went on to be in a class of his own as he stretched his legs out front, crossing the line over four seconds ahead of Wood, who further extended his championship lead. Bourne picked up another podium finish in third, albeit more than 20 second behind the race winner.

The Trade Team Citroen C1 Challenge is next in action at Pembrey on June 9/10 whilst the Pickup Truck Racing Championship visits Thruxton on July 7/8.

Pembrey’s Spring Truckfest proves to be a smash-hit

Pembrey Circuit played host to memorable two day of racing this past weekend (April 21/22) as the British Automobile Racing Club descended on South Wales for Spring Truckfest.

In front of a bumper crowd, a trio of championships from the Club joined a host of other categories to entertain those who turned out in force in searing heat and the occasional rain shower.

Headlining the weekend was the BTRA Truck Racing Championship, which was competing for the second time this season after a frenetic curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch. Arriving as the early point’s leader, reigning champion Ryan Smith produced a mesmerising display in Division 1 to further cement his status as the man to beat.

Having won three races at Brands Hatch, the double title winner was a man on a mission at Pembrey winning four out of the five races, all in commanding fashion. The Smith juggernaut came to an end when David Jenkins notched his second race win of the season, doing so under intense pressure from Smith right the way up the chequered flag.

In Division 2, spoils were shared between a trio of drivers. Luke Garrett and Steve Powell charged their way to a brace of victories each whilst Craig Reid notched what proved to be a popular maiden win in the championship.

Elsewhere, the Hyundai Coupe Cup arguably stole the show as it ran three high-octane races; all of them jam-packed with plenty of bumper-to-bumper moments. Steve Kite continued his impressive run of victories in the opening encounter, narrowly pipping Wayne Rockett.

Kite and Rockett emerged as the drivers to watch throughout the weekend as they scrapped for top spot across all three races. Having missed out in race one, Rockett got the better of Kite in the second to score his maiden victory in the series and then backed it up with another in the reverse grid race.

The Max5 Racing Championship kicked into life at Pembrey following a lengthy off-season and there was plenty for Paul Roddison to smile about. Having topped the times in both practice and qualifying, Roddison took a dominant double ahead of Jeremy Shipley and Lee Malin in both races.

There were plenty of jaw-dropping moments in the Dunlop Mini Miglia Championship and Dunlop Mini Se7en Championship too. Aaron Smith scored two wins in the Miglia races whilst Darren Thomas and Max Hunter took a win apiece in the Mini Se7en encounters.

Track Attack Racing Club boasted a bumper and diverse entry list with William Di Claudio piloting his Peugeot 106 GTI to a brace of wins.

Rounding off the action was the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship which saw Chris Everill and Damian Longotano take the top step of the podium each.

For the full classification of results, click here.