BARC statement on early-season events

Since the Prime Minister clarified the relaxing of guidance last week (February 22), we have been working hard behind the scenes with venues and championships to evaluate what it means for the start of the BARC’s racing programme this year.

Alongside the need to ensure everyone’s safety, there is a great deal to take into consideration in these decisions, including overnight stays, travelling time for marshals, officials and competitors, the availability of circuits and the knock-on effects of rearranging rounds into an already busy calendar.

However, we are delighted to announce that we have arranged with Silverstone to move the Britcar Endurance Championship event from March 27/28 to April 24/25.

We remain in discussions about our Croft event on April 10 and our British Truck Racing Championship headlining race meeting at Brands Hatch on April 10/11. We hope to make an announcement on those as soon as possible this week.

BARC Marshals Training postponed due to government restrictions

The British Automobile Racing Club can confirm that due to the current COVID-19 government restrictions, BARC Marshal Training days have been postponed.

Traditionally, a total of five training days are normally held across the months of February and March at venues such as Croft, Pembrey and Thruxton.

With training provided to cover a wide range of topics such as fire safety to pit lane operation and teamwork; marshal training covers a wide variety of key attributes in preparing those that are heading trackside each season.

More information regarding BARC Marshals Training as restrictions are eased will be communicated in due course.

To find out more information on how to become a member of the ‘orange army’ and play a role in the sport you love, head to https://www.barc.net/marshals/.

BARC unveils bumper live stream partnership with FreeSports and 247.TV for 2021 season

The British Automobile Racing Club is delighted to announce that no less than 16 race meetings will be streamed live and online over the course of the 2021 season after forging a partnership with leading sports production company, 247.TV.

Showcasing the exhilarating, edge-of-the-seat action that is produced by the BARC’s variety of championships and series, all events will be broadcast live on the Club’s official Facebook page and YouTube channel, complete with commentary, graphics and full production values.

Footage will then be post-produced to create a weekly BARC highlights show that will be aired on FreeSports, the only free-to-air sports channel in the UK, under the title ‘Full Throttle’. In a first for UK club motor racing, the channel will also broadcast the live footage from a number of events, as their programming schedule permits.

Championships that will feature over the course of the season include the Britcar Endurance Championship, British Truck Racing Championship, Caterham Graduates Championship and Classic Touring Car Racing Club, amongst many more.

With the 2021 campaign due to begin in two months’ time, this new streaming partnership between the BARC and 247.TV will allow competitors, club members and fans to watch the best of national motorsport from the comfort of their own home.

Boasting more than two decades of experience, 247.TV is an independent production company which specialises in exciting content for both TV and online. Covering approximately 70 events per month across multiple sports, 247.TV has worked alongside the FA, RFL and England Rugby, amongst many others.

Ben Taylor, BARC Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have tied up this deal with 247.TV. It is a huge step forward for the club and will be a significant boost for our many championships and competitors. We saw last year how popular it was and we’re sure it will be a big success in 2021.”

Adrian Battersby, 247.TV Head of Production, added: “COVID forced us to change our direction in 2020 so we decided to look at  motorsport’s production. I’m pleased to see that our approach was met with a positive reaction and we can’t wait to get started on the shows this year.”

Richard Webb, FreeSports Director of Programming, concluded: “As many sports were affected during 2020, we took some content from BARC events and were thrilled with the popularity of the shows and the quality of the driving across various different categories at iconic venues around the UK. We are certainly looking forward to the shows in 2021.”

BARC 2021 Live Stream Schedule

March 27/28 – Silverstone International

April 10/11 – Brands Hatch

April 24/25 – Cadwell Park

May 8/9 – Snetterton

May 15/16 – Pembrey

June 12 – Oulton Park

July 3/4 – Silverstone Grand Prix

July 3/4 – Thruxton

July 31/August 1 – Brands Hatch

August 21/22 – Donington Park

August 21/22 – Silverstone

September 18/19 – Snetterton

October 9/10 – Pembrey

October 17 – Mallory Park

October 23/24 – Donington Park

November 6/7 – Brands Hatch

November 13/14 – Brands Hatch

Note: All dates are provisional and subject to change in accordance with the latest government advice regarding COVID-19.

Viewers can watch FreeSports on Freeview/BT/TalkTalk channel 64, Sky channel 422 and Virgin Media channel 553.

Subscribe to the British Automobile Racing Club’s official YouTube channel HERE.

British Automobile Racing Club announces full 2021 events calendar

The British Automobile Racing Club is delighted to announce its full provisional events calendar for the forthcoming 2021 motorsport season; with the start scheduled for late March and running all the way through until mid-November.

Following on from an unprecedented 2020 campaign which was affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Club has unveiled a bumper list of race meetings which will see championships undoubtedly deliver edge-of-the-seat entertainment across the length and breadth of the UK.

Categories such as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, British Truck Racing Championship, Legends Cars National Championship and many more will take centre stage over the course of what will undoubtedly be a season to remember.

In addition to staging more than 40 race meetings, the Club continue to take up its customary operational and organisational role across all three Goodwood events; the 78th Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival.

Please note that all events remain provisional and subject to change in accordance with the latest guidelines from the UK government regarding COVID-19.

To view the full list of scheduled 2021 British Automobile Racing Club race meetings, CLICK HERE.

Mark Turner appointed BARC Sporting Manager

The British Automobile Racing Club is delighted to announce that Mark Turner has been appointed to the role of Sporting Manager and will head up the Club’s Competitions Department with immediate effect, following the semi-retirement of Ian Watson who will continue as Race Director of the BTCC for BARC.

Mark will lead the experienced team, focusing on delivering excellent customer service to club members, competitors, marshals, officials and many others in a comprehensive schedule of events and race meetings.

Boasting a wealth of motorsport experience that spans more than two decades, Mark’s career started as co-ordinator for the SEAT Cupra Championship where he began his affiliation with the BARC.  He moved to working directly for the Club managing both Formula BMW Pacific and the British Schools Karting Championship.

His international career continued as Series Manager for the China-focused Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup.  Mark spearheaded Audi’s inaugural one-make championship for the entire program taking the series across Asia.  At the end of the Audi program, in 2019, Mark became Series Manager for the world’s first production based electric car series – the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY which supported the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Mark Turner, BARC Sporting Manager, said: “I’m delighted to be re-joining the BARC as its new Sporting Manager. I have a great affection for the Club; it’s where I learnt the most about the industry.  Having worked internationally for almost 15 years if I was to return to any national club it was always going to be this one.

“When I started out in motorsport I soon became involved with the Club and have always maintained close ties to it throughout the variety of roles I have held.

“Given the situation we all find ourselves in, this is an unusual time to land a new role but with the fact that everything is changing now is the time to look to the future. The Club has a tremendous history that spans more than 100 years and I’m focused on building on that to ensure that it continues to thrive for the next century.”

Ben Taylor, BARC Chief Executive, added: “We are delighted that Mark has joined us and I look forward to working with him to shape the future of this great club. His wide-ranging experience throughout the sport will be invaluable in helping us to evolve the BARC offering and bring it up to date for the benefit of all our existing and future customers.”

Important update on National Lockdown Restrictions for the BARC

In line with the latest government lockdown restrictions that were introduced on 5 January to combat the spread of COVID-19, the British Automobile Racing Club’s head office at Thruxton Circuit will be closed until mid-February.

The majority of staff are either working from home or furloughed so if you have an enquiry and don’t know who to contact, please email info@barc.net and a member of our team will reply as soon as possible.

The Club’s Competitions Department is continuing its preparations for the start of the new season, which is still scheduled to begin as planned at the end of March.

The Club’s three race circuits – Croft, Pembrey and Thruxton – are also closed in line with government restrictions. Specific updates for each circuit can be found on their individual websites.

We will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks alongside the government’s proposed review in mid-February and we look forward to the resumption of activities as soon as possible.

We would like to thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time and urge them to follow all official guidance to do what they can to keep themselves and others safe and well.

A message from BARC Chief Executive Ben Taylor

As we close the door on what has been a truly unprecedented year, I would like to thank everyone that has played their part in an extraordinary motorsport season.

A year that started with so much promise and optimism has turned out to be like no other that any of us have experienced before or ever care to again. We send our very best wishes to everyone that has been affected by the virus this year. How little we knew back then; and how little we still know in many respects.

In the face of the pandemic, it is quite extraordinary that we’ve managed to rescue anything from the motorsport season at all. But, undeterred by the changes and the restrictions, the PPE and the face masks, not to mention the absence of spectators, the sport was able to deliver a meaningful half-season between July and November. Achieving this is testament to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the motorsport community!

We have had to change some of our procedures and processes but evolution is never a bad thing. Administration went digital, the marshals had to adapt to provide their essential cover in changing circumstances, and the scrutineers’ role has changed somewhat.

The one thing that has been evident throughout all of this is that everyone has just mucked in. That collective spirit and camaraderie has reinforced the fact that this sport, by and large, is done by people who love what they do and they are not going to let the virus get in the way of their enjoyment.

So whether you are a Club member, competitor, official, marshal, volunteer, spectator, or one of the amazing members of staff, I would like to thank you for the extraordinary efforts you have made to keep the show on the road this year. We couldn’t have done it without you.

The BARC will be back in 2021 with a full calendar of quality race events spread across the whole country and I know that the entire sport is hoping for better times in the near future.

For now, I wish you a safe and socially-distanced Christmas, and look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Best wishes

Ben Taylor

BARC Chief Executive

BARC HQ 2020 Christmas & New Year Closing Dates

The British Automobile Racing Club headquarters at Thruxton Circuit will be closed during the following dates over the Christmas and New Year periods.

From: Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 17:00

To: Monday 4th January 2021 at 09:00

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible trackside throughout 2021; be it if you are officiating, marshalling, spectating or competing!

From everyone at the BARC and all of our venues around the country; we wish you a safe, Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Job Vacancy: BARC Sporting Manager

The British Automobile Racing Club is recruiting for the role of Sporting Manager, with applications now being welcomed.

This is a unique opportunity to take the lead in the sporting department of one of the UK’s leading motorsport organisations. The successful candidate will be instrumental in leading a small customer-focused team that provides great experiences for our members, including racers, marshals, officials and others at BARC events.

Click HERE to view the full Job Description which includes the Responsibilities, Skills, Attributes and more related to the position.

To apply, please send a covering letter, plus full CV and salary expectation, to Mandy Curley: mcurley@barc.net before the end of Monday 30 November.

Ian Watson to retire as BARC General Manager at the end of 2020

The British Automobile Racing Club has announced that Ian Watson will retire from his position of General Manager at the end of this year. After spending the past two decades at the organisation, Ian will step down from his day-to-day post but will continue his association with the BARC as he takes up a consultancy role for 2021.

Joining the Club in 2000 as Business Development Manager, Ian subsequently assumed the post of General Manager and since then has played a pivotal role in the Club’s growth, overseeing the Competitions and Marshals Departments. He has had the key responsibility of organising the Club’s racing calendar and events each year, as well as a host of other important duties.

In addition, Ian has also brought a number of high-profile events to the Club’s expansive portfolio, including the Pure McLaren GT4 Series, FIA World Endurance Championship and FIA World Rallycross Championship. He also played a crucial part in seeing the Club accredited with the Achievement of Excellence rating in the FIA Institute’s Sustainability Programme in 2016.

“I’ve really enjoyed the past 20 years at the British Automobile Racing Club but I feel that it is the right time to take things a little easier and enjoy slowing down a bit,” said Ian on the subject of his impending retirement.

“Over the past two decades I have been privileged to work alongside some great people and they have all made my time at the Club unforgettable. I’ve been involved in motorsport pretty much all my life so to have had the career I’ve subsequently had has been brilliant. I’ll still be involved with the Club in terms of the BTCC and a number of other events so I won’t be disappearing completely.”

Alongside his new consultancy position within the BARC, Ian will remain Senior Clerk of the Course for the British Touring Car Championship and Clerk of the Course for a number of key events into 2021 and beyond.

BARC Club Chairman, Tony Scott-Andrews, said: “There are very few in the UK motorsport community with such a detailed knowledge of the sport and the way it operates as Ian. Not only has he organised the calendar of events over the years but he has run the events themselves as the Clerk of the Course, a Clerk par excellence as evidenced by his continuing involvement with the BTCC and other high profile events.

“He has done so much over the years to make BARC the club that it is today and he will be sorely missed. I thank him for all that he has done for the club and indeed for all that he has contributed to motorsport in general and to ensuring the safety of all those involved.”

BARC Chief Executive Ben Taylor added: “I have known Ian since before he was at the BARC, but I had not worked closely with him until I came to the club last year. I know that he has mentored so many people throughout the sport in recent years and his knowledge and experience has been a huge help to me as I settled into my role. I am delighted that Ian will continue to work with us in the future, not least in supporting his replacement in due course.”

The BARC are is now recruiting for Ian’s replacement. Full details can be found HERE.

New format and location confirmed for BARC Awards in 2021

The British Automobile Racing Club’s annual Championship Awards Evening will have a different feel to it in 2021, both in terms of format and location, as it moves to the multi-million pound Thruxton Centre on Saturday 6th  February. 

One of the biggest prize-giving nights in UK motorsport, the black tie event celebrates the achievements of drivers, officials and marshals in early February every year.

Due to the uncertainty that still remains surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the BARC has elected to change its traditional evening format and will instead host a lunch event for its award winners and special guests.

Taking place inside the state-of-the-art Thruxton Centre – which opened to the public back in 2018 – the event moves from a Big Night Out at the Chesford Grange Hotel, to a Big Lunch In at the home of the BARC.                                     

Ben Taylor, BARC Group Chief Executive, said: “We have thought long and hard about this and it was a difficult decision to take.

“Ordinarily we would need to start making bookings and commitments about this time of year, but we simply cannot say with any certainty that by February our members will be ready to enjoy a weekend away with hundreds of others in a hotel.

“On the other hand, we’re in the middle of a busy season of motor sport, albeit one that has been slightly curtailed. Come the end of the year there will be worthy champions and award winners who will rightly want to celebrate their successes.

“So we think that a lovely lunch event at Thruxton is the best way to ensure that this year doesn’t get forgotten. We’ll make sure that it is one to remember.”

More information will follow in the coming months. 

BARC launches innovative ‘Open’ races for Sports and Saloon Cars

The British Automobile Racing Club is preparing to break new ground during this condensed 2020 season with the launch of an innovative set of Open Sports/Saloon Car races, the first of which are scheduled to take place at Mallory Park on August 31.

Races will be open to competitors who drive open/closed roof Sports & Saloon cars, regardless of what championship or racing club they compete in, providing they meet current Motorsport UK safety regulations.

Formatted to feature a 20-minute qualifying session and two 20-minute races over the course of a weekend, entries will be accepted with a pre declared lap time for the specific circuit upon which competitors have entered into.

A total of nine classes have been structured, with dedicated lap times already set for Mallory Park and the subsequent two other race meetings at Pembrey (October 3/4) and Thruxton (October 24/25), which have been added to the schedule due to high levels of interest already.

This format guarantees that everyone will be racing against those doing similar lap times, irrespective of the car they are driving, leading to much closer competition. Classes will be changed post-qualifying and post-race if competitors run two or more laps faster in a qualifying session or race than their nominated class allowance stipulates.

The origins of this format were first mooted to current BARC Group Chief Executive Ben Taylor by former Haymarket Director Derek Redfern a number of years ago. Now, with the demand to go racing greater than ever, the idea is set to be a reality with four races currently confirmed for the remainder of the year.

Commenting on the innovative format, Taylor said: “We are really excited to launch this brand new format of class racing, under a set of regulations we are calling ‘BARC Red’.

“We believe that it has the potential to deliver really exciting racing for the club competitor and allow pretty much any car to compete in our races, irrespective of engine size, power to weight ratio, experience of driver or their budget.

“It should bring more for variety to the grids as well, which have become a little bit one dimensional in recent years with the growth of the single marque series and events. There are loads of cars out there not currently competing, but the joy of this series is that there is no need for eligibility scrutineering – if your car is in line with the Blue Book, it is welcome to race.

“The word ‘Red’ is a nod to Derek, whose idea this was originally. He mentioned it to me at a meeting of the Motor Sports Council while I was working at the MSA and I thought it sounded interesting, but at the time it wasn’t something that was relevant to my role.

“Now I’m at the BARC, it seems to offer a great solution for the current climate and the challenging times we face – we are inevitably going to see the customer demanding more enjoyment for their money, so having fun, exciting racing will be essential.

“The clubs are also going to need to find ways to have full grids to keep costs down for drivers, so this is a way of making sure that all cars and all drivers are able to compete equally on a level playing field.”

For further information or an entry form for these races, please contact David Wheadon via dwheadon@barc.net