Brands Hatch braced for unmissable BTCC finale

After nine events and 27 races, the destiny of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be decided around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend (September 29/30) – and the fight is still very much on.

Since roaring into life at the Kent venue in early April the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee year has been one to remember, with records tumbling on a consistent basis. Boasting an impressive 16 different race winners, the series has hit new heights and that is set to continue as the final chapter of the current campaign is written.

Colin Turkington heads to Brands Hatch as the man to beat holding a 34-point advantage over Tom Ingram at the top of the standings. Chasing a third BTCC crown, the Team BMW driver has once again underlined his class with a consistent season to-date.

A single victory, taken at Oulton Park, has been backed up by an additional nine podiums to leave the Northern Irishman with a clear road to the biggest prize in British motorsport.

Standing in the way of Turkington however is reigning Independents champion Ingram, who at the wheel of his Speedworks Toyota Avensis has pieced together a mesmerising championship challenge thus far.

Producing standout performance after standout performance, Ingram descends on Brands Hatch as the hunter and focused on overhauling the 34-point deficit he has to make up over the double champion. Renowned for his overtaking prowess and ability to rise to the occasion, the 25-year-old is expected to be on maximum attack from the get-go.

Tom Chilton also enters the final weekend of the year in mathematical contention for the title but with a gap of 64 markers to make up over Turkington, the Motorbase Performance driver’s chance of overall glory looks to be an unrealistic one.

Whilst the battle for the title will take centre stage, several other drivers will be keen to sign off their season’s in style. Having seen his aspirations of his retaining crown slip away, outgoing champion Ashley Sutton will be on the march for silverware and bidding to finish in the top three.

In addition, the likes of Andrew Jordan, Jack Goff, Adam Morgan, Josh Cook, Matt Neal, Aiden Moffat and Sam Tordoff, to name just a few, are also likely to be in the mix for silverware over the course of the weekend too.

Dan Cammish’s quest for a breakthrough BTCC victory will continue however the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver won’t need to worry about the Jack Sears Trophy after building up an unassailable lead at Silverstone last time out.

The remaining championships see Ingram and Chilton as well as Speedworks and Motorbase locked in a battle for both Independent titles whilst Team BMW will look to successfully retain their BTCC Manufacturer/Constructor and BTCC Teams Championship crowns too.

With a maximum 67 points up for grabs and three high-octane BTCC encounters set to take place around the 2.43 mile circuit, the final chapter of the Britain’s premier race series’ Diamond Jubilee is set to be an enthralling one – and it is not to be missed.

The all-important final qualifying session of the season will take place on Saturday at 15:20 before rounds 28, 29 & 30 take place on Sunday at 11:35, 14:25 & 17:15 respectively.

For more information in the event including links to the full timetable and live timing, click here.

BARC descends on Donington Park

It’s crunch time for three championships this Saturday (September 29) as the British Automobile Racing Club makes its final visit of 2018 to Donington Park.

As the motorsport season heads towards the business end of the year, every lap and point is set to count in the race for title supremacy with a total of 12 races scheduled to take place under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.

Open to drivers aged 14 to 17, the Junior Saloon Car Championship has once again underlined why it is a hotbed for the next generation of UK racers. In what has been another vintage season for the Citroen Saxo category, the title battle remains wide open with six races still to be run.

Lewis Saunders enters rounds 13 and 14 as the teenager to beat, albeit holding a slender seven-point advantage at the summit of the standings. Joel Wren, a six-time race winner in 2018, remains Saunders closest challenger as it stands and he will be keen to continue his momentum having won the past three races in a row.

With the likes of Steven Chandler, Scott McIntyre, Frankie Taylor also in the mix, Saturday’s double-header is set add further twists and turns to the JSCC plot.

Saloon cars from all eras will duke it out around Donington Park in the Classic Touring Car Championship, with six races being staged in total. With everything from Pre ’66 tin tops right the way through to modern machinery, there is something for everyone in the CTCRC and that will be on display across the day’s amalgamated races.

Notable names to look out for include Steve Barden, Stephen Primett, Mark Osbourne, Luc Wilson and Ian Bower – to name but a few.

Capping off the BARC action will be a pair of races from the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship. Enjoying what has been another stellar year of competition in the series with bumper grids throughout, variety has always been the spice of life in the CNC Heads – with all manner of cars competing.

Following on from an impressive hat-trick at Anglesey last time out, Paul Rose will bid to further extend his championship lead at the wheel of his Saker, edging him closer to what will another championship crown. The quartet of Jamie Cryer, Oliver Thomas, Dave Harvey and Clive Dix will be out to ensure that doesn’t happen however.

Joining the BARC’s three categories will be a pair of 15-minute encounters from the Track Attack Racing Club.

Ginetta Junior trio set for championship crescendo

The destiny of the Ginetta Junior Championship will be decided at Brands Hatch this weekend (September 29/30) with three drivers set to duke it out across what is expected to be a trio of high-octane races.

This year’s crop of youngsters aged 14 to 17 have served up a feast of entertainment so far, with 23 races of blockbuster action already in the books.

Heading south to tackle the Grand Prix layout of the popular Kent venue, the trio of Louis Foster, Adam Smalley and Luke Browning look set to continue their season-long fight for supremacy.

Once penalty points are applied, Elite Motorsport’s Foster heads into the title showdown holding a 21-point advantage. On the cusp of writing his name into the history books by the winning the series at the first attempt, Foster will be keen to continue the impressive run of results that has seen him move to the top of the standings.

Having enjoyed a consistent first half of the year, six victories from the past seven races has seen the teenage sensation topple his rivals and take the lead of the championship with just three races to spare.

Former Ginetta Scholarship winner Smalley is Foster’s main protagonist in the title battle as it stands and he had been leading the standings for a majority of the season before Silverstone.

With a total of 15 podiums to his name, including six wins, Smalley has been a revelation in his second season in the championship and the Elite Motorsport driver could yet walk away as champion.

Richardson Racing’s Browning sits third on the leaderboard, albeit 48 points off the summit. Seven victories have been the peak of his season however a handful of low scoring rounds is the reason why the #11 machine will enter the weekend needing to do the most if he is to steal the title from under the noses of Foster and Smalley.

Whilst all eyes will be focused on the top three in the standings as they duke it out for the championship crown, several other drivers will be keen to end their 2018 campaigns on a high.

Patrick Kibble, James Taylor, Ruben Del Sarte, James Hedley and Greg Johnson are just a handful of drivers that have been in the mix for podium finishes this year and all of them, plus a host of others, could play a pivotal role in the outcome of the title if they throw themselves into the mix at the sharp end of the grid over the course of the weekend.

Qualifying for the Ginetta Junior Championship takes place on Saturday at 10:30 before races one and two at 14:45 and 17:45 later that day. The final round of the season takes place on Sunday at 12:55.

Four-way Renault UK Clio Cup title showdown beckons at Brands Hatch

The Renault UK Clio Cup is set for an enthralling climax to its 2018 season at Brands Hatch this weekend (September 29/30) as four drivers go head-to-head for championship glory.

In what has been another vintage year for the one-make series on the TOCA support package, the quartet of Max Coates, Paul Rivett, James Dorlin and Daniel Rowbottom all arrive at the Kent circuit in mathematical contention.

Tackling the iconic Grand Prix layout, a maximum of 56 points will be on offer over the course of the weekend and further twists and turns are set to keep fans on the edge-of-their-seats in the two races that are set to be run.

Pyro Motorsport’s Coates heads into the season finale in the pound seat, leading the standings but by only a slender six points. Tipped as one of the favourites for the title in pre-season, Coates has underlined his title credentials with an impressive charge to the summit of the points.

Scoring four wins, one of which a popular home victory at Croft, the Yorkshireman will arrive at Brands Hatch keen to repeat the victory he scored at the 2018 curtain-raiser.

Leading the chase for Coates is WDE Motorsport’s Rivett, hungrier than ever to add his already impressive championship tally. Notching two wins and a further seven podiums, Rivett has been a constant thorn in the side of Coates and could yet walk away as champion.

A disqualification at Silverstone last time out for Rivett for an on-track incident however have had a bearing on the points as it stands. With the WDE Motorsport outfit having lodged an appeal against the decision – which will be heard by the MSA National Court at a later date – Rivett’s challenge for the title could yet be decided away from the track.

Trailing Rivett by a single point in third place is Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin. In just his second Clio Cup season, the BRDC Superstar has put his stamp on the series and a run of five wins in the early stages of the year have proven to be the cornerstone of his championship charge.

Whilst the top three are covered by a mere seven points, DRM’s Rowbottom sits as the outsider in the title battle, 49 markers behind Coates. A resurgent run of results has vaulted Rowbottom into the picture and the two-time race winner can’t be discounted from contention either.

As the top four get set to duke it out for the title, several other drivers will be looking to sign off their campaigns in style. Bradley Burns, Mike Epps, Lee Pattison, Jack McCarthy and Dan Zelos, amongst many others, will be ones to watch as the weekend unfolds.

Qualifying for the Renault UK Clio Cup weekend of the season is scheduled to take place at 10:55 on Saturday before race one beginning at 16:00 later that day. The final round of the season will be screened live on ITV4 on Sunday, with lights out set for 13:30.

Dino Zamparelli leads Porsche Carrera Cup GB into season finale

Dino Zamparelli heads into the final weekend of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Brands Hatch this weekend (September 29/30) looking to avenge the heartache he suffered at the Kent circuit one year ago.

The Redline Racing driver scored the exact same amount of points as eventual champion Charlie Eastwood at the 2017 season finale but lost the title due to scoring one less win than the Northern Irishman over the course of the campaign.

Fast forward 12 months and Zamparelli descends on Brands Hatch sitting at the summit of the standings, holding an eight-point LEAD over his nearest challenger Tio Ellinas once dropped scores and penalties have been applied.

Having been tipped by many to be amongst the championship protagonists come the end of the season, the Nationwide-backed driver has been at the fore of the series since the opening round. Four victories, one of which was scored around the iconic Monza, have proven to be the cornerstone of Zamparelli’s challenge up to now.

Triumphing at Silverstone last time out, last year’s runner-up will need to be at the top of his game around the Grand Prix circuit this weekend to hold off the charging Ellinas however.

Spearheading the Slidesports Engineering squad, Ellinas has been the epitome of consistency in 2018 and is good value for where he sits in the championship standings. Despite his only race win coming in round three at Donington Park, the Cypriot has been a regular fixture on the rostrum – scoring a further ten podiums in total.

Needing to make up more than eight points on Zamparelli across both 17-lap encounters, Ellinas will be one to watch from the get-go.

Whilst many will be focused on the top two in the title battle, Tom Wrigley can’t be discounted from proceedings either. Sitting third in the points, the JTR driver is only 19 points off the summit once all dropped scores and penalties are taken into consideration.

Riding a crest of momentum having won last time out at Silverstone, the former Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup could yet add another TOCA title to his impressive racing CV if the top two encounter trouble.

Such has been the high level of competition in the Carrera Cup GB this season that the top three won’t be the only drivers challenging for victory at Brands Hatch. Scholarship winner Daniel Harper has been a tour-de-force at times in his maiden season whilst Lewis Plato and George Gamble have also taken on starring roles throughout the year too.

In the Pro-Am category, Seb Perez and Dan Vaughan are set to take their battle for title honours down to the wire with Peter Mangion and Peter Kyle-Henney doing the same in the Am class.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB’s final qualifying session of the season takes place on Saturday at 13:35 before rounds 15 & 16 take place on Sunday at 10:40 and 16:20 respectively.

Charlie Ladell on the cusp of title glory as Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup heads to Brands Hatch

Brands Hatch will provide the backdrop to the final three rounds of the 2018 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup this weekend (September 29/30), with Charlie Ladell sitting on the cusp of being crowned champion.

In what has been another competitive season in the TOCA support series, the battle for supremacy will be decided with Ladell and Carl Boardley set to go head-to-head around the iconic 2.43 mile Grand Prix layout.

Returning to the scene of the 2018 curtain-raiser, Ladell has proven to be the benchmark driver in the GT4 Supercup this year – leading the championship standings throughout.

At the wheel of his Rob Boston Racing machine, the 22-year-old has been the epitome of consistency, scoring eight wins, six second place finishes and a further four third place finishes along the way.

Underlining his title credentials throughout, Ladell descends on Brands Hatch with a 42-point lead, a comfortable gap but one that he can’t let slip across the weekend’s three races if he is to follow in the footsteps of Callum Pointon, Tom Wrigley and Tom Oliphant by lifting the coveted championship trophy.

Series veteran Boardley remains the only man to stop Ladell from clinching the title and he’ll be using all of his experience to overhaul the series leader. Remaining hot on the heels of Ladell since the opening weekend of the season, Boardley’s focus is likely to add to the six wins he has already notched in 2018 if he is to stand any chance of topping the points come Sunday evening.

Harry King and Tom Roche may yet have their say on the outcome of the title too depending on how their weekend’s play out. The pair have been regular front runners throughout the season and have showcased that they can dice with Ladell and Boardley on multiple occasions.

The trio of Jac Constable, Angus Fender and Reece Somerfield will also be drivers to keep a keen eye on too as the weekend progresses.

In the Amateur class, Michael Crees will bid to convert his charge to the summit of the points into championship celebrations, however Jack Minshaw and Colin White can still stop the popular racer.

Qualifying for the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup kicks off the weekend’s track action at 09:00 on Saturday before races one and two follow later that day at 14:15 and 17:10 respectively. The third and final encounter is scheduled to begin at 15:05 on Sunday, screened live on ITV4.

BARC retains Achievement of Excellence from FIA Sustainability Programme

The British Automobile Racing Club has been reaccredited with the Achievement of Excellence rating in the FIA Institute’s Sustainability Programme.

The BARC became the first British motorsport venue operator to achieve the top rank of accreditation in 2016, making a significant statement as to the status that environmental awareness now holds in UK motorsport.

Continuing to ensure that a lesser impact on the environment was made in motorsport by implementing a variety of strategies, the Club has consistently strived to ensure all championships do the same.

Ian Watson, BARC General Manager, said: “To be recognised by the FIA is a great achievement and we are one of only a very few that have been selected from the United Kingdom.

“Following an audit in October 2017 we are pleased to have had our Achievement of Excellence rating extended by a further two years;

“Whilst this is fantastic for the Club we are still focused on ensuring that we continue to uphold and better the high standards we have set regarding motorsport and the environment.”

BARC & Cre8media launch new audio platform

The British Automobile Racing Club is to further cement its multimedia projects in 2018 with the introduction of a revised audio platform, in conjunction with Cre8media Limited.

Taking into consideration the feedback that has been provided as well as the need to continue pushing forward; barcaudio.net has been launched to cater for both Android and Apple users.

With more than 60 race meetings and 30 championships being overseen by the Club this coming season, 2018 is set to be another memorable year of racing – with a wealth of stories to be told too.

Continuing its long-standing partnership with Cre8media, barcaudio.net will house all the latest previews, interviews, reactions and announcements over the course of the season – all at the click of a button.

In addition to the new platform being unveiled, the existing iTunes podcast page will also still be updated on a regular basis, giving listeners an option depending on their device.

BARC Chief Operating Officer, Drew Furlong, said: “We as a club are constantly seeking to make improvements and the introduction of a revised audio platform does just that.

“We have taken on-board the feedback provided by some of our podcast listeners and the introduction of a new website, which houses all of our content, that is compatible on all electronic devices was the logical step forward – especially alongside our team at Cre8media.

“Our new audio service also allows us more scope what content we can produce moving forward too.”

“I’m delighted that Cre8media will, again, be supporting the BARC in moving forward by supplying and maintaining the new audio platform alongside the existing official iTunes podcast channel,” added Cre8media’s Matt Jones.

”The BARC’s online presence with social media, audio and video has increased dramatically over the past two years and having been working on this platform for some time, it is great to finally launch it.

“The audio website will be updated throughout the season with race, test and media day interviews covering more than 30 BARC’s championships that include driver, team and BARC representatives – all documenting what is set to be another memorable year of racing.”

To listen to the latest audio, head to barcaudio.net