2020 Season Review: C1 Challenge

Having established itself as one of the staple categories that compete under the British Automobile Racing Club umbrella, the C1 Challenge enjoyed another superlative season as it produced big grids and exciting on-track entertainment.

Providing a low-cost method of competing in motorsport, the single-make series continues to remain as one of the fastest growing categories in the country since launching more than three years ago, surpassing the 150-car build mark.

Due to the impact the coronavirus pandemic, the C1 contingent announced a revised calendar comprising of three events for the remainder of 2020 however this would become two following confirmation that Pembrey would be unable to stage race meetings.

Hitting the track for the first time at Donington Park, an impressive 50-car entry list took centre stage for a three-hour encounter which finished with the top two being split by little over half a second.

The Progressive Motorsport Ltd duo of Howard Hayens and Dave Ward narrowly edged out Team Davies after a sensational 91 laps around the 1.98-mile track.

Always keen to make history where possible, the series then descended on the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, for the very first time to stage another three-hour bonanza.

Renowned for its high-speed flowing corners, the Hampshire venue saw a bumper 45-car grid race into the darkness – producing a staggering spectacle.

Completing a total of 96 laps, the Hybrid Tune trio of Stephen James, David Meenan and Ben Simonds ran out as race winners, scoring victory by more than 90 seconds at the chequered flag.

The 2021 season for the C1 Challenge will hopefully see a return to some normality, with a seven event calendar having been provisionally announced already.

Mixed conditions add to the BARC spectacle at Thruxton

Mixed weather conditions added to the on-track spectacle at Thruxton this past weekend (October 24/25) as the British Automobile Racing Club took centre stage on home turf for a blockbuster two days of racing.

On what proved to be a frenetic race meeting in front of an appreciative crowd, bright sunshine and heavy showers played its part as championship battles raged on.

The C1 Challenge wrote the latest chapter of its ever-growing illustrious history as it made its first visit to Thruxton. Boasting a 45-car entry list, the one-make series starred on Sunday afternoon as an epic three-hour endurance race unfolded around the high-speed Hampshire venue.

Completing a total of 96 laps, the Hybrid Tune trio of Stephen James, David Meenan and Ben Simonds ran out as race winners, scoring victory by more than 90 seconds at the chequered flag.

Fans of Mini racing were treated to a feast of entertainment over the course of the weekend as both the Mighty Minis Championship and the Mini Seven Racing Club served up exhilarating wheel-to-wheel action.

Ian Slark and David Kirpatrick shared the spoils in the two Mighty Mini encounters whilst there was plenty of variety when it came to the winners of the Mini Seven contingent.

In the Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares Miglia category, Rupert Deeth bagged an impressive brace with Sam Summerhayes clinching the remaining win.

Summerhayes then jumped across to the Dunlop National Mini Challenge supported by Mini Spares Se7en class and tallied another win before Joe Thompson and Jeff Smith also triumphed.

The Kumho BMW Championship battled the treacherous conditions and delivered two scintillating contests. Brad Sheehan powered his E46 M3 to victory in the opener before Michael Pensaville bounced back from a retirement to prevail in race two.

Rounding out the weekend were two BARC Open Sports/Saloon races, both of which were won by Jamie Sturges at the wheel of his Seat Leon TCR.

To view the full classification of results from every session at Thruxton, click here.

The British Automobile Racing Club returns to Thruxton this coming weekend (October 31/November 1) with the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship taking centre stage.

Thruxton thrill ride awaits BARC championships

The British Automobile Racing Club is gearing up for the first of two blockbuster events at its spiritual home of Thruxton this coming weekend (October 24/25) as a host of championships continue their 2020 campaigns.

Put together post-lockdown to provide an extra date on the calendar for a number of series, the fastest circuit in the UK is set to undoubtedly get pulses racing as title battles reach fever pitch and drivers duke it out for outright bragging rights.

Taking centre stage at the Hampshire venue for the first-time ever is the C1 Challenge. Providing a low-cost method of going endurance racing, the C1 Challenge has proven to be one of the fastest growing categories in the country since launching midway through 2017.

Often boasting huge grids, this weekend’s three-hour encounter is set to provide an abundance of thrills and spills as teams and drivers bid to write their name into the history books as the first winners at Thruxton.

Unlike the C1 Challenge, the Kumho BMW Championship is no stranger to Thruxton having been a regular fixture at the circuit down the years. Home to all manner of models produced by the Bavarian manufacturer, the multi-class series has become a haven for full-throttle action.

Notable names to keep an eye on over the course of the weekend’s two races include James Card, Sunny Gill, Brad Sheehan and Darren Morgan-Owen, amongst others.

Thruxton will mark the penultimate event of the Mighty Minis Championship season and it is all to play for in the race to be crowned champion. Paul Ogborn holds the advantage in the Mighty Mini class whilst Neven Kirkpatrick finds himself in a similar position in the Super Mighty Mini category.

As is the case when it comes to the Mighty Minis contingent however, both Ogborn and Kirkpatrick can’t rest for a second as things can change in an instant and each driver has a host of contenders chasing them down.

Further slipstreaming, wheel-to-wheel Mini madness will come in the shape of the Mini Seven Championship and Mini Miglia Championship. Stealing the show when they appeared on the TOCA support package at Thruxton last year, edge of the seat entertainment is all-but guaranteed.

Rounding out the weekend’s track action will be two innovative Open Sports/Saloon car races after debuting at Mallory Park in late August.

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, the new initiative is proving to be popular.

The 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.

To find out more information on this weekend’s event at Thruxton, click here.

BARC publishes COVID-19 guidelines for Competitors and Officials

With the restart to racing in the UK now well underway the British Automobile Racing Club has updated its guidelines on how events will be run for both Competitors and Officials.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to adjust some of our practices and procedures in order to satisfy the requirements laid down by the government and most importantly to provide the safest environment possible for everyone involved.

In line with the guidance provided by Motorsport UK, the BARC will operate their race meetings as follows:-

BARC Competitors Guidance – CLICK HERE

BARC Officials Guidance – CLICK HERE

These guidelines have been put in place with the well-being of staff, competitors, officials and all potential visitors to our venues and events remaining at the forefront of our considerations at all times.

As it stands, all race meetings and events remain provisional and subject to change in accordance with the latest directives from the UK government.

To view the remaining post-lockdown 2021 events schedule, head to https://www.barc.net/events/.

BARC serves up titanic two days of track action at Donington Park

Donington Park played host to a memorable two days of British Automobile Racing Club action this past weekend (August 22/23) which saw mixed conditions only add to the edge-of-the-seat drama and entertainment.

Descending on the Leicestershire venue for what would turn out to be a weekend to remember, a total of seven championships hit the track and turned on the style for the enthusiastic crowd that was in attendance.

One of the headline acts was the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship and the 1000bhp heavyweight behemoths didn’t disappoint as they served up a feast of thrills and spills across five bruising encounters.

Division 1 saw four-time defending champion Ryan Smith begin his quest for a fifth crown in emphatic fashion on the right foot as he powered his way to a brace of rain wins. Martin Gibson, David Jenkins and John Newell also triumphed, underlining that the class is set to be as wide open as ever in 2020.

Steven Powell enjoyed a solid start in Division 2 as he kicked off his quest for the title in emphatic fashion, winning four out of the five races. The MAN TGX driver was in a league of his own at times and would have completed a clean sweep had it not been for Luke Garrett scoring a win of his own.

Another category to lift the curtain on its condensed 2020 season was the Distrigo C1 Challenge, taking centre stage on Saturday for a three-hour spectacle which ended with the top two being separated by little over half a second.

The Progressive Motorsport Ltd duo of Howard Hayens and Dave Ward narrowly edged out Team Davies after a sensational 91 laps around the 1.98-mile track.

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres saw three drivers take home a share of the silverware following six breathless races. Saturday’s triple-header saw Daniel Clark, Will Gibson and Connor Mills take a win each before Gibson and Mill triumphed again on Sunday, the latter a brace.

There was action aplenty in the Max5 Racing Championship over the course of the weekend too as the one-make series starred. Andrew Pretorius reigned supreme in the opening encounter before Paul Roddison scooped the spoils in race two.

The BARC North West Centre’s flagship category, the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship, made its second appearance of the year with Richard Wood and Luke Armiger taking a win apiece under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.

Rounding out the weekend’s track action at Donington Park were races from both the BRSCC Mazda MX5 Championship and BRSCC Mazda MX5 Supercup.

To view the full classification of results from all championships and sessions, click here.

BARC revved up for blockbuster weekend at Donington Park

The British Automobile Racing Club is preparing for a blockbuster two days of track action at Donington Park this weekend (August 22/23) with six championships, including the BTRA Truck Racing Championship, set to take centre stage.

In what is always a well-attended event on the national motorsport calendar, the Leicestershire venue will welcome a limited number of spectators to watch a feast of entertainment around the challenging 1.95-mile circuit.

Headlining the weekend’s action will be the five-tonne heavyweight behemoths of the BTRA. Kick-starting their 2020 campaign under the flightpath of East Midlands airport, a bumper grid of trucks will take centre stage with five races scheduled to play out.

Headlining Division 1 is four-time reigning champion Ryan Smith who is chasing a fifth consecutive title. Having been the man to beat in recent years, Smith enters the weekend as the favourite but with the likes of David Jenkins, Stuart Oliver and Simon Reid, amongst others, nothing is guaranteed.

In Division 2, Luke Garrett begins the pursuit of a third successive title and the MAN driver, like Smith, enters the weekend with a target on his back and with Steven Powell, Brad Smith and Simon Cole on the hunt, Garrett will need to be at his brilliant best.

Just over a month since their reschedule season got underway, the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres resumes with its usual blend of wheel-to-wheel, bumper-to-bumper entertainment putting fans on the edge of their seats.

Jack Parker, Miles Rudman, Sy Harraway, John Mickel and Daniel Clark were the early pace-setters at Croft and they will all be worth keeping an eye on, as well as a host of others, across the weekend’s six races.

The Max5 Racing Championship was another category to blast into life at Croft and with grid numbers continuing to rise, the single-make series is building toward a memorable 2020 season.

Jon Halliwell made a triumphant return to the championship last time out and marked it with a double win. Paul Roddison, Sam Hicks, Ian Loversidge, Jeremy Shipley and Andrew Pretorius are just a few of the drivers that will be keen to make their mark during the weekends two encounters.

The Club’s North West Centre will be present over the course of the weekend in the shape of the CNC Heads Sports/Saloon Car Championship. Running under a multi-class format, the much-loved category began its year at Cadwell Park with Paul Rose and Paul Dobson claiming a win apiece.

Expect those two to be at the sharp end of a grid which has all the hallmarks of encompassing the quote ‘variety is the spice of life’.

Another category that will be making their first appearance of this condensed 2020 season is the C1 Challenge. Providing a low-cost method of going endurance racing, the series has emerged as one of the fastest growing categories in the country since launching midway through 2017.

Armed with a capacity entry list and a three-hour race scheduled to take place on the Saturday, the action is set to be unmissable.

Bringing the curtain down on the track action at Donington Park will be action from the BRSCC Mazda Mx5 Supercup.

To find out more information on this weekend’s event, including links to live timing, timetables and entry lists, click here.

BARC announces revised provisional 2020 calendar for remainder of the year

The British Automobile Racing Club can today (June 22) reveal its revised provisional calendar for the remainder 2020; kicking off on July 4/5 and running right the way through until November 22.

Following on from the suspension of UK motorsport in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Club has worked tirelessly to put together a calendar with the dates available that will suit each individual championship.

Unfortunately, both the British Hillclimb Championship and BARC Connaught Speed Championship have elected to cancel their 2020 campaigns, with the focus now on 2021.

To view the full revised list of 2020 British Automobile Racing Club race meetings, CLICK HERE.

All dates remain provisional and subject to change in line with the current and ever-evolving government guidelines. Spectators are currently not permitted to attend events at this moment in time.

Those wishing to enter a race meeting can do so via the BARC Competitor Entry System.

For those that do not have a Username to access the BARC Competitor Entry System or if you have a general enquiry, please contact BARC Competitors secretary David Wheadon via 01264 882209 or dwheadon@barc.net.

Guidelines for Competitors and Officials have also been published in relation to how BARC race meetings will operate moving forward. They can be viewed by heading to https://www.barc.net/barc-publishes-covid-19-guidelines-for-competitors-and-officials/