Rockingham serves up BARC weekend to remember

It was all-out action at Rockingham this past weekend (April 14/15) as the British Automobile Racing Club produced a blockbuster two days of racing, with a host of championships coming to the fore.

On what was the first of what are set to be many visits that the Club will make to the Corby circuit over the course of the 2018 campaign, wheel-to-wheel edge-of-the-seat thrills were on order from the get-go.

The Dunlop Endurance Championship roared into life for a new season with another jaw-dropping array of cars and drivers making up the entry list. In the shorter 50-minute sprint race, Richard Neary powered his Mercedes AMG GT GT3 to victory ahead of the Ferrari 458 GT3 pairing of David Mason and Ross Wylie.

Neary notched a second sprint race win later in the day as the longer two-hour endurance race began to unfold. Following a total of 79 laps being completed, Andreas Demetriou and Luke Williams of Black Mamba Racing stormed to take the chequered flag, a mere three seconds ahead of the KTM X-Bow duo of Mike McCollum and Sean Cooper.

Ben Palmer continued his dominance of the Michelin Clio Cup Series, making it four wins from four races with another double at Rockingham. Living up the mantel of defending champion, Palmer once again swept his way to the top step of the podium in both races, further strengthening his position at the top of the points. The road class saw Nic Harrison win twice too.

The Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship saw similar levels of dominance with Gus Burton propelling himself to the top of the point’s standings after notching two wins.

In the Junior Saloon Car Championship, Joel Wren staked his claim as a credible title contender with a double of his own. In what turned out to be another frenetic weekend for the Citroen Saxo category, Wren made a lightening start in race one to take a commanding lights-to-flag victory.

Despite finishing second on the road in race two, Wren was declared the winner following a post-race exclusion for Ben Kasperczak, making it a dream weekend for him. Kasperczak picked up a rostrum finisher in the opener with Steven Chandler. Frankie Taylor and Charlotte Birch meanwhile scored silverware in race two.

Scott Kendall and Nevan Kirkpatrick shared the spoils in the Mighty Minis Championship whilst the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship saw two wins go the way of Lee Sullivan in his MG ZR.

The curtain lifted on a new season for the Classic VW Cup with a variety of different models from the German brand doing battle. In what proved to be two thrilling encounters, Daniel Rose and Ken Lark proved to be in a league of their own, with Rose narrowly getting the better of Lark in his Golf to take both wins.

Rounding out the action at Rockingham was the new-for-2018 BARC Saloon Series, which also encompassed the Dream Automotive Honda VTEC Challenge. Open to all manner of saloon cars, the latest series to align itself with the Club enjoyed a strong first showing.

Robert Burkinshaw claimed race honours both in the overall and the VTEC Challenge classifications whilst Alistair Lindsey and Jacob Carter took a win apiece in the BARC Saloons classification.

For the full race results from every championship, click here.

Bumper two days of action lie ahead at Rockingham

Rockingham is set for a blockbuster weekend (April 14/15) as the British Automobile Racing Club as a host of championships descend on the Corby venue for two days of flat-out action.

Marking the first of several visits the Club will make to the circuit during the course of the 2018 season, fans are set to be treated to a diverse range of pulsating races over the course of the event.

Boasting a variety of jaw-dropping machinery, Britcar’s Dunlop Endurance Championship is back for another season and the curtain will raise on the 2018 campaign at Rockingham.

With marques such as Ginetta, Ferrari, Porsche, Radical and BMW, to name a few, being represented on the grid, there is something for everyone as the championship roars into life with a 50-minute sprint race and two hour endurance encounter.

The Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship continues at Rockingham with rounds three and four taking place. A four-car grid will duke it out this weekend with Nicholas Reeve the man everyone is chasing after enjoying a dream debut at the season-opener.

Bagging both victories, Reeve and the Specialized Motorsport squad enter the event as the ones to beat however Lorcan Hanafin, Louis Doyle and Gus Burton will all be hoping to topple the youngster.

There will be tin top action for drivers aged 14 to 17 in the Junior Saloon Car Championship this weekend too. Renowned for how cost effective it is and giving drivers the perfect stepping stone from karting, the JSCC has long been a proving ground for racers to go on to big and better things.

With some familiar names and returning faces making up the class of 2018 this year, it is all to play for however the early title contender is Ben Kasperczak, who bagged a pair of wins at Silverstone in late March. Whilst the likes of Jemma Moore, Tony Rodriguez and others will be aiming to beat the rapid youngster, Kasperczak sits in the box seat as it stands.

Reigning Michelin Clio Cup Series champion Ben Palmer finds himself in a similar position too after coming off the back of two wins at Silverstone. Securing a late deal to be on the grid, Palmer asserted his dominance early on and will be a favourite for sure at Rockingham.

The Lancaster Insurance MG Owner’s Club Championship is another series that is hitting the track for a second time this season at the weekend. Bringing together some of the most iconic cars that the illustrious brand has produced over countless decades, there is something for everyone during

Iconic is one word to describe the Mini brand and in the Mighty Mini Championship, the popular car is celebrated with edge-of-the-seat thrills ’n’ spills. Pitting the Mighty and Super Mighty classes together on the same grid, wheel-to-wheel battles are the norm with notable names such as Scott Kendall and Jo Polley being drivers to look out for.

Capping off what is set to be a frenetic two days of racing this weekend is the BARC Saloon Series, Honda VTEC Challenge and Classic VW Cup. Sharing grids throughout Sunday, these trio of categories are set to provide some of the best saloon races around, with a diverse range of cars and models going head-to-head with each other.

Seven championships kickstart campaigns in Silverstone thriller

Seven championships from the British Automobile Racing Club kicked off their 2018 seasons this past weekend (March 24/25) at Silverstone.

Tackling the National layout of the popular venue, high sped edge-of-the-seat thrills were on order in contrasting conditions of rain and sun.

Battling the wet weather on Saturday, the Hyundai Coupe Cup roared into life with a record 24-car entry list. Now entering what is it’s third full season as a standalone series, the one-make tin top category produced a memorable two encounters around Northamptonshire venue.

Like he did on countless occasions last year, Steve Kite proved to be the man to beat as he stormed to a brace of victories, both by more than three seconds. Kite fended off Alex Cursley and Wayne Rockett in the opener before then leading Rockett and Neil Hurren in race two.

The theme of dominant doubles continued in the Michelin Clio Cup Series as Ben Palmer kickstarted his title defence in fine style. With the number one adorning his car for this year, Palmer underlined why he is the benchmark by romping to victory by more than 19 seconds in race one ahead of Simon Freeman and John Hamilton.

Both Hamilton and Freeman locked out the podium in race two but both could only watch on again as Palmer took the chequered flag, this time by just two seconds. In the Road class, Nic Harrison also enjoyed a strong start to the defence of his crown by picking up a pair of wins.

In the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship, Nick Reeve had a dream debut as he took a clean sweep, claiming a pair of pole positions and then converting them into wins.

A five-car entry produced plenty of thrills ’n’ spills with Gus Burton winning on the road in race one after making a robust move on Reeve on the penultimate lap. Following a review, the positions were swapped by officials, giving Reeve the win.

The Specialized Motorsport driver proved to be in a league of his own in race two as he led Lorcan Hanafin and Burton to vault himself to the top of the championship standings.

Ben Kasperczak was in similar form in the Junior Saloon Car Championship, another one-make series that caters for drivers 14 to 17-years-old. At the wheel of his brightly coloured Citroen Saxo, Kasperczak stormed to a brace of victories to establish himself at the helm of the points.

Jemma Moore, Steven Chandler, Tony Rodriguez and Lewis Saunders all also picked up silverware across the two races too.

In the Mighty Minis Championship, Scott Kendall kicked off the defence of his title in style with an impressive victory in race one, taking the chequered flag ahead of Neven Kirkpatrick by four tenths of a second – a sizeable gap in Mini terms.

Race two proved to be a much tighter affair with a host of cars all dicing for top spot. In the end, Jo Polley made it a debut to remember as she took the win ahead of Greg Jenkins, Kendall and Kirkpatrick – a mere tenth of a second covering the four of them.

A diverse range of tin top thrills were also provided by the Classic Touring Car Racing club, which boasted more than 80 cars competing in a range of classes.

The amalgamated Classic, Historic Thunder Saloons & Blue Oval Saloon Series races brought outright victories the way of Dale Gent and Dave Cockell. The Pre 66 Classic Saloon & Historic Touring Cars saw Jonathan Lewis emerge victorious in both races at the wheel of his Mini Cooper S.

Rounding out the action at Silverstone was two races from the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Catering for fans of single seater machines from yesteryear, Mike Gardner and Benn Tilley were the drivers to beat as they shared the spoils, taking a win apiece.

For the full classification of results from all championships, click here.

BARC descends on Silverstone for bumper weekend of racing

The British Automobile Racing Club returns to Silverstone this weekend (March 24/25) for the first bumper two-day club meeting of 2018 with no less than seven championships competing.

Taking to the National layout of the Northamptonshire-based venue, the curtain is set to be lifted on a host of categories as the battle for the coveted titles begins.

More than 75 cars from the Classic Touring Car Racing Club are set to provide unmissable action over both days with their eight classes hitting the track.

With a diverse range of machines, ranging from Pre-66 all the way up to Pre-05, there is set to be something for everyone. Notable drivers to keep an eye on include Stephen Primett in his Ford Escort Mk1, Richard Askham in his Jaguar XJR and Dale Gent in his Subaru Impreza, to name just a few.

A record grid is expected for the Hyundai Coupe Cup, which is once again set to go from strength-to-strength. Boasting an entry list of 24 cars, the popular one-make series is set to put on quite the show with two races set to be run.

Alongside a host of new faces that are joining the fray, series stalwarts such as Alex Cursley and Steve Kite are back in their own bids to rule the roost once again.

The Michelin Clio Cup Series will begin over the course of the weekend too with defending champion Ben Palmer lining up and looking to make it back-to-back triumphs. Palmer broke all sorts of records in 2017 and enters this weekend as a favourite amongst many, although the likes of Ben Colburn, Tyler Lidsey and Finlay Robinson will have something to say about it.

There will be additional action from the French manufacturer too virtue of the Renault UK Clio Cup Junior Championship. Coming off the back of its inaugural season last year, the latest crop of youngsters are set to do battle for a standout prize – free entry into the senior Clio Cup.

On-track thrills ’n’ spills for drivers aged between 14 to 17 are also set to come from the Junior Saloon Car Championship. With champion Will Dyrdal moving on to new pastures, a new name is set to be etched into the history books of the Citroen Saxo category – and there are no shortage of contenders with likes of Jemma Moore, Ben Kaseperczak and Ethan Rogers.

A tin top masterclass is set to be given by the Mighty Mini Championship too as they also roar into life for what will be their third full campaign with the BARC. Last year saw a blockbuster season in which Alice Hughes and Scott Kendall won their respective classes, and with Kendall returning this year, the same levels of excitement can be expected.

Rounding out what is gearing up to be a blockbuster weekend is the Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship. Catering for fans of single seaters from yesteryear, the Classic Formula Ford series has continued to grow and a packed-out entry list are ready to duke it out at Silverstone.