Action aplenty as TOCA support package roars into life at Thruxton

There was no shortage of entertainment on the TOCA support package this past weekend (May 8/9) at Thruxton as a number of championships lifted the curtain on their 2021 campaigns.

On what proved to be an action-packed two days around the high-speed Hampshire venue – headlined by the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – the journey to crown a champion in each category began in exciting fashion.

Boasting its biggest ever entry list for a season opener, the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship underlined why it is the place to be for aspiring drivers graduating from karting. Staging two pulsating encounters around the 2.36-mile circuit, the one-make series showed that it looks set to be another ultra-competitive year.

Tom Edgar struck first as he powered his way to victory in race one ahead of Seb Hopkins and Josh Miller before Callum Voisin came to the fore, capping off his car racing debut with a superlative victory in the second contest.

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge made its customary appearance on the TOCA support bill and it too didn’t disappoint as a bumper grid went wheel-to-wheel over the course of both days. John Bennett and Josh Steed shared the spoils in the end, taking a win apiece.

In the Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB, Theo Edgerton proved to be in a league of his own. Despite missing out on pole position in qualifying, the TCR driver made no mistake in either race to kick his season off on the right foot by netting a brace of race wins.

There were plenty of edge-of-the-seat moments from the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy as three different drivers stood on the top step of the podium. Matt Hammond picked up where left off from Snetterton a few weeks ago to notch his third win on the bounce before defending champion Harry Nunn ignited his title challenge with victory in race two.

Former Junior Saloon Car Championship front runner Alex Solley then closed out the show with a superlative display to score his first win the in the single make series.

Rounding off the weekend’s action were a trio of races from the F4 British championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. After claiming a trio of race wins last year, James Hedley continued his inspired form around Thruxton by adding a further two wins to his resume before Joseph Loake triumphed in the finale.

To view the full classification of results from all sessions at Thruxton, CLICK HERE.

TOCA support package aims to take centre stage at Thruxton opener

It won’t just be the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship that lifts the curtain on its 2021 season at Thruxton this weekend (May 8/9) as the TOCA support package turns a wheel for the first time.

Marking the start of what is set to be another frenetic season of racing, five categories will descend on the Hampshire venue to tackle what is the fastest circuit on the calendar – and it is not to be missed.

The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship bursts into life with a mammoth grid of 27 teenage talents – the largest entry list for a season opener in the series’ history – aiming to take centre stage.

With a number of seasoned racers being joined by a raft of rookies, the battle for supremacy this year looks set to be as competitive as ever; especially as reigning champion Tom Lebbon has stepped up to BRDC British F3.

Returning drivers Tom Edgar, Freddie Tomlinson, Will Jenkins, Aston Millar, Josh Millar and Seb Hopkins will hope to utilise their previous experience however the frenetic nature of the championship could see anyone stake their claim to the crown early on over the course of the weekend’s two races.

The Juniors won’t be the only Ginetta representatives at Thruxton either as the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge kicks off its tenth season. The championship is renowned for producing some of the closest and most exciting one-make racing in the UK, and that’s sure to continue this year as the series embarks on a new four-class format after merging grids with the Ginetta G40 Cup.

Notable names to look out for include Josh Steed, Conner Garlick, Connor Grady, Magnus Kriklywi and Owen Hizzey, amongst many more.

Coming off the back of hugely successful maiden season last year, the Porsche Visit Cayman Islands Sprint Challenge GB will also be in attendance as it kick starts its 2021 campaign.

Home to the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, the series looks set to grow in stature this year as it fields a grid of second and first year drivers. Some names to cast a watchful eye over include Theo Edgerton, Ethan Hawkey, Jack Bartholomew, Marcus Armstrong and Ambrogio Perfetti.

The Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy heads for Thruxton for the second round of the season this weekend, with action aplenty expected from a packed grid of Cooper class cars.

Matt Hammond grabbed the early initiative at Snetterton two weeks ago and he will be keen to continue his strong start to the year across the weekend’s three races. The chasing pack of Dominic Wheatley, Lee Pearce and defending champion Harry Nunn will undoubtedly be keen to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Rounding out the weekend’s action will be a trio of contests from the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Home to the next generation of single seater stars, the series has garnered a reputation for spring-boarding the careers of many, the most popular being current F1 driver Lando Norris.

Boasting an entry list that encompasses drivers from right around the globe, this weekend looks to be closely fought with the likes of James Hedley, Abbi Pulling, Matias Zagazeta and Roman Bilinski all in the mix for outright honours.

To find out more information on this weekend’s BTCC opener, including the official entry list and timetable, CLICK HERE. Check out the official Digital Programme for the event HERE. You can watch all the action live on ITV4 from 10:50 on Sunday.

BTCC season-opener to run behind closed doors at Thruxton

Following the announcement of the government’s roadmap for easing of lockdown restrictions, the season-opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship race meeting at Thruxton on May 8/9 will be run behind closed doors, without spectators.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that no spectators will be allowed to attend events until May 17 at the earliest. We are disappointed that fans will not be able to join us in May and we are sorry for the inconvenience this decision will cause.

However, it looks as though the circuit will be able to have a full complement of spectators when the BTCC returns to Thruxton on August 28/29.

TICKET HOLDERS HAVE TWO OPTIONS
OPTION 1

We would like to offer you the opportunity to exchange your tickets for the BTCC race meeting in August. If you purchased grandstand seats, these will also be transferred and we will do our very best to allocate you the same seats. However, if your original allocation of seats is not available we will contact you. To exchange your tickets please send your name, address, and postcode to may21transfer@barc.net

Tickets will be posted in June/July. If you have any queries please email info@barc.net and someone will reply as soon as they are able.

OPTION 2

If you would like a full refund, please send your name, address, and postcode to may21refund@barc.net and your refund will be processed within 7 working days. If we do not hear from you before Sunday 11 April 2021, we will automatically process a refund.

We appreciate the disappointment that this will cause to our supporters, but we are grateful for your understanding at this difficult time and look forward to welcoming you back to Thruxton as soon as possible.

2020 Season Review: Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge

The battle for supremacy in the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge went down to the  very last lap of the season in 2020, and when all was said done it was Josh Malin that prevailed as champion.

Armed with an ultra-competitive grid and renowned for producing wheel-to-wheel entertainment, the one-make series strengthened its reputation as one of the best proving grounds for budding GT drivers.

Open to drivers of all ages and experience, the GT5 Challenge took centre stage on both the British Touring Car Championship and British GT Championship support packages.

In what proved to be a vintage year for the championship, four drivers came to the fore over the course of the season to battle for outright honours: Malin, James Taylor, Gordie Mutch and Jonny Wilkinson.

Oulton Park played host to the season-opener and it would see Malin, Wilkinson and Taylor share the spoils. That theme would continue between those three, with the addition of the emerging Mutch, throughout the remainder of the season as they dazzled fans at almost every turn.

As the business end of the season came into view, the fight for top spot soon came down to Richardson Racing’s Malin and Elite Motorsport’s Taylor.

Separated by just seven points heading into the final event of the year at Silverstone, the duelling title protagonists served up a finale that will live long in the memory as Taylor grabbed the advantage by storming to a crucial victory in race one. 

Malin went into last race of the season with a one point deficit to Taylor, however he edged out his rival in a thrilling winner-takes-all finale to secure his first Ginetta title by the smallest of margins.

Whilst Malin was crowned champion in the Pro class, Ian Duggan reigned supreme in the Am category to lift the coveted title.

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge looks set to grow in stature even further in 2021 as it combines grids with the Ginetta G40 Cup.

Ginetta announces provisional 2021 race calendars

Ginetta have announced the provisional race calendar for its four one-make domestic championships that will form an integral part of both the British Touring Car Championship and British GT Championship support packages.

The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship will once again take centre stage on the TOCA support package, with the series being contested over nine weekends. Missing the annual trip to Croft to allow drivers to sit their GCSE examinations, the UK’s longest running and most prestigious junior series will continue to offer a platform for young drivers start their motorsport careers.

The Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup will also feature alongside the BTCC this year with a welcome return to Knockhill confirmed as one of the eight rounds that will be run next year.

A change for 2021 will see the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge and the Ginetta G40 Cup combine onto one grid for the first time. The championships will contest seven race events across the BTCC and British GT Championship bills.

Next year will mark the sixth consecutive campaign that the GT5 Challenge has featured across both packages whilst the G40 Cup will make its maiden foray to race alongside the BTCC.

Rounding off the Ginetta action in 2021 will be the brand-new Ginetta GT Academy, which offers entry level racing for drivers of all experience levels, with the field split between experienced drivers and a ‘Rookie’ Class. The inaugural calendar will see it make appearances alongside both British GT and BTCC.

To view the full list of 2021 race dates for all four Ginetta championships, head to https://www.ginetta.com/news/ginetta-announce-provisional-2021-race-calendars.

Ashley Gallagher, Ginetta Championship Manager, said: “2020 has been a season unlike any other and we’re incredibly thankful to every member of the Ginetta family for ensuring that we’ve been able to go racing in a safe and positive environment.

“With six champions still to be crowned across the GT4 SuperCup, Juniors and GT5 Challenge, we have a great final month of the season ahead of us. Attentions will then turn to 2021, and it’s already shaping up to be an exciting year with these new provisional calendars.

“We are delighted to remain key parts of the support packages for both the BTCC and British GT. Racing alongside these series mean our drivers and teams enjoy the spotlight of live television coverage and online streaming, as well as hopefully the return of large trackside crowds next year.

“We have some more format changes to our championships to announce in due course, which we feel will continue to open up our championships and provide more opportunities to drivers to find their home on the Ginetta ladder.”

TOCA support championship deliver blockbuster entertainment at Silverstone

Silverstone played host to a memorable two days of TOCA support race action this past weekend (September 26/27) as five championships continued their 2020 campaigns around the 1.64-mile National layout.

Sharing centre stage alongside the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at the Home of British Motor Racing, wheel-to-wheel battles were a constant theme across the weekend as each category edged closer towards the business end of the season.

As they have done all season, the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship served up a feast of entertainment where there was high drama and a string of notable performances.

Bailey Voisin emerged as the big winner from the weekend as he powered his R Racing G40 to a brace of wins. Georgi Dimitrov claimed the remaining victory, keeping his calm amidst a truncated race two to score his fourth win of the year.

Making their third and final appearance on the TOCA support bill this year, the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge produced a sensational two races with Josh Malin claiming a near-perfect score to claim the championship lead.

Malin powered his Richardson Racing machine to the top step of the podium in both races to put himself in prime position to be crowned champion with just two races remaining.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB saw redemption fall the way of Harry King as he made a return to winning ways. After seeing two wins slip away at Thruxton, King was back on the top step of the podium in emphatic style, taking a commanding victory ahead of Will Martin and Sam MacLeod in the opening encounter.

Race two would see King reign supreme once again as he powered his way up the order to score victory and in doing so, take a step closer to clinching the title. Matthew Graham settled for second after leading for much of the race whilst Martin rounded off the podium.

Spoils were shared in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE JCW Championship across three feisty races around the famous Northamptonshire venue. Nathan Harrison converted pole position into a commanding race one victory before Ant Whorton-Eales strengthened his series lead with a win in race two.

Jamsport Racing’s Tom Rawlings then held off race-long attention from Callum Newsham and Ronan Pearson to prevail from a frenetic third encounter.

The weekend was rounded off by three scintillating contests from the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost. Alex Connor, Zak O’Sullivan and Casper Stevenson each took a win apiece.

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

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and TOCA support categories now head to Croft Circuit on October 10/11 for the next event of the 2020 season.

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 (v3 21 July) – CLICK HERE

BARC Officials Guidance (v2 22 July) – 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/.

Knockhill provides latest stop on the calendar for TOCA support championships

It won’t just be the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship that will look to put on a show at Knockhill this coming weekend (August 29/30) as the championships that make up the TOCA support package will also be in action north of the border.

Capping off what has been a busy month with the annual trip to Scotland marking the fourth race meeting in the last five weeks, the battle for supremacy across five categories is only set to intensify around the undulating 1.27-mile layout.

Missing last weekend’s meeting at Oulton Park, the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship returns to action with Bailey Voisin in control of proceedings at the standings summit. Winning twice at Brands Hatch, Voisin has the early initiative however he will need to be at his best if he is to hold onto it across the weekend’s three encounters.

Scholarship winner Tom Lebbon and rookie Georgi Dimitrov have both triumphed this year too and neither can be discounted out from standing on the top step once gain. Throw into the mix the likes of Josh Rattican, Zak Taylor and Freddie Tomlinson and you’ll begin to see why it is anyone’s game.

The Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge made its first appearance of the season on the TOCA package last week at Oulton Park and is back for more at Knockhill.

Josh Malin, Jonny Wilkinson and James Taylor emerged as the star drivers less than a week ago and the trio will undoubtedly be in the mix this time round once again.

Not featuring since the start of the month, the latest instalment of the  MINI CHALLENGE JCW Championship will be played out around the twists and turns of the Fife venue.

At Donington Park, spoils were shared between Ant Whorton-Eales, Nathan Harrison and Max Coates but the depth of talent in the grid means another three drivers could come to the fore this weekend including the likes of Dan Zelos, Lewis Brown and Kyle Reid – to name but a few.

Edge-of-the-seat thrills and spills has been a staple of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this year and arriving at Knockhill, Harry King holds the best hand in the points after three events.

Five wins from six races has been a dream start for King, this year’s Porsche GB Scholarship victor, and it will be hard to bet against him from adding to his tally. Josh Webster, Scott McKenna and Matthew Graham will lead the fight to overhaul the former GT4 Supercup champion.

Rounding out the weekend at Knockhill will be three more races from the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

To find out more information on this weekend’s race meeting at Knockhill, including links to live timing and the event timetable, click here. ITV4 will broadcast live coverage of Sunday’s action from 10:40.

Mixed weather conditions add to the Oulton Park spectacle on TOCA support package

Oulton Park provided the backdrop for the latest chapter of what is turning out to be another thrilling season on the TOCA support package, with five championships taking centre stage amidst challenging conditions.

Joining the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at the Cheshire venue for what was the third event in four weeks, changeable weather played its part throughout both days to add a further ingredient to the thrills and spills that were already being played out.

Harry King maintained his impressive start to the campaign in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB as he extended his lead at the summit of the standings. The Porsche GB Scholarship winner was perfection personified throughout the weekend to clinch two dominant victories ahead of Josh Webster.

In the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Gus Burton scored a double of his own as he reigned supreme in the weekend’s two contests. The Century Motorsport driver led home fellow title contenders Will Burns and Tom Hibbert in a frenetic opener before starring once more in race two.

Burton converted his pole position start into a lead he was never going to lose, powered his way to the chequered flag ahead of Jame Falvey and Adam Smalley

Making the first of three appearance alongside the BTCC this year was the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge, and it didn’t disappoint. Race one would see Josh Malin storm to victory in race one before the Richardson Racing ace put on a wet weather masterclass with Jonny Wilkinson in race two.

Whilst others battled to keep their cars pointing in the right direction, Malin and Wilkinson went wheel-to-wheel for a number of laps however in the end it was to be Malin that prevailed.

Luke Browning proved to be in a league of his own in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost as he stormed to the top of the standings after claiming a sensational hat-trick of race wins.

Rounding out the weekend’s on track action were two races from the MINI CHALLENGE Trophy, which saw Dominic Wheatley and Ben Kasperczak take a win apiece.

To view the full classification of results from all TOCA support championship sessions at Oulton Park, click here.

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and TOCA support package now heads north of the border to Knockhill, for the fourth event in five weeks this coming weekend (August 29/30).

TOCA support championships set to star at Oulton Park

As always, it won’t just be the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship that will serve up the traditional thrills and spills that fans have become accustomed to at Oulton Park this weekend (August 22/23), with five championships from the TOCA support package all in action as well.

In what has been a frenetic first month of the season, with this being the third event in four weeks, the on-track entertainment is only set to intensify around the Cheshire venue as every point will prove crucial in determining who will be crowned champion come the end of the year.

Harry King has set his stall out as the driver to beat in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB so far, winning three out of fours race already. Joining the grid as the Porsche GB Scholarship winner, the Team Parker Racing ace has wasted no time in settling into the series and will undoubtedly be in the mix for more silverware this weekend.

Giving chase to King are a host of contenders, all of which are led by former champion Josh Webster. Triumphing at the season-opener, Webster has been in fine form ever since and a second victory of the campaign will surely propel him firmly back into contention.

Notable names such as Ross Wylie, Lorcan Hanafin, Scott McKenna, Matthew Graham and Esmee Hawkey, amongst many others, can’t be discounted either over the course of the weekend – making the Carrera Cup GB an unmissable attraction.

The Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup has produced blockbuster moments already this year and the latest instalment of the much-loved series sees Tom Hibbert lead the way after taking a double win last time out.

Along with Will Burns, Gus Burton and Adam Smalley, the Triple M Motorsport driver has been a regular fixture towards the front of the field and it is likely that the aforementioned names will be the pace-setters once more around the challenging 2.23-mile circuit.

Additional Ginetta action at Oulton Park will come in the shape of the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge, as it fills in for the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship.

Home to aspiring GT racers as it combines close racing with a Pro/Am format, the single-make series is renowned for edge-of-the-seat thrills and if the season-opener earlier this month is anything to go by, it is set to be enthralling. Josh Malin, James Taylor and Jonny Wilkinson were the winners last time out and enter the event as the main protagonists.

Debuting on the BTCC support bill for the first time and making the first of several appearances during the remainder of the season will be the MINI CHALLENGE Cooper Championship. Like the JCW category, expect bumper grids from the one-make tin top category and fraught wheel-to-wheel action across the weekend’s two encounters.

Rounding out the weekend’s on-track entertainment will be three pulsating races from the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost where Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan will be looking to maintain his early points advantage.

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

All of Sunday’s action from Oulton Park will be broadcast live on ITV4, with coverage scheduled to begin at 11:50.

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/ 

TOCA extends Ginetta partnership for further three years

TOCA have confirmed that Ginetta will remain on the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship for a further three years, extending the successful partnership between both parties.

With 2019 marking the 12th consecutive season that Ginetta has been a part of the BTCC support package, the Yorkshire company will continue to take centre stage until the end of the 2022 season at the very least.

The Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship has been a mainstay since 2008, while the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup joined a year later in its former incarnation, the Ginetta G50 Cup. This year, the two series have had the largest average grid numbers on the support bill across the season.

Since 2016, the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge has also made regular guest appearances. Next season, all three championships will once again entertain the BTCC crowds around the best circuits in the UK including Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Silverstone.

Alan Gow, BTCC Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted to have extended our partnership with Ginetta for a further three years. Its entertaining and fiercely-fought support championships are a longstanding and valued fixture on the TOCA package.

“The career ladder from the Ginetta Junior Championship into the GT4 SuperCup and beyond is proven and unique in British motorsport, with a host of former Ginetta drivers now competing in the BTCC – it is fantastic to see.”

Lawrence Tomlinson, Ginetta Chairman, added: “Ginetta has been the biggest presence on the BTCC support bill for over a decade now and we are delighted to extend our partnership with TOCA for a further three years.

“With the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship, Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge and Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 SuperCup all in action across the season, we’re able to showcase to everyone the Ginetta career ladder we offer drivers.

“Competing on the TOCA package offers our drivers unrivalled broadcast and print media coverage, as well as great exposure to thousands of fans at each of the race meetings for themselves, the teams and their sponsors.

“We are looking forward to seeing our championships continue to flourish on the TOCA package in 2020 and produce captivating racing for the trackside crowds and the live ITV4 television audiences.”

Provisional calendars for the 2020 Ginetta season can be viewed here: https://www.ginetta.com/news/provisional-calendars-announced-for-2020-ginetta-season