Friday 26 February 2016

New Look : Coming soon

Please excuse the mess whilst we work on our new, improved, website which will be packed with lots of new content featuring British Motorsport, New Car and Motorcycle reviews and engineering.

In the meantime, please check out our social media channels

Facebook :
Twitter :
Youtube :

Friday 13 February 2015

Land Rover Defender Challenge by Bowler 2014 : The Best Bits

 The Land Rover Defender Challenge by Bowler Motorsport has completed it's inaugural season which saw Edd Cobley take home the honour of being the first champion ahead of Race 2 Recovery's Ben Gott and Damien Taft. Here are some of our highlights in a handy little montage.

Gearbox : Morgan +8 Speedster Road Test

Chris Lucas, with a little help from Matthew Harris, takes the  newest and one of the rarest parts of the Morgan Motor Company range out for a trial in it's home town of Malvern in Worcestershire. Morgan have been making cars here for 100 years, and to celebrate, they've created the Plus 8 Speedster, a £70,000 open topped British sportscar with a BMW V8 heart

Introducing Gearbox - Team Overdrive's take on the world of Road cars. We'll be bringing more road tests of all sorts of cars to this youtube channel in the very near future, so do subscribe to find out the latest.

Monday 3 February 2014

British Superkart Association Interview

Another couple of videos from Autosport International 2014, this time Rosemary meets the British Superkart Association to find out more about this incredibly fast form of motor racing...

Then we meet Ben Davis and Peter Bennett who have moved on from racing SuperKarts to take on the Clio Cup

Sunday 2 February 2014

Wales Rally GB Boss Andrew Coe talks to Overdrive

Wales Rally GB, the British round of the World Rally Championship moved from South to North Wales last year. Chief Executive Andrew Coe talks to Rosemary John about the event's plans for 2014, and beyond.

Sunday 19 January 2014

PopBangColour at Autosport International

Ian Cook of PopBangColour fame, shows off his latest masterpieces to Rosie - including 2 very special cars. Ian's famous for painting pictures of cars using radio controlled cars. His latest innovation is to paint pictures of cars, using radio controlled cars, onto cars.

Thursday 16 January 2014

Land Rover Defender Challenge at Autosport International

If you think Land Rover Defender, you probably don't think rally car! Off Road racing experts Bowler Motorsport see it differently and have taken Solihull's finest and given it it's very own Rally Challenge. With a raft of technical innovations including an anti-flop gearstick, the Defender is sure to pack a punch on the rally stage. Rosemary John meets up with Jon Chester from Bowler to find out more.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Overdrive : Re-Launching in January 2014

It's been a bit quiet around here lately - too quiet. That could be a line from a film.

Things have not been idle in Overdrive towers however. We've been hard at work with a documentary on the amazing and inspiring Kartforce and throwing all our efforts into next year. We've already started to refresh our social media outputs with Twitter, Facebook and now Google+ pages, and our videos are coming out on our Youtube channel

Coming in January 2014
    Chris with the Caterham 7 160
  • Coverage from the Autosport International Show - this year with more action from the Live Action Arena and Autosolo
  • Gearbox - Our look at Road Cars starting with the road car highlights from Autosport and a road test in the new Caterham 7 160 (which our presenter Chris loved!)
  • Our first event - We're going Ice Karting! Watch this space for how to get involved in a very different karting experience
  • A fresh new look - Still red and black, but the website will be getting a brand new look in January
Further ahead, we've got more news with our bi-weekly news bulletins which will be kicking off with the racing season in March and presented by Holly Rust. They'll include news and results from club and national motorsports, looking beyond the circuits and onto the rally stages, Autotests and all manner of clubman motorsports. There will also be more from Gearbox and we're working on 2014's features.

Until January then, we'll leave you with some highlights of the 2013 Autosport International Show.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

BTCC 2013 : The season hots up at Oulton Park

Plato's car catches fire in race three

A packed grid took to the Oulton Park circuit in perfect conditions

MG KX Momentum racer Jason Plato scored a flawless double BTCC victory at Oulton Park today (9 June) before a dramatic fire put him out of the final contest, handing his Honda Yuasa Racing rival Matt Neal the championship lead.

Two-time champion Plato is no stranger to winning at the Cheshire venue, having taken seven victories at the circuit prior to this weekend, and he duly added to his impressive tally.

He was in dominant form throughout the event – claiming pole position before securing two lights-to-flag wins in commanding fashion. But for the agony of race three, the Oxfordshire driver was still pleased with his weekend’s work, “I’ve been on fire – literally,” he said in reference to both his fine form and later misfortune!

Plato’s young team-mate Sam Tordoff starred in race one by claiming second – the best result in his short BTCC career so far and the first ever one-two for MG KX Momentum Racing.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden took third in the opener before going one better in race two in his Honda Civic, whilst 2009 champion Colin Turkington claimed third in his eBay Motors BMW 125i M Sport.

The chaotic final encounter was won by Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic after his team-mate Jeff Smith spun away the lead with just three laps remaining. Turkington scored another podium, rounding out an extremely encouraging weekend for the eBay Motors driver.

The impressive Adam Morgan took his first ever Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium in the final race, which was just reward for the Ciceley Racing driver and continues his fantastic form so far in 2013.

Matt Neal finished just 0.078s off the rostrum after hounding down Morgan in the closing stages but his race results of sixth and two fourth places were enough for him to leave Oulton Park with the championship lead. Such is the competitiveness of the 2013 BTCC season that Neal, Jordan and Plato are separated by just seven points at the top of the standings.

Other notable results belonged to the Rob Austin Racing-run Audis of Rob Austin and Will Bratt – the duo finished fifth and sixth respectively in race three.

Lea Wood and Liam Griffin shared Jack Sears Trophy honours
Lea Wood looked set to claim a first ever treble in the Jack Sears Trophy but after taking two wins he was forced into retirement in the final contest, which handed Liam Griffin’s Ford Focus his fourth win of the season. Wood heads the S2000 order with five victories.

Further to Neal’s lead in the overall Drivers’ standings, Honda lead the Manufacturers’ Championship and Honda Yuasa Racing also top the Teams’ Championship. Andrew Jordan and his Pirtek Racing squad hold the advantage in the Independents’ Drivers’ and Teams’ standings respectively.

Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Croft on the 22/23 June.

Jason Plato said: “I’ve been on fire – literally! It has been a fantastic weekend. What happened in the final race was just one of those things. The most important thing for me is that we’ve got the performance and we’ve sent a shockwave down the pit lane. There’s a long way to go but we’ve put on a pretty dominant display here, which bodes well for Croft and beyond.”

Andrew Jordan said: “If you’d asked me how my day was going after race two I’d have been a lot less happy than I am now. To pull that result off has made my weekend – you can never be sure what’s going to happen in race three and it was only once I got up into fourth that I thought I could actually win it. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a one-two for the team – there were no team orders, Jeff (Smith) just lost the rear going into the chicane and didn’t quite manage to save it. Consistency is key for me this year and while I didn’t get great results in the first two races, we scored big in the last one while Shedden and Plato didn’t finish, so that makes it an even better result.”

Colin Turkington said: “That’s the first podium (race two) that we’ve had on raw pace. We didn’t have any luck or a reverse grid to be there so we’re definitely moving forward, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. We’ve still got more performance to find in the car and it’s not there yet. I didn’t expect two podiums, especially with the speed of the Hondas and the MGs, so to take those results when they're in the kind of form they are is absolutely fantastic.”

Adam Morgan said: “It’s absolutely amazing to get that result, not just for myself but for my team, my family and all the sponsors that support me. The race was pretty hectic – I didn’t get a second to catch my breath, but I just kept pushing and to get my first BTCC podium at my home circuit – it’s brilliant. The car felt really really good, and now I've got one, I'll be pushing harder than ever to get up there again.”

Liam Griffin received a one second time penalty in race one for gaining an unfair advantage

Andrew Jordan received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

Jeff Smith received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident relating to driving standards in race three

Photos courtesy of

Disappointment for Wright on Dukeries Rally

David Wright pushing hard on the Dukeries Rally. Photo courtesy of Songasport

Bentham’s David Wright was robbed of the chance to push for a victory on last weekend’s Dukeries rally when a driveshaft snapped dropping him down the leaderboard.
Wright got off to a great start in his Kumho Tyres, Proflex, Drenth, York Brewery, Millers Oils, Owen Developments and Grove Hill Garage-supported Mitsubishi Evo 9 and, after setting the fastest time in stage 5 he was up to second overall, just 11 seconds off the leader. With another five stages still to go Wright was confident of making up the time to take the win but disaster struck on the start line of stage 8 when the driveshaft broke.
With no service halt after stage 8 Wright was forced to do two stages with the damaged shaft which dropped him to 13th on the leaderboard. The problem was fixed for the last stage and Wright made it to 12th place and 4th in class.
“The first few stages went really well,” said Wright. “I was very happy to be beating all but one of the World Rally class cars, the Dukeries stages have a lot of long straights which are a major disadvantage for our car.”
“I think we had a great chance of winning the event but the snapped shaft put paid to that. It was a very disappointing way to end what could’ve been a fantastic rally for us.”
Wright’s next event will be the Nicky Grist Stages in July although he will also be appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of the International Rally Drivers Club display.

4X4s set off to support Help for Heros

At 10.30am on Saturday 15th June 2013 a spectacle of 4x4 vehicles crewed by 100 adults (and 7 children) will gather at Littlecote House Hotel, Hungerford in Berkshire ready to start out on the 2013 Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally; a 12 day, 2,000+ mile adventure following the path of the 1944/5 Allied Invasion through Europe.

The inaugural rally in of 2010 had a goal of raising £20,000 for the charity; it went on to raise £121,000. The rally has since become an annual fixture in the calendar and has grown to become the largest independent event raising funds for H4H the rally – raising in excess of £600,000 for Help for Heroes. This, its fourth year, has already raised £110,000.

This non-speed touring assembly consists of over 40 vehicles and is crewed by serving and ex-military personnel, as well as civilians and families with children. Many of the serving/ex-service participants have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. The adventure will be part military history tour (including museums and cemeteries) and part off-road driving, and is open to road-legal 4x4 vehicles. As well as the driving, the teams have to complete daily tasks which include navigation, driving skills, observation, quizzes and competitions.

The organisers rely on the support of supporters such as Land Rover
Tim Price-Bowen, one of the organisers said “The hospitality and assistance we receive across Europe is second to none and everyone involved is so helpful. Some we meet still even remember D-Day itself! The Rally also has a wonderful sense of camaraderie, fun and adventure; and all for such a fantastic cause. Of course, we must also acknowledge the involvement of our event partners such as Jaguar Land Rover, the AA, o2, and others who provide invaluable support each year and who are key to our success.”

The route uses the byways of Salisbury Plain the Rally, and stops at military bases including before embarking on the Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to France. In addition to visiting WWII historical areas in Normandy, the H4H 4x4 Rally route will take in the WWI battlefields of the Somme and Ypres. It will then visit Arnhem in Holland and ‘Operation Market Garden’ before heading south to Bastogne in Belgium where the Germans made a final push – the famous ‘Battle of the Bulge’. The journey continues to the Alsace region of France - with its Maginot Line fortifications. The route then journeys into Germany and Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial; with its horrors of war. The event concludes 12 days after leaving the UK – the final part being a visit to Hitler's "impenetrable" Eagle's Nest high in the Bavarian Alps at Berchtesgaden.

Every car is fitted with a ‘satellite’ tracker kindly provided by Skytag-GPS. You can follow the rally in real time at;

For more information about the Help for Heroes 4x4 European Rally visit or follow them at (@h4hrally) and or contact Keith Bowen tel: 07766 712851 email:

BTCC 2013 : Oulton Park Teams reactions

Airwaves Racing battles back at Oulton Park

Aron Smith in action at Oulton Park
Another challenging weekend for Airwaves Racing ended with a glimpse of promise this weekend (June 8/9) during round 4 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Cheshire’s picturesque Oulton Park circuit provided the backdrop to a drama filled race weekend that saw the Airwaves Racing squad suffer yet another run of torrid bad luck; securing two top ten finishes; despite showing promising pace in the Mountune-powered Ford Focus ST next generation touring cars.

An uneventful qualifying session on a blistering track on Saturday afternoon left the Airwaves Racing drivers with much work to do during Sunday’s three races. Mat Jackson and Aron Smith ended the session in P11 and P17 respectively; as Smith’s #8 Focus struggled with an intermittent engine fault that hindered the Irishman’s progress throughout the session.

Sunday’s opening race started well, with both Jackson and Smith making good ground through the pack in the opening laps. The good news proved to be short lived however as the Smith’s engine fault kicked in during lap 4, relegating the Irishman through the ranks - eventually forcing the #8 Focus into the pits for an early retirement. The #7 Focus ST’s improved pace and set up paid dividends for Airwaves Racing team-mate Mat Jackson, with the 32 year old managing to pick his way through the field to cross the line in 7th position.

A momentous effort in the Airwaves Racing garage to pull a rabbit out of the hat during the midday break, saw the Motorbase crew successfully changed Smith’s engine against the clock in an impressive 1 hour 15 minutes; allowing the Irishman to join the back of the grid for the start of race 2. The team’s hard work was rewarded with a sterling drive from Smith – making up an impressive 11 places to come home in P14.

Jackson looked to be on for a strong top 5 finish during the opening laps, when disaster struck once again following a coming together with Tordoff’s MG – causing damage to his #7 Focus which could only manage a crawl to the finish to end race 2 in P20.
Mat Jackson leads his teammates at Oulton Park

With a new set up and last minute coolant repairs to Smith’s Focus forcing a pit lane start; both Airwaves Racing NGTC’s started the final race of the day from the back of the pack. Once more, both Airwaves Racing drivers showed their remarkable  race craft as they picked their way through the packed grid, battling to the mid field within the first eight laps – with Smith collecting an, albeit short-lived, fastest lap time on the second lap. As has been the story too frequently thus far this season, luck played a cruel trick on the Airwaves squad once more, with Jackson’s charge through the field thwarted by a similar issue to the damage experienced in race 2 – forcing an unscheduled pit visit and return to the back of the pack. Despite a gallant effort from Jackson, it proved too little too late and the #7 Focus could only muster a P19 finish for the last race of the weekend.

Smith’s final race of the day proved to be more positive, with the Airwaves Racing driver producing a stunning drive from the back of the grid to secure the team’s second top ten finish of the weekend and some much needed championship points.

Liam Griffin on his way to a Jack Sears Trophy win.
Addison Lee Motorbase team-mate Liam Griffin had a more successful weekend to further boost his Jack Sears Trophy campaign; collecting another two class wins in his S2000 Focus ST during Sunday’s opening and closing races. A judicial reversal of the opening race results leaves Griffin just one race win off the top spot now, with everything still to play for at the next round.

Despite suffering another frustrating weekend, the Airwaves Racing squad have made promising steps forward with the pace and set up on the NGTC Focus ST’s and now have a two week break to put the lessons learned this weekend into practice before the racing gets underway when The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns for round 5 at North Yorkshire’s Croft circuit on June 22/23.

Motorbase Performance Team Manager Oly Collins said:
“As bad weekends go, that has got to be right up there. We just haven’t had a break - despite being confident we had made good progress leading up to and during this weekend. Fundamentally a poor qualifying result hurt us amongst a very competitive top twelve.

“Both drivers were dealt some really bad luck today but we have to pick ourselves up and work hard to make Croft our turning point.”

Airwaves Racing driver Mat Jackson said:
“We’ve really made progress with the car this weekend. I think we would have had three top five finishes this weekend, but performance wise we had a few issues that cost us that, which is a real shame but we’re still learning.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel now and we’re moving in the right direction – we’re challenging the Honda’s and faster than the Toyota’s and I feel comfortable with the direction that we’re heading in.”

Airwaves Racing driver Aron Smith said:
“It’s been a little bit of a troubling weekend; and it’s unfortunate because we’ve done so much testing and developed the car so much from where we were – but we just never got to show our hand to be fair.

“We had engine issues in qualifying on Saturday which affected us in race 1 and forced the retirement. I’ve never seen a team work so hard to change an engine between races; because it’s one of those things that you don’t even make it out at all and even though we had to start at the back, we still made it to the grid, which was impressive.”

“Now we have a much clearer direction going into the next round which is really positive. Hopefully Croft will be a turning point for us.”

Addison Lee Motorbase driver Liam Griffin said:
“All in all I’m pretty happy with the weekend.  Race 1 was a bit disappointing with the result being reversed, but the ying and yang came through with us getting another win in race 3.

“Overall the weekend was a fair result; Lea Wood had the pace- but to come away with one of the trophies from the weekend is a good result for us and a good sign for the championship.”

Double podium for eBay Motors at Oulton Park

eBay Motors enjoyed success at Oulton Park
The eBay Motors team secured a return to the podium with Colin Turkington enjoying a second and third place finish as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season resumed at Oulton Park after a five-week spring break.

a successful launch of the Hub Live project
Alongside the strong outing on-track, eBay Motors also enjoyed a successful weekend away from the circuit following the debut of the eBay Motors Hub Live – a new interactive zone allowing race fans to get closer to both the team and the sport with a special four-person simulator, Q&A sessions with the drivers, trophy photo opportunity, download terminal for the eBay Motors app and the chance to collect a free eBay Motors Team cap.

Paul O'Neil, local lad and winner of Oulton Park in 2002, hosted the drivers in Hub Live and entertained the crowds, with the drivers answering his questions and being on the receiving end of his fun jokes.

Having worked to make improvements to its NGTC-spec BMW 125i M-Sports in a series of tests during the break, the team was able to add to its collection of silverware, with 2009 title winner Colin Turkington bringing home a brace of top three finishes.

Colin led the eBay Motors challenge in qualifying to put his car seventh on the grid, with team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster with more work to do on race day from 16th and 22nd respectively.

A solid run in the opening race saw Colin take the flag in fifth place, with Rob also lapping strongly to cross the line in tenth, despite a scare when Tom Onslow-Cole’s VW got out of shape ahead of him at Druids mid-race. Nick however was the undoubted star as, having elected to run the Soft compound Dunlop tyre in the opening race, he stormed through the field to take twelfth – making up no fewer than ten places in the process.

Race two saw Colin make a strong start to run in the top three before an opportunistic move from Honda’s Gordon Shedden demoted him to fourth just before a Safety Car period that bunched up the field. Pushing hard on the restart, Colin was able to get ahead of Sam Tordoff’s MG to take his second podium finish of the campaign.

Although the reverse grid draw for race three left him eighth on the grid, Colin was able to secure further podium glory in race three with a strong drive through to second place while there were more points for both Nick and Rob as they took the chequered flag in eighth and eleventh following a hectic race in the midfield.

Colin Turkington with the spoils of the weekend
Following the weekend, Colin sits sixth in the championship standings with Rob and Nick in 16th and 17th, while eBay Motors hold fourth in the HiQ Teams Championship having picked up its biggest points score to date from the trip to Cheshire.

The eBay Motors Hub Live will be back in the paddock at a number of events later in the year.

Colin Turkington, eBay Motors Team driver, (5th/3rd/2nd) said:

“It’s been a really positive weekend and the car was a massive improvement compared to Thruxton. I didn’t expect to get two podium finishes after qualifying, as I thought we’d be around the top six, so it’s a good way to finish. This is a circuit where the rear-wheel drive cars do go well and the higher temperatures helped us as well. We still have time to find in qualifying as we showed with the gap to the pole sitter, so even though we are moving in the right direction, there is still a lot of work for us to do.”

Rob Collard, eBay Motors Team driver, (10th/NC/11th) said:

“It’s been a really frustrating weekend for me. We can see the potential that there is in the car and we’ve made improvements again, but I just wasn’t able to get the best out of it in terms of results. This is a difficult circuit when you are in traffic to try and make up places and it didn’t go my way. This is a weekend I’m just going to put behind me and focus on Croft, which is a circuit where the rear-wheel drive cars have gone well in the past.”

Nick Foster, eBay Motors Team driver,  (12th/15th/8th) said:

“I had a great run in race one to make up ten places and the car felt strong. If I’m being honest, I didn’t expect to make up so many places on a circuit where overtaking is tough. Race two I got mugged off the line and after the incident with Rob and some contact from behind, I managed to score despite the damage to the car. It was good again in race three and it was an action-packed way to end the weekend. I’ve scored some good results but we know we are still lacking the pace over a single lap and even though the team is doing a great job, there is more to find.”

Toyota Man Morgan Claims Podium Finish At Oulton

Adam Morgan sprays the champagne after finishing third at Oulton Park
Toyota Avensis racer Adam Morgan is celebrating his maiden BTCC podium finish after a gutsy drive to third place for Ciceley Racing in the final race of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s Oulton Park raceday. The result was not only a personal best for the 24-year-old from Lancashire on his home circuit, but also the best BTCC finish so far this season for a Toyota driver.

Morgan’s success came at the end of another remarkably consistent day for the Toyota independent - he finished ninth and seventh in the earlier races to maintain his run of form. He’s one of only four drivers to have scored in every race and has claimed a top-10 result 11 times from 12 starts.

“It’s fantastic to get a podium finish, especially at a circuit that has been a bit of a bogey one for us in the past,” said Morgan, who holds seventh place in the drivers championship and is second in the Independents Trophy standings. “I have to give massive thanks to the guys in the Ciceley Racing team and to all our sponsors for their support, as I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Adam’s podium charge saw him battle past Adam Welch’s Proton for third in the early laps to latch on to the tail of the lead battle, being disputed by Jeff Smith’s Honda and Rob Austin’s Audi. Smith ousted Austin from the lead at mid-distance and Morgan followed him through for second before being returned to third by Andrew Jordan’s Honda. Jordan went on to win from BMW driver Colin Turkington, with Morgan holding off a determined challenge from multiple champion Matt Neal (Honda) by just 0.078s at the line.

Added Adam: “It is fantastic for me to be able to race side-by-side with people like Colin Turkington and Matt Neal - and it was a great feeling to hold off Matt at the end when my tyres were shot. We’d gone with an aggressive set-up and I knew we had to push early on to get ahead.”

Dave Newsham (17) leads Adam Morgan
There was a strong showing today also from the Speedworks Motorsport team and in particular Dave Newsham, who scored his and the team’s best results of the season - fourth in qualifying and eighth and sixth respectively in races one and two. Unfortunately a thump from another car led to a spin in the finale after he showed strong early pace. “We have really turned a corner with the Toyota,” said Newsham. “It’s better to drive and we showed we had a good qualifying car. Today, we struggled in race one but made changes and now we have a good race car as well, so I feel very positive for the future.” His team-mate, Ollie Jackson, scored his first point since the season-opener at Brands Hatch with 15th place in race three.

After a good qualifying performance, Dynojet Racing Toyota driver Frank Wrathall endured another day of misfortune. He started the first race from sixth on the grid but a knock from another car in the
first-lap melee knocked his Avensis about sufficiently to demand a pit stop for investigation; Frank
rejoined a lap down and finished 23rd.

In race two Wrathall drove brilliantly to claim back 11 places and secure 12th position, which he used as a springboard to race to ninth in the finale. “The Toyota felt really good and was strong, but we were up against it because of where we started,” said Frank. “We set the fourth-fastest lap in the final race, which showed what we were capable of. We were really on the back foot as a result of the first race - it is so difficult around here to make up places from the back of the field.”

Toyota’s quartet of independent racers will be back in action in a fortnight (23 June) at the Croft circuit in North Yorkshire.

 Honda Yuasa Racing Battles on at Oulton Park
Mat Neal in action at Oulton Park
 Honda Yuasa Racing maintained its lead in all the major Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings despite a trying event at Oulton Park last weekend.
Shedden celebrates 3rd in race one
The Honda Civics of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden again handled well around the Cheshire track, but success ballast from previous rounds and low turbo boost levels thanks to the championship’s engine equalisation system made life tricky.

Shedden qualified third after having his best time disallowed for exceeding track limits, while Neal – running with the maximum 45kg of ballast – was eighth quickest.

Reigning champion Shedden tracked the leading MGs relentlessly in race one to finish third and then went one better second time out to grab the runner-up spot.

He was in the jostling lead pack in the reversed-grid encounter, which he started on the BTCC’s soft tyre, before contact with a rival punctured a tyre and sent him to the pits.

“Splitting the MGs was good in race two,” said Shedden, who remained fourth in the drivers’ standings. “The car has been fantastic all weekend and we maximised what we had.

“The Civic was great on the soft tyre again, but it was a crazy reversed-grid race and it didn’t go my way.”

Neal battled his way to sixth in race one and, with no ballast for race two, improved to fourth in the second event.
After a battling drive in the finale, which included a dramatic fight with former champion Colin Turkington, Neal came home fourth to hold a four-point lead over Pirtek Racing Honda driver Andrew Jordan in the title race.

“The weight and the boost made it hard,” said the triple champion. “You’ve got to drag the weight up in four places here.

“When we had the weight out for race two we made a set-up change that didn’t quite work and we didn’t reap the benefits.

“We changed it again for race three and the car came alive. It was awesome. I wanted the race to go on. It felt like the soft tyre was lasting better than the hard!”

As well as holding first and fourth in the drivers’ championship, Honda Yuasa Racing also maintained its lead in the teams’ championship. To complete the set, Honda leads the manufacturers’ standings and Jordan and Pirtek Racing head the independents’ championships.
Plato on fire at Oulton Park – literally
MG Drivers Plato and Tordorff on the podium
Jason Plato thrust himself right into the heart of the fight for this season’s 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship by taking his MG KX Momentum car to two stylish wins at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday.

The former champion was the highest points scorer across the weekend’s three races, but was ruled out of the final event when damage caused his car to erupt in flames.

Plato’s team-mate, Sam Tordoff, underlined the team’s competitive showing in Cheshire by landing the best result of his career to date when he followed his sister car over the line in the opening race. 

Plato said he was delighted to have turned the car’s potential into a big points pay day with his 77th and 78th career victories in Britain’s leading motor racing championship.

“That was one heck of a weekend,” he said afterwards. “We had a fantastic car underneath us but that is only part of the job. You still have to land the results and we did. The team has worked hard to get the best out of this car, and I am now confident that we will be able to go anywhere and be fast. It is a joy to drive.”

After his fiery exit from the third race of the weekend, Plato said during the lap prior to retirement slight contact in the pack during the early jostling might have contributed. “There was a concertina effect at the hairpin on lap two, and everyone tapped into the back of each other,” he explained. “I nudged into the car in front, and that may have a link to the failure but there is no apparent damage we can see on any external components. It is a shame, but we’re still able to walk away form here with a smile.”

Tordoff was all smiles after the opening race of the weekend. The Leeds ace, a member of the KX Akademy, banked a career best second place finish behind Plato after a brave opening lap. He ran side-by-side with a rival through the first two corners before securing the spot.

He failed to finished the second event after a brush with another car – incredibly, Tordoff’s first non-points finish of the season – before staging one of the drives of the weekend to go from 21st to seventh in race three.

“I was delighted with the podium in the opening race and, as Jason says, it underlines the progress we have made in the car throughout the year,” explained Tordoff. “I was still able to push at the end of the first race if I had needed too, but fortunately, I didn’t have to. I went with the softer option tyres in race two, which went off towards the end and I dropped back before the contact.

“Race three was really good fun, and that shows what we are capable of – I think if I had have started in the top ten, I could have won that race,” he added.

Tordoff consolidated fifth place in the standings, while Plato has moved to within seven points of the title summit as the title fight reaches its halfway point at Croft in North Yorkshire in two weeks’ time.

MG KX Momentum team principal Ian Harrison said he thought that the team had exploited its chances with the wins at Oulton Park.

“When you have won two out of three races, you can’t complain,” he explained. “But what I am delighted about is that we have two cars up there capable of battling for wins, which we haven’t had before. Sam had some rough times this weekend but hey, this is the BTCC. It isn’t easy. Jason’s narrowed the gap to the points leaders and we are in a strong frame of mind.”

British Touring Car Championship
Afer 12/30 rounds

1                                                                   Matt Neal (Honda Civic)       173

2                                                                   Andrew Jordan (Honda Civic)      169

3                                                                   Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum MG6)  166

4                                                                   Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic)   142

5                                                                   Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum MG6)        129

Clio Cup 2013 : Oulton Park Round up

The Clio Cup pack blasts off the startline at Oulton Park
 Paul Rivett (Banstead) soaked up immense race-long pressure from Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch) during the seventh round of the 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup at Oulton Park this afternoon, Saturday, 8th June, to seal his third victory of the year with a faultless lights-to-flag drive.

Making his pole position grid slot count, the Vehicle Engineering racer produced a fantastic start to lead but – with the exception of a brief Safety Car period – never had a moment to rest.

Hodgetts’ KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria car was an ever present threat, never more than half a second behind the three-time champion, and to confirm his pace Hodgetts took the two bonus points for fastest lap, thanks to a time of 1m36.705 seconds (82.86mph) on lap 12.

Josh Cook (Bristol), who didn’t enjoy the best of starts from the front row, slipped to third on lap one but was thereafter able to run very similar lap times to both Rivett and Hodgetts. For the bulk of the 15-lap encounter, the JHR Developments driver was in the wheeltracks of the two leaders but just wasn’t quite able to mount a challenge. Even so, third gave him his first Graduate Cup win of 2013.

With Team Pyro’s Josh Files (Norwich) finishing in seventh position, having started the first race of the weekend in eighth place, Rivett was able to increase his lead in the championship to 19 points, having been only three points clear prior to round seven.

“Of all the people to have behind you in the Clio field, Stef [Hodgetts] is probably the hardest and he didn’t make that easy by any means at all”, commented Rivett, “I had to defend from him into the last corner of the last lap, otherwise I knew he’d really be trying to stick it up the inside.

“It’s a great win, lights-to-flag, and I got a cracking start. Hopefully we can do more of the same tomorrow and control it from the front. It’s going to be tough to do it again but if I can get another start like that, it’s half the battle.”

While Rivett led clearly through Old Hall at the start, Cook’s sluggish getaway dropped him into the clutches of both Hodgetts – up from fifth on the grid after a superb start – and his team-mate Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) who ran side-by-side through the first right-hander.

Hodgetts emerged in second place while Cook clung on around the outside at Cascades to edge ahead of Whorton-Eales for third. From that point forward, nothing changed among the podium places with the top three incredibly evenly matched.

“It was relatively boring after the first lap to be honest”, said Hodgetts, “Paul [Rivett] is a quality driver, he’s not going to make a mistake and you can’t pass that easily around here. Second is OK but I’m going to have a right go tomorrow for the win.”

The Clios negotate one of Oulton's fast bends
Reflecting on his second podium of the year, and first Graduate Cup success, Cook said: “I made a very poor start, probably the worst one I’ve ever done. I managed to hold it around the outside of Ant [Whorton-Eales] at Cascades, which was a bit sketchy, but I managed to get the place. I didn’t quite have the pace to stick with the top two, so we’ll make a couple of changes for tomorrow.”

Whorton-Eales’ involvement came to an abrupt end on lap two at the chicane when he tagged the tyre stack, leading to a three lap Safety Car period. When the racing resumed, the lead trio were able to edge back away from the rest of the pack which was headed by Pyro’s Alex Morgan (Reading).

Although Morgan slipped two seconds shy of the podium places by the end, he was able to pull over three seconds clear of JHR’s Masters Cup class winner Lee Pattison (Liversedge) who was heavily pressured by Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn (Worthing) during the closing stages.

Files, who was passed for seventh brilliantly by Jake Giddings (Wisbech) on lap eight at Old Hall, managed to return the favour to the Finesse Motorsport driver on the final tour with Mike Bushell (Tunbridge Wells), on his first weekend driving with KX Racing colours, taking ninth.

The battle over the final place in the top 10 was hugely entertaining throughout, half a dozen drivers all within a chance of taking the position. In the end, Clio Cup rookie Ash Hand (Nuneaton) sealed the spot for Pyro by just 0.2 seconds ahead of Jordan Stilp (Potterspury), Devon Modell (Maidstone), James Nutbrown and Simon Belcher (Swindon).

Rob Smith (Telford) was also in the thick of the titanic battle at the tail end of the top 10 but sustained a right-front puncture after hitting debris left behind from Whorton-Eales’ incident at the chicane, dropping him to 15th place.

The drivers celebrate their success after Round Eight
Renault UK Clio Cup front-runner Stefan Hodgetts (Redditch) claimed a richly deserved second victory of the 2013 season at Oulton Park Island Circuit this afternoon, Sunday, 9th June, during round eight of the championship – the halfway point of the campaign.

In front of the live ITV4 cameras, and tens of thousands of spectators enjoying glorious sunshine, the KX Racing with Scuderia Vittoria driver took the lead at the exit of the first corner after a blistering start from fourth on the grid and delivered an inch-perfect performance despite huge pressure.

“It’s fantastic”, said Hodgetts, who earned the ‘ Driver of the Event’ accolade, “We started P4 and, if you say about it Motocross-style, we got the hole-shot at the start. When you’re in the lead in these cars you can kind of control the race but, in order to do that, you need a fantastic car. We’ve been really fast all weekend, it’s just desserts we got the win.

“Turning up at these race meetings with all the crowds, there’s no better feeling than to race in front of that many people – it’s a massive privilege. To be on this package and in this championship is pretty cool to be honest!”

Pole-sitter, and championship leader, Paul Rivett (Banstead) had problems with a slipping clutch at the beginning which compromised his getaway. Although managing to see off the quick-starting Alex Morgan (Reading) initially at the exit of Old Hall, the Team Pyro driver hit back on lap two into the hairpin and held on to an excellent second place from that point forward.

While Morgan’s runner-up spot, his fourth podium of the year, moved him into second place in the championship ahead of team-mate Josh Files (Norwich), Rivett’s third position was enough to see him marginally increase his advantage at the top of the standings to 22 points.

“I’d say the season is probably going better than I imagined initially”, said Morgan, “I knew we were quick in testing during the pre-season but you never know until you line-up with the other guys where you’ll be. To be at the halfway stage of the season and have had four podiums, one each weekend, and be second in the championship is fantastic – I couldn’t have asked for much more.”

Hodgetts’ launch away from the second row was outstanding and although Morgan appeared to have the lead into Old Hall, the KX Racing driver was able to bravely move ahead around the outside while Rivett – recovering well from his difficult getaway – followed Hodgetts through on the outside line, taking second on the run down The Avenue and into Cascades.

Into lap two, Hodgetts, Rivett and Morgan were nose-to-tail and into the hairpin Rivett thought about looking to the outside of the race leader. In doing so though, the Vehicle Engineering driver left the door open for Morgan to edge up the inside.

There was absolutely nothing to separate the top three throughout, Hodgetts smartly backing the others up lap after lap. On lap eight the Safety Car was deployed, following an excursion into the barriers at the top of Clay Hill for Ronnie Klos (Market Harborough), but after the re-start nothing changed at the front with Hodgetts, Morgan and Rivett covered by just 0.7 seconds at the finish.

The end of the race actually came one lap early when Finlay Crocker (Bathgate) made contact with the barriers at the top of Deer Leap, bringing out the red flags, just moments after Pyro team-mates James Nutbrown and Ash Hand (Nuneaton) had tangled at Druids.

Reflecting on his third place, Rivett said: “It was probably quite lucky I didn’t slip any further back at the start to be honest, once we got going in the race it was OK but at the start the clutch just didn’t bite and that really cost us.

“When Alex [Morgan] got by at the hairpin it was my mistake, I shouldn’t have gone to the outside of Stef [Hodgetts] – I was desperate to get the lead back after the clutch slip though! Championship wise we’ve got another podium, more points and we’ve extended the lead even more. It goes without saying, a huge thank you to all my fantastic sponsors as usual.”

Behind the lead trio, Finesse Motorsport’s Jake Giddings (Wisbech) produced a star performance with fourth – giving him his first Graduate Cup win of the season. After taking fourth place from JHR Developments’ Lee Pattison (Liversedge) on lap one, Giddings was a consistent threat to the podium placings but just wasn’t able to carve open an opportunity.

Pattison finished fifth, taking his second Masters Cup victory of the weekend, ahead of team-mate Josh Cook and Westbourne Motorsport’s James Colburn (Worthing). KX Racing’s Ant Whorton-Eales (Lichfield) made amends for his non-finish on Saturday with eighth while Total Control Racing’s Rob Smith (Telford) was ninth, just seeing off Files – the latter taking the extra points for fastest lap.

There are only two weeks to wait until the next outing for the Renault UK Clio Cup competitors with rounds nine and 10 of the 2013 campaign taking place at Croft in North Yorkshire on 22nd/23rd June.

Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup Driver Standings (after Rd8):1st Paul Rivett, 207pts; 2nd Alex Morgan, 185pts; 3rd Josh Files, 176pts

Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup WP Racing Clio Cup Team Trophy Standings (after Rd8):1st Team Pyro, 359pts; 2nd Westbourne Motorsport, 272pts; 3rd Scuderia Vittoria, 267pts

Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Graduate Cup’ Standings (after Rd8):1st Josh Files, 213pts; 2nd James Colburn, 203pts; 3rd Jake Giddings, 179pts

Provisional 2013 Renault UK Clio Cup ‘Masters Cup’ Standings (after Rd8):1st Simon Belcher, 204pts; 2nd Graham Field, 191pts; 3rd Finlay Crocker, 139pts

Renault and BARC agree new Contract

The new Clio Cup car on Display at Oulton Park

Renault UK and the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) are delighted to announce a new three-year contract with TOCA, seeing the Renault UK Clio Cup remain a cornerstone of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship motor racing package until at least the end of 2016.  This agreement comes at the same time as Renault Sport Technologies has signed the BARC to be its UK promoter for the next three years.

The confirmation of these freshly agreed deals today, Friday, 7th June, comes as the order books open for the brand new fourth generation Clio Cup race car which was officially presented to existing teams, drivers and invited media this afternoon at Oulton Park in Cheshire – where the seventh and eighth rounds of the current Renault UK Clio Cup campaign are being contested this weekend.

“We’re absolutely delighted to confirm the Renault UK Clio Cup will remain part of the country’s biggest and best motorsport package for at least another three years”, said Jeremy Townsend, Renault UK Communications Director, “On behalf of Renault UK, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Gow [BTCC Series Director] and his team at TOCA for their continued support.

“Renault UK has been an integral part of the BTCC package for 21 seasons, since its inception, and we’re now looking forward to the arrival of the new Clio Cup race car from 2014 which will also be our 40th anniversary year in British motorsport. We’re at the start of an exciting new era for the championship, securing its continued place on the BTCC package is key to future success.”

Firmly established as the country’s foremost one-make saloon car championship and a prime feeder category for the BTCC, numerous Renault UK Clio Cup competitors have graduated into the national touring car series over the years including the likes of former Clio Cup Champions Tom Onslow-Cole and Dave Newsham, who are both racing in the BTCC this year.

Reigning FIA World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and fellow WTCC racer Alex MacDowall both climbed the ladder from the Renault UK Clio Cup into the BTCC, before going on to compete at the highest level in the world championship.

“Renault has been an intrinsic part of the TOCA/BTCC events for over 20 years, and for very good reason”, said Alan Gow, Administrator and Series director of the BTCC, “The Clio Cup is a fantastically dynamic platform that budding BTCC drivers can launch their career from. It provides great racing for both the drivers and teams and of course, most importantly, our spectators and TV audiences.

“I’m extremely proud of our very close and long-standing relationship with Renault, which is set to continue until at least the end of 2016, and really look forward to the great racing that undoubtedly the brilliant new turbo Clio Cup car will produce.”

Ian Watson of the British Automobile Racing Club, which promotes the Renault UK Clio Cup, added: “Being part of the TOCA package is of paramount importance for a championship the stature of the Renault UK Clio Cup, we need to be racing in front of the biggest crowds and that’s what supporting the BTCC provides.

“To have agreed a new three-year TOCA contract is fantastic for all involved, it gives us the perfect platform on which to build for next season when the new fourth generation Clio Cup race car makes its UK debut.”

Teams currently competing in the Renault UK Clio Cup will be given priority to place orders for the new 1.6-litre, turbo-powered car for the next two weeks. Following the fifth race meeting of the 2013 season at Croft in North Yorkshire on 22nd/23rd June, the order process will be opened up to all.
Priced 39,900 Euros plus VAT (£33,969)
, the new Clio will come fitted as standard, for the first time, with a steering wheel mounted paddle-shift gear change system.

The fourth generation car has already been incredibly well received on the continent where it is making its competitive debut this year in the Eurocup Clio series. British squad Team Pyro currently fields Josh Files and David Dickenson in the pan-European category, Files dovetailing his programme there with a title bid in the Renault UK Clio Cup in the existing third generation car.

Friday 8 February 2013

VIDEO : Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff lead MG Charge in 2013 BTCC

Britain’s brightest young racing driver has joined the MG KX Momentum Racing team − and has already achieved one of his lifelong ambitions.

Sam Tordoff, aged 23 has been racing since he was 10 years old and is acclaimed as Britain’s brightest racing talent. Last year he was officially recognised as the British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star.’

He joins Jason Plato, the most successful driver in BTCC history, to contest the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

They will both be driving racing versions of the award-winning MG6 GT prepared by Triple 888 Race Engineering, one of the most respected constructors in touring car racing.

Last year Plato was third in the championship in what was supposed to be the team’s ‘learning year’ as MG returned to the track.

Tordoff, who hails from Leeds, began racing karts as a boy and worked his way up the motorsport ladder via the Renault Clio Cup and the Porsche Carrera Cup with many wins and podiums under his belt. He also competed in one round of BTCC racing in 2010 on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Last year Tordoff, who has a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and works as a trainee accountant with the JCT600 motor group, won a place at the KX Akademy for the 2013 season. The bursary programme was set up by KX Energy Drink where Jason Plato is the scheme’s mentor.

Newcomer Sam Tordoff (Top) is looking forward to racing with Jason Plato
He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Jason, Ian and the rest of the team and I’m determined to do well – even if it means beating Jason!”

Jason said: “Sam’s a great young talent and brings a lot to our team. He’s a fast learner and it will be great to see him alongside me on the podium – but I’m planning to be on the top step.”

Ian Harrison has the task of managing the MG KX Momentum team. He added: “We’ve got a great team for the 2013 season in Jason and Sam.

“Jason’s obviously got the experience, including a fabulous year with the MG6 GT last year, and Sam’s out to prove himself now he’s won a seat in a top team. It’s going to be a great year of racing.”

MG’s Sales & marketing Director, Guy Jones, said: “It was brilliant for us to get MG back on the track last year and the cars were seen by millions of fans. Motor sport is in the DNA of the MG brand and we can’t wait for the 2013 BTCC to get under way.”