Wednesday 21 December 2011

Donington Historic Festival goes from strength to strength.

Group C Jaguars are always popular attractions.

To encourage whole families to turn up and enjoy the cream of world-class historic motorsport, advance tickets to the Donington Historic Festival, 5th and 6th May 2012, are being held at the same affordable prices as last year, while family members under 16 are admitted free. And to make it even easier for car club members to turn out in force – without breaking the bank – there’s a two-for-one advance ticket deal for registered clubs.

Over 20 car clubs have already signed up for this special offer, from the Bentley Drivers Club, Club Lotus, Ferrari Owners’ Club and Jaguar Drivers’ Club, to the Morgan Sports Car Club, Porsche Club GB, Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club and the TR Register. This gives their members the two-for-one ticket deal – plus a free car pass to Donington’s spectacular infield parking, where they’ll form a great display to be enjoyed by all spectators. The full list of registered clubs can be found at and, if yours isn’t among them, get in touch with your club officials!

“Our aim is two-fold,” said Duncan Wiltshire of Historic Promotions Ltd, organiser of the Donington Historic Festival. “First and foremost, we want to provide the very best racing, with truly thrilling on-track action featuring historic cars from the most evocative eras of the sport. Secondly, we want to do this at a price which club members and motorsport fans can readily afford – and all this at arguably the UK’s best spectator circuit.”

Judging by the inaugural Donington Historic Festival in 2011, which confirmed that one of Britain’s greatest racing circuits was back in business, the on-track action is sure to be fast, competitive and exciting – from the ‘Mad Jack’ for pre-War sportscars, through the glorious sportscars and sports-racers of the 1950s and 1960s, to the E-type Challenge, Historic F2, Touring Cars (both pre-66, and 1966-85), not to mention the always dramatic Group C sportscars. To whet your appetite for the 2012 Festival, take a peek at the 2011 video gallery at – where you’ll find a mix of racing action, plus club gatherings and on-track parades.

Add to this the special packages for car clubs, a superb location – and the fact that each entry ticket gives two-for-one entry to the stunning on-site Donington Grand Prix Collection during the Festival weekend and for the following two months – and the Donington Historic Festival promises to be a highlight of 2012. See for more details.
Spot the Odd One Out

2012 Advance Ticket Prices
Saturday 5th May – £18 (£25 on the day)
Sunday 6th May – £18 (£25 on the day)
Weekend ticket – £30 (£40 on the day)
Children under 16 – Free
Plus… two-for-one ticket deals for registered car club members

Tickets can be bought via and through the 24-hour ticket hotline 0844 873 7355.

Monday 19 December 2011

Silverstone Classic gets some roadside assistance.

The Silverstone Classic is delighted to announce a new partnership with the AA (the Automobile Association). As from 2012 the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival will be known as the ‘Silverstone Classic powered by the AA’.

The multi-year partnership with the UK’s leading breakdown service has significant benefits and synergies and is a logical union between two brands that share a common interest in motoring past, present and future.

Staged at the home of the British Grand Prix, the annual Silverstone Classic is already established as one of the country’s premier automotive attractions. The event has wide family appeal and its central England location – together with Silverstone’s long sporting pedigree and state-of-the-art facilities – make it the ideal venue for show-goers of all generations. In 2011 more than 80,000 people attended the three-day summer festival savouring the very best of historic racing, huge displays of classic cars, a retail village, air displays, fun fair and live music from classic rock bands.

Now the partnership with the AA will not only open up the event to a huge new audience but also add a completely new dimension to what’s already a spectacular and action-packed festival. The 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA (20-22 July) will feature a significant AA attraction centred around Silverstone’s in-field Stowe Circuit based close to the venue’s impressive new Wing pits and paddock complex.

The event will be promoted directly to the AA’s 15 million members and customers who will benefit from a 10 per cent discount on day and weekend entrance tickets.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with the AA in what’s a massively significant new partnership,” confirmed Nick Wigley, Event Director of the Silverstone Classic. “Together we are introducing many more new and interesting innovations right across the festival weekend – not least the chance for visitors to test drive many of the latest models right at the heart of the show. The millions of AA members will also enjoy a wide range of exclusive offers including ticket discounts. We aim to make the Silverstone Classic powered by the AA the biggest and most enjoyable event of any kind in the UK with the focus on classic motor sport, motoring and live music – a must-see event on every family’s summer calendar.”

Edmund King, President of the AA, is equally enthused by this inspiring new venture. He said: “This new partnership is a really exciting opportunity for the AA and our members. We are always looking at innovative ways to add value to AA membership and we believe this event offers a great value day out and the chance to experience a wonderful summer festival for all the family.”

The event organisers have confirmed many of next year’s major attractions. The on-track entertainment will showcase the full spectrum of historic motor sport with huge grids featuring an amazing array of Grand Prix, GT, Le Mans, single-seaters, sports and touring cars spanning more than seven decades of epic circuit racing history. Following the classic theme, the 2012 live music bill will be topped by Adam Ant and Mike and the Mechanics with other high-profile acts to be confirmed.

Full details of the 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA – including information on ‘Early Bird’ ticket offers and a comprehensive selection of on-site camping facilities – are available via the event’s official website.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Meet a up and coming star : Jake Cook

Our friends at The Racewire have sent us an interview with up and coming Formula Ford driver, Jake Cook. Here he is talking about his forthcoming season in FFord with the new EcoBoost car

Wednesday 14 December 2011

BTCC 2012 Calendar now finalised

Chaos at Donington as the BTCC drivers discover that 20 cars entering Old Hairpin doesn't always work!

Donington Park’s date on the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship calendar has today been confirmed – meaning all ten BTCC fixtures for next year are now in place.

The historic Leicestershire [We always thought it was in Derbyshire?!] venue will host the second event of the season when the BTCC, the UK’s premier motor racing championship, tours the country – in total it will visit nine top-class race circuits in eight different counties.

The BTCC’s 2012 race dates are:

Date Circuit, Location

31 March-1 April Brands Hatch, Kent

14-15 April Donington Park, Leicestershire

28-29 April Thruxton, Hampshire

9-10 June Oulton Park, Cheshire

23-24 June Croft, North Yorkshire

11-12 August Snetterton (300), Norfolk

25-26 August Knockhill, Fife

22-23 September Rockingham, Northamptonshire

6-7 October Silverstone, Northamptonshire

20-21 October Brands Hatch, Kent

Monday 12 December 2011

Running AMOC with Aston Martin Club Racing

AMOC has always had popular races, now the new company seems set to take these races further in 2012 and beyond

Aston Martin club racing is set to flourish next year, now that AMOC, the Aston Martin Owners’ Club, has taken the major decision to run all its racing events under a new, independent company – Aston Martin Club Racing Ltd. And to ensure that the club’s racing goes from strength to strength, the new company (AMCR Ltd) has in turn appointed Duncan Wiltshire of Historic Promotions Ltd to promote and administer the racing programme.

Wiltshire is the man behind both historic race organisation Motor Racing Legends (which runs four prestigious race series, plus the historic support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours) and the Donington Historic Festival. And Wiltshire now has big ambitions for AMCR’s racing programme:

“It’s the perfect time to reinvigorate AMOC’s club racing, when the 2013 centenary of Aston Martin is just over the horizon. AMOC has a fabulous racing heritage and we want to make sure that 2012 sees the club’s racing programme start to regain the energy, vitality and packed grids it richly deserves – and which have perhaps lapsed in recent years. Racing will, of course, be centred around Aston Martins, combined with the vital support of other invited clubs and grids.”

The full AMCR race calendar is currently being confirmed, but Aston Martin Club Racing is planning race events at Silverstone on April 29th; Oulton Park in Mid-May; Brands Hatch on June 4th or 5th; Donington on July 28th and Snetterton on October 6th – with everything from the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge, through pre-66 cars and right back to the pre-War era. AMCR will continue to run the long-established and highly respected St. John Horsfall Meeting – plus one of the longest-running championships in the UK, the Intermarque, with the popular team format which pits Aston Martin against Jaguar, Morgan, Porsche, Ferrari, Sunbeam, Healey and the rest of the world.

Saturday 10 December 2011

Le Jog heads into Action!

We're really sorry about the delay in getting this release out. This is due to problems in downloading releases from our usual news wires. Here it is now, a little late... but Hopefully still time for you to get out and see the event in it's second and third days.

Someone tell us what it is, because that, is BEAUTIFUL! 

Cars from Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland as well as the UK were starting to converge on Lands End today (Friday) prior to the start of the UK’s toughest car
Rally –Le-Jog.

The rally gets under way on Saturday and will see the cars ranging from a 1937 Riley Sport to a 1958 Jaguar XK 150 battling it out to win the prestigious event.

It will be the 17th annual running of the world acclaimed rally which takes place between December 10th and 13th will see the cars competing over a a 1,400 mile course between Lands End and John O'Groats with the longest night navigation section ever to be included.

Seventy cars will leave Lands End on Saturday at 07.45 on a route across Britain that will see them travelling through Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, Northumberland, East Lothian, West Lothian, North Lanarkshire, and across Scotland to John O’Groats over a four day period.

Hero’s Event Director and Clerk of the Course for Le Jog, Peter Nedin, said: “Le Jog is one of the toughest events of its kind in Europe, possibly the world, and we constantly strive to maintain this enviable reputation. We have no idea what the weather will bring but it certainly won’t stop the drivers of these cars who will do all they can to finish to course no matter what the conditions.

 Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Managing Director of the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation, HERO said: "This will be one of the most testing events that we have ever run.The weather is already closing in but as in past editions the event has attracted crews from all over Europe and beyond which is a testament to the event and all those who work so hard to make it happen.”

All sorts of cars will be taking part including a Riley Sports Special from 1937 driven by Richard Jeffcoate and James May from Surrey. A 1958 Jaguar XK 150 being driven by Charles Graves and Ron Palmer from Surrey and a 1960 Peugeot being driven by Pieter and Thijs Hennipman from Holland. Other cars include BMW’s, Triumphs and Porsche. Spectators are encouraged to turn out and see the cars go through their area.

BMW Park Lane Classic, who as part of a sponsorship deal with HERO has prepared a 1973 BMW 1602 saloon for the event. The car, which will also be included in HERO’s successful Arrive & Drive program, has been repatriated from ITALY.

AVIS will also be supporting the event by providing all coordinating and support vehicles, which will be used by the organizers and marshals to steer crews safely to the finish. 

The infamous Welsh night section will have over 30 time controls - 75% of which will be 4 minute sections and the longest section will only be 3.5 miles - but the route has been designed with loops to allow controls to be cut for those running late.

Wales will also see some tough, late-evening regularities where crews' driving, navigating and timekeeping will be thoroughly tested.  "We want to see every crew arrive at the Telford rest halt, tired but with a big satisfied grin on their faces" said Peter Nedin

In addition this year's Le Jog will have some 30 tests at 26 venues - more than double the number of some recent Le Jogs Many of these tests will be at exciting new venues while those at ones previously used have been completely redesigned.

The overall number of regularities has been reduced slightly but the Jogularity format will be exploited to the full and Le Jog will continue to provide the navigators with considerable map-reading challenges.

There are crews from the UK, Europe and America driving, between them 7 Mercs, 7 Triumphs, 6 Minis, 5 MGs, 4 BMWs; 4 Porsches; 3 Volvos; 3 VW's and many more.
You can follow their progress with daily updates

You can also follow the event on Twitter: @heroeventseu and on Facebook - search for Hero Historic Endurance Rallying 

Maserati? Well, it's taking a dip on last year's Le Jog
Le Jog 2011 Spectator Information
OS map ref
Approx. Time Car One
On cliff top behind hotel
203/3424 2509
10th Dec
Cornwall College Park at Pool School opposite test site
203/6620 4145
10th Dec
Imerys Facility
200/9920 5744
10th Dec
The Eden Project
200/0463 5543
10th Dec
MC 2
Golf Club
200/1093 6047
10th Dec
MC 3 & 4
Betty Cottles
191/5640 9334
10th Dec
12.50in - 13.35out
PC 1
East Devon
Culm Valley Inn
181/1013 1380
10th Dec
Tricky Warren
193/2120 1522
10th Dec
PC 2
Merry Harriers
193/1830 1710
10th Dec
Cardiff Gate Services
171/2173 8288
10th Dec
MC 5 & 6
Cardiff Gate Services
171/2175 8282
10th Dec
17:34in - 19:34out
Powys, Mid Wales
Llangors Activity Centre
161/1468 2693
10th Dec
MC 7
Powys, Mid Wales
Llangors Activity Centre
161/1480 2672
10th Dec
PC 3
Powys, Mid Wales
Regent House Sdervice Station
161/2132 4350
10th Dec
MC 8
Powys, Mid Wales
147/0420 5135
10th Dec
RMC 10
White House Hotel
127/6613 1110
11th Dec
North Shropshire
Cattle Market
127/ 6725 3525
11th Dec
MC 11
Hare & Hounds
117/5788 7455
11th Dec
Macdonald Hotel
108/5800 1075
11th Dec
Macdonald Hotel
102/5782 3004
11th Dec
Red Rose Hub
102/5735 3285
11th Dec
MC 12 & 13
Aspinall Arms
103/7165 3868
11th Dec
12:57in - 13:57out
PC 4
North Yorkshire
Fountaine Inn
98/9965 6265
11th Dec
PC 5
North Yorkshire
Dale Head Garage
98/8695 8985
11th Dec
MC 14
TAN HILL (Tan Hill Inn)
North Yorkshire
Tan Hill Inn
92/8970 0670
11th Dec
PC 6
Three Tuns
92/9994 2391
11th Dec
MC 15
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Marriott Hotel
88/2425 7125
11th Dec
RMC 16
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Marriott Hotel
88/2425 7125
12th Dec
Eshott Airfield
81/1785 9778
12th Dec
MC 17
Percy Arms Hotel
75/0553 2835
12th Dec
East Lothian - Scotland
Raceland Karting
66/4504 7360
12th Dec
MC 18 & 19
West Lothian - Scotland
Deer Park Beafeater
65/0465 7012
12th Dec
13:49in - 14:49out
North Lanarkshire - Scotland
65/8605 6500
12th Dec
PC 7
Trossachs Area Services
57/5240 0095
12th Dec
Macdonald Hotel
57/4620 0223
12th Dec
MC 20
KILLIN (Killin Hotel)

Killin Hotel
51/5735 3324
12th Dec
MC 21 & 22

Macdonald Hotel
42/6525 5887
12th Dec
20:29in - 22:29out
MC 23
EVANTON (Skiach Services)

Skiach Services
21/6300 6780
13th Dec

Kart Circuit
21/8203 9806
13th Dec
PC 8

Victoria Garage
17/9049 0463
13th Dec
MC 24 & 25

Portland Arms Hotel
11/2475 3627
13th Dec
07:54in - 08:39out
Caithness - Scotland
Car Park
12/3808 7327
13th Dec
MC 26
Caithness - Scotland
12/3797 7337
13th Dec

Friday 2 December 2011

Formula Renault BARC back on BTCC support bill

Formula Renault BARC is no less hotly contested than the regular BTCC support event

Protyre Formula Renault BARC will once again join the prestigious TOCA support package of the British Touring Car Championship for the leading single-seater category’s final two rounds in 2012, triggering several revisions to the championship’s provisional calendar it has been announced today.

As this year, Silverstone’s National Circuit will once again host the last two races of the season for Protyre Formula Renault BARC with the thriving junior championship now confirmed as a support class for the BTCC over the weekend 6th/7th October.

Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk will still host the first event of the campaign on Easter weekend, 7th/8th April, but instead of the previously announced date at Brands Hatch in mid-May, the series brings forward its visit to Rockingham in Northamptonshire – that event now scheduled for 19th/20th May. As originally revealed though, the first two meetings will continue to be triple-header events.

From there, the championship will now go to the ultra-fast Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire for a one day outing on Sunday, 17th June, ahead of the annual trip to Croft in North Yorkshire on 21st/22nd July. The fifth date on the calendar marks a rescheduled visit to Donington Park in the East Midlands on 18th/19th August, rather than as support to the FIA British Truck Grand Prix at the start of July.

There will then be a break of seven weeks ahead of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC season finale, the crown jewel event at Silverstone in support of the BTCC. If the 2011 instalment is anything to go by it will be massive, with tens of thousands of spectators sure to attend.

“It’s fantastic news for everyone associated with Protyre Formula Renault BARC to have the final two rounds of the 2012 season supporting the BTCC”, said Championship Promoter Simon North, “We’re delighted to be able to confirm our position on the TOCA package for the Silverstone event once again, it’s a very prestigious slot and something which will only help teams attract top young drivers.

“We’re very happy to be going back to Thruxton – that’s always a big favourite with the competitors and pleased we can include Donington Park as it’s such a great circuit. All in all I think we’ve got a tremendous calendar with 14 races, two triple-headers to kick-off the season and a real blue riband finale. We’re really looking forward to 2012.”

Along with headline sponsor Protyre, the championship is additionally supported by ELF, Michelin and NGK Spark Plugs. All dates and venues specified remain provisional.

Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – Revised Provisional 2012 Calendar
Rds 1/2/3: 7th/8th April - Snetterton 200 Circuit, Norfolk
Rds 4/5/6: 19th/20th May - Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire
Rds 7/8: 17th June - Thruxton Circuit, Hampshire
Rds 9/10: 21st/22nd July - Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire
Rds 11/12: 18th/19th August - Donington Park National Circuit, Leicestershire
Rds 13/14: 6th/7th October - Silverstone National Circuit, Northamptonshire (BTCC)

Thursday 1 December 2011

Extreme Garaging

Ok, it's not motorsport, but we thought you'd like these extraordinary pictures of the lengths some people will go to to garage their car for the winter. Sure it's luxurious, but rather impractical to have to dismantle your car then post it through your first floor window using a crane?!

The MGB makes it's ascent to it's new first floor home, by means of a crane and a platform thingy.

This needed a specially designed frame, a hoist, a crane, a platform, Hi Vi Jackets,  and a partial dismantling of the car

What a fantastic "garage"! It's even got a chandelier. Putting the car back together and craning it in and out of the window must be somewhat inconvenient though.
Ok, we'll come clean - obviously this isn't an eccentric enthusiast garaging his pride and joy, but the last production MGB making it's entrance into it's new home in the fabulous Abingdon town hall where it'll be on display. The car was made in Abingdon, so it's quite a fitting location. Although posting it through the window is somewhat extreme...

It's all been done thanks to the sponsorship of British Car Heritage, who will supply you with nearly all the parts needed to build a completely new MGB - or a mini for that matter - who seemed justifiably proud of their achievements...

"As the only manufacturer of original-quality replacement panels and complete bodyshells for the ubiquitous MGB, we felt we were the appropriate company to help bring this challenging task to fruition for all concerned. 2012 is the 50th anniversary of this perennially popular sports car, and it's very fitting that a representative example will be proudly displayed in the town where over 500,000 were built."


Snakes alive! Cobras take over Goodwood

AC Cobra pushing hard, and a steam engine with a thresher in the background? Where else but Goodwood?!
The finest collection of significant and authentic racing AC Cobras ever assembled in the UK will gather at next year’s Goodwood Revival (14-16 September 2012) for an exceptional one-model race.

To mark the 50th anniversary since Carroll Shelby’s introduction of the initial versions of this cult Anglo-American sports car, the 2012 Revival will feature a grid exclusively made up of 30 Cobras and their derivatives. This special all-Cobra race will be a 45-minute two-driver competition, with driver changes in the pits between 15 and 30 minutes.

It is expected that this one-off race will feature an extraordinary mix of historically-significant competition Cobras, including some of the special-bodied aerodynamic Cobra-based coupés. Goodwood also hope that Carroll Shelby will be able to attend the 2012 Revival in person as well, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The race promises to make for an intriguing spectacle and a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most revered, and copied, sports car which has a long association with Goodwood. An exceptional line-up of top drivers is expected to campaign the Cobras. More detailed information about this exclusive race will follow early next year.

Tickets and further information for the 2012 Goodwood Revival, plus Festival of Speed and Moving Motor Show, can be ordered by on the Goodwood website ( sport/), or via the Ticket Hotline:
Telephone: +44 (0)1243 755055

On-line via the Ticket section of the website sport
Expect many more of these fantastic V8 powered machines.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

BTCC Extends Point system.

More of these drivers will score points next season in BTCC

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has revealed its extended points scoring system for 2012.

From next season, the top 15 finishers in each race will score outright championship points. The 15 highest-placed independent runners will also score in the Independents Trophy.

Previously, only the top ten in both championships were awarded points. The outright HIQ Teams Championship and Independent Teams Trophy will also be similarly altered.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow commented: “Fundamentally, the new system doesn’t really change that much as we’ve maintained the same spread of points between the top-ten placings as before. However, what this does is to give drivers outside of the top ten something extra to go for and is thus an extra reward for their efforts.”

The 2012 BTCC season, featuring ten rounds at top race circuits across the UK, will commence on the weekend of 31 March-1 April at Brands Hatch in Kent.
BTCC Points-scoring System 2012
1st: 20 points 6th: 10 points 11th: 5 points
2nd: 17 points 7th: 9 points 12th: 4 points
3rd: 15 points 8th: 8 points 13th: 3 points
4th: 13 points 9th: 7 points 14th: 2 points
5th: 11 points 10th: 6 points 15th: 1 point

+ 1 additional point will be awarded to the driver who starts on Pole Position for the first race of each meeting.
+ 1 additional point will be awarded to the driver setting the Fastest Lap in each race. If two or more drivers achieve the same fastest lap time each will be awarded one point.
+ 1 additional point will be awarded to each driver who is classified as the race leader (on crossing the start-finish line) during each race. Only one point is awarded to each driver who has led each race, irrespective of how many times that driver has led that race.

Independent Drivers & Teams TrophiesPoints for drivers are awarded as per the outright Drivers Championship (bonus points are not scored. Points for teams are awarded to each team’s highest-placed finisher only as per the outright Drivers Championship points system (bonus points are not scored).

HiQ BTCC Teams Championship
Points are awarded to each team’s two highest-finishing cars in each race (provided each car is classified as a finisher in the official results). Points are awarded as per the outright Drivers Championship (bonus points are not scored).

BTCC Manufacturers/Constructors Championship
Points are awarded to a maximum of two cars per registered manufacturer/constructor in each race (provided each car is classified as a finisher in the official results). Each manufacturer/constructor must nominate their two cars prior to 5pm on qualifying day. Points are awarded as per the outright Drivers Championship (bonus points are not scored).

Friday 25 November 2011

Roger Albert Clark Rally Ready to go at Croft

Some impressive machinery on show. We think that's a Saab on the far left.

a Ford Escort
There is now little more than a week to go before the Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire plays host to one of the world’s premier events for historic rally cars – the superb Roger Albert Clark Rally – on Saturday 3 December.

The R.A.C, named after Seventies British rallying great Roger Clark, recreates the Lombard RAC Rallies of old and a time which many believe were motor rallying’s glory years. For tens of thousands of enthusiasts the charismatic event has become an annual road trip as they follow its route – this year from Friday 2 to Monday 5 December – and competitive timed stages in North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbria. Furthermore, it is traditional for many public to stop and wave to the crews as they pass along main roads en route to each stage.

Two of those spectacular stages – along with a major service area that will enable the fans to get a close-up look at the cars as they are worked on – will be held at Croft Circuit, just outside Darlington on the Saturday (3 Dec).

another Ford Escort
The competing cars will start to arrive at Croft as drivers and their navigators ‘clock in’ to the service area from 3.32pm. The two stages – each a ‘double run’ of the full Croft race track – will commence at 4.10pm and then 4.24pm. It means spectators will see the cars pass four times with the enticing prospect of two or three ‘live on stage’ at the same time.

Tickets will cost just £10 (payable on the gate) with FREE admission for children aged 15 and under. For more information visit the new-look Croft Circuit website or call the Circuit Office on 01325 721815.

The 70-strong entry is full of iconic Sixties, Seventies and Eighties models of car with Lancia Stratos, Lancia Fulvia, Saab 96, Talbot Sunbeam, Hillman Avenger, Porsche 911s, plus Ford Escort MKIs and MKIIs all listed.

yet another Ford Escort
Among the top names are 2010’s and 2009’s respective winners, Belgium’s Stefan Stouf and Gwyndaf Evans (also a former British Rally Champion), plus newly-crowned back-to-back British Historic Rally Champion David Stokes. Also watch for Phil Collins – himself another top ex-name from the British Rally Championship and co-driven, notably, by Nicky Grist who navigated Finland’s Juha Kankkunen to the 1993 World Rally Championship title and who then went on to form a six-year partnership with the legendary Colin McRae in the WRC.

More locally, Beverley’s Guy Smith – the winner of the world-famous Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race in 2003 – is also entered as are Tim Pearcey (Harrogate), Tim Mason (Bradford), Steve Perez (Chesterfield), Charlie Taylor (Northallerton) and Dave Hemingway (South Elmsall). All are among the UK’s top historic rally drivers, while numerous others from the North East region are also on the entry list.

Porsche 911 in "Not a ford Escort" shocker.
After dazzling regional and national TV, print, radio and on-line media during a preview event at Croft earlier this week, Smith, who these days commutes to America to race sportscars, commented: “Croft will make for a very exciting addition to the R.A.C Rally’s route and it’s great to see it included in such a prestigious event – one thing I really like about this event is the interaction between the drivers and the public. This is also the only stage we face on asphalt as all the other stages are on gravel tracks in the forests so I hope, with my circuit racing background, I can put in some quick times. But it’s something of a star-studded entry list and getting near the top ten times just at Croft will be quite an achievement.”
Might be a Lancia.

Another of those to entertain the media this week was Taylor, who has twice previously finished fourth outright on the R.A.C. He said: “It’s very important that Croft, which is home to motor sport in the North East, is part of the R.A.C route. I think it’s going to make for a really spectacular stage for the public, particularly with the views from the spectator banking – they overlook the first few corners and I expect there to be a lot of sideways action through there.”

anyone know what this is? Oh, it's another Ford Escort!
Reigning Historic Rally Champion Stokes, a Ford team-mate to Roger Clark in the Seventies, was also present for the media preview having set off at 4.00am from his home in Gloucestershire to meet the media! He added: “Croft makes it that bit more accessible and convenient for the public at large to come and see what the fuss is all about with proper viewing and catering facilities. We’ll be hitting some serious speeds here and with the great noise these cars make and the fact we’ll have the headlights on at dusk it’ll make for a really magical atmosphere.”

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Mazda races to success in Britcar Production

The sun sets on a successful season for the MX5 GT

Brilliantly unfussy and distinctive livery makes the MX5 stand out
Mazda’s MX-5 GT car finished the Britcar Production GTN Championship season on a high this weekend at Brands Hatch with a race pace that placed it ahead of rivals Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus, Ginetta and Marcos.

Finishing fifth overall and second in class from 21 competitors, the MX-5 GT car was only beaten in its class by a 400bhp BMW M3 and ran at a competitive GT4 pace around the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

Regular drivers Mark Ticehurst and Owen Mildenhall qualified in damp conditions with a mid 50 second lap which put them second in class on the grid, during the two hour race they completed 129 laps, averaging 77.82mph.

Slick pit work is essential to all endurance racing.
The MX-5 GT car at Brands Hatch was the new 2012 development version, complete with a new lightweight chassis and gearbox, lower roll cage, new front splitter and rear diffuser for improved aerodynamics. The weight has been reduced by 50kg over the previous car and lowered by 20mm to give it better aerodynamic performance, better grip and more stability through the corners, which combined with the car’s legendary handling, fuel economy and light tyre usage, makes this an ideal endurance car.

Mazda finishes the race season with the lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT car ranking fourth overall in the championship and second in class, while the Mazda MX-5 production race car is fourth in class and seventh overall.

The Mazda MX-5 production race car - driven by Mike Wilds, Former F1 Driver and Major James Cameron of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment who raced with Mazda at the Britcar 24hr Race in October - finished second in class at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Britcar Production always has varied grids - the MX5 fits right in!
“Throughout this year’s race season the MX-5 GT car has been subject to ongoing developments which has made the MX-5 GT an ideal GT4 endurance car which is competitive against Porsche, Lotus, Ginetta and Marcos. In just a year we have achieved fourth overall in the championship, three podiums and second in class overall. This is testament to professional motorsport company, Jota Sport - who designed and developed the MX-5 GT car - and the MX-5’s agility, reliability and handling,” comments Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Hard Luck Jason!

Jason Pritchard taking on the Great Orme stage in his Subaru Impreza
Jason Pritchard was denied in his quest of securing his best ever finish in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) this weekend. A calamitous error of judgement by officials and marshals meant he was forced to retire during Stage 16 at the start of the Sweet Lamb. A ‘jump’ on the stage, which also ruined fellow Welshman Elfyn Evans Rally, should have been brought to all drivers’ attention on approach, however this didn’t happen and Pritchard’s previous good form over the first two days unfortunately counted for nothing.
Jason Pritchard was going great guns in the Wales Rally GB, until his North Road Garage backed Subaru Impreza landed in the dangerous hole on Stage 16 and ended his attempt to record his best-ever result in his home Rally. Pritchard was 18th overall and 3rd in the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC), and when he was forced to retire, 2nd place was very much in his sight:
“I’m distraught that we couldn’t finish the race, I understand how testing this sport is and understand the consequences of driving at the speed we do, but this shouldn’t have been allowed to happen. We had been warned throughout the rally about dangerous landings after the jumps and we approached these stages in a controlled manner, however there was no warning about the situation on stage 16 – you only have to look at how myself and the other drivers went out to see that the marshals should have been slowing us down – it was crazy!”
Pritchard who was joined by co-driver Dale Furniss escaped the incident unhurt and Furniss also used his initiative to warn other drivers about the hole by waving the cars to slow down as they approached the jump, it was clear that his actions had saved a number of cars from following Pritchard’s fate but unbelievably Furniss was told he shouldn’t be slowing the drivers down:
“Dale reacted like anyone would’ve, he jumped out and warned approaching drivers to slow down, something the marshals should’ve been doing – I can’t believe they told him to stop the warning – we would’ve made it to the Sunday and the finish if someone was warning us.”
This year's Wales Rally GB included a considerably revised route compared to previous years - following a Ceremonial Start in Llandudno, Thursday’s stages were on the spectacular winding cliff-face road around the Great Orme headland on the North Welsh coastline - a stage not used on the event for 30 years. The 1150-mile Rally ventured southwards with the high speed action on many of Wales' most renowned forest stages and the event culminated with a Ceremonial Finish in Cardiff on the Sunday.
Pritchard made steady progress throughout the first few days, the start on the tarmac during the Great Orme stage was understandably cautious but Pritchard made good time through the gravel stage on the Friday which saw him finish the day 4th in the PWRC. On Saturday the 23-year-old from Builth Wells really stepped up a gear and made great progress throughout the morning and he moved up to 3rd place, with 2nd place a real possibility as he put pressure and gained time on the top two drivers:
“I was feeling very relaxed during Saturday’s stages, we were really up on the pace and I could feel myself getting quicker as the day progressed. That’s why it hurt so much to go out the race in the manner that we did.
“2011 has been quite unlucky and this incident kind of summed up how it’s gone. However, I’m taking the positives from how we finished the year and I know that I would’ve secured my highest finish this weekend if I hadn’t had the incident. 2012 is going to be a big year for me and I’m confident that my level of performance will only get stronger and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again.”
Pritchard is planning to keep busy and intends to finish the year by working closely with his Communications team and external designers to build a new website that will be capable of holding blogs and video footage, allowing fans and the media to get closer access to the young Welshman. The website launch, expected to be before Christmas this year, will also co-inside with a new logo as Pritchard updates his look and feel away from the car

Friday 11 November 2011

Formula Renault BARC looks forward to 2012

Formula Renault BARC is an excellent learning series for young drivers
Organisers of the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship are delighted to reveal an exciting and expanded 14 round calendar for the 2012 season which will feature, for the first time, a pair of triple-header events designed to give drivers maximum track time and value for money.

Off the back of its most successful and high-profile campaign yet, a point underpinned by 2011 champion Dino Zamparelli earning a spot in the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, the increasingly prominent junior single-seater category is striving to continue its terrific momentum.

Each race meeting will be a two-day affair with the provisional 2012 schedule set to commence at Snetterton 200 Circuit in Norfolk, over the weekend 7th/8th April, with the first of the triple-header events. The second of those will take place five weeks later at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on 12th/13th May.

After a seven week sojourn, the action will resume at the massive FIA British Truck Grand Prix event at Donington Park National Circuit in the East Midlands on 30th June/1st July for rounds seven and eight – in front of an anticipated 20,000-plus spectators.

From there, the next stop will be the category’s annual visit to Croft in North Yorkshire on 21st/22nd July for rounds nine and 10 before a six-week break prior to the penultimate event of the season at Rockingham in Northamptonshire on 1st/2nd September. The venue for the final two rounds of the campaign, and the date of the event, remains unconfirmed at this stage.

After close consultation with team representatives and the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC), Championship Promoter Simon North says the provisional calendar has been widely welcomed and the introduction of triple-header events is an important step for the burgeoning category.

“We’re delighted to be in a position to announce our provisional calendar well in advance of the New Year as it gives teams and potential drivers maximum time to prepare for the championship”, commented North, “With the addition of two triple-header events, an increase in races from 12 to 14 and an excellent selection of circuits we really feel this is potentially our best ever calendar.

“Protyre Formula Renault BARC enjoyed a fantastic season this year, the championship battle was one of the best we’ve witnessed and the standard of racing was particularly high. We’re hopeful with this provisional calendar now in place, it will enable the teams to sign early deals and will give them the best opportunity possible to attract new drivers to the championship.”

Steve Lynch, team manager of leading Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship squad Fortec Motorsport, MGR Motorsport team principal Mark Godwin and Scorpio Motorsport team boss Jon Pettit are all very happy with the 2012 calendar – in particular the increase to 14 rounds and the introduction of triple-header events.

“The idea of triple headers at the start of the season and the increase in track time is obviously good news and the rest of the calendar also looks good”, said Lynch, “I’d still like to see a BTCC supporting round on there, as we had this year, and if that can be secured it’ll be great. We’ll definitely continue in Formula Renault BARC next year, we’re committed to it as it’s a great series for young racers.”

Godwin added: “It’s really good for the championship having triple headers at the beginning of the season, it’s good to give young drivers coming in as much track time and experience as possible early on so I’m very pleased to see that.

“I’m happy we’ll be at the FIA truck event at Donington – the truck meet there this year was good and we had a big crowd which is important. Although BARC is a club series, it’s being taken much more seriously now. The fact (Dino)
Zamparelli is in the McLaren Award means it’s a championship drivers are looking at more and more.”

Pettit commented: “I like the calendar a lot, having Donington and Rockingham on there is great and Croft is a fantastic track for the drivers so I’m happy to see that on there. I am disappointed to lose Thruxton but if we can get on the TOCA (BTCC) package again at the end of the year that’ll be great.

“It’s good news the calendar has expanded to 14 races without the additional cost of going to another track. We had a good crowd at the truck meeting at Donington last season so I’m pleased we’ll be there again. Although BARC is still a club championship, the driver level is above that in my opinion and for people to see that at a big event like the trucks is very important.”

Along with headline sponsor Protyre, the championship is additionally supported by ELF, Michelin and NGK Spark Plugs. All dates and venues specified remain provisional and are subject to change.

Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship – Provisional 2012 Calendar
Rds 1/2/3: 7th/8th April - Snetterton 200 Circuit, Norfolk
Rds 4/5/6: 12th/13th May - Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Kent
Rds 7/8: 30th June/1st July - Donington Park National Circuit, Leicestershire
Rds 9/10: 21st/22nd July - Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire
Rds 11/12: 1st/2nd September - Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire
Rds 13/14: TBC - TBC