Thursday 31 March 2011

Coming Soon : Flags and heavy Metal

Rosie brandishes the "Jaws of Life" 
It's almost here! The April Edition of Overdrive is nearly completed and features Rosemary John training with the Marshals at Pembrey circuit, and a high speed ride around Walter's Arena in Glynneath.

We had a great time at the training day at Pembrey and we're sure that you'll find the resulting film interesting. If after watching it you have an urge to don orange overalls and head for your nearest race track, here's some links for anyone who's interested in becoming a Marshal.

Please note, this list is far from exhaustive and that Overdrive can't offer anyone advice on getting started - but we can put you in touch someone who can - Drop us a line through the comment system on this page.

Finally we'd like to thank everyone at Pembrey circuit and BARC - not least the Marshals and Rescue Crew - for putting up with us filming during the day. It really is much appreciated!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Jason Pritchard takes on the Bulldog.

It really feels as if the season is getting up and running properly now. Already we've had a few club events, and now the major British Championships are gearing up for their season. The first one to start was the British Rally Championship which is now preparing for it's second event of the season, the Bulldog rally in north Wales.

One of the more local drivers to the event's HQ is 22 year old Jason Pritchard. Here's how he's been preparing for this challenging event.

Positive Pritchard is ready for Bulldog challenge
Round two of the British Rally Championship heads to Wales this weekend and Jason Pritchard can’t wait to get behind the wheel again as he competes in the Bulldog International Rally North Wales. After experiencing the disappointment of not finishing the Rallye Sunseeker International, Pritchard is determined to get his season back on track in Welshpool:

“The main objective is to finish, I’m only thinking about the positives from round one, I felt great and we were in such a fantastic position before the incident. That’s what I need to take into this race; it’s going to be a quick pace and I intend to be challenging from the word go”

The 22-year-old from Builth Wells, Powys, insists he holds no advantage over his rivals despite this being his home round:

“Preparation is crucial for every event I do; I need to be confident in the car, myself and my pacenotes. Being from Wales gives me more appetite to do well this weekend but I treat the rally like any other, my main focus is get the best out of the car and to finish on top”

Pritchard’s North Road Garage backed 4 wheel drive Subaru Impreza N16 will be sporting the new colours for this season and the car performed well at a recent Shakedown at Sweet Lamb in Wales:

“The car’s in great shape, I completed a full 25-miles last week and everything went according to plan. The whole team is in great spirits and everything is in place for a fantastic weekend”
Bulldog International Rally North Wales is the second of seven British championship events in 2011. The event will be based at the Welshpool Livestock Market with the all-gravel stages run in North Wales over a competitive distance of 82 miles.
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Friday 25 March 2011

Toyota Next Generation Touring Cars ready to roll.

Speedworks Avensis looks very smart in it's new livery
With a week to go before the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship blasts into action at Brands Hatch, the two new Toyota Avensis ‘Next Generation Touring Cars’ broke cover for the first time yesterday. Resplendent in the liveries of privateer teams Dynojet Racing and Hughes Motorsport/Speedworks, the Avensis racers went on display to the media and public at Silverstone.
But the race to get to the grid for the 3 April opening rounds is only just beginning for the teams and their drivers, Frank Wrathall Jnr and Tony Hughes, for Frank’s Dynojet Avensis has yet to turn a wheel in anger and, though Tony’s car was successfully fired up for the first time yesterday, progress was hampered by a number of teething problems.
Despite the component delays which mean his car will not undergo shakedown tests until early next week, Wrathall was delighted with the reception it received at Silverstone: “The Toyota looks amazing,” he said, “and we are all delighted with it. Yes, it is frustrating not to have done more testing, but the first few rounds were always going to be tough for us, so we will just get on with it and do the best, most competitive job that we can.”
Hughes was able to cover only a handful of exploratory laps before power steering and fuel pump issues brought his shakedown run to a halt. “I am sure that when we get the Avensis running smoothly that it will perform as amazingly as it looks,” said Tony. “This was literally my first time at the wheel and the suspension, the brakes and so on all felt good. I am hoping to get to know the car better in testing next week.”
Both cars have been constructed by GPR Motorsport from bodyshells off the production line at Toyota’s Burnaston, Derbyshire, plant. Wrathall’s car will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged Toyota engine developed by engineering consultancy X CTech R, whose technicians hope the 300-plus bhp unit will prove to be one of the lightest and most powerful engines on the BTCC grid.
Scott Brownlee, Toyota GB’s PR chief, said: “GPR Motorsport, Dynojet Racing, Hughes Motorsport and Speedworks are to be congratulated on readying the cars in time for this important public showing, and making such an amazing job of their presentation; the Toyotas were certainly drawing many admiring glances in the pit lane. The hard work is far from over, though, and we are right behind them as they battle to make it to the grid at Brands Hatch.”
You certainly won't miss Frank Wrathall when he's on the track!
Lancashire-based Wrathall, 24, comes to the BTCC wearing the champion’s crown from the Ginetta G50 Cup, but is keeping his hopes and expectations for the season well reined-in: “I’ll be happy just to not look out of place, and to be as competitive as we can. The depth of quality of the field will make it very difficult for us, but I hope that over the course of the season we can show the car’s potential and, most of all, enjoy ourselves along the way. We are pleased just to be a part of the BTCC: for such a small family team to be on this stage is a great achievement in itself.”
Stockport driver Hughes is another Ginetta racer trying his hand at front-wheel drive motorsport for the first time this season.
Championship organiser TOCA yesterday confirmed that the BTCC will this year boast a record 27-car entry, with 10 different manufacturers represented. All 10 of the season’s race days will receive at least seven hours of live HD-quality TV coverage on ITV4 and, for the first time, qualifying sessions are to be streamed live on the website.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Big Name Sponsor supports 750 MC championship

At the moment, with money still hard to come by, it's fantastic for any company to put their hands into their pockets and sponsor club and national motorsport.

For a huge multi-national company to take notice of a club championship however is something very rare indeed - but that's just what has happened to one of the 750 Motor Club's championships with the signing of a new sponsorship deal from Toyota for the MR2 Championship.

It's fantastic to see Toyota's efforts in supporting British motorsport going right down to the grass roots like this, and long may their efforts continue!

Cadwell Park is a favourite track of the 750 Motor Club
Offering some of the closest track action in motor sport and already guaranteed full grids at every meeting this year, the MR2 Championship is living proof of the popularity of exciting, no-frills racing. Toyota is pleased to support this unique national series for its mighty mid-engined MR2 as title sponsor for 2011.
Run by the 750 Motor Club, the championship features classes for all three generations of MR2 and continues to attract capacity fields. Such is the response this year, qualifying heats are anticipated in order to accommodate the number of drivers signing up to take part.
Toyota’s sponsorship of the series extends its support for UK motor sport, alongside its recently-announced backing for the Toyota Sprint Series and its support helping privateers with Avensis race cars to teams competing in the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Formula official Patrick Mortell said: “I'm delighted that Toyota have chosen to support the MR2 Championship. We’re proud to offer a great racing opportunity at a sensible cost, a package that’s attracting exceptional support from teams and drivers. Race crowds across the country can look forward to packed grids and hard-fought racing throughout the season.”
750 Motor Club Chairman Viv Ayres commented: “The decision of Toyota to become involved in grass roots motorsport is very exciting, and the 750 Motor Club is particularly proud to be associated with the world's largest motor manufacturer, we will work to make this a success for all.”
The Toyota MR2 Championship comprises three classes, for each generation of MR2/MR2 Roadster, running standard engines and transmissions. Not counting any qualifying heats, the series will be fought out over 13 races held across seven meetings.

Toyota MR2 Championship 2011 calendar
17 April                     
22 May                     
12 June                     
3 July                        
28 August                 
25 September          
9 October       
Brands Hatch
Mallory Park

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Spot the Car II : The Solution

Well done to you if you guessed that the unfortunate F3 car was parked in square D3 - and bonus points to you if you placed the driver in B2! Hopefully more of these coming up soon - send in your photos if you think you have a challenging one!

Photo by Matt Buck on Flickr