Saturday 29 October 2011

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012 to celebrate "Young Guns"

This particular "Young Gun" seems to be popular wherever he goes. Wonder who he is?*

Further to the confirmation earlier this week of the 2012 dates for Goodwood’s ever-popular annual motoring events, Lord March can now confirm the theme for next year’s Festival of Speed.

The 2012 Festival of Speed theme (28 June-01 July) is ‘Young Guns – Born to Win’, celebrating drivers and riders and designers and engineers whose supreme talent and insatiable thirst for speed shocked the establishment, affording them immediate superstar status.  

Throughout motor sport history, an elite group of newcomers have announced their arrival on the world stage with performances so stunning as to instantly rewrite the status quo.  From Bernd Rosemeyer and Mike Hawthorn, to Emerson Fittipaldi and Lewis Hamilton, Mike Hailwood and Valentino Rossi, to Henri Toivonen and Colin McRae, all made an impact that was as immediate as it is indelible. 

Where else but Goodwood?
The 2012 Festival of Speed will celebrate the careers of these overnight sensations – some of whom fulfilled their full promise; others who shone briefly before fading; but all of whom secured their own special place in motor sport’s rich tapestry.

Alongside this central theme, the 2012 Festival will mark the 60th anniversary of Lotus Engineering.  Inspired by the incomparable Colin Chapman, this small British company utilised unparalleled technical ingenuity to dominate all levels of motor sport, from club racing to Formula 1, creating a glorious and enduring legacy.  A spectacular collection of winning Lotus cars, from F1, Indycars, saloons and sports cars, will be a key attraction at this year’s Festival.

The Festival of Speed will also feature a glittering array of cars and motorcycles from a huge variety of disciplines, further enhancing the Goodwood event’s reputation as the world’s greatest celebration of motor racing history and culture.  Tackling the famous Goodwood hillclimb will be everything from early Grand Prix and endurance machines, to off-road and contemporary racers and racing motorcycles.  

Complementing the overall Festival of Speed theme will be a host of other attractions at the 2012 Festival.  Aside from getting close to the action-packed hillclimb and paddocks, Festival-goers will be able to admire some of the most stylish vehicles ever designed at the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours d’elegance, see and potentially try the very latest road cars at the Moving Motor Show exhibition, glimpse into the future of transportation at FoS-TECH, see many of motor sport’s famous faces up close, swoon at the mouth-watering display of supercars, witness the exciting sideways action on the Forest Rally Stage, and become a part of the action at the off-road activity fields and Junior Festival of Speed.  The hugely popular GAS (Goodwood Action Sports) will return for 2012 as well.

Goodwood Festival of Speed founder Lord March says:  “I am really looking forward to having so many great cars and drivers here at the Festival of Speed to celebrate our 2012 ‘Young Guns’ theme. For me it is always magical to see so many of the world’s greatest drivers, riders and machines in action.”  

Some fantastic Rally Machinery will be out in force at next year's Festival
of Speed
As in previous years, admission to the Festival of Speed, plus the Goodwood Revival (14-16 September) and Moving Motor Show (28 June) will be strictly by advance ticket only, with 2012 event tickets going on sale from 9am Monday 29 October. 

The ‘Young Persons’ ticket trialled by Goodwood in 2011 proved to be such a success that this half-price entry will be continued for next year, with the 13-18 age range now extended up to 21 years of age.  Any young person aged between 13 and 21 can now purchase Festival of Speed and/or Revival tickets for half the full adult price.  Children of 12 years or under remain free of charge, as does all car parking.

Tickets and further information for the 2012 Festival of Speed, Moving Motor Show and Goodwood Revival can be ordered by on the up-dated Goodwood website ( sport), or via the Ticket Hotline as follows:
Telephone: +44 1243 755055
On-line via the Ticket section of the website sport 

*yes, we're well aware it's Lewis Hamilton. Please don't write in and tell us.

Friday 28 October 2011

R.A.C. Rally Visits Croft

Clive King in his Mini

 The countdown is now well and truly under way… there are now just five weeks to go (Saturday 3 December) before the Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire hosts a stage of the highly spectacular Roger Albert Clark Rally for historic cars.

The R.A.C, named in honour of Seventies British rally great Roger Clark, is run in the same spirit as the famous Lombard RAC Rallies that wowed huge crowds throughout Britain from the Sixties into the Eighties.

The recreation is acknowledged as one of the ‘blue riband’ events for Europe’s booming historic rallying scene with close to 100 crews set to contest the event in a mouth-watering line-up of competition-tuned Ford Escort MKIs and MKIIs, Porsche 911s, Vauxhall Chevette HSRs, Lancia Stratos and Fulvias, Saab 96s and Mini Coopers as well as other favourite models of cars from the era.

And now Croft, the North East’s premier motor sport venue located just south of Darlington off the A167, can release more details about its much anticipated R.A.C Rally date (Sat 3 Dec).
Adrian Kermode in his Porsche 911

Its special stage – incorporating much of its race track – will be run first at 4.01pm and again at 4.19pm on the day. Competitors will pass through it twice on each run meaning spectators will see the cars in action four times.

Prior to the high-speed action, however, cars will begin arriving at Croft at 3.20pm as they ‘clock in’ to an on-event Service Park that will be in the circuit’s paddock. This will enable the public to chat with the competing drivers and co-drivers and get a close-up look at the cars which were handled in their heyday by some of the world’s most famous rallying names such as British heroes Roger Clark, Russell Brookes and Tony Pond plus Scandinavian aces Markku Alen, Hannu Mikkola, Stig Blomqvist, Bjorn Waldegard, Pentti Airikkala and Timo Makinen.

a Ford Escort in the famous Allied Polymer colours
Tickets to see the R.A.C Rally in action at Croft will cost just £10 (payable on the gate) with admission for children aged 15 and under FREE. For more details call the Croft Circuit office on 01325 721815 or visit the website.
Rob Smith's Vauxhall Chevette
Croft Circuit Manager Tracey Morley commented: “We are extremely proud to be hosting a stage of this year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally – the sight and sound of these charismatic cars always makes for an electric atmosphere. They represent some of the UK motoring industry’s most iconic models of car and many of the public who watched them being rallied in their heyday remain fans. There is also a considerable following among owners club members and younger fans alike.

“The service area we are providing for the R.A.C competitors in our paddock will bring the public even closer to the action and the stages themselves promise to be very spectacular with lots of sideways action – particularly as they’ll fall at sunset.

Steve Perez's Lancia Stratos
“Croft’s motor sport fixture list in 2011 will have been one of its most memorable since the circuit re-opened in the mid-Nineties. Already this year we have attracted to the region the very best in two and four-wheeled racing action with visits from the British Superbike and Touring Car championships. On top of that, our own ‘Nostalgia’ weekend has rapidly established itself as one of the most popular historic racing festivals on the UK motor sport calendar.

“In just over week (Sat 5-Sun 6 Nov) we’re hosting the final round of the British Rallycross Championship plus the British Rallycross Grand Prix and our club-level fixtures in 2011 have also produced some of the best of their kind in the UK.

Stokes in the Ford Escor
“Hosting a stage of the R.A.C Rally really is the icing on the cake for Croft Circuit.”
Croft’s stage takes place on the second of the R.A.C Rally’s four-day route. Furthermore it represents the only asphalt-surfaced challenge for competitors with the remainder of their stages being held on gravel roads through the forests of North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Kielder, the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. For more information on the event visit its official website.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Caterham Academy Graduate competes in BTCC

Former Caterham Academy graduate, Ollie Jackson, has competed in the final two rounds of the British Touring Car Championship making him the first former Academy racer to do battle in the legendary series.

Piloting a Triple 8 Engineering Vauxhall Vectra, the British GT driver made his BTCC debut at Brands Hatch (2 Oct) followed by an appearance at the championship’s final round at Silverstone (16 Oct).

Caterham Academy racers have progressed to an array of series spanning single seaters, GT cars and Porsche championships but Ollie is the first graduate of Caterham’s novice only series to compete in the BTCC.

The reigning Carrera Cup Pro-Am1 champion, Jackson, has been competing in the Avon Tyres British GT Championship but cut his teeth in the Caterham Academy, which has produced more than 850 racers since its inception in 1995.

The Academy is run exclusively to take novice racers through the process of gaining their race license as well as their first full season of competition and costs from only £20,495 – including the car. Only a handful of places remain for the 2012 series.

Simon Lambert, Caterham’s Motorsport Manager, said: “The Academy makes for hugely exciting racing but it’s the atmosphere and camaraderie in the paddock and the sheer enthusiasm that’s so infectious.

“It’s one of the cheapest routes into racing and whether you decide to progress through the ranks or simply use your Seven as a road car after the series is up to the individual, but in Ollie’s case, like many others, he’s progressed into high level racing and, naturally, we are delighted to shout about it.” 

This is the 150th Post on Just saying.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

BARC seeks marshals for Winter Series meeting

BARC are looking for a number of marshals to help officiate their Winter Series meeting at Snetterton this coming November. The date of the meeting is as follows:

Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th November

The race meeting will include a selection of Formula Renault’s, Ginetta G55 & G50’s and Ginetta Juniors.

If you’d be interested in attending this event then please get in touch with Chris Logan on 01264 882210 or Alternatively, if you volunteer for meetings through the BARC Online System, the dates are available there for selection too.

Are you a motor club looking for Marshals? Get in touch with us and we'll put a post up on this site!

Monday 24 October 2011

Going drag racing... In a Rolls Royce!?

We don't often feature drag racing on Overdrive... Maybe it's because with only a handful of venues in the UK it's not quite as popular here as in the USA. There is however a certain appeal from the simplicity of the sport - and the huge variety of machines involved from Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars to... Well, to this :
Santa Pod’s Flame and Thunder event on the 29th of October already has a superb mix of race and stunt cars to marvel at, but the latest addition to the line-up should appeal to a wide range of petrolheads – from classic buffs, to the landed gentry.
Matt Wright’s Crewe-build 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow may still strongly resemble the gentleman’s express that left the line there decades ago, but thanks to the transplant of 588cu Chevrolet V8 (that’s almost TEN litres in old money!!!!) it’s somewhat faster. Fast enough to run an impressive 7.94 second quarter mile.. at 175mph!
The car has been prepared by WG Racing and uses a cutting-edge selection of the latest drag tricks and lightening methods to turn it into a veritable supercar slayer, taking well over two seconds off the time taken by the Bugatti Super Sport to cover the same distance. A bespoke Chrome-Moly twin tube chassis, suspension and braking system replace the hefty 4775lb weight of the original components and make for one hell of a rapid, rockin’ Roller. You really want to see this unlikely looking machine firing up the strip!
For more information on the Flame and Thunder event, please click to
Now check out Top Gear's gallery of the making of this car, and some video taken earlier at Santa Pod...

A small tremor was reported near the tomb of Sir Arthur Rolls yesterday, reported to be the great car maker turning in his grave...

Sunday 23 October 2011

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Friday 21 October 2011

HEROs of Throckmorton

On the left, a Rare SAAB. On the right, a Beautiful Jaguar E-Type Coupé
What a way to enjoy your classic car! A fantastic event held at RAF Pershore with a huge variety of lovely old cars taking part. I have to admit to not being entirely familiar with the concept of a reliability trial, but it certainly looks to have been a great event and yet another different way to try Motorsports!
A fantastic array of classic cars. 

Leather seats and racing harnesses... They don't build them like that now!

We think this might be a Porsche 911
A Big jaguar MkI on the Warwickshire Roads.
In brilliant sunshine, more than 80 classic cars were put through their paces at RAF Pershore in Warwickshire on Saturday October 15th when the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation held its annual Throckmorton Challenge 2011.
The challenge saw classic cars, their drivers, and co drivers from all over the country taking part in a reliability trail, which pushed them to the limit.
Clubman Event
First                 Michael & Simon Baker; Porsche 911 SC
Second                        John Rondeau & Dennis Greenslade; Jaguar Mk 1
Third               Graham Walker & Sean Toohey; Lotus Elan Sprint
National B Event
First                 Andrew Buzzard & Robb Lyne; Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTV
Second                        Tony Sheach & Richard Lambley; Triumph TR4
Third               Jon Wood & Iain Tullie; Morris Mini Cooper
 It is part of the Historic Rally Car Register's (HRCR) Clubman Championship, a series of events that are held throughout the country, and attracted more entries than any other location.

one of many MGB-GTs that took part in the event.

Minis always have been popular in motorsports

 "We have more than doubled the number of vehicles that took part last year," said Patrick Burke, from HERO, and the event is being recognised nationally as an important part of the classic car calendar."
 The event saw cars that had to be built before 1984, taking part in a number of high speed activities on the airfield that included driving a vehicle to its limits within the physical constraints of a marked circuit which changed as the day proceeded.
This time it's an MGB Roadster out enjoying the Warwickshire roads
 Peter Nedin, Hero's Event Director said: "The format of the challenge was the same as last year. There were 15 maneuverability tests against the clock round a set course and four regularities where drivers had to adhere to a set average speed which never exceeds the recognised speed limit and where their performance is monitored at secret locations along the route. The sting in the tail was the four mile regularity on site which caught out many people, including a number of experienced crews".
The Saab on the road
 The event saw drivers taking three different regularity routes through the Warwickshire countryside with many local people turning out to cheer the drivers and witness the cross section of classics.
 The Throckmorton Challenge is supported by AVIS, exclusive support vehicle partners of HERO Events; Orianda ( who sponsors the first prize of the HERO Cup by offering a week sailing in the Mediterranean on board this splendid schooner; and Meguiar’s – the leading manufacturer of automotive surface care products.
Minis! And lots of them too!
 The Throckmorton challenge is seen as one of the premier events in the country which now not only attracts those drivers who regularly take part in historic rallying and wish to hone their skills but those who are new to the historic rallying and wish to find out what sort of driving tests and regularities they will face on an event.
Paperwork's important, but what's the car?
 For those drivers taking part in the HERO Cup, which sees drivers taking part in all but one HERO rallies during 2011, the Throckmorton Challenge is a qualifying round for the HERO Cup as well as the HRCR Clubman Championship. This event is a very good practice event for experienced and novice drivers who then go on to tackle HERO's most famous event: Le Jog, which takes place between December 10 and 13th and will see over 60 cars competing against the clock and all the adverse weather conditions the UK has to offer in December, from Lands End to John O'Groats.
 Patrick Burke said: “The event was a huge success and one that we are going to build on in future years. We want to attract even more competitors, but also make the event a showcase where not only people can come and compete, but where the public can visit and get a real feel for classic events.”
I hope that they're not looking for the engine of this Porsche under there!

Thursday 20 October 2011

Porsche Carrera Cup goes down to the wire

This one should have been published a few days ago : Internet connection problems delayed it, sorry!

Providing a perfect illustration of the close competition that is a feature of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship, the destination of the 2011 title was not decided until the final race of the season this weekend at Silverstone.

After Stephen Jelley retired from the first race of the weekend, his Championship bid ended, the scene was set for a classic encounter between Michael Meadows and his SAS Redline Racing team-mate James Sutton in round 19. Going into the last race just one point separated the pair, but after a puncture forced Meadows into the pits for a new tyre, Sutton was clear to clinch his second Porsche Carrera Cup GB title, following success in 2007. Meadows ultimately held on to second place in the overall Championship, with Jelley in third.

The performances of Sutton and Meadows saw SAS Redline victorious in the 2011 Teams’ Championship, ahead of Jelley’s team, Parker with Juta.

Round 18
While Nick Tandy (Bedford) won the penultimate round from the front, Sutton (London) dived ahead of his team-mate Meadows (Banbury) to leave Meadows with a single point lead in the Championship going into the final race later in the afternoon.

However, there was disaster for title contender Jelley (Leicester) who went out with a damaged radiator. Jonas Gelzinis (Lithuania) won Pro-Am1 while Brewster (Edinburgh) won an action-packed Pro-Am2 category to move closer to the title after rival Keith Webster (Liphook) spun when holding a clear lead.

The first 200 metres of the race was critical to the title contest as Sutton jumped ahead of Meadows to take second behind Tandy. “I just got a fairly good start,” said Sutton.

While Tandy set about consolidating his lead, Jelley was scything up the order from seventh on the grid and dived through to snatch fourth place after just three laps. But Jelley struggled to close the gap to Meadows and that was how they ran until lap 19 when Tandy caught a backmarker under a yellow flag at Brooklands corner. Tandy had to back off and not overtake and in an instant his lead evaporated. Sutton, Meadows and Jelley all closed right in and, as they braked for Becketts, Jelley clipped the back of Meadows’ car and damaged his radiator. Jelley limped back to the pits to retire, but dropped coolant at Brooklands in the process. “There was already coolant down and I sailed into the back of Michael,” said Jelley afterwards.

Tandy quickly re-established his leading margin to secure victory as Sutton chased and Meadows recovered to take third, finishing under pressure from Sam Tordoff (Leeds), Gelzinis and Euan Hankey (Taunton). “Over the last half of the race the line was changing every lap due to the fluid down on the circuit,” said Tandy. “After the start it was a case of managing the gap,” said Sutton after a very important result for his Championship bid.

Gelzinis was always clear in Pro-Am1 as Rory Butcher (Kirkcaldy) ran a strong race to take a clear second and move closer to the Championship runner-up position. “It was very challenging with the dropped fluid, but I had a good rhythm,” he said. Delighted to complete the Pro-Am1 podium was George Richardson (Alderley Edge) despite a challenge from Ahmad Al Harthy (Oman) and Derek Pierce (West Kilbride).

There was a dramatic race in Pro-Am2 as Webster set a cracking pace from the start and looked set for a commanding win. Meanwhile Brewster made a poor start and dropped to fourth in class behind Yucel Ozbek (Turkey) and Steve Parish (London). As Brewster set about fighting up the order, Webster controlled the pace until the fluid from Jelley’s car went down at Brooklands.

“There was fluid everywhere and a car parked in the middle of the road,” said Webster after spinning and losing a lot of time. “I was pacing myself but it just wasn’t meant to be.” Instead, Brewster battled through to win after surviving an attack by Ozbek at Becketts on the dropped fluid. “I saw the fluid down and Yucel didn’t. I had to abort the corner to give him room,” said Brewster. “I couldn’t have caught Keith,” he added as Parish got ahead of Ozbek to take third.

Round 19
While Tandy made it three wins from four starts in the final race of the season, Sutton clinched the overall title and Brewster claimed the Pro-Am2 crown in a superb finish to the best season so far for the Porsche Carrera Cup GB.

Sutton ran second behind Tandy all the way to the flag to win the title for the second time as his team-mate and title rival Meadows held third before having to pit with a front puncture. Meanwhile, Brewster had to fight back from a first lap knock and subsequent puncture to win the Pro-Am2 title. In the final race of the season, Gelzinis bagged another Pro-Am1 win and Webster dominated Pro-Am2.

Tandy got the start he wanted to burst into the lead and when Sutton beat his SAS/Redline partner Meadows into Copse he stamped his authority on the title contest. Sutton needed to beat Meadows to claim his second Carrera Cup crown and had to withstand immense pressure over the opening laps. While Tandy consolidated his lead, Sutton soaked up the pressure and then, by lap five, started to edge clear. For Meadows, it was all going wrong and a slow front puncture eventually sent him into the pits.

Now, Sutton just had to hold position and had no need to try and chase the fleeing Tandy. “We saved a couple of new tyres for this race and I got a good gap in the first five laps,” he said after a resounding win. For Sutton, the overall title was a massive achievement. “It’s not really sunk in yet,” said Sutton. “The race was very difficult and over the early laps the pressure from Michael was intense.”

With Meadows dropping down the order, the final podium position was a great result for Ben Hetherington (Hulme Walfield) who drove a superb race under pressure from Richard Plant (Sheffield), Gelzinis and Jelley. Jelley recovered to sixth after hitting the rear of Meadows’ car and spinning as he challenged for third in the early laps. “That’s a great way to end the season,” said 2011 Carrera Cup Scholarship winner Hetherington, who also earned the ‘Driver of the Weekend’ award.

Gelzinis dominated Pro-Am1 as a tremendous drive from Richardson earned him second and his best result to date. “It’s really good to end the season on a high,” said Richardson, who had to race hard to fend off the challenge of Al Harthy.

In Pro-Am2 it all started badly for Brewster when he was tipped into a first lap spin by Richard Denny (London). With a rear puncture as a result, Brewster had to limp slowly back to the pits as title rival Webster took a commanding lead. While Parish and Denny completed the podium, Brewster rejoined a lap down and battled back to fourth and scored enough points to settle the Pro-Am2 crown. “That was very difficult but we got through,” said a relieved Brewster. Webster, meanwhile, had given his all to try and win Pro-Am2. “That was the best drive I’ve ever had,” said Webster.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Fortec dominates Formula Renault at Silverstone

Alex Lynn with an appropriate Pit Board

Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Lynn took his twelfth win of the year and team-mate Oliver Rowland his fourth today at Silverstone in rounds nineteen and twenty of the CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship. Lynn’s victory in the first race ensured he became the 2011 champion, and Rowland’s victory and fastest lap in the final race sees him finish as runner-up to Lynn.

The newly crowned champion’s twelfth victory of the year also saw him break the championship’s record of wins in a season, which had previously held by James Matthews since 1994.

Essex-based Lynn dominated the first race of the day, leading from pole position and crossing the line over six seconds ahead of Rowland, who passed Daniel Cammish (Mark Burdett Motorsport) on the first lap.

Such was the manner in which Lynn won, he also broke the lap record for Formula Renault 2.0 UK cars on the Silverstone National circuit, with a lap of 53.838 seconds - over four tenths quicker than James Calado’s previous best lap in 2008.

“This is an absolutely fantastic feeling,” said Lynn. “I don’t think that it will quite sink in for me until tomorrow morning. I made a good start off the line at the beginning of the race and the car felt very good; we were able to show a lot of pace. Looking ahead to this afternoon, I’m just going to go out there and push as hard as I possibly can to end the season on a high.

Continuing his late season charge, Rowland followed home team-mate Lynn; a strong start off the grid saw him get by Cammish and the Sheffield-based youngster ensured it remained that way until the flag. Rowland pressed Lynn hard in the opening laps, setting a number of personal best laps in the process, but eventually settled for second place and yet another graduate cup victory.

“Off the line I got a good start,” explained a frustrated Rowland. “I got into second and then I tried to push for the fastest lap but Alex was just too quick, along with that I also made a few errors. We’ll have to see if we can make a few improvements for later and hopefully I will be able to get the win.”

Starting alongside Lynn on the grid after a season’s best qualifying performance yesterday, Cammish battled early on with fellow Mark Burdett Motorsport racer, Jack Hawksworth. The pair provided entertainment for the large crowd, and were soon joined by championship contender Tio Ellinas (Atech Reid GP).

“It wasn’t a bad race for us,” said Cammish. “I think that starting in third would have been a bit more of an advantage though. I dropped to third immediately, had the pace and managed to pull a respectable lead over Jack. From then on it was just a matter of being consistent to finish on the podium.”

Hawksworth and Ellinas soon began a thrilling battle that eventually saw the young Cypriot driver overcome Hawksworth on the penultimate lap of the race as they entered Brooklands corner. Unfortunately for Ellinas, Lynn’s victory meant it wasn’t enough to ensure the championship went down to the final race of the season.

“On Friday and Saturday we were a bit off with the car,” said Ellinas in a reflective mood. “We have done a great job to find a good setup with the car for the race; I think I set the second fastest lap of the race so that is a positive.

“For the next race I am back in P6 again, so I will have to try to make my way through the field again to finish on the podium. I now have to ensure that I secure second in the championship.”

Australian, Mitchell Gilbert started the race fourth, but found himself languishing down in eighth on the first lap after a sluggish start saw the Fortec driver get passed by Manor Competition duo Jordan King and Josh Hill. Gilbert fought back though and scythed past first Hill, then King, crossing the line sixth.

Elsewhere, a first lap spin at Copse corner for Fortec Competition’s Ed Jones saw him delay team-mate Felix Serralles; the Puerto Rican went on to set the fastest lap on the second tour of the circuit, but would later retire in the pits with a fuel pressure issue.

Race two was a different story for the 2011 champion.  Rowland, keen to secure the runner up spot in the championship from Ellinas, started well, taking Gilbert on the outside and making a similarly bold move on Lynn that saw the pair make contact.

Rowland romped into the lead and never looked back, finishing the year as the top driver in the graduate class too.

“A good start was a necessity in that race,” said Rowland. “I knew that I had to get past Mitch and attack Alex on the first few laps, at times I thought that it wouldn’t be possible, but into that first corner I braked really late and pulled off the move. I couldn’t really believe it for five laps so I made a few mistakes, once I came round I knew that I had to push and focus. To get the fastest lap on the last lap just means everything.”

After a spin at Brooklands, Lynn started to regain his composure putting in a series of fast laps. However, with Ellinas stuck behind Cammish in fourth, Rowland required the two points that come with a fastest lap of the race.

After Lynn had set a time of 54.419, Rowland began a do or die attempt to set the fastest lap which resulted in a time of 54.001; Lynn was unable to match this and Rowland finished level on points with Ellinas, claiming the runners-up place in the championship on a count back of victories.

Gilbert topped off the weekend for Fortec, ensuring another one two, following home Rowland and keeping the rapid Cammish at bay.

“I found it difficult to start off the line on the dirty side of the track,” said Gilbert. “When Oliver and Alex tangled I thought that hopefully I would be able to progress, unfortunately they both got through. Alex went off at Brooklands, from there I tried to push Oliver but he managed to pull away. I’m very pleased to end the season on the podium”

“It was a hard race but very enjoyable,” said Cammish. “Tio was hounding me lap after lap. To begin with I thought that this might get a bit lively but he wasn’t able to make a move to pass me. I just had nothing left to give at the end of the day. Third is the best that we could of hoped for.”
Further down the order, the race was dominated by drive through penalties. Four were awarded due to drivers exceeding the track limits at various points on the circuit. Manor Competition’s Alice Powell and Lynn were both penalized while racing for ninth, Oscar King (Atech Reid GP) inherited ninth place and subsequently got a penalty, and Serralles, still suffering mechanical issues was also judged to have used too much of Silverstone’s run-off areas.

Josh Hill (Manor Competition) finished the season on a high; a fifth-place finish ahead of Hawksworth, equaling his season best at Croft earlier in the year. Hill’s Manor team-mate King benefited from the drive through penalties, finishing eighth and Powell ended tenth, almost two seconds ahead of Atech Reid GP’s King.

Round 19 top ten results
  1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports 19m 56.501 – 22 laps
  2. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports +6.044s G
  3. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsports +8.581s
  4. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +12.295s
  5. Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports +14.222s
  6. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports +14.485s G
  7. Jordan King Manor Competition +14.839s G
  8. Josh Hill Manor Competition +15.006s
  9. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +15.357s
  10. Oscar King Atech Reid GP +16.656s

Round 20 top ten results
  1. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 20m 10.036 – 22 laps G
  2. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports +4.536 G
  3. Daniel Cammish Mark Burdett Motorsports +7.360
  4. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP +7.870
  5. Josh Hill Manor Competition +14.825s
  6. Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports +15.121
  7. Dan Wells Atech Reid GP +16.891
  8. Jordan King Manor Competition +28.176 G
  9. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports +38.783
  10. Alice Powell Manor Competition +42.443 G

Final points top five drivers inc. drop
  1. Alex Lynn Fortec Motorsports 521
  2. Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 475 G
  3. Tio Ellinas Atech Reid GP 475
  4. Jack Hawksworth Mark Burdett Motorsports 333
  5. Mitchell Gilbert Fortec Motorsports 317 G

Monday 17 October 2011

Matt Neal wins BTCC

Neal leads the BTCC pack away from the grid at the start of Race 1 as chaos ensues behind him.
Matt Neal has won the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after coming out on top against his Honda Racing team-mate Gordon Shedden in a nail-biting final race of the season at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire yesterday (Sun 16 Oct).

In front of packed grandstands at Silverstone, Neal lifted one of motor sport’s most prestigious titles in the world for the third time in his career. The BTCC also ended on a massive high with a record 30 cars appearing on its grid.

Worcestershire’s Neal won yesterday’s first race from pole position ahead of Fife’s Shedden. Buckinghamshire’s James Nash finished third in his 888 Racing with Collins Contractors Vauxhall Vectra to secure the Independents Trophy.

Shedden then retaliated by winning race two ahead of Neal, their Civics chased to the line by Tom Onslow-Cole’s Team Aon Ford Focus. It meant Shedden was now just six points behind Neal heading into the day’s third and final race of the season.

Matt Neal with the BTCC Trophy
But it was to be Neal’s day as he finished the third race in eighth, two places ahead of Shedden, to add to his previous titles in 2005 and 2006 – also in Hondas and with the same Team Dynamics squad. The race was won by Tom Chilton’s Team Aon Ford Focus ahead of 2010 Champion Jason Plato’s Silverline Chevrolet Cruze and Tom Boardman’s Special Tuning Racing SEAT Leon.

Plato plus Nash and Airwaves Racing Ford Focus driver Mat Jackson had also all arrived at Silverstone still capable of winning the crown – the first five-way showdown in BTCC history – but by the end of race two each had fallen out of contention.

Meanwhile Neal and Shedden’s partnership has enabled Honda/Dynamics and the Honda Racing Team to comfortably win the BTCC’s coveted Manufacturers/Constructors and HiQ Teams championships. Nash’s 888/Collins squad has also won the Independent Teams Trophy.

An ecstatic Neal, who at 44 has become the first triple BTCC Champion since Andy Rouse in the early Eighties, commented: “This has been the toughest of my three titles to win – the competition has been extraordinarily high and Gordon has been such a hard team-mate to beat. To have my name on the trophy for a third time alongside so many great names… I am overwhelmed. It means the world to me.

Gordon Shedden sprays the champagne after his race win
“My pole position lap on Saturday, with maximum ballast in my car, was one of the best laps of my entire career and it set things up perfectly for me today. If I hadn’t won it I would have been disappointed for myself but over the moon for Gordon – he’s become like a younger brother to me and even though he’s only been in the BTCC for six years he is one of the absolute best out there on the track.

“But it’s not just me who has won this championship – it is everybody in the Honda team. Gordon and I couldn’t ask for a better company or bunch of people to drive for and they all richly deserve this clean sweep of titles.”

Shedden, aged 32 from Dalgety Bay, had hoped to become the first Scottish driver to win the BTCC since John Cleland in 1995. He said: “We’d said all along our priority was to ensure Honda won these titles and then see where things led after that – I was third last year, now second this… maybe it’ll be my turn next season. I gave it my all but it was to be Matt’s championship this time around and I’m very happy for him and particularly everyone in the Honda team.”

James Nash lifts the Indepents Trophy.
Newport Pagnell’s Nash, a rising star of the BTCC, was justifiably proud to have won the Independents Trophy in what has been his first full season in BTCC after part campaigns in previous years.

The 25-year-old, overcoming the effects of flu, said: “What everyone at Triple Eight Race Engineering has achieved with the Vectra is incredible. We knew taking on the might of the manufacturers such as Honda and Chevrolet was going to be tough, but we’ve been right up there, won a race, had plenty of podiums and fastest laps and even led the championship at one stage. This has really filled me with confidence for the future and I really want to be back in 2012 and go for the outright championship.”

Elsewhere at Silverstone, Frank Wrathall was fined £500 and had three penalty points applied to his competition licence for an on-track incident with Robert Collard. Both the WSR and AmD Milltek teams were also fined £500 for failing to comply with officials’ instructions. Daniel Welch was excluded from the results of race three in the championship’s previous round at Brands Hatch after his car failed a technical inspection.

2011 Dunlop BTCC Drivers’ Points after Silverstone (round 10 of 10):
1. Matt Neal, 257 points
2. Gordon Shedden, 249
3. Jason Plato, 236
=4. Mat Jackson & James Nash, 191
6. Andrew Jordan, 143
7. Tom Chilton, 135
8. Robert Collard, 108
9. Alex MacDowall, 100
10. Paul O’Neill, 91

The sun sets on a successful season for Honda
Manufacturers/Constructors’ Points:
1. Honda/Dynamics, 621
2. Chevrolet/RML, 496

3. Arena/Ford, 438

HiQ Teams’ Points:
1. Honda Racing Team, 464
2. Silverline Chevrolet, 295
3. 888 Racing with Collins Contractors, 193
4. Team Aon, 192
5. Airwaves Racing, 183
6. WSR, 156

Independent Drivers’ Points:
1. James Nash, 268
2. Mat Jackson, 236
3. Andrew Jordan, 209
4. Tom Chilton, 197
5. Robert Collard, 157
6. Paul O’Neill, 147

Independent Teams’ Points:
1. 888 Racing with Collins Contractors, 293
2. Airwaves Racing, 262
3. Team Aon, 250
4. Pirtek Racing, 225
5. WSR, 218
6. with tech-speed, 177

*All points remain provisional