Friday, 26 October 2012

Ebay Motors Milk float breaks world record

        EBAY MOTORS MILK FLOAT BREAKS WORLD RECORD

eBay Motors Mechanics Challenge culminates with Guinness World Record for the fastest milk float

LONDON: Thursday, 25th October 2012 - The eBay Motors Mechanics Challenge has broken the Guinness World Record for the fastest milk float on earth as the vehicle reached speeds of 77.53 mph (124.78 kph) at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

The new record was set after eBay Motors challenged British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) star Tom Onslow-Cole and TV motoring expert Edd China to transform an electric milk float into a high performance speed machine using only parts and accessories purchased on eBay Motors, the UK’s leading online automotive marketplace.

Tom and Edd worked with the eBay Motors team of race engineers to develop the vehicle; this even included fitting a V8 engine from an old ambulance and a using a milk churn as a fuel tank. Throughout this project, BTCC fans and motoring enthusiasts had the opportunity to vote on which parts and accessories to incorporate into the milk float to improve its style and performance.

Tom Onslow-Cole, eBay Motors driver, said: “The eBay Motors Mechanics Challenge has been an amazing journey and I’m delighted that we have broken the Guinness World Record for the fastest milk float. The team mechanics and Edd China put in a sterling effort to create a milk float that looks as slick as this and has the performance necessary to break the record.”

Andrew Hooks, Head of eBay Motors, said: “It is fantastic that the eBay Motors Mechanics challenge has beaten the World Record for the fastest milk float and great to see the reaction from our customers, many of whom not only keenly followed the project, but also chose the winning parts.  Tom Onslow-Cole did a fantastic job driving the record-breaking milk float and I’m sure people will enjoy watching the float being put through its paces in the stunt videos on our website.”

Edd China, eBay Motors blogger and host of Wheeler Dealers, said: “It’s been brilliant working with the amazing engineers at WSR on this project. With their support our humble milk float is now almost a fully-fledged racing car! I’d like to thank all the fans for their input on what eBay Motors parts and accessories we used to build the milk float during the Mechanics Challenge, they clearly know their stuff!”
Fans at the final BTCC round of the 2012 season were lucky enough to see the float in action as it made its way around the Brands Hatch GP circuit on Sunday. For further information, exclusive videos and imagery of the eBay Motors Mechanics Challenge and all other BTCC activity go to www.ebaymotorsbtcc.co.uk and follow the action here @eBayMotorsBTCC.


Watch it on :
http://www.youtube.com/embed/tMGgxa3Mn94

Kartforce

1st KARTFORCE CHALLENGE CUP
SAT 20th OCT - LLANDOW
This weekend was a major milestone for KartForce.
The RAFMSA, together with the support of Silver Fox Karting and South Wales Karting Centre at Llandow organised this event to raise funds for us, the RAFBF and ABF. As it was such a huge success, this will become an annual event that will be the final race of the annual Inter Services Karting Championships.
It was an excellent day – fantastic sunshine and nose-to-nose racing. We entered 2 teams and even after several enforced stops due to mechanical problems, the lads came 12th and 18th.
However, this was only part of what made this weekend so special. Ken Denscombe and Colin Lipscomb, owners of SilverFoxKarting had a surprise for us. We’ve raced against SilverFoxKarting a few times this year and they were so impressed by the lads determination and performance on the track that they decided to build us a brand new racing kart. This was supported by funds donated by Blewin Dolphin, who also entered a team and raced against us.
Many other companies contributed towards this kart so we have a long list of people to thank. Please see all the contributors on the image below.
This weekend was one we will remember for a long time. It means so much to get all this support and encouragement from so many people. The truth is, the lads don’t truly appreciate how much they’ve achieved in such a short amount of time, with very limited equipment and funding. So when we’re bombarded with all this sort of support it’s hard for to sink in that’s this is everyone’s way of showing their admiration and respect.
It’s moments like this that make us overflow with pride to be British. From all of us at KartForce, “Thank you!”

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Silverstone GT3 Cup Challenge race coverage on-line

                                                               Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB

Silverstone GT3 Cup Challenge race coverage on-line
The final race reports from the 2012 season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB are now on-line and can be watched via Porsche’s massively popular YouTube channel.

Two films cover the story of rounds 11 and 12 of the season at Silverstone as the season came to a conclusion in front of the 30,000 BTCC crowd. The weekend featured victories for Justin Sherwood and James Birch as well as some great battles in the pack. Victory in the final race of the season underlined Birch’s title success. Once again, the programme is already attracting very encouraging viewing figures.

The Silverstone race reports can be watched on YouTube at:

Round 11: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PQFPNrqv74

Round 12: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEfxpr1MHyI
 

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Mull Rally : Leg 1 Report


THE TUNNOCK'S MULL RALLY got underway in some of the wettest, soggiest, slippery conditions in its 43-year history. How bad were conditions? Well when Dervaig's Calum Duffy opted to start the rally on four wet tyres for the first time ever, you realise conditions must have been pretty treacherous (see photos from the Tunnock's Mull Rally).
But even before the rally started, there were disappointed faces in the field.
Car 70, the Vauxhall Nova of John Paterson (Salen) and Lee Paterson Proud (Dervaig) suffered a broken camshaft on the way to scrutineering and failed to start.
Then Car 42, the Ford FiestaST of Luke Pinder (Shipley) and Martin Taylor, burst its power steering on way to the start. At one stage it looked as though they might be able to carry out repairs and take their place on the start, but they couldn't get the parts.
Duffy though, co-driven by Iain Duffy, threw down the gauntlet right from the start, opening up a 12-second lead on the BMW Mini of Daniel Harper (Nelson) and the Ford Fiesta ST of Iain MacKenzie (Dervaig).
"Very slippery out there: probably some of the worst conditions I've rallied in," Duffy said at first service. "Glad we softened up the suspension before we started. Our front tyres had a bit of grip, but the rears we just couldn't get enough heat into them. We obviously need to soften the rear suspension, so we'll be faster next stage.
"It's very easy to go off tonight: stages are very slippery. We'll get through the next few shortish stages, then make another big push over the closing two long stages tonight."
But while all went according to plan for pre-event favourite and six-time winner Duffy, it was a nightmare opening 100-metres for rival James MacGillivary.
The Mull driver, seeded No2, ground to a halt in his MkII at Post 1 on the opening stage with fuel and electrical problems: and with it evaporated any chance of winning the rally.
MacGillivary eventually managed to identify the problem and restart, but by that time he'd dropped just under six minutes. Ironically, the car then proceeded to run faultlessly for the rest of the night. Typical Mull!
Duffy continued to set the pace through the next stage, the 14-and-a-half miler at Hill Road, though by now Tony Bardy had found his feet in his Nissan Sunny GTi-R. The Richmond driver was just 2.0secs off the pace and eased himself into second overall.
Bardy then took 8secs out of Duffy on the two circuits of Bunessan, and the gap at the top was down to 12s. It had closed to 7s by the time they exited the to blasts round the 2.62-miles at Ardtun.
At this stage the two drivers were so well matched that they set identical times of 4mins 13secs on SS6, the 4.63-miles at Loch Scridian. Duffy though was about to light the blue touchpaper.
Fastest again through the eight-miler at Gribun Rocks, where Lewis Gallagher was second-fastest in his Subaru and Bardy dropped 10s, it was the night's final test at Calgary Bay where Duffy stamped his authority.
The Ford driver finished 38s ahead of the field, with Mull's WRC Academy contender John MacCrone finishing second in his Ford Fiesta. Significantly, Bardy dropped 1min 34secs, though he was perfectly content with his night's work: "We're taking no risks and just not overdriving the car," he said.
That left the Duffy leading Bardy by 1:51s overnight. All the more impressive given he'd run through Gribun on dipped lights. The headlights hadn't been charging properly due to the alternator hanging off because a bracket had broken. How did the crew fix the problem?
"The Boys fixed it with a tree-felling wedge to tension the alternator pulley, tied in with a bit of fence wire and held in place with tie-wraps,” Duffy explained.

Tunnock's Mull Rally — End of Leg 1 of 3 (Overall Top 10 after SS9 of 17):
1. Calum Duffy 59.37;
2. Tony Bardy +1min 51secs;
3. John MacCrone +2.01s;
4. Daniel Harper +2.10s;
5. Jonathan Mounsey +2.34s;
6. Lewis Gallagher +3.01s;
7. Eddie O'Donnell jnr +3.49s;
8. John Cope +3.57s;
9. Tristan Pye +4.10s
10. Billy Bird +4.55s.

MacCrone starts today just 10s behind Bardy, and 9s ahead of fourth-placed Harper. Jonathan Mounsey (Settle) was fifth in his Mitsubishi Evo XI, 24s behind Harper, with Lewis Gallagher's Subaru sixth. The Tobermory driver starts today just 27s adrift of Mounsey.
Top 10 was rounded out by seventh-placed Eddie O'Donnell's Ford Escort RS, 8s ahead of the Subarus of John Cope (Walshaw) and Tristan Pye (Bishop Auckland) Billy Bird's Vauxhall Chevette holds 10th.
In the Classes, MacCrone holds healthy lead of almost 3mins in Class B ahead of the Honda Civic of Ian Chadwick. Class C though is shaping up to be a tight battle, with the Opel Manta of Graham Wilcock 15s ahead of the Peugeot of Huddersfield's Matt Tarbutt. He in turn holds a 37s advantage over the Ford Escort MkII of Ellon's Doug Weir. Kircudbright's Stephen Thompson leads Class A behind the wheel of his Vauxhall Nova.
In the Historics, Northallerton's Andrew Smith leads H5 in his Ford Escort MkII, with John Marshall (Dunblane) ahead in H4 piloting his Escort. The lead in H3 is held by Jim McDowall's Hillman Avenger.

ON THE ROCKS
The Peugeot 205GTi (Car 69) of Nantwich duo, Andrew Woodward and Tom Bowen, ended up stranded on rocks after it went off on SS8 at Gribun. The medics and midpoint rescue crew attended the incident and both competitors were taken out of the stage uninjured.
Subsequently Car 68 — the Citroen C2 R2 of Yorkshire crew Richard Sykes and Simon Taylor — was reported 'missing'. As a result of the rescue crew from the start of the stage being sent in to 'find them', a decision was taken to run the remaining 25 cars through 'uncompetitively'.
"We had huge numbers of spectators standing waiting to see the action at Smithy Corner and Dervaig," Clerk of the Course Iain Campbell explained, "and as it was looking like the gap would be up to around 35 mints, we didn't want to leave them standing in the pouring rain with no action to watch."

STAR ATTRACTION
There's at least one 'celebrity' on Mull this weekend. Roy Pilkington was marshalling on Bunessan last night, and will be on the Long One this evening. He has though been getting chased by autograph hunters. Why? Because he's one of the guys filmed in Eddie Stobart Truck & Trailers. Aye, the stars are all here!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Stirling Moss back on the starting grid. In London to Brighton


                                      Racing driver Sir Stirling Moss to take part in London to
                                                 Brighton Veteran Car Run Legendary

British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss OBE FIE and Lady Moss will take part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, on Sunday 4 November, as passengers alongside Mr and Mrs Chris Jaques, Forest Row, East Sussex.
The 83-year-old Sir Stirling is widely recognised as the greatest all-round racing driver in the history of motor sport. He continues to travel the world fulfilling appearance and promotional engagements as well as demonstrating historic racingcars. The annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is hosted by the Royal Automobile Club and is the world's oldest motoring event.
Speaking about the forthcoming ride, Sir Stirling said: "Everybody leads such a hectic life these days that it's nice to relax the pace every so often. My wife and I are very much looking forward to a gentle trip down to Brighton at no more than 20 miles an hour! However, even at that moderate pace it still takes a lot of skill and concentration to steer one of these old cars to the finish. At least there will be little chance of my being stopped by a police officer and asked: 'Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?'"
Chris Jaques will be driving a 1903 Panhard Levassor which he acquired in 1973 from the son of the original owner, the Compte de Blanchard of Rambures, near Abbeville in France. It had been laid up since 1926 but Chris had it running  again within 24 hours. The Jaques have completed around 35 London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs and only broken down once. A few years ago, the car won the prestigious Regent Street concours event which always precedes the run to Brighton.Chris Jaques says:

"Nowadays the interest in these early cars is much higher than it was when we first took part,
although there were quite large crowds even then. Although the start is early on the Sunday morning there is a wonderful atmosphere in Hyde Park with all the old engines firing up and creating a haze of exhaust smoke."

One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, this year's London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will feature a maximum entry of 500 pre-1905 vehicles making their way from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive, Brighton. The event is part of a weekend Celebration of Motoring that includes the RAC Future Car Challenge (for low energy use vehicles) and the Regent Street Motor Show (celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring).

Champion Sykes takes on Mull Rally challenge

                                            Champion Sykes takes on Mull Rally challenge


2012 BRC Challenge champion Richard Sykes will finish his rally season next weekend with the notoriously tough Mull Rally in Scotland.

Sykes completed his BRC Challenge season at the end of last month on the Trackrod Challenge rally. Despite a traumatic first stage in the dark of Dalby forest which saw him lose over 12 minutes to the leaders after first hitting a log and then getting stuck in a ditch Sykes battled back with quick times on the rest of the stages to finish second in class in his Bathams Brewery, G I Sykes Ltd, Boroughbridge Marina and Silverstone Tyres-supported Citro├źn C2 R2 Max.

“The first stage on the Trackrod was a disaster,” said Sykes. “We were first car on the road and we hit a log that was propping up a direction arrow. The log got wedged under the car and we dragged it down the stage for around four miles. It only got dislodged when we threw the car sideways on a corner.”

“Further on in the stage we went off the road and into a ditch. Fortunately a group of spectators were on hand to extract the car but we lost a lot a time and were right at the back of the leaderboard.”
“I drove as hard as I could for the rest of the event although the exhaust cat had got flattened by the log so the engine was at least 30bhp down on power. I was pleased to still finish runner-up in the class despite our problems although I would’ve liked to end our championship winning season with a another victory.”
After the forests of Yorkshire it is back to tarmac for the Mull Rally, the event being held on the closed public roads of the Isle of Mull. Sykes contested the event in 2010 and did well to finish after an opening stage off. He is hoping for a good result this year.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the 2010 event, the Mull Rally is a huge challenge as most of the competitive mileage is at night. The roads are very narrow and twisty with a lot of jumps to catch out crews. It’s a real achievement to get a finish there and hopefully we will achieve that.”
The Mull Rally starts on Friday night from Tobermory with the crew competing right through to the early hours of Sunday morning.

Best rally in the world

            'BEST RALLY IN THE WORLD', THE TUNNOCK'S MULL RALLY, PREVIEW

Often labelled the "Best Rally in the World", the Tunnock's Mull Rally — the most intense, fastest and demanding Tarmac event in the country — roars into action for the 43rd time this evening (Fri).
As the late autumn darkness closes in on the island, the 120 crews head out into the first of 17 stages and 153 miles of high speed, all-out action over three days and nights.
Winner 12 months ago, Paul MacKinnon is sitting this year's event out, so local drivers Calum and Iain Duffy will once again, be the guys to beat.

But while the six-time winning Dervaig duo will again pilot their 2.5-litre Ford Escort MkII, they face stiff competition from another MkII Escort in the hands of previous winner, James MacGillivray
Both Mull drivers will be put under pressure by the Subaru Impreza WRC of John Cope. But such is the challenge Cope faces, that the Yorkshire driver will be bidding to become the first non-islander to win the Tunnock's Mull Rally since 2002.
And 2002 winner, Daniel Harper, piloting his Mini Cooper, will throw everything he can at the event in an effort to win 10 years after his last victory on the unforgiving Mull roads.
Such is the strength in depth of the Scots competition though, that Harper and Cope might do well to even finish on the podium.

While islander Lewis Gallagher from Tobermory, who finished seventh last year, will be on the pace again in his Subaru Impreza, Biggar's Alan Gardiner, co-driven by Robin Nicolson (Largs) will mount a challenge in their Ford Escort MkI. And there's no denying many of the eyes will be on the Rally Team Scotland Ford Fiesta of John MacCrone.

The 22-year-old Mull ace, backed by Palletforce and Tunnock's, and co-driven by Glasgow's Stuart Loudon, have dashed back from the latest round of the WRC Academy in France to contest the rally.
"I wouldn't miss it for the world," MacCrone, who finished on the podium in France, his second successive WRC Academy top-three result, said. "It's the event which fuelled my desire to become a rally driver.
"People keep asking me how good the Tunnock's Mull Rally actually is? I believe the stages are good enough, tough enough and fast enough to be an IRC, even a WRC event. That's how good it is."
This year's event, which largely follows the figure of eight route which formed the basis of Brian Molyneux’s brainchild back in 1969, includes a number of lengthy stages. In fact, almost a third of the stages are over 14-miles long.

With the official start in Tobermory this evening (Fri), the Tunnock's Mull Rally finishes — at the end of the traditional final stage, the Long One — with a new floodlit Stop Line in the middle of Dervaig, around 1.30am on Sunday.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Birch celebrates Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB title




                                     Birch celebrates Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB title

James Birch sealed the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge GB title during the final race weekend at Silverstone (6/7 October) and is already aiming to graduate into the Carrera Cup GB in 2013.

Birch won six times in 12 races and was on the podium in five of the other six races in a season when he raced with both IN2 Racing and GT Marques. The 22-year old racer from Amersham made a huge effort even to get to Silverstone as the final two races came during a four-week training course in India with his employer. He flew to the UK from Bangalore on Friday and then had to hastily re-arrange his return – planned for Sunday afternoon – when the race timetable was changed due to fog early in the day.

“I’m absolutely over the moon and so, so happy,” said Birch. “I’m still a bit lost for words to be honest. It’s sunk in a bit but not properly yet, I’ve just had a really enjoyable weekend. Massive thanks to GT Marques for a great weekend of racing.”
For Birch and the rest of the GT3 Cup Challenge drivers, the season finale on the BTCC programme was a real highlight of the year. “Winning the final race at Silverstone was fantastic,” he said. “It was brilliant coming round Luffield on the last lap and seeing myself on the big screen: that was a really enjoyable moment. I’ve never driven in front of so many people before so it was a great experience as well.”

Now, Birch will turn his focus towards plans for next season. “For 2013 we’re looking to move into Carrera Cup. Obviously that’s going to be dependent on funds but hopefully off the back of this weekend we might get some more sponsorship opportunities. Carrera Cup is the logical step for us and that’s the reason we did the GT3 Cup in the first place as a feeder. The Carrera Cup is certainly the route I want to go down.”

Ahmad Al Harthy wins Pro-Am1 Porsche Carrera Cup title in round 18

Al Harthy celebrates Porsche Carrera Cup GB Pro-Am1 title

              Ahmad Al Harthy wins Pro-Am1 title in round 18

Al Harthy becomes the first Omani to win at this level
Al Harthy scores 12 wins and a further four podiums in 18 races
 
Ahmad Al Harthy clinched the Pro-Am1 title in the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion during round 18 at Silverstone yesterday (Sunday, 7 October). Oman-based Al Harthy has driven a superb campaign and richly deserved his title with two races still to run at Brands Hatch on 21 October.

“We dreamed about ending it this way and finally I’m a champion and that feels really great,” he said after climbing down from the podium. “It has been three years of hard work to get to this point. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m sure it will on the flight back home. I’m so excited about this.”

Al Harthy is a very popular member of the Carrera Cup grid, having joined the series in 2010. He commutes from his home in Oman for each race weekend and works hard to promote his home country and his sponsors.

“I must say a massive thanks to the guys from Redline Racing, who are behind the Oman Air Racing Team car: they’re the best in the business,” he said. “I love Silverstone and to be able to get two wins this weekend was exactly what we wanted and to wrap-up the championship with a dominant win is something very special. It’s also a very proud moment for me to be the first Omani and the first Arab driver to win a title like this in such a prestigious series.” 

Scott Malvern wins 2012 Formula Renault BARC Championship title


      
          
SCOTT MALVERN WINS 2012 FORMULA RENAULT BARC CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE


Scott Malvern (Barkingside, Ilford) is the 2012 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Champion after a
controlled and assured run to second place in the final round of the season at Silverstone on Sunday,
7th October – his second national single-seater title in as many years.
Marking the Cullen Motorsport driver’s 11th podium of the campaign, his first in ‘slicks and wings’
competition, he also wrapped-up the championship in style by setting the fastest lap of the race with a
new Protyre Formula Renault BARC lap record of 56.302 seconds (104.88mph).
Going into the last round – which was screened live on ITV4 and ITV4 HD – with a lead of 11 points
over sole title rival Josh Webster (Stowmarket, Suffolk), Malvern surged from fourth on the grid into
second by the first corner and never looked back. Webster, meanwhile, endured dire misfortune
through no fault of his own and, as in 2011, concludes the season as Vice-Champion.
Seb Morris (Marford, Wrexham) continued his excellent return to form and added his second victory
of the weekend with a lights-to-flag success from pole position. Joining Webster with five wins for the
year, the 16-year-old was able to end his rookie single-seater season third in the points.
“Absolutely fantastic”, said an ecstatic Malvern, “I would have loved to win the race, I had a really
good go but I didn’t want to take too many risks as I knew Josh [Webster] was further behind. I had a few nibbles at Seb [Morris] near the start but then just settled into it after that really.
“It’s fantastic to win the BARC Renault title in my first year, especially off the back of winning Formula Ford last year. I haven’t won the most races but we’ve been consistent and I’ve taken the biggest number of fastest laps so it proves our pace. What happens next, who knows...it’s all down to budget and could be anything!”
Biggest ever grid provides terrific Silverstone spectacle The packed 32-car grid, the biggest in the history of the championship and the largest Formula Renault entry in the UK for a number of years, proved a fantastic advertisement for the increasingly popular, and cost-effective, Protyre Formula Renault BARC series on its return to the British Touring Car Championship package. While Morris and Malvern ran in close company throughout, taking the chequered flag on lap 21 split by just 0.7 seconds, further behind Webster tried his level best to overturn a disappointing seventh place on the grid into a potential podium challenge at the very least.
Moving into sixth place on lap one, Webster had a good opportunity to try and make further gains
following an early Safety Car period but on the second lap of the re-start he was forced to take
dramatic avoiding action at Brooklands – pitching his car into a spin – when Chris Middlehurst (St.
Helens) tangled with the rear of the Scorpio car of Macaulay Walsh (Northampton).
Wrecking Webster’s already slim championship chances, the 2012 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
finalist did recover back onto the track, albeit at the tail of the top 20, but mounted a tremendous
fightback in his MGR Motorsport FR 2.0 to finish in a hard-fought 13th place – not what he deserved.

“It has been a good year on the whole, we’ve got equal race wins with Seb [Morris] after his fantastic weekend here and there are some positives to take away”, said Webster, “Racing is harsh sometimes though, I said exactly the same thing this time last year! We did make some good overtaking manoeuvres after going off the track but I was never going to win the championship.
“We went out fighting but now I’m just looking forward and I can’t wait for the finals of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, that’s something to aim for. I’m a bit sad to see my Formula Renault BARC days end like this, it would have been good to go out on a win, but qualifying put me in the bad part of the race and when [Chris] Middlehurst and [Macaulay] Walsh clashed that was curtains for me.”
Double race winner Morris, who will graduate to the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup
next weekend during its final round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, acknowledged the strength of
Protyre Formula Renault BARC.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend, to take two poles and the two wins is the perfect way to round-off the
championship and to end the year top three in my first season is incredible”, said the Fortec driver, “If you can win races in BARC Renault I think it shows you can win in anything as it’s so tight. To beat a guy like Scott Malvern makes me feel really proud.”
Hillspeed’s Kieran Vernon (West Chiltington, West Sussex) made a welcome return to the podium
with third place, ending the season just seven points shy of the top four despite missing the opening
three rounds of the championship.
Starting second on the grid, Vernon slipped to third behind Malvern off the line before being bundled
back to fifth prior to the first Safety Car. He then profited from the Middlehurst/Walsh incident to move
back into the podium placings and fended off Russian driver Ivan Taranov, enjoying a career-best
performance on his first weekend with Scorpio Motorsport, during the closing stages.
MGR’s David Wagner (Glasgow) finished fifth, securing fourth in the championship, with returnee
Jack Dex (Daventry) matching his opening-round best of sixth for SWB Motorsport. Walsh, despite
failing to score, rounded out the top six in the championship after a strong maiden season.
Reflecting on his podium return, Vernon said:

“We’ve been coming into every race this year on the backfoot as we don’t go testing, we haven’t had the budget to do that. To qualify second and finish third is a huge achievement for me and Hillspeed, I’m massively proud of all the boys who have been great and a big thank you to all the people who have sponsored and donated to get me out here.”
Although the 2012 championship is now concluded, Protyre Formula Renault BARC will be back in
action just a fortnight from now, over the weekend 20th/21st October, at Brands Hatch Grand Prix
Circuit in Kent for the opening two rounds of the Winter Series.

The title race goes to the line after Silverstone suprises

                                

                                  PLATO & JACKSON SHARE WINS AT SILVERSTONE TO
                                   SET UP FOUR-WAY BRANDS HATCH TITLE-DECIDER

Jason Plato, with two wins, and Mat Jackson shared the victories in three astonishing Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races in front of a mammoth 30,000 crowd at the Silverstone circuit in Northamptonshire today. Ultimately four drivers – Gordon Shedden, Plato, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan – will go into the 2012 season’s final three races, on Brands Hatch’s legendary Grand Prix circuit in a fortnight (20/21 October), with a chance of being crowned Champion of Britain’s premier motor racing series.

After achieving his fifth pole position of the year – also his third in a row – with a qualifying lap record on Saturday, Oxford’s Plato went on to win today’s first race in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6, but only after Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus cruelly retired from the lead with just a few laps to go.

Finishing second and third were Inverness’s Dave Newsham in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and, with his first podium result, Jackson’s team-mate Aron Smith from Dublin. Fife’s Shedden took seventh in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civic but Worcestershire team-mate Neal and Lichfield’s Jordan, in his Pirtek Racing Civic, both retired.

Warwickshire's Jackson then won race two ahead of Hook’s Robert Collard (eBay Motors BMW) and Newsham with a quite incredible drive from 17th on the grid, this time after Plato retired from the lead. Jackson also set a new race lap record as he notched up the first victory for his squad’s NGTC-spec Focus. Shedden was again seventh with Jordan ninth while Neal suffered another retirement when his car spectacularly caught fire.

It was then Plato’s turn to wow the crowds as he came through from 20th to win race three ahead of Jackson and Collard. Shedden was sixth and Jordan seventh but, almost unbelievably, reigning Champion Neal retired again, this time after being forced off the track into a barrier.


As a result, Shedden still leads the table by 15 points from Plato who has moved past Neal into second overall. Neal is 31 behind Shedden and Jordan 61 adrift with a possible maximum of 67 still available from ‘Finals Day’.

An ecstatic Plato commented: “Despite the retirement in race two this is still one of the best days in my BTCC career. We’ve made more progress with our MG6 – in fact it’s a rocketship – and our tails are well and truly in the air. For MG to go into the final round with a chance of lifting the title in its first year back in the championship is fantastic and I really believe we’ve got the Honda boys worried.”

Shedden, from Dalgety Bay and who is aiming to become Scotland's first BTCC Champion since John Cleland in 1995, said: “We knew this was going to be our bogey circuit so today was about picking up what crumbs we could – I don’t think we could have wrung any more out of the car. I expect us to be fully back on song at Brands Hatch which has got lots of high-speed corners where our Civic comes into its own. I’d take points in the bag any day and I’m feeling good about our chances.”

Neal added: “Today has been a shocker but I’m not out of it yet – there are still a lot of points to be won at Brands and I’ll be going there with all guns blazing. Jason’s MG will be strong there and our main objective is to get a Honda over the line in first. Gordon is obviously better placed to do that so is the priority…”

Jordan will also go to Brands still with a healthy lead in the Independent Drivers Championship, although can still be caught by Collard, Jackson and eBay Motors’ Tom Onslow-Cole. He admitted: “Let’s be realistic. There’s no way the outright championship is possible so my focus will be to stay ahead of my Independent rivals. Rob has effectively halved the gap to 28 points but there are only 60 left at Brands and our car will be much stronger there.”

Jackson was delighted with his results today which marked his return to the podium since Thruxton in April. “A win from 17th, a second and a new lap record in a car that is still only two months old and it could have been two wins… I couldn’t be happier for everyone in my team,” he said.

Elsewhere Honda/Dynamics is all but assured the coveted Manufacturers/Constructors title. Similarly the Honda Yuasa Racing Team is a red hot favourite to retain the outright HiQ Teams Championship although can still be caught by eBay Motors. But it will be a three-way fight for the Independent Teams Trophy at Brands between new leader eBay Motors, Pirtek Racing and Redstone Racing – just ten points cover the trio with a potential 60 up for grabs in the finale.

Meanwhile a number of drivers were punished today by BTCC officials for on-track indiscretions. Race 1: Andy Neate, fined £500 and three penalty points on his competition licence for an incident with Andrew Jordan; Tony Gilham, official reprimand and two penalty points for an incident during a safety car period; Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Liam Griffin. Race 3: Lea Wood, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Matt Neal; Rob Austin, excluded from the results and four penalty points for an incident with Daniel Welch; Frank Wrathall, fined £500 and three penalty points for an incident with Dave Newsham; Andrew Jordan, received a verbal warning for making contact with another car.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Plato storms to Silverstone Pole


PLATO ON POLE AT SILVERSTONE
AS HONDA RIVALS STRUGGLE
 
Jason Plato has taken pole position in this afternoon’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Silverstone as points leader Gordon Shedden struggled in a lowly 19th.
Oxford’s Plato took his fifth pole of the season – also his third in a row – with a best lap of 58.717s in his KX Momentum Racing MG6. That is a new BTCC qualifying lap record around Silverstone’s 1.64-mile National circuit.
Warwickshire’s Mat Jackson was second fastest in his Redstone Racing Ford Focus which had been repaired following a practice session prang and Lancashire’s Frank Wrathall third in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis.
Robert Collard’s eBay Motors BMW, Dave Newsham’s Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and Daniel Welch’s Welch Motorsport Proton Persona were next up to make it six different makes of car in the top six.
But the two championship leaders Shedden and Matt Neal in their factory Honda Yuasa Racing Team Honda Civics were in major trouble. Neal, the reigning Champion, was only tenth and Shedden a disastrous 19th on a circuit that both had already hinted would be difficult for them because of their car’s lack of straightline speed.
Fife’s Shedden will go into tomorrow’s three races three points ahead of Neal with Plato a further 29 back and a possible maximum of 67 available. Andrew Jordan, 11th in his Pirtek Racing Honda, Collard and his team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole who was eighth in qualifying plus Jackson all still have a chance of winning this year’s title as well.
Plato commented: “Gordon only 19th – that’s a shame, isn’t it? You shouldn’t wish ill on your rivals… but I do. Hopefully the conditions will stay dry for tomorrow because clearly we’re in great shape and a good points haul will really make this championship come alive for us. Things have a way of evening themselves out and maybe here it’s our turn after some bad luck.”
A dejected Shedden, from Dalegty Bay, added: “We knew this was going to be our bogey circuit but we didn’t expect it to be this bad – the pace simply isn’t there. As the championship leader I’ve also got to start the first race tomorrow carrying maximum success ballast in my car. The only positive from that session is that it’s over.”
Meanwhile Jackson was delighted with not only his best qualifying performance so far in 2012 but also the best yet for his squad’s new NGTC-spec Focus. He enthused: “It’s going really well this weekend despite the off earlier in practice. The gap to Jason is quite large when you look at how close it is behind but the Focus is the only other car to get into the 58-seconds bracket and we’re learning all the time. I’m feeling good about tomorrow.”
Wrathall, who turned 26 earlier in the week, said: “I’m delighted with third. It’s such a tight lap with each place decided by the tiniest fractions so it’s important we qualified well.”

Friday, 5 October 2012

Rally2Raise team driver Rachel Medich is go


Rally2Raise team driver Rachel Medich is all set to complete her first season in the driving seat of her DMACK and Clark Motorsport-supported Nissan Micra 1300 at next weekend’s Colin McRae Forest Stages rally.

Rachel, from Aberdeen, and co-driver Katherine Begg are looking to build on their excellent finish in the Merrick Stages rally in early September with another good performance on the Aberfeldy-based event which is the final round of the Scottish Rally Championship.

To support the Rally2Raise project the event organisers, Coltness Car Club, have given the crew an entry to the rally which will help the team raise awareness of their supported charitable causes.

“It is extremely generous of the club to donate an entry to us,” said Rachel. “It’s a rally I have rescued on many times and it is amazing that I will be competing this year.”

“We’ll be aiming to get to the finish as we did on the Merrick, I’m still learning about driving and Katherine has only done one full event on the notes so we’re still beginners. It looks like the route will be very challenging so we’ll be delighted to arrive at the finish in Aberfeldy.”


The rally starts on Saturday morning with the crews facing 45 miles of competition in the forests of Perthshire.

As well as competing the team will be at rally headquarters on Friday (5th October) selling the popular “McRae: Rallying’s Most Spectacular Icon” bookazine as well as tickets to for the Rally2Raise raffle which includes items signed by WRC drivers, a subscription to Motorsport News, DVDs, mugs, a motorsport caricature figurine and framed photographs amongst its prizes.