Synchro Motorsport and Team K Rejser confirmed for 24H Endurance Series

Swindon based Honda  team Synchro Motorsport and Team K Rejser are the  latest Teams announced for the Creventic 24 H  Endurance Series.

 

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Synchro Motorsport Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Synchro Motorsport will compete in 2 rounds of the series in their Honda Civic Type R. The team who most recently won the Mission Motorsport Race of Remembrance at Anglesey in November, is made up entirely of Honda factory employee volunteers.

 

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Team K Rejser Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Also announced Danish squad Team K Resjer/ Eva Solo will compete in most rounds in their Peugeot RCZ.

 

Allison Remzi                                                          Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

 

Massa set for return to Williams & Bottas to sign with Mercedes

Although no official announcement as yet, plans are said to be close to completion for Felipe Massa to return to Williams, leaving the way open for Valtteri Bottas to join Mercedes.

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Valterri Bottas Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Massa has allegedly agreed to postpone his retirement for a year, allowing  Bottas to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes following Nico Rosbergs shock retirement announcement earlier this month.

Bottas was apparently Mercedes boss Tito Wolffs first choice with Williams only agreeing to release him if an experienced replacement could be found.

Williams have also signed 18 yr old Canadian Lance Stroll, the Formula 3 European Champion will be the youngest driver on the F1 grid in 2017.

 

Allison Remzi                  Photos ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

A Brief History Of The Darrian

A car that caught my attention at Rockingham Stages Rally was the Darrian T9 GTR driven by Bruce Edwards.  The Darrian can trace its history back to 1965 when Davrian Developments manufactured the Davrian, a kit car powered by an Imp engine used successfully in racing and rally driving.  This success continued throughout the 1970’s with the winning combination of competitive pricing and considered engineering. By the early 80’s the engine mounts were being adapted to allow for other makes of engines and the small company produced one chassis a week.

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Darrian T9 GTR Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

However by 1983 Davrian Developments, having made an attempt at high volume production, had gone into receivership and the assets bought out by Will Corry an Irish racing driver who formed the Corry Car Company.  With the aim of producing a low cost, adaptable car for on or off road competition, the Corry Cultra was produced, but only a handful were ever manufactured.

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Darrian T90 Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

Meanwhile Tim Duffee an employee of Davrian was continuing in the factory in Wales to produce spare parts and service the existing  Davrians. By 1985 a brand new car, the Darrian T9 was under production by Duffee.  Manufactured as a lighter weight, mid engined car carrying a Ford BDA engine, the car was extensively tested and headed into it’s maiden event, the Eppynt Stages Rally.  Team Duffee Engineering instantly made their mark with driver Geoff Kitney winning the event.

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Darrian T9 GTR Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

The T9 was also to be found running successfully on race circuits as well as in rallys. By 1990 the T9 was to be replaced by the T90. Robin Herd of March Engineering had some ideas for improved aerodynamics and handling, and went on to fund the necessary tooling also getting his own T9 converted at the same time. The Darrian took several Championships that year including the Motoring News Championship, Welsh Tarmac Championship and the South of England Tarmac Championship.

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Darrian T90 Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

By 1992, Swansea Institute had bought a T90 with the aim to develop the students on the Higher National Diploma in Automotive Engineering course to enter the Welsh Drivers’ Championship. This being seen as an excellent way of fostering relationships with Wales leading, competitive car manufacturer. Following this alliance and a trip to Le Mans in 1995, an idea was formed to enter the National GT Championship.  Duffee contacted successful Scottish Sportscar Champion Ken Thomson  inviting him to come on board  and Swansea Institute Team Darrian was formed. By 1996 the team had won the National GT Championship first time out. The team also went on that year to be recipients of a special award by the Motorsport Industry Association(MIA)

 

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Darrian T90 Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

 

The Swansea Institute’s alliance with Darrian was instrumental in the development of the first Motor Sport Engineering degree course.  The Swansea Institute is now the University of Wales Trinity St David and presently runs a highly prestigious  Automotive, Motorcycle and Motorsport Engineering course. Tim Duffee has now been made a Fellow of the UOW TSD

The Darrian T90 GTR+ continues to be produced today, highly regarded and consistently achieving  great results in all areas of motorsports it is found to be competing in.

 Allison Remzi with thanks to Tim Duffee    
 Header image ©FinishLineSports.net

Audi wins Sepang 12 Hours

Laurens Vanthoor completed his final outing with Audi Sports Team Phoenix by taking the title in Sepang despite difficult, wet conditions.

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Audi at Gt Open, Silverstone ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Vanthoor who joins Porsche next season, took a comfortable lead with team mates Christopher Haase and Robin Frijns, almost two laps ahead of the Porsche #911 driven by Earl Bamber which came in second.  Audi’s sister car helmed by Pierre Kaffer, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock took 3rd place.

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Audi at Gt Open, Silverstone ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Vanthoor’s win also secures him the Intercontinental GT Challenge Championship. Introduced by SRO Motorsports Group this year, it is the first ever global GT3 Series comprising The Bathurst 12 Hours, 24 Hours of Spa and Sepang 12 Hours.

 

Allison Remzi                           Header Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick

MSN Rally Championship-Rockingham round

It was a full on 2 days of circuit rally action at a bitterly cold Rockingham Speedway this weekend, for the 3rd round of the MSN Rally Championship. The stars of the show were Rhys Yates & co-driver Tom Woodburn in their Ford Fiesta R5. The pair took all but one of the 12 stages, conceding to James Giddings and Dan Johnson in their Citroen C2 GT in the 11th stage.  But no one could do enough to keep the rising Chesterfield star off of the top spot by the end of day two. A first overall win for Yates, topping off a year which saw him finish 32nd in his debut entry in the World Rally Championship.

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Rhys Yates Photo © FinishLineSports.net

Taking  2nd place were Bruce Edwards & Jim Smith in their Darrian T9 GTR. The duo consistently pushed all weekend, rarely out of the top few positions across the stages and improving on the previous two rounds at Oulton and Cadwell Park. At the end of the round Edwards is now 4th in the drivers Championship.

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Bruce Edwards & Jim Smith’s Darrian Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

Behind them in 3rd across this weekends stages with just an overall 18 second gap were Alan Kirkaldy and Cameron Fair in their Ford Escort Mk2.

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Alan Kirkaldy & Cameron Fair © FinishLineSports.net

This now leaves Paul Swift who finished overall 5th in the Rockingham round, at the top of the Championship leader board. The Championship resumes at Brands Hatch in January with the final round at Cadwell Park in April.

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Paul Swift currently leading the championship Photo ©FinishLineSports.net

 

 

Allison Remzi           Header photo ©FinishLineSports.net

 

Rosbergs shock retirement announcement

Nico Rosberg announced today his intention to retire from Formula 1, the World Champion released a surprise statement in which he said he knew that the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday could have been the end of his F1 career; “On Sunday morning in Abu Dhabi, I knew that it could be my last race and that feeling cleared my head before the start. I wanted to enjoy every part of the experience, knowing it might be the last time… and then the lights went out and I had the most intense 55 laps of my life.”

He also said that he began to consider the decision after his win at the Japanese Grand Prix; “When I won the race in Suzuka, from the moment when the destiny of the title was in my own hands, the big pressure started and I began to think about ending my racing career if I became World Champion.”

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Nico Rosberg ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Rosberg acknowledged that the decision was tough in regard to his Mercedes team: “The only thing that makes this decision in any way difficult for me is because I am putting my racing family into a tough situation. But Toto understood. He knew straight away that I was completely convinced and that reassured me. My proudest achievement in racing will always be to have won the world championship with this incredible team of people, the Silver Arrows.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the decision had been a complete surprise, Mercedes would be considering their options and that Rosberg would be hard to replace.

 

Allison Remzi                         Header Photo ©Andy Fitzpatrick 

 

Métisse, a British Icon

Métisse is a motorcycle brand synonymous with British cool, it continues to command a loyal following almost 60 years after the first Métisse, the Mk1, was manufactured in 1959.

The company was set up by brothers Derek and Don Rickman who came from a motorcycle background, their father being a speedway rider who also ran a garage. The brothers began their motorcycling careers riding in trials before turning to scrambling then motorcross where they both competed successfully.  During that time they realised they needed to ride lighter machines so began adapting BSA models to their requirements, eventually producing their own frame with a Matchless or Triumph engine. In fact the name Métisse comes from the French for cross breed or blended.

By virtue of the fact the brothers raced the motorcycles, they learned to adapt their designs to the needs of the sport. The lightweight machine becoming  quickly highly sought after with the majority being shipped to America.

The Steve McQueen Desert Racer replica. Motorcycle Live 2016 ©Allison Remzi
The Steve McQueen Desert Racer replica. Motorcycle Live 2016 ©Allison Remzi

The most famous exponent of the Métisse was Steve McQueen who raced a MK3 frame with a Triumph TR6 engine. In fact McQueen himself said of the bike; ‘This is the best handling rig I’ve ever owned’.

The Steve McQueen Desert Racer replica. Motorcycle Live 2016 ©Allison Remzi
The Steve McQueen Desert Racer replica. Motorcycle Live 2016 ©Allison Remzi

Métisse recently featured in a TV documentary about Steve McQueen and his motorcycles, on the back of which, saw 30 of the 300 limited edition Steve McQueen Desert Racer replica bikes quickly sold. The company commented that they can’t build the bikes fast enough, with Japan accounting for a lot of their sales. Renown for their craftmanship and iconic looks Métisse motorcycles continue to attract enthusiasts around the world.

Allison Remzi