British GT season launch

The 25th season of the championship was launched at Snetterton  this week.  Among those returning to the series are TF Sport, Barwell Motorsport, Team Parker Racing and AMD Tuning.com.

The maximum capacity grid sees six manufacturers in GT3 including a single contesting Ferrari 488 alongside the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage, Lamborghini Huracan and Bentley Continental.  Meanwhile AMD Tuning.com and ABBA Rollcentre Racing move from BMW to the new Mercedes AMG.  IMG_5960The Ginetta dominated GT4’s ranks are joined by six McLaren 570S’ with the Aston Martin Vantage again appearing along with a single Porsche Cayman, Toyota and UltraTek Racing/Team RJN’s pair of Nissan 370Z’s.

Returning drivers include last year’s champions Derek Johnston and Jonny Adams, Rick Parfitt and Seb Morris and Anna Walewska who is now paired with Mike Simpson, backed again by Century Motorsport.  Walewska finished 7th in last year’s Championship and also won the Dubai 24 Hours SP3 class in 2016. She remains with the University of Bolton team for a third year. Mike Simpson has competed in the series the for the last six years most recently in GT3 with Tolman Motorsport.

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Anna Walewska
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Mike Simpson

Some of those making their debut in the Championship this year are Parker Chase; last year’s Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 GT4 Rookie of the Year, the 16 year old is paired with 20 year old Charlie Robertson who competed in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup last season. The GT3 duo are racing Century Motorsport‘s second Ginetta G55 in the Championship.

Another new addition to the Series is last year’s BTCC runner up Sam Tordoff. Co-driving with Liam Griffin in Barwell Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan, Tordoff has tested most recently in Barcelona adjusting to the rapid Huracan. He competed in the Dubai 24HR with HB Racing earlier this year in preparation for his British GT assault, but was unable to finish the race retiring after just 46 laps when the Huracan caught fire due to a damaged fuel line.

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Tordoff who is also competing in the Blancpain GT Series in one of Strakka Racings four cars looks forward to being able to race on European circuits, something he was unable to do while competing in BTCC. Tordoff confirmed late last year that he wouldn’t be returning to the popular series, more recently stating that he felt he had nowhere else to go within British Touring Cars having already achieved much of what was possible.

In the first of the days test sessions reigning champion Derek Johnston took pole in the TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage, with James Littlejohn of Macmillan AMR in second place just 0.019 of a second behind them and the Barwell Motorsports Lamborghini in third place.

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The afternoon session saw the Bentley Continental of Team Parker driven by Rick Parfitt come in first, with Barwell Motorsport in second and Lee Mowle in the new AMDTuning.com Mercedes in 3rd.

The British GT season looks to be a well contested one with a great mix of Silver and Pro/Am drivers across both classes. The first round of the series takes place at Oulton Park on April 15th to 17th.

 

Allison Remzi       All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

BTCC Season Launch

We joined the BTCC teams at Donington for the 2017  launch, a season which looks to be as competitive as ever.

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A capacity 32 car grid will race, which sees BMW UK returning to the championship as a Manufacturer Team for the first time in 21 years.  BMW continues its long alliance with West Surrey Racing. with whom they have raced successfully in the series for the last 10 years.

And with the recent return to WSR of two time champion Colin Turkington joining Rob Collard alongside other new signing, 2013 champ Andrew Jordan,  it remains to be seen whether on track rivalries will cause fireworks in the WSR camp. BTCC fans couldn’t be in for more of a treat.

Among those liveries already launched was the unveiling of the new Power Maxed Vauxhall Astras to be driven by Senna Proctor and Tom Chilton.

The marque returns to the championship for the first time since Vauxhall withdrew in 2009. Tom Chilton also returns to the championship after 5 years in the World Touring Car’s series.

 

Meanwhile reigning champ Gordon Shedden aims for a 4th title in the striking Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R, which would equal former BSCC champion Andy Rouse’s record. Partnered with  team mate Matt Neal the BTCC fan favourites  are now in their eighth consecutive season together.

Unmissable out on track is previously named Motorbase Performance’s Team Shredded Wheat Ford Focus ST.

Long term Motorbase Performance driver Mat Jackson is joined at the squad by Martin Depper and Luke Davenport in his maiden season.

A very last minute addition to the grid is 18 year old Josh Price who graduates from the Renault Clio Cup series. Backed by the BMR Racing Academy, a last minute sponsor was found B45G6555to enable Price to make the step up into the championship after he had previously announced his return to the Clio Cup with Team Pyro.
Price joins James Cole, Ashley Sutton and two time BTCC champion Jason Plato at Adrian Flux Subaru Racing.

 

 

Also back on the grid after a 3 year absence is BTC Racing, now named BTC Norlin Racing after their title sponsor. B45G7895 Running Chevrolet Cruzes with drivers Chris Smiley and 2014 Jack Sears trophy winner Dave Newsham behind the wheels, the squad should be formidable competition this season being the only team to have both cars in the top ten in the afternoons testing session at Donington

After 7 years away from the series Stephen Jelley returns to BTCC with Team Parker Racing.

Jelley was previously competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB but takes over the seat vacated by Alex Martin who now returns to the PCCGB also with Team Parker Racing.

Triple Eight backed team MG Racing RCIB Insurance bring together drivers Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd in a completely new line-up for 2017. Taylor-Smith moves from Team BKR with whom he took  a race win and several podium places last year. B45G6600 B45G5779

While Daniel Lloyd was a guest driver with Eurotech Racing in 2016, who race in 2017 with the partnership of Jack Goff and Jeff Smith in the Honda Civic Type R.

In the afternoons testing session Speedworks Motorsports Tom Ingrams took first place in the Toyota Avensis, just fractions of a second ahead of Handy Motorsports Rob Austin. With BTC Norlin Racings Chris Smiley just behind him.

Austin, also behind the wheel of a Toyota Avensis has been testing the car extensively over the last few weeks and is quietly confident that despite the competitive grid he has what it takes to give the top of the grid a run for their money.

 

BTCC season opens at Brands Hatch on April 1st/ 2nd.

www.btcc.net

Allison Remzi                             All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Porsche Carrera Cup GB media and test day

With just a month to go before the  series starts we joined the Porsche Carrera Cup GB  teams at Silverstone and Donington for the 2017 championship launch  and test day.
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Porsche Carrera Cup GB class of 2017
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Dan Cammish

Current Champion Daniel Cammish, was out on track in his newly launched PPG & Nationwide Repairs car. IMG_1427The champ has dominated the series over the last few years winning  a record breaking 12 out of 16 races last season.
Looking to his biggest year yet the Redline Racing star has also signed with Lechner Racing to compete full time in the Porsche Supercup championship. The international series, which runs as a support race to Formula 1, will see him competing at the most challenging level. Meanwhile at home he sets his sight on securing  an unprecedented 3rd title in the PCCGB series.

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Lewis Plato

 

Also looking forward to getting the new season underway is Lewis Plato , he told us: “Now I’m working under Nick Tandy I couldn’t be in a better position to give Dan Cammish a run for his money, I’m not here to come second. Its a busy pro grid this season, but its looking good, things really couldn’t be better”.

Plato signed with Tandy led team JTR at the end of last year, joining him is last year’s runner up Dino Zamparelli. And with the addition of former GP2 and Formula Renault series driver Tio Ellinas in his debut Porsche Carrera Cup GB season,  JTR looks very much like the team to watch in 2017.

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Charlie Eastwood

In his final year on the PCCGB scholarship programme is Charlie Eastwood, last years rookie class champ finished the 2016 season off with a win at Brands Hatch and 3rd overall in the Pro class standings.  After the latest test at Donington, Eastwood consistently maintained a rapid pace, just points of a second behind Dan Cammish and Dino Zamparelli.

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In  Pro-Am2  it was announced that Peter Kyle-Henney  joins Pro Tom Wrigley at In2Racing. Kyle-Henney’s performance last year found him in overall second place in the class. The physicist debuted in the series at Le Mans in 2014 after only 14 months racing  in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge.

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Also out in the Pro-Am2 class is Iain Dockerill, who achieved 6 podiums last season.  With less than a week to go before the season launch Dockerill’s car underwent a major rebuild. The launch being the first shakedown with the newly fitted engine. Dockerill has previously raced in  Belgian Touring Cars, the Blancpain Endurance Series and GT3 before moving over to Porsche Carrera Cup GB in 2015.

 

As a support race for British Touring Cars, and one round as support at Le Mans, the Carrera Cup GB continues to grow, reaching huge audiences and has been a springboard for many successful drivers, since its debut season in 2003.

2017 looks set to be a great year,  with a busy grid and a lot of talent,  incredible racing is guaranteed.

Allison Remzi       All images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

http://www.porsche.com/uk/motorsportandevents/porschecarreracupgreatbritain/

 

 

 

 

 

Tiger Racing, not just any kit cars…

With more than 25 years manufacturing experience, Fenland based Tiger Racing offer a superb range of kit and factory built cars for road and racing.  Jim Dudley, who has experience in racing from sprint events to karting, opened his first workshop in Kent in 1969. Along with his brother Phil he went onto open two further garages, which allowed Jim the experience of working with marque’s such as Lotus, Ferrari and Aston Martin.

Tiger Racing was established in 1989  and their first kit sportscar the 164LM was produced. But the evolution of the car manufactured today can be traced to those produced in 1990, the Super Six. The ethos then as now, was to create a top quality, well engineered car but with competitive build costs. This was achieved by using easily obtainable parts. This continues today,  where appropriate Ford parts are used. Across the range as standard the factory use a 2 Ltr Ford Zetec engine, but equally customisation allows for other options to be used instead, including a 4 cylinder bike engine.

Many parts are manufactured in house, and the attention to detail superb, which along with the packages available and the lifetime support, make the Tiger range stand out from their closest competitors.  98% of Tigers sales are road going cars but the Tigers ability on track shouldn’t be overlooked.

Tigers are regularly raced and used on track days such as those organised by the 750 Motor Club and with a previous model, the twin engine equipped Tiger Z100 , breaking records when it hit 0-60mph in 2.9 seconds, Tigers can more than hold their own in the speed stakes.

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In 2004 Tiger Racing were able to purchase the name ERA. English Racing Automobiles were established in 1933 manufacturing single seater racing cars that were popular and successful throughout the prewar period. The company went on to develop the G-type which was raced by Stirling Moss in the 1952 World Championship. Today Tiger Racing produce two ERA models, the ERA Single Seater, a beautiful Lotus styled heritage model and the ERA 30, a Lotus 23 inspired marque that can also be produced with the engine and transaxle of the Audi 80 (ERA 30A)

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Besides the ERA’s, Tiger produce 6 other models from their entry level car the Avon, to the stunning GTA. All models can be supplied in a variety of options from chassis only to a full kit or built at their Wisbech factory. Tiger Racing  are looking to expand further into student motorsport.  With the ability to offer not only the kit car with full factory support but a track day and 6 race events plus the guidance any university or college team could need included in a very competitive package, it’s an area where Tiger really could corner the market.

Another string to the Tigers bow is the classic restorations that they are so experienced in, again the eye for detail and the expertise  with which these are carried out couldn’t fail to impress the most discerning of classic car owners. Tiger Racing is very much a family affair with Jim’s son Paul also a director and at the helm in the workshop and daughter Laura running the office and upholstering the cars seats.  What stands out when visiting the factory is the enthusiasm, knowledge and care that’s taken in getting the customer what they need. Just a few of the reasons why Tiger Racing has such a loyal following.

http://www.750mc.co.uk/

www.tigerracing.com

 

Allison Remzi

750 Motor Club track day

We joined 750 Motor Club for their first track day of the year at Silverstone. A large turn out braved the cold weather with a wide variety of cars from Formula Ford to a Ginetta.

Amongst those battling a very grey, windy Silverstone was former touring car driver Anthony Reid, testing hot hatches and 4 times Formula Vee Champion Paul Smith. Smith was out on track in his new Mittel MC-53.

After his success in Formula Vee, Paul has made the move to the 750 Motor Club RGB Championship, citing the desire for a new challenge as his motivation for getting behind the wheel of the very rapid GSXR1000 powered car. Paul also raced his Crossle 9S last season with great results, no doubt a precursor to more of the same this season.

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Paul Smith with his Mittel MC-53 Photo Allison Remzi

 

The 750 Motor Club RGB Championship has been going since 2001, RGB referring to Road-Going Bike-engined cars, the cars are powered by up to 1000 cc, 4 stroke motorbike engines.

The cars are restricted when it comes to aerodynamics, the focus being mechanical grip. Manufacturers such as Mittell Cars Ltd and Spire Sports Cars produce the LMP style cars, other marques including converted Sports Specials are also raced.

 

 

Other kit cars out on track included a Tiger Racing Avon, Spire GTR and a Centaur MK 22. The Centaur MK22 was the last marque designed by Richard Scott a well known designer of 750 Formula cars.

 

Rogue Motorsport were also running their Toyota MR2’s. The team, who race in the Toyota UK MR2 Championship, offer drive and arrive packages and used the day as a test session for potential championship drivers to get a taste of the car and the feel of a track race.

Another 750 Formula with a good showing were cars from the Locost series,  with regulations designed to help keep the costs lower such as a ban on titanium, magnesium and carbon, the formula is an affordable way into racing.

Other cars of note include Peter Lague’s Speads Race car and the beautiful Radical SR3.

The 750 Motor Club offers a wide range of formula for the enthusiast to get involved in, from Roadsports to Historic 750  to the Armed Forces Challenge, and with many series offering a chance to race that is kinder to the bank balance, it is easy to see why the club that is almost 80 years old continues to thrive.

http://www.750mc.co.uk

Allison Remzi        

All images unless otherwise stated ©Andy Fitzpatrick