Stars roll out for the Celebrity Challenge at Silverstone Classic

The charity race was an eventful one from qualifying on the Friday when ex AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson rolled his Austin A35 taking him out of the Saturday race, to Olympic gold winning rower Jonny Searle rolling his during the race after attempting to overtake Bike Legend team member Maria Costello on the by then, wet track.

The five teams were all led by motorsport experienced team captains. Anthony Reid who has had a lengthy career predominantly in Touring Cars but also British GT, led Going for Gold, SKY Sports Stars was helmed by former Formula 1 driver Rupert Keegan, Bike Legends by Touring Car driver Steve Soper, Rocking & Racing by Martin Donnelly who previously raced in Formula 1 and Formula 3000 and Screen Stars captained by Mark Blundell who has competed in Formula 1 and won the 24 Hrs of Le Mans in 1992.

The tricky conditions in the Saturday race as the weather worsened really did challenge the drivers in the Austin A30’s and A35’s, as the celebs took to the track it wasn’t long before the spinning began and a red flag was out, when the race resumed with two laps behind the safety car,  which only allowed for two green flag laps in the race, but it was Steve Soper for Bike Legends who took top step of the podium flanked by Martin Donnelly in second and Martin Blundell in third. Wayne Gardner the Former Motorcyle GP champ came in 4th just ahead of ex Top Gear presenter and racing driver Tiff Needell.

The winning team accruing the most points were Screen Stars, the team consisting of Blundell, Vassos Alexander, Ant Anstead, Theo Paphitis, Tony Jardine and Tiff Needell.

The Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge Trophy which was a new addition to the programme this year raised £10,000 for the Classics charity partner Prostate Cancer UK.

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Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge Trophy race result:

  1. Steve Soper – Bike Legends 11m 21.946s
  2. Martin Donnelly – Rocking & Racing +1.568s
  3. Mark Blundell – Screen Stars +2.003s
  4. Wayne Gardner – Bike Legends +6.618s
  5. Tiff Needell – Screen Stars +10.989s
  6. Neil Primrose – Rocking & Racing +11.449s
  7. Tony Jardine – Screen Stars +14.497s
  1. Anthony Reid – Going for Gold +17.765s
  2. Jason Kenny  – Going for Gold +22.480s
  3. Nick Wigley – SKY Sports Stars +24.685s
  4. Steve Parrish –  Bike Legends +27.397s
  5. Howard Donald – Rocking & Racing +28.822s
  6. Peter James –  Rocking & Racing +33.202s
  7. Freddie Spencer –  Bike Legends +59.350s
  8. Theo Paphitis – Screen Stars +1m12.743s
  9. Carl Froch – SKY Sports Stars +1m13.505s
  10. Amy Williams – Going for Gold +1m26.986s
  11. Vassos Alexander –  Screen Stars +1m33.032s
  12. Mike Wedderburn – SKY Sports Stars +3m11.720s
  13. Mark Hunter –  Going for Gold +1 lap

(Ant Anstead (Screen Stars), Maria Costello (Bike Legends), Orla Chennaoui (SKY Sports Stars), Greg Searle (Going for Gold) and Jonny Searle (Going for Gold) Did Not Finish)

 

Allison Remzi      Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick   ©Allison Remzi

British GT hits Spa-Francorchamps; wins for Keen & Minshaw and Loggie & Macleod

As the Championship moved to Belgium last weekend for the 5th round of the series, it was a 4th win for Barwell Motorsports Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw in the first race, giving them a 12 point lead in the standings. While in race two it was a maiden win for Team Parker Racing’s Ian Loggie and Callum MacLeod.

Meanwhile the pairing of Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris who stormed to a resounding victory at Silverstone were denied the chance to capitalize on their pole position, eventually finishing in sixth place in race one and in seventh place in race two.

Team WRT finished second in both races, with Kessel Racings Ferrari 488 helmed by Carlo van Dam and Piti Bhirombhakdi taking third place in race one and the Aston Martin Vantage of Macmillan AMR’s Jack Mitchell and James Littlejohn taking last step on the podium in the second race.

 

Race one didn’t pass without incidents, including a crash involving Century Motorsport’s Steve Fresle, and in a separate incident, dramatically the Porsche Cayman of Team Parker Racing’s Nick Jones which ended up on top of Century Motorsports sister Ginetta G55 driven by Anna Walweska.

GT4 race one and two saw the honours go to Matthew Graham and Charlie Fagg in the Ebor GT Maserati, an amazing achievement for them after missing qualifying due to gearbox issues and starting the race in last place. They managed to avoid early incidents and make several successful passes helping secure the duo their double victory. Taking second place in race one was the Ginetta G55 of Lanan Racing driven by David Pittard and Alex Reed, while completing the podium was HHC Motorsports Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton. The #100 Black Bull Garage 59 McLaren of Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty was excluded from both races after a post race investigation discovered they had been involved with an incident with another car after the chequered flag had dropped.

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Race two found Tregurtha and Middleton taking their second podium of the day in second place and third podium place went to the Tolman Motorsport duo of Joe Osborne and David Pattison.

Now leading the Championship in GT4 is Tregurtha and Middleton just 2.5 points ahead of Reed and Pittard, with Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson 35.5 points behind them.

While in GT3 Minshaw and Keen maintain their lead 12 points clear of Parfitt and Morris with Mitchell and Littlejohn 34.5 points after on 104.5.

 

The penultimate round takes place at Brands Hatch on August 5th/6th.

Allison Remzi        Images @Andy Fitzpatrick & Allison Remzi

LMP3 Cup Championship Silverstone

 

The brand new championship rolled into Silverstone last weekend for some great racing despite a small field of entries.

In the Saturday practice session it was the pairing of current Radical European Masters Champion Tony Wells and European Le Mans Series competitor Matt Bell behind the wheel of the #3 United Autosports Ligier that led the way, though in qualifying they tumbled further down the field to 4th place, the grid consisting of only 5 cars one of which was excluded from qualifying, the #72 Douglas Motorsport car, due to F3 driver Callan O’Keeffe not conforming to the Championships regulations of only drivers of Amateur/Bronze status being eligible to compete in a qualifying session. Which put the #2 United Autosport car of Christian England and Andrew Evans on pole for the first race of the weekend.

 

With six cars going into the first race it was Colin Noble and Alasdair McCaig in the #79 Nielsen Racing car that took first place, with the #3 United Autosports car in second and a fantastic debut LMP3 race for Callan O Keefe who started at the back of the grid but quickly took the lead in the #72 Douglas Motorsport car. However a 60 second penalty for being a solo driver hindered his blistering start but the 21 year old eventually finished in third place, #2 United Autosport car of Christian England and Andrew Evans despite starting on pole finished fourth, fifth going to Nielson Racings #9 car driven by Dean Gibbs and Alex Kapadia and Speedworks Motorsports Andrew Bentley and Jack Butel in sixth place.

 

On Sunday it was United Autosports #2 and #3 cars that locked out the front of the grid in qualifying with the #3 car of Tony Wells & Matt Bell going on to take top of the podium with McCaig & Noble taking second again and another podium place for O’Keeffe.

 

The Championship run Nissan powered prototypes from manufacturers such as Ligier, Onroak Automotive and Adess and held the inaugural round in April at Donington. Currently at the top of the standings is Nielson Racings Noble & McCaig with Bell & Wells just behind them.

 

The series continues at Snetterton on 12th &13th August

 

Images ©Allison Remzi 

 

MCE British Superbikes Snetterton; Shakey does the double

Shane”Shakey” Burns took his first double of the British Superbikes Season at Snetterton this Sunday, kicking the weekend off to a scorching start on Saturday by completing the fastest ever lap at the Norfolk circuit.

Josh Brookes took second and Jason O’Halloran third place in both races while James Ellison who was front row for race one suffered ECU problems but looked set for a podium place in race two before crashing out with only 6 laps to go.

Meanwhile Luke Mossey had a disastrous weekend after an off in warm up resulted in him needing a rebuild of his Kawasaki ZX-10RR before race one, problems continued into the first race with Mossey retiring on lap three with brake issues, which hampered him in race two, finally finishing in 10th place.   

Leon Haslam also crashed out in warm up then went on to finish fourth in race one and eighth in race two. Haslam who is recovering from injuries sustained at Knockhill struggled with grip problems and loss of speed at Snetterton. Track temperatures were up and a harder Pirelli rear tyre gave Haslam a difficult weekend.

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Making his Superbikes debut was Andy Reid, moving up from the Supersports class to join forces with TAS Racing and Tyco BMW. Reid finishing in 17th place just behind James Westmoreland in the first race and the same position in the second race.

 

The championship continues at Brands Hatch on 21st-23rd July

Allison Remzi