BTCC at Knockhill, Plato takes win on 50th pole and victory for Sutton & Ingram

Jason Plato took a virtually untroubled victory in the first race of the Knockhill round of the British Touring Car Championship. The star led team mate Ash Sutton to an Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 1-2 finish swiftly followed by Team BMW’s Colin Turkington and Rob Collard. The racing between the four front runners was tight with often just a split second between them but it was Plato on his 50th pole who took the win.

Race two got off to a dramatic start with multiple cars being involved in an incident after Andrew Jordans BMW125i M Sport hit Matt Neals Honda, which in turn then spun Senna Proctors Vauxhall Astra. Also involved was Stephen Jelley, who had then crashed into Proctor, Matt Simpson, Josh Cook and Dave Newsham were also affected and the race red flagged. At the restart Plato again led the way with team mate Sutton hot on his heels, the slightly lighter Subaru of Sutton was able to make a decisive overtake on the 11th lap and fend off Plato just, crossing the finish line with fractions of a second between them and again Turkington and Collard right behind them.

There was a shake up to the top two places in race three with Speedworks Tom Ingram taking the win in the reversed grid race, reigning champ Gordon Shedden in second place and Colin Turkington again taking third step on the podium.

Ingram quickly bested pole sitter Ant Whorton-Eales and was rewarded with lead position after Whorton-Eales ran wide at the chicane and was hit by Rory Butcher also getting past Gordon Shedden and Dave Newsham. Shedden pushed hard but was unable to match the the lead of Ingram. But the safety car deployment after Ollie Jackson’s Audi S3 stopped on track, meant Ingrams advantage was diminished, eventually finishing just over 1 second ahead of Shedden.

Just 4 points lie between Championship leader Colin Turkington with 265 points and Ashley Sutton on 261, with Gordon Shedden third in the standings on 253 points.

The series continues at Rockingham on 26th 27th August.

 

Allison Remzi    Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Brands Hatch Support Race Round Up

There was lots of drama in the support races at the Brands Hatch round of British GT.  MINI Challenge, Ginetta Racing Drivers Club, VAG Trophy and Pirtek Volkswagen Racing Cup entries battled the elements in some challenging, wet conditions on Saturday, while Sunday was not without several on track incidents also.

In the MINI Challenge Rob Smith took a straightforward win in Race One, despite a restart following a red flag period due to five cars spinning out early on. But the restart didn’t throw Smith who completed the task efficiently with Lawrence Davey in second place and Brett Smith taking third. It was a difficult race for Max Bladon who had to withdraw with drive shaft failure, the second time in two Brands Hatch rounds.

Race Two went the way of Brett Smith giving him his 4th victory of the season and a very clear lead in the Championship standings. Completing that podium was Lawrence Davey again in second place and Charlie Butler-Henderson in third. Race One winner Rob Smith had a less than perfect race after making contact with Butler-Henderson while trying to pass between him and Sarah Moore hitting the pit wall. Max Bladons woes continued with contact between him and George Wright, then a tyre blow out resulting in a pit stop, eventually finishing the race last in 21st place.

 

The VAG Trophy was also impacted by the weather, Race One seeing early on an incident between Kenan Dole and Simon Walton with Dole spinning and entering Druids backwards, correcting then hitting Walton. The safety car was deployed allowing Maximum Motorsports’ Brayden Flecther to move into second behind Paul Taylor. It wasn’t long before a second safety car period, when Tim Dockers Scirocco lost it and slid down Paddock into the gravel. Racing resumed but not for long before Richard Morgan span out shortly followed by Owen Walton doing the same, the race eventually finishing under the yellow flag with the win going to Paul Taylor, Stephen Johansen in second and Kyle Owen-Bradshaw in third.

Race Two saw Paul Taylors second win of the day.Kyle Owen-Bradshaw who started the race in 7th place due to the reverse grid, moved into third place when Callum Jenkins ran wide but finished after 5 laps with mechanical problems. Ben Wallace did an amazing charge from the back of the grid making his way into second place on the podium and Graham Ewing took third in his Passat.

 

The Milltek Volkswagen Racing Cup was not without incidents, in Race One Paul Ivens had a horrible roll in his Scirocco taking him out of the race in the 9th lap, the incident which also involved Tim Docker and Stephan Johansen brought the race to a halt, fortunately none of the drivers were hurt. When the race resumed it was Jamie Bond who took the win with Bobby Thompson in second and Simon Walton in third.  

Race Two found Toby Davis who had started on the front row of the grid, retiring in the seventh lap while sitting third on track, due to his door flying open after an earlier tussle. A tight race ensued with a second separating winner Tom Witts from second place Kieran Gordon and Jamie Bond just a fraction of a second behind him in third.

As ever, the Ginetta Drivers Club and Ginetta Drivers Club + gave the crowds plenty of action over the weekend. Tom Sibley took his first win of the season in race one on Saturday, flanked by Bond To in second place and Tom Golding in third. Earlier in the race Sibley had contact with Golding which post race was found to be Sibleys fault, Sibley incurring a 10 place grid penalty for Sundays outing.

Tom Golding took the win in the second race on Sunday with Bond To again taking second place and this time Sibley in third. It was an eventful race for Graeme Bishopp with a spin off in the first lap, then a further spin later on causing the deployment of the Safety Car.

 

In Ginetta Drivers Club+ Michael Crees and Rob Keogh had a thrilling battle in Race One, Keogh passed Crees early on but Crees fought back eventually running nose to nose in the final lap, before Crees managed to just get ahead finishing the race less than a second between them. Race Two found Michael Crees and Rob Keogh again on the podium, this time Crees in second place and Keogh in third, with top of the podium going to Triple V Racings Phil Ingram.

The reverse grid Race Three found Rob Keogh taking the win with Phil Ingram this time in second and Want 2 Race’s Jack Oliphant in third. Richard Tetlow ran a brilliant race starting at the back of the grid in 22nd place fighting his way through to 4th.

 

The support package continues at the final round of the British GT Championship at Donington on September 23rd/24th.

Allison Remzi     Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

BRDC F3 Brands Hatch- 10th Win Of The Season For Ahmed

As the series heads towards its conclusion with just two more rounds to go, Enaam Ahmed maintains his Championship lead on 489 points almost 100 points over closest competitor James Pull after winning Race One and Race Three at Brands Hatch last weekend, making that his 10th win of the season. The 17 year old was also on the podium in Race Two in 3rd place.

Race One found the field contending with some tricky conditions as the wet weather worsened and incidents ensued including a run off at Paddock Hill for Fortec teammates Ben Hingeley and Nicolai Kjaergaard causing retirement for Hingeley after hitting the barrier, swiftly followed by Cameron Das repeating the same action and another retirement.

A period of the safety car then followed with Ahmed still maintaining his lead but the race came to an early end under the red flag due to the treacherous conditions.  Joining Ahmed on the podium was second place James Pull and completing the lineup Toby Sowery in third.

Sunday found far more favourable conditions for the single seaters on a partially reversed grid, but another early finish for Hingeley, who had been gunning for a podium position before contact with Jeremy Wahome, took him out of the race resulting in Wahome being excluded from the results after the race due to driving in a manner incompatible with general safety .

A further incident between Chase Owen and Guilherme Samaia resulted in the Safety Car being brought out allowing Toby Sowery to take a blistering restart and gain a 5 second lead on Krishnaraaj Mahadik, with James Pull behind him at the fall of the chequered flag.

However in post race scrutineering it was found that Sowery’s car did not conform to the eligibility criteria and was excluded. ANF_3458This, the Clerk of the Course found, was due to an error and not a deliberate attempt to gain an unfair advantage. These findings meant that the podium order changed with Mahadik taking the win, Pull in second and Ahmed in third place.ANF_3529

 

The final race passed without incident and gave Ahmed his 10th win and an untroubled victory.

Cameron Das who had started second on the grid maintained his position unable to catch Ahmed but James Pull who had commenced the race on the third row was able to take positions from both Callan O Keeffe and Toby Sowery securing the third step on the podium.

The penultimate round of the Championship takes place at Snetterton on August 26th/27th

 

Allison Remzi    Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Morris & Parfitt Jnr step closer to Championship title

A storming penultimate round at Brands Hatch brought the Team Parker Racing duo closer to Championship success with a 10.5 point lead over Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen. The dry track after Saturdays wet qualifying session gave the Bentley Continental favourable conditions, allowing Seb Morris to take a comfortable lead after pitting early and taking the wheel from Rick Parfitt Jnr.

Meanwhile Jon Minshaw who had started the race on pole dropped further back after losing his place to James Littlejohn in the Macmillan AMR Aston Martin early on.  A few laps in Parfitt Jnr repeated the same and after stops the #33 lost further places eventually finishing in 5th place.

 

Littlejohn and Parfitt Jnr battled it out ahead of the rest of the field after a safety car period due to the breakdown of Academy Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage brought the safety car out. However an ECU problem in Littlejohn’s Aston Martin just ahead of the pit window helped seal the top position for Parfitt Jnr and Morris.

With Barwell Motorsports Liam Griffin and Sam Tordoff finishing second after tussling with third place TF Sports Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes.

In GT4 it was an incredible race by Macmillan AMR’s Jan Jonck and William Phillips that took a maiden win for them with David Pattison and Joe Osborne of Tolman Motorsport taking second place just ahead of HHC’s Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton.

With British GT4 newcomers Adam Gore and Jason Baker for Rob Boston Racing in sixth place and the new pairing of Jacob Mathiassen and Niall Murray placed 8th.

While the title hopes of Lanan Racing’s Alex Reed and David Pittard were potentially dashed by steering arm problems, the duo will now have to finish at least second to take the title from frontrunners HHC Motorsport’s Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton who take a 158 point lead.

 

The final round takes place at Donington Park on September 24th/25th.

 

Allison Remzi     Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  @Allison Remzi

On Track Action at Silverstone Classic

With 16 classes of track action being held at the Silverstone Classic it was a packed back to back timetable of historic racing. Ranging from Formula Ford which celebrates its 50th anniversary with a large grid of over 50 entrants including Tiff Needell in his Lotus 69F and winner of both races Michael O Brien in the Merlyn MK20A, to the increasingly popular Group C Le Mans winning cars of the 90’s.

Also boasting a huge field of competitors was the Commander Yorke Trophy for Historic Formula Junior. The series which celebrates its Diamond Anniversary next year ran a predominantly Lotus heavy grid but other marques competing included Lola MK2, Elva 100 and Brabham BT2. Again both races were won by the same driver Sam Wilson in the Lotus 20/22.

In Group C both races on Saturday and Sunday the class was hit with difficult conditions due to heavy rain, but in race one on Saturday Steve Tandy took the top step of the podium in the 1990 Spice SE90 GTP, while Sundays race saw Kriton Lendoudis in the 1990 Mercedes C11 take the win.

While in the Stirling Moss Trophy for Pre’61 Cars, current British GT Championship leader Jon Minshaw was behind the wheel of a Lister Knobbly. Cars of note in that category included the beautiful ‘Birdcage’ Maserati T61 of which only 16 were built and Cooper T39 Bobtail previously raced by Stirling Moss. The race win went to Chris Ward driving a 1959 Lister Costin.

 

The John Fitzpatrick Trophy for Under 2 Litre Touring Cars saw a range of pre 1966 cars from the Mini Cooper to the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA and notable drivers such as Martin Stretton, Mark Sumpter and Steve Soper.  Mark Sumpter eventually claiming victory in the race after coming second behind Steve Soper in qualifying.

Again there was a large field of entrants for the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy for pre ‘63 GT Historic Cars including marques such as the Ferrari 250 GT “breadvan”,  Porsche 356 Speedster and Aston Martin DB4. Ex British GT champ Calum Lockie took to the track in an Austin Healey 3000, finishing 10th in qualifying and 50th in the race, the win going to Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield in the beautiful Aston Martin DB3S.

 

The Pre’56 Sports Cars Trophy saw the Cooper T38 of Frederic Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards triumph in a packed field that included Le Mans winner Andy Wallace behind the wheel of the oldest C Type Jaguar in the world.

Stepping further back in time to the Kidston Trophy for Pre War Sports Cars, the Frazer Nash Supersports of Frederic Wakeman and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards took the top of the podium. The marque was produced from 1925 to 1930 numbering around 165.

Another popular category and one that produced sights, sounds and smells to cheer any F1 fan was the FIA Masters Historic Formula One with cars such as the beautiful Arrows A3 driven by Jonathan Kennard which took pole position in the first race eventually finishing second to Nick Padmore in the Williams FW07C while in race two it was Michael Lyons who took top step of the podium in the Williams FW07B,

apt that both races should be won by Williams cars as they continued their 40th anniversary celebrations at the Silverstone Classic. Another car of note was the Hesketh 308B driven to victory by James Hunt in the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix.

 

The Classic GT Cars Pre’66 saw a wealth of beautiful entries including a 1965 Porsche 911, 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and a 1964 Sunbeam Le Mans Tiger. It was the AC Cobra driven by Oliver Bryant that won the race narrowly beating the stunning Bizzarrini 5300 GT of Roger Wills.

Taking the win in the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car race was the Chevron B19 driven by Martin O Connell. The large grid also saw Jon Minshaw at the wheel of the Lola T70 fight his way up from 13th place to finish the race in 8th after incurring a time penalty for exceeding track limits.

In the Classic Jaguar Challenge it was the E Type of Gary Pearson that took the win while Calum Lockie also in an E type finished in 40th place.

The Jet Super Touring Car Trophy was practically a Minshaw takeover as Jason Minshaw took pole in qualifying then took the win in the first race just ahead of his brother Jon driving an Audi A4. In race two Jason Minshaw again took the the podium in second place just behind James Dodd in the Honda Accord. Another car that looked fantastic on track was the JPS liveried BMW 636csi of Jim Richards that won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1985.

The race concluded a weekend of excellent racing yet again at the Silverstone Classic.

 

Allison Remzi    Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi

Minshaw and Keen take pole position in Brands Hatch Round of British GT

With everything to play for in the penultimate round of the Championship, taking pole position in GT3 is Barwell Motorsport’s Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw. Twelve points lie between the duo and Team Hard’s Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr, who were fastest in Free Practice 1 but take 5th position after a wet qualifying session. Potentially the championship could be sewn up by the end of play on Sunday.

ANF_2468
Moving over to slicks proved to be the right choice for Academy Motorsport’s Will Moore and Matt Nicoll-Jones who took the honours in GT4 after battling with Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell of Blackbull Garage 59 to the last, with just a second between them.

 

Newcomer to the series former Formula Ford driver Niall Murray in the Century Motorsport Ginetta, posted the fastest time in GT4. A post qualifying investigation was conducted after he and several other drivers posted fastest sector time while yellow flags were being waved in sector 2.  However it was found that due to the improving track conditions on the sector that was under caution the timings were allowed to stand.ANF_2779

 

The two hour race commences at 14.10 tomorrow afternoon.

 

 

Allison Remzi      Images ©AndyFitzpatrick    ©Allison Remzi