Year in Review Part 2….

July saw the British Superbikes Championship at Snetterton with Shane”Shakey” Burns taking his first double of the season. 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. While Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey and Leon Haslam both suffered crashes which had knock on effects across race day.

The newly launched LMP3 Cup undertook its Silverstone round in July for some great racing despite a small field of entries. 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 Silverstone Classic also took place with a huge range of on and off track action including the Celebrity Challenge race  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.

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 Motorcycle 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 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. And 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. As well as appearances by the Moto GP Legends.

At Brands Hatch in August the Team Parker Racing duo of Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr were brought closer to Championship success with a 10.5 point lead over Barwell Motorsport’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

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.

At Rockingham in August it was a great weekend for Adrian Flux Subaru Racing with James Cole taking his maiden win, Ash Sutton taking the win in race two and leading the championship with 312 points.

Sutton also took second place in race one and team mate Jason Plato took third step of the podium in race three.In race three it was a delighted Andrew Jordan who took a trouble free victory eventually finishing just under 2 seconds ahead of Cicely Motorsports Adam Morgan.

In MotoGP it was a win for Andrea Dovizioso, also becoming the first man to win 4 races in the 2017 season.

Silverstone also saw a retirement for Marc Marquez. Maverick Vinales taking second place and Valentino Rossi in third place. While on home turf Cal Crutchlow finished fourth, Scott Redding finishing in eighth place.

September saw International GT Open’s return to Silverstone with  the #54 Lexus RC F GT3 of Emil Frey Racing Lexus that took the win in race one, with a faultless run by Albert Costa and Philipp Frommenwiler at the wheel, scoring their 3rd 1st place in their maiden European season.

 It was a first outing for the car in the UK as the Swiss team continue their development of the GT3 , following on from a successful outing at last years VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring.

Phil Keen helmed the Lee Mowle Mercedes AMG along with fellow British GT competitor Ryan Ratcliffe.

The duo who started on the second row of the grid finished in eighth place. Riki Christadoulou and Craig Dolby in the Lamborghini Gallardo Rex of Nigel Mustill / Wessex Vehicles finished race one in thirteenth place. Also competing was British racing stalwart Johnny Mowlem alongside Ivor Dunbar who finished in 24th place overall.

Taking his 12th win of the year in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship at Snetterton, the 17 year old secured the Championship title ahead of the series’ final round at the end of the month.

His 12 wins matching another BRDC F3 Champion, Ayrton Senna’s. Ahmed had a dominant first full season with Carlin Motorsport who have a reputation for being the team to nurture future stars, and with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnusson, Danil Kyvat, Sebastien Buemi, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel being previous Carlin drivers that reputation is well deserved.

Silverstone played host to a packed weekend of on track action with 8 classes of racing from the likes of Formula Ford to the Fiesta Championship at the BRSCC race weekend In Britcover National Formula Ford 1600 Luke Williams was on the podium in all three races, winning the first and third and placed second in the second race.

While in the former Formula Jedi series, newly rebranded  Formula 1000, it was current Championship leader Michael Watton who had amazing weekend winning all three races, and joining him on the second step of the podium in each race was Paul Butcher.

In the highly enjoyable Drayton Manor Park  MG Metro Cup it was Lee Connell who took the win in the 17 lap race, finishing just over a second ahead of Mike Williams, with Andrew Ashton taking third place. While the 750 Motor Club returned to Silverstone in August for a packed programme of club level racing with Formulae ranging from Historic 750 Formula to the Bikesports Championship. Racing also included Tegiwa M3 Cup and 330 Challenge & SCC,  

The Tegiwa M3 Cup is in its maiden season with Championship status, where E46 BMW M3 cars race to club level builds and costs. The MTEC Brakes BMW 330 Challenge Series sees E46 BMW 330ci with standardised parts racing, again another low cost series. Alongside the BMW’s was the Super Cooper Cup Series. The Historic 750 Formula runs a variety of historic cars ranging from Centaur’s to Austin 7’s to a JB Special. Christian Pederson took the win in his Austin 7 with Gregan Thruston in the Rawson Special in second and Ben Myall in the Gerrel MK1 in third.

In British GT the championship drew to a spectacular close at Donington with Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr taking the 2017 title in GT3 after outgoing Champs Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston passed the mantle in grand style by taking the final race win of the season.

The TF Sport Duo led from the front during free practice 2 and qualifying on Saturday and were unstoppable on Sunday finishing just under 7 seconds ahead of the sister car helmed by Jon Barnes and Mark Farmer. Parfitt Jr and Morris, perceived themselves as the underdogs for the title fight between them and Barwells Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

The much discussed 20 second success penalty  for Morris and Parfitt from Brands became irrelevant in the end as the tide had already turned in their favour before the pit window opened. But the outcome was not as straightforward as anyone may have thought, with the two TF Sport cars in first and second place, Barwells Phil Keen in third place and with the Team Parker Racing Duo already having more than a ten point lead on Minshaw and Keen, finishing fourth under the flag was enough to secure the Championship. However the results were amended post race excluding Minshaw and Keen due to overtaking under a yellow flag. In GT4 it was no surprise that the title went to HHC’s Will Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton. They maintained a twenty-five point lead moving from Brands Hatch, so a second place finish was all they needed to secure the GT4 Championship. With both drivers aged only 17 they become the youngest pairing to win a British GT title.

Seb Morris has recently announced he will be quitting the championship to move into racing in Europe with a new team mate for Parfitt Jnr yet to be announced. And Barwell Motorsport recently announced they will be running three Lamborghini’s next year with 2004 champion Jonny Cocker to partner Sam De Haan and Patrick Kujala to team up with 2006 GT3 Drivers’ champion Leo Machitski, joining Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw who will remain with Barwell for 2018.

In October Ash Sutton became the 2017 British Touring Car Champion at Brands Hatch following some thrilling racing that saw Colin Turkington move from fifteenth position to first place in race two then lose all title hopes after contact with Mat Jackson took the WSR driver out of contention in race three.

On lap two of race three Mat Johnson hit the kerb then made contact with Colin Turkington causing race ending damage to the BMW and a heartbreaking end to Turkingtons championship campaign, instantly handing the championship to Ash Sutton.

An autumnal Donington park was the setting for the The Club Autosport Great 924 Race. Run as a guest race on the 750 Motor Club programme, the race organised by the Porsche Drivers Association commemorated 25 years since the first Porsche Racing Drivers Championship which began as a 924 series only. On hand but not racing was the amazing Porsche GB 924 Championship winning car that had been raced by Gordon Ramsay Racing but now belongs to classic Porsche specialist Andy Prill. Two sprint races were held with a grid of eighteen cars including entries by several past champions including Linda Warren, Alistair Kirkham and Steve Potts. Race one saw plenty of action, Richard Styrin lead from the front throughout, setting a new lap record in the process, while Jamie Calendar had to retire after just one lap with an engine misfire.

Stephen Potts and Alistair Kirkham both sustained damage after contact on the fifth lap but both carried on regardless until Potts dropped out in lap 10 and Kirkham had to retire in the closing stages. In race two the weather saw a few spins and lap times dropped but it was another great outing for the  Championship. It also saw another third place for Jayson Flegg, with Geoff Hanson in second and Richard Styrin finishing his weekend off in style with another win.

Silverstone played host to the Historic Sports Car Clubs Finals meetings, where packed grids of classes from 70’s Road Sports and Historic Formula Ford to the Guards Trophy and Derek Bell Trophy wrapped up what has been a busy season, ahead of the final outing for the HSCC at the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy meeting. There were more than twenty entries for the two Historic Formula Ford Championship races,  with marques such as Merlyn, Elden and Crosslee pitted against each other.

The Classic Clubmans Championship saw a large grid of entrants in predominantly various MK’s of Mallocks but also racing was a Lola,a Royale and a Phantom. The Championship is for Pre-1981 front-engined Clubmans sports racing cars divided into 4 classes including an invitational class.Taking the race win was Alan Cook with David Wale in second and John Harrison in third place.
In 70’s Sports Cars there was a fantastic grid of over thirty cars including a Vauxhall Firenza, Lotus Europa, MG B and Marcos 1800GT. Also joining the class was 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Richard Attwood.

The 750 Motor Club took over Silverstone for their biggest event in the year, the Birketts Relay. The race which sees a maximum 70 teams race over 6 hours, attracts a sell out grid of cars from across the 750 Motor Club Formulae from Caterhams to Radicals, Minis to GT’s.This year also found the Top Gear presenters Matt Le Blanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid entering as a team with a Mercedes 600 SEL,

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley Turbo-R.The ‘scratch’ win went to Dobbers Brian Harvey, Thomas Harvey and John MacLeod in their Radical SR3’s who started on pole but were overtaken by Breakell’s Racing Heroes and flanked by Breakell’s Nightmare, last years winners also in Radicals, the Breakell team held their lead until the halfway point on lap 72 Dobbers took first place and held it for the rest of the race.There was a great turn out from the Armed Forces with entries by RAF Motorsport, RAF MSA and the Armed Forces Race Challenge. RAF MSA’s Chris Slator, Darren Howe, Scott Lawson, Ed McKean, Dan Smith being the Handicap winners and took the inter-services trophy.

Joining the Walter Hayes support race package for the first time was the Britcar Endurance Championship, the penultimate Britcar event of the season.

The sprint category was won by Richard Neary in the Mercedes AMG GT3, Neary proved to be more than a match for Calum Lockie in the FF Corse Ferrari 488 and the RAW Motorsports Radical which did have an 8 second lead on Neary but there was no stopping the stunning Mercedes. While in the endurance category the win went to Witt Gamski and Ross Wylie in the Ferrari 458.

The Walter Hayes Trophy which traditionally closes the racing season at Silverstone, saw packed crowds enjoying some superb racing including the British Women’s Racing Drivers Club With a large field of entries from women drivers such as Maxine Nicholls, Natalie McGloin and Sarah Milner, with an eclectic array of cars from a

Mini Cooper to a Jaguar XJS.Taking first place in the race was former Ginetta Junior champion Sarah Moore in the Ginetta G50 while in second place also in a Ginetta G50, was former Junior Saloon Car Champion  and rising star in the G5 Ginetta Challenge Katie Milner.

Taking the third place on the podium was Nathalie McGloin the first female spinal injured racing driver to hold an ARDS licence in the UK and is currently competing in the Porsche Club Championship.  Lifting the Walter Hayes Trophy for the first time in his career in Formula Ford was an emotional Michael Moyers, who crossed the finish line just ahead of Josh Fisher in a superb display of  close, hard fought racing. BRDC British F3 driver and former British GT GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick competed across the weekend, finishing third in Race 3 encountered a problem with positioning on the grid in the Grand Final, but eventually finished in 25th place.

As our racing season drew to a close, show season began with the Lancaster Classic Motor Show’s return to Birmingham NEC with an amazing array of classic cars and bikes on show, filling 5 halls. The theme of this years show was ‘Family Ties’ and the interpretations of that theme didn’t disappoint. From nostalgic family cars to family businesses, to a display including the Williams FW08 of Keke Rosberg and Williams FW30 of Nico Rosberg.

The theme ran strong throughout the three day event.In attendance was the prestigious Silverstone Auctions, with a large selection of lots including the 1968 Jensen Interceptor Mk1 that had belonged to Eric Morecambe. Porsche Club of Great Britain were also celebrating the 40th year of the 928 and on display was the 1978 928 which has competed in various Historic Sports Car Club events this year, entered by the UK Porsche Classic centres, with 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Atwood at the wheel.

Motorcycle Live also took place at Birmingham NEC, showcasing the very best across the motorcycle industry, from manufacturers unveiling their latest machines to appearances by popular riders and celebrities.

Ducati introduced the Panigale V4 Superbike, an exciting addition, the first mass produced Ducati to be equipped with a 4-cylinder engine as such, closely related to the Desmosedici, Ducati’s MotoGP bike. The V4 issues 1103cc and can be configured to produce almost 220bhp. As the most advanced bike produced by the Italian brand, it is a highlight of the show and a must see for visitors to the show.
While Honda revealed its CBR1000R, the top spec model in the new trio of naked machines which includes the CB300R and CB125R.

Also adding to their formidable stable is Triumph with the updated Tiger 800 XC and XR, while the Tiger 1200 XC and XR range has also received significant technical updates. Also on display on the Triumph stand is the Moto2 engine that they will be supplying exclusively from 2019.
Kawasaki also introduced the Supercharged Ninja H2 SX and the new Ninja ZX-10R SE, with its electronic semi-active suspension.Norton looks ahead to the 50th anniversary of the Commando, launching new anniversary editions along with the new model.Other areas of the show include the Black Horse live stage, the platform for celebrity interviews and panel games hosted by Steve Parrish and James Witham. Joining them across the week are famous names such as Johann Zarco, Niall Mackenzie, Taylor and Tarran Mackenzie, Leon Haslam, Maria Costello, Ian Hutchinson, John McGuiness and Carl Fogarty to name but a few.

Roll on 2018 season!

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

 year in review Part 1….

2017 saw our first full years coverage for that was launched in October 2016, this is our look back over some of the events we covered this year. January, still very much off season but of course a big show date in the calendar with Autosport International, where there were celebrations of 40 years of Williams, 50 years of Formula Ford, announcements and unveilings.…..

We also covered Bicester Heritage’s Sunday Scramble a must for all vintage car enthusiasts, the event which takes place at the former RAF Bicester, draws hundreds of people to look around the workshops which are thrown open to visitors. With marques on display including Alvis, Bristol, Gibern and Jaguar as well as modern supercars and aircraft such as a Tiger Moth, Piper J-3 Cub and Beagle A61 Terrier there was a wide variety to suit anyone’s tastes.

February saw us attending the launch of Force India’s VJM10, at the launch the car was sporting a silver and black livery, just weeks later with BWT on board as sponsors the car was in a vivid pink, a talking point throughout the season. A season that saw Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finish 7th and 8th respectively in the F1 Drivers Championship with the team finishing in fourth place making it their most successful season ever.

We also joined 750 Motor Club at their pre season track day where on track action was provided from a vast array of cars from Radicals to TVR’s to Formula Ford. Also on hand was Anthony Reid testing hot hatches as well as former Formula Vee champion Paul Smith who made the move into the RGB Championship this year.

Testing at Donington was BTCC drivers Adam Morgan and Aidan Moffat. The duo were happy with how their Mercedes A Class cars performed in the shakedown and went onto have a good season Morgan finishing in the standings in tenth place while Moffatt finished in thirteenth place.

March marked the start of the season and many series had their pre season media launches including Porsche Carrera Cup GB, BTCC and British GT.  

In the Porsche Carrera Cup Dan Cammish was looking forward to getting his 2017 campaign underway and aiming for an unprecedented third Championship win, however his ambition was thwarted by Charlie Eastwood who took the 2017 crown, leaving Cammish 3rd place in the standings.

British Touring Car Championship media day saw the class of 2017 out on track at Donington with the likes of Andrew Jordan, Colin Turkington, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden joined by Tom Chilton who rejoined the Championship after spending 5 years in the World Touring Car series and newcomer Josh Price who joined James Cole, Jason Plato and 2017 BTCC Champion Ashley Sutton at Adrian Flux Subaru Racing.

Meanwhile British GT kicked off their 25th season with their media launch at Snetterton, the maximum capacity grid saw ex BTCC driver Sam Tordoff join Barwell Motorsport driving their Lamborghini Huracan with co-driver Liam Griffin. Team Parker Racings Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris returned to the Championship with the Bentley Continental in their second season together, which would result in the duo taking the title at the Donington Decider in September, beating Barwell Motorsports Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen.

In April the Hankook 24Hr Touring Car Endurance Series rolled into Silverstone kicking off our season proper. The series saw success for Dutch squad Team Bleekemolen in their SEAT Leon TCR, completing the 24hr race in 549 laps. Also taking part was Sam Tordoff ahead of his debut in British GT.  2016 winners Team ABBA with Rollcentre didn’t have quite as much luck, suffering a broken crank seal, which required a complete engine change. The team managed to get the BMW M3 back on track just before the end of the race to huge applause from the rest of the pit lane.

April also saw the season opener of the Britcar Endurance series at Silverstone, a Ferrari dominated event with 6 FF Corse’s 488’s running, which saw Porsche Carrera Cup GB contender Dino Zamparelli and team mate Mike Wilds take the win in the first race. While in race two former European Le Mans Champion Johnny Mowlem partnered Bonamy Grimes again in the Ferrari 488 to take first place.

The World Endurance Championships returned to Silverstone in what was to be Porsche’s final year, and ahead of the calendar shake up which was to cause some controversy later in the year, when it was announced among other rounds, Silverstone was to be cut in 2018. This decision was later overturned after pressure from fans and drivers alike. In the European Le Mans Series it was success for United Autosport who took first place in LMP2  and first and third place in LMP3.

But it was Toyota who took the win in LMP1 with the #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima crossing the finish line just 6 seconds ahead of the #2 Porsche 919 of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, with the #1 Porsche taking third place, Porsche going onto bow out of the Championship with both Driver and Manufacturer titles. In LMP2 it was the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing that took the top step of the podium, While in GTE Pro the GT Ford of Ford Chip Ganassi, was ultimately successful. And the Ferrari 488 of Clearwater Racing took the honours in GTE Am.

Barwell Motorsport got their Championship campaign well underway at the British GT season opener at Oulton Park with Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw taking the win in both races flanked by sister car of Sam Tordoff and Liam Griffin in P2 in race one, with TF Sports Jonny Adams and Derek Johnston in third place, their first visit to the podium that weekend also finishing in second place in race two with TF Sports Mark Farmer and Jon Barnes in third place. Race two was called to a halt early after a large crash between Ian Loggie and Richard Neary caused a large amount of debris on the track.

The paddock then moved to Rockingham at the end of the month for what proved to be a controversial weekend when Spirit of Race Drivers Duncan Cameron and Matt Griffin lost their top of the podium place to Team Parker Racings second place duo Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt. A much later post race ruling on contact between Griffin in the Ferrari 488 and Morris in the Bentley Continental was deemed to have been avoidable giving Griffin an unfair advantage. The move meant Griffin was penalised 26 seconds, enough to give the win to Morris and Parfitt.  the Safety Car was deployed after #63 Autoaid’s/RCIBInsurance Racing’s Ginetta went into the gravel. With MSA rules stating that a Safety Car must pick up the leader and despite Griffin leading on track the incurred penalty meant he was actually 5th in timings, thus the Ferrari was allowed to pass the Safety Car joining the back of the field immediately gaining a five second lead, quickly allowing the Spirit of Race team to finish with a 25.052 second lead on the Bentley of Seb Morris, with Jack Mitchell coming in third just ahead of the Barwell Lamborghini’s of Minshaw and Keen in third and Tordoff and Griffin in 4th. On the Spirit of Race Ferrari being allowed to pass the Safety Car Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici said the following: “What happened today with the Safety Car procedure was very unfortunate but, given the letter of the regulations, not something we could have controlled. We follow the MSA’s regulations which state the Safety Car must pick up the race leader, which in official timing was not the #21 Spirit of Race Ferrari. Race Control therefore had no choice but to wave it by. Applying in-race time penalties contributed to this but these are the rules by which we and others race under the MSA’s jurisdiction. Today we found an anomaly, which will be investigated fully. One way or another there must be changes to avoid this situation from arising again.

In GT4 William Tregurtha and Stuart Middleton took their first podium for HHC Motorsport, while Team ABBA with Rollcentre took the GT3 AM prize.

In Formula 3   it was a 1-2 for Carlin with Enaam Ahmed, topping the podium in race one flanked by Cameron Das in second place and Douglas Motorsport’s Callan O Keefe in third. Race two saw Cameron Das achieve a maiden win in the series, with Omar Ismail in second place for Chris Dittman Racing and former British GT Champion Jamie Chadwick in 3rd place.

May found us returning to Silverstone for the Blancpain GT Endurance Series with another win for Grasser Racing’s Mirko Bortolotti, Andrea Caldarelli, and Christian Engelhart. The 3 hour race saw the team take their second endurance win of the season in a hard fought race with just over half a second between them and second place sitters Franck Perera, Jimmy Eriksson and Maxi Buhk of Mercedes-AMG Team HTP Motorsport. AKKA ASP’s Michael Meadows, Edoardo Mortara and Raffaele Marciello took third place after starting on pole.

In Pro-Am the #333 Ferrari 488 of Rinaldi Racing was disqualified after failing to take a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, putting an end to the fight between them and AKKA ASP’s Gounon. Meanwhile the #77 Lamborghini of Barwell Motorsport took the lead crossing the line with the Aston Martin of Oman Racing Team with TF Sport shared by Jonny Adam and Ahmad Al-Harthy coming in second with AKKA ASP in third. The AM class winner was the #488 Ferrari of Rinaldi Racing shared by Pierre Ehret and Rino Mastronardi with #888 Ferrari of Kessel Racing of David Perel, Marco Zanuttini and Jacques Duyver took second place. Completing the podium was Matias Henkola, David Schiwietz, and Henry Walkenhorst in the BMW M6 of Walkenhorst Motorsport.

At club level May saw he HSCC Historic Festival take place at Silverstone. The popular event drew a large entry, a highlight was former Le Mans winner Richard Atwood take to the wheel of a Porsche 928 in conjunction with Porsche Cars GB to celebrate the 40th year of the 928. Atwood eventually brought the 928 home in 3rd place and plans to make improvements to the car ready for the next race at Cadwell Park. Richard Tarling proved successful in a very wet Historic Formula Ford race the conditions giving him the distinct advantage, but only narrowly beating Michael O Brien who came in second with Ben Simms in third place. In Formula Junior Sam Wilson did the double, while Richard Smeeton took third place in both races. Andrew Kirkaldy, a replacement for Martin O Connor who was racing at Spa, won both the Pre 80’s Endurance and the Guards Trophy, while in the Pre 80’s Endurance Challenge Kirkaldy took the win in the Chevron B19.

British GT moved on to Snetterton with wins for Minshaw and Keen, their 3rd race win of the season. Race two saw Jonny Adam and Derek Johnston take an historic 11th win, equalling the most British GT3 wins of Hector Lester and David Ashburn. Black Bull Garage 59’s Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell took the win in GT4, their first of the season.

Soon enough we were into June which found us joining Williams Racing for their 40th Birthday fan event which was held at Silverstone.  The celebrations included on track action by some of their heritage cars, driven by some big Williams names, including Felipe Massa and the teams heritage division driver Karun Chandhok. Fans were able to join in pitwalks where the great and good of Williams, past and present were in attendance including Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Keke and Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Riccardo Patrese to name but a few. While cars on display included the beautiful March 761/7 to the iconic 6 wheeled FW-08 to the highly anticipated inclusion of Nigel Mansells FW14B, which took to the track for the first time in 25 years.

A huge crash at Croft resulted in both Jeff Smith and Luke Davenport being cut from their cars and airlifted to hospital. Aron Taylor Smith was also involved in the incident at Barcroft corner and received medical attention on site. The horrific clash resulted in Jeff Smith receiving extensive medical care which meant not only did he miss the rest of the 2017 season, with son Brett stepping up to take his drive at  Eurotech Racing, but it was recently announced that Smith would not be able to compete until autumn of 2018, due to the recovery time from further surgery,  taking him out of the BTCC for next season also.


Meanwhile in British GT at the Blue Ribbon Silverstone 500 event It was an emotional weekend for Rick Parfitt Jr and Seb Morris when they took the win, Parfitt Jnr dedicating his win to his late father.

In his final British GT race as he steps back to concentrate on his team management role, Martin Short along with co-drivers Team ABBA with Rollcentre Racing’s Richard Neary and Adam Christodoulou finished in 5th place.  

In GT4 it was Adam Balon and Adam Mackay in the Track Club McLaren who took the win.


Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi