MSVR Club Car Championships at Silverstone

The MSVR Club Car Championships rolled into Silverstone on the National circuit, bringing a varied programme of excellent racing from the newly created Heritage Formula Ford, which caters for pre 1993 FF1600’s to the ever popular Mini Challenge classes where a fun spectacle is always guaranteed.

Twenty FF1600s lined up on a scorching Sunday at Silverstone to compete in the Jim Walsh Trophy for Jack Cavill Heritage Formula Ford. Oliver White, Lewis Fox and Jaap Blijleven took to the podium in both races taking first, second and third respectively.  Oliver White takes the Jim Walsh Trophy for 2018, a title he already holds and makes his wins at Silverstone three out of four this season.

The MINI Challenge is an immensely popular series with 4 classes JCW, Cooper Pro, Cooper Am and Cooper S. Some of the classes are on the support package of major series such as BTCC and British GT. Competing at Silverstone was MINI Cooper Pro/Am and Cooper S.

In the Pro/Am class Kyle Reid took the win in race one after holding the lead for the majority of the race until being passed by Simon Walton and Robbie Dalgleish, however this drop back was short lived with Reid regaining the lead Walton taking second place and Dalgleish taking third.

Race two saw the first 6 places reversed and Reid on the 4th row and Andy Jordan on pole. However this didn’t stop Reid from battling through, a slight spin on the grass shifted him back for a while, but eventually he made it up into second place behind winner Robbie Dalgliesh who had easily taken the lead within the opening laps, flanked on the podium by Simon Walton in third.

The Cooper S class was looking to be a romp home for Jono Davis, however a puncture put paid to a victory in the first Cooper S Class race of the day with the win going to Will Fairclough, Rob Austin in second and Andy Montgomery in third place.

Race two which like the Cooper Pro/Am Class also featured a reverse grid saw Jono Davis improve on his earlier result, taking the lead toward the end of the race while Will Fairclough who was carrying ballast struggled to match his earlier performance but finished in P2 just ahead of Andy Montgomery.

The F3 Cup Championship brought some great single seater action with Cian Carey taking two dominant wins compounding his second place in the driver standings. In race one he did battle with Shane Kelly throughout, but Carey had the edge, Kelly having to be content with P2 with Stuart Wiltshire in third place.

Race two saw a shuffle of places on the podium, Carey again taking the top step,this time with Wiltshire in P2 and Shane Kelly in third place. The race began with a delayed start due to Philip Jeans car stalling on the green flag lap, but as the lights went out Carey got off to a flying start passing pole sitter Tony Bishop, the previous race top three went into battle but it was a commanding race by Carey leaving Wiltshire and Kelly in his wake.

Race three was a different matter, there was drama from the off when Kelly’s Mugen F308 failed on the grid, he was pushed back to the pit lane but that was the end of his race. Carey held the lead but was under pressure from Wiltshire, the duo eventually making contact resulting in a retirement for Wiltshire, and a lead for Darragh Daly, with Baptiste Leonard just behind him. Carey managed to finish the race alongside Phillip Jeans, however a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits put him further down the order into 5th place and giving Daly his debut F3 Cup win, with Baptiste Leonard in second place and Jeans in third.

The MSVR All-Comers is a great fun series, which attracts a varied array of cars from Caterhams to BMWs to TVR’s. Taking the podium in the same order in both races on Sunday was Tony Bennett in his Caterham, flanked by Mark Rusted in his TVR Cerbera in second place and AJ Owen in his Honda Civic in third place.

Another popular MSVR series is the Trackday Championship which also attracts an eclectic mix of cars and a huge grid split of 5 classes split into two races. Class B, C & D race saw Gary Burstow in his BMW 328i Coupe take the overall and class B win over a second ahead of Simon Hogg and George Wright in their Porsche 944 with Pete Jokinen in third place in his MINI Cooper S.

Top of class C was Sam Gay and Colin Tester in the Honda Civic, with Kevin Sterling in second place in his Ford Fiesta and John Griffiths and Tom Rogers in the DLR Motorsport Renault Clio in third place. First plass in Class D was Phil Burden in a Ford Fiesta, second was Rob Burnham and Tom Starkey in their Ford Puma, while third in class went to Roger Everett in his Ford Fiesta.

The more modest grid of the S & A Class found a number of DNF’s but Class S and overall winner was Ryan and Jamie Gibb in the BMW M3, with Callum McDougall and Ben Simonds in second place with the Caterham SuperSport and Warren Allen in third place in his Porsche Cayman. The only finisher in the A Class was Les and Nik Barton in the VW Golf Cup.

 

The MSVT Trackday Trophy also saw a large grid with a variety or entries but wins in their first race went to Jordan & Ray Honeybone in the Renault Clio. While the MSVT Teams Trophy race found top step of the podium going to Ty Boothroyd and Michael Pensaville in their BMW M3.

The ever popular Radical SR1 Cup saw a fantastic grid of fourteen cars. There was some incredibly close, thrilling racing especially between James Pinkerton and Ryan Harper-Ellam who took a win apiece and with just fractions between them in the first race where Pinkerton triumphed and just over two seconds in the second race which found Harper-Ellam on P1.

Pinkerton now leads the championship 28 points ahead of Harper-Ellam. Pinkerton was quoted saying: “This weekend has been great for the championship. I didn’t expect to extend the points lead as it’s clear that Ryan was really quick here.

“I think the switch to the newer Gen2 design bodywork has helped as it’s made the car feel a lot more stable in the high-speed stuff. But I was speechless after race one – it was an insane race! We were both pushing pretty aggressively but giving each other enough room and those final stages were so tense as I nearly threw it all away on the final corner but just managed to come out on top.

“I pushed too hard at the start of race two and that cost me ultimately as I over-drove the car and went backwards. But this has still been a great weekend.”

Third place in both races went to Will Hunt.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

BRSCC Races at Rockingham

Last weekend saw the return of the BRSCC Race Weekend to a scorching Rockingham. The club which is more than 70 years old runs some of the most popular and diverse championships in British motorsport.

A packed timetable at the Corby circuit saw great racing action from a variety of BRSCC Championships, from the Drayton Manor Park MG Metro Cup to the sports prototypes in the OSS Championship. After a busy morning of qualifying on the Saturday, the first race got underway, the Track Attack Race Clubs trio of series, the Nippon Challenge- races open to any Asian Brand, the Tricolore Trophy- open to production and modified Citroen/Peugeot or Renault. And finally Multi Marques, which is open to any brand of modified sports, coupe or saloon car.

A large entry list saw Tony Hunter in his Silverstone Golf Club sponsored Renault Clio take the win in race one and two, with James Breeze, Chris Bassett, Don Hughes and Nick Gwinnett completing the podiums in race one and two respectively.

The Mazda MX-5 SuperCup, which currently runs as a support race on the new TCR UK series package, displayed some fantastic racing and a packed grid of 24 entries. The top of the championship standings sees a tight race between top three drivers Luke Herbert, James Blake-Baldwin and Jack Harding with very few points dividing them.

And so it was that those three dominated the first two races with Jack Harding taking the top step of the podium in race one and three and third place in race two. While James Blake-Baldwin took the win in race two and second place in race one, Luke Herbert took third place in race one and second place in race two. Completing the podium in race three was Steve Roberts in second place and 2017 rookie of the year Aidan Hills in third place.  

The popular Toyo Tires Porsche Championship also featured, with the added twist in their third reverse grid race, of a mandatory pit stop. This added a lot of fun to the final race and was a popular addition amongst the teams.

Race one saw the first win of the weekend for a dominant, championship leading Adam Southgate. Second place in Class A(Race Boxster) was Kevin Molyneaux and Jesse Chamberalin in third. While Gavin Johnson took the Class C win in his Porsche 924.

The second race on Sunday saw Karl Rossin join the grid on the back row after missing qualifying on Saturday and joining the Production GTi Championship for their qualifying session in his 924, eventually finishing the race third in class and thirteenth overall. Jamie Callender borrowed a Boxster to compete after being disqualified in race one, due to a missing roof and screen, however a repeat of overheating problems that had struck in race one brought his race to a halt on the sixth lap.

There was another second podium place for Kevin Molyneaux, with Garry Lawrence completing the Class A podium, Gavin Johnson and Hugh Peart hit the podium again in Class C accompanied by Rossin in third place.

Race three saw the reverse grid and Andrew Baker on pole however Nick Hull was quick to take the lead before Jesse Chamberlain took it from him. However a spin at Gracelands saw him rejoin in fourth place. Adam Southgate again powered on now in the lead and as the pit window, the grid began to peel off to complete the mandatory pit stops.

At the chequered flag Southgate took his third win of the weekend with Nick Hull in second place and Garry Lawrence in third. Class C saw Rossin on the top step of the podium with Hugh Peart in second and Richard Matthews in third.

Next up was the Fiesta Championship with MRF Tyres which saw pole sitter Ryan Faulconbridge take the win in race one joined on the podium by Myles Baker in second place and Richard Ashmole in third place. Race two on Sunday saw Faulconbridge again on the podium in second place with Harry Gooding taking the top step and Jamie Going in third place.

While race three saw Gooding again take the win with Going in second place and Tom Hutchins in third. This puts Gooding in the lead in the Championship standings, just 4 points ahead of Jamie White.

The Speed Group OSS Championship saw a grid of fifteen prototype machines take to the circuit from Radicals to a Juno to a Chrysler Jade. The championship races weren’t without their problems, the heat bringing challenges for many competitors. But in race one it was Josh Smith who took the chequered flag in his Radical PR6, with Patrick Sherrington in the MCR Sport who came second and Joe Stables in the Radical Pro 6 taking third place.

The podium positions were repeated in the second race however race three saw a change in order when in the opening laps Joe Stables had to retire with engine problems, leaving the top two positions in the hands again of Josh Smith and Patrick Sherrington while Daniel Prendergast took third place.  

In the very competitive Drayton Manor MG Metro Cup there were two races with Jack Ashton taking the win in race one, Dick Trevett in second place and older Ashton brother Andrew in third place. Race two found Andrew Ashton this time taking the win, Trevett again in second place and Przemyslaw Glodek in third place. The series continues at Donington in July.

The Speed Group F1000 races gave spectators a chance to see some fantastic single seater racing. The championship which was formerly Formula Jedi, sees machines on track powered by 1000cc motorbike engines. The series is a cost effective way into single seater racing and has been the launch pad for many successful drivers. First place in race one was Robert Sayell, second place Paul Butcher and third place Michael Watton who currently sits at the top of the championship results 4 points ahead of Dan Clowes.

In race two the podium was shuffled with Paul Butcher in first place, Robert Sayell in second and Watton again in third. But race three the final race of the weekend, saw Sayell again on the top step, Dan Clowes in second and Adam Walker in third. The championship continues on the the TCR UK support package at Castle Combe on July 14th/15th.

The Fiesta Junior Championship is a great stepping stone for young drivers moving up through motorsport, with entries open for competitors aged 14 to 17, giving the championship a deserved reputation as a highly competitive and flourishing junior series. With a modest grid of 9 entries there was still some great racing to enjoy for some promising youngsters. In race one Championship leader Magnus Kriklywi was set to take the top step of the podium but a 2 second penalty for a driving safety infringement saw him moved back to second place handing the win to James Waite, Oliver Turner joining them on the third step.

The second race of the weekend however saw Kriklywi redeem himself finishing just over a second ahead James Waite and Isaac Smith in third place. Abby Lock was awarded the Driver of the Meeting.

The Teekay Coupling GTi Championship is a very popular one make championship with a Mk 5 and Mk 2 class. The principles of the championship is to keep costs and modifications low and driving standards high. Race one saw Paul Blackburn take the chequered flag ahead of Simon Hill in second place and John Mawdsley in third. All three in the Mk5 class while top of Mk2 was Tim Hartland, Chris Webb and Dan Gibbs.

Race two belonged to Mk5s Martyn Walsh, with James Colbourne in second and Paul Blackburn in third. While Mk2 class winning line up remained the same as in race one.

Rounds 7 & 8 take place at Castle Combe on the TCR UK package.

Images ©Allison Remzi

Historic win for Toyota at Le Mans

The world’s most famous race saw Toyota take an historic 1-2 win, the first time the manufacturer has made the top step of the podium since entering the World Endurance Championships in 1985. The #8 car of Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi took a dominant win two laps ahead of the #7 of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and José Maria Lopez.

The rest of the LMP1 field, non-hybrids, struggled to keep apace and technical problems befell many including SMP’s Jenson Button. This led to a somewhat sterile race on the LMP1 grid, but making it to third step of the podium was the #3 Rebellion Racing of Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes, with #1 sister car finishing in fourth place.

 Of the historic win Alonso commented; “It’s amazing, I’m still a little bit in shock right now. It was very stressful at the end when we were all watching. It’s been a very tense 24 hours. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll start to realise! I felt okay in the traffic. Sometimes you’re lucky for a few laps and then sometimes you’re unlucky and you get in a bad loop but the race suited my driving style and it all worked out.”

In LMP2 there was some controversy when post race #26 G-Drive Racing of Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne was disqualified from the top spot after it was discovered they had breached a technical regulation due to the “non-compliance of a part in the fuel restrictor.” the same applied to #28 TDS Racing Oreca of Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxivierre and Loic Duval. Although the teams have appealed the decision, this promoted the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut of Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and Andre Negrao to first in class with the #39 Graff of Vincent Capillaire, Jonathan Hirschi and Tristan Gommendy in second place and the #32 United Autosports of Hugo de Sadeleer, Will Owen and Juan Pablo Montoya completing the revised podium.

But it was in LMGTE where the racing really lit up and Porsche secured a fantastic 1-2 Pro class win in the German marque’s 70th year. Taking the win was fan favourite the #92 of Michael Christensen, Kévin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor.

Porsche’s commemorative liveries. pics copyright and courtesy of Porsche.de

The car which was liveried in the “pink pig” scheme chosen by the drivers and seen at Le Mans on the 917/20 in 1971 crossed the finish line one lap ahead of the #91 Rothmans replica liveried Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki, with the #68 Ford Chip Ganassi of Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and Sébastien Bourdais in third place. The Fords, Ferraris and BMW’s gave the most competition to the class winners but ultimately lost out due to penalties and technical problems. The #95 Aston Martin Racing, only a week old and Le Mans its second race, of Nicki Thiim, Marco Sorenson and Darren Turner finished 8th in class while last years LMGTE winner Jonny Adam aboard the #97 Aston Martin finished 13th, a tricky weekend for Aston Martin.

LMGTE Am saw victory for Patrick Dempsey’s Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche team #77 of Matt Campbell, Christian Ried and Julian Andlauer who finished just ahead of #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Thomas Flohr, Francesco Castellacci and Giancarlo Fisichella. Dempsey commented “Qualifying was chaotic. I was sure something would happen in the race, but I have never had a race go so smoothly before.  These young drivers had such a level of class. These are young stars emerging! Imagine, you’re in your first race here at Le Mans, at 18 years of age, and he took the lead! “

The Dempsey-Proton sister car #88 had led the class until early on Sunday morning when a spin off took it out of the race.

The #85 Keating Motorsports Ferrari of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Luca Stolz finished in third place.

The next World Endurance Championship round is at Silverstone August 17th/19th.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick and Porsche.De

Le Mans 2018 Look ahead

With the countdown firmly on to the weekend and the pinnacle of endurance racing, we take a look at the Super Season so far and what is in store in one of the greatest motorsport events in the racing calendar.

The season got underway in Spa last month with the LMP1 #8 Toyota of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso taking the win. A superb start for Alonso in his debut WEC season. The McLaren Formula 1 driver was delighted with the result: “There’s been a lot of preparation into this project with winter testing, with simulator, with a lot of people in the factory building these two cars. Then you have to come to the races and deliver the results. I think we executed the race in the best way we could, and I’m extremely happy to win my first endurance race. Seb and Kazuki I think did an amazing job, made my life a little bit easier, and thanks to everyone in the team.”

In LMP2 the #26 G-Drive Racing of Jean-Eric Vergne, Andrea Pizzitola and Roman Rusinov took the class win, Vergne commented: “I think it was an amazing win. Obviously we don’t win in endurance without two good drivers and a good team, so big thanks to them. I think I did five stints in total.
The first two stints I drove, we pushed really hard. I think we extended the gap to 1m20-something. Then when I took back the car, we kept extending the lead, and then we had the Safety Car, so the lead went down to 12 seconds and I had to push again. Then I left, just didn’t do any mistakes, and went across the finishing line first.”

With such a great opening round delivered, Le Mans looks set to host another fantastic weekend of gruelling racing. The LMGTE Pro class will see a grid of seventeen entries, with Ford and Porsche both fielding four cars each.

Two of the Porsche entries will be in special liveries commemorating classic Le Mans liveries of the 70s and 80’s.

Paul di Resta

LMP2 Fields a huge grid of 20 entries with Jackie Chan Racing boasting 4 entries including two Ligiers as well as the Oreca’s. Algarve Pro Racing make their Le Mans return and United Autosports are joined on board their #22 Ligier by commentator and former F1 driver Paul di Resta.   

Charlie Eastwood

And there will be a number of familiar names making their Le Mans debut alongside di Resta and Alonso. Most prominently Jenson Button who will be on board the # SMP Racing LMP1. But other names familiar to motorsport fans include Pastor Maldonado, Mike Rockenfeller, Antonio Felix da Costa, Euan Hankey and Charlie Eastwood.

Fresh from his win in British GT last weekend Nicki Thiim will again be competing at Le Mans alongside fellow British GT Aston Martin drivers Marco Sorensen and Darren Turner.

Thiim also won the Silverstone round of Blancpain Endurance with new outfit R Motorsport in May.

Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal will be the official race starter as the 24hr event gets underway at 1.30 pm GMT, 2.30pm CET on Saturday. While Grand Marshall will be 6 times Le Man winner Jacky Ickx.

Free practice commences this afternoon followed by the first qualifying session, with the final two qualifying sessions starting tomorrow evening.

Le Mans 2018 look ahead images ©www.porsche.de  ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi 

British GT: Farmer and Thiim Triumph at Silverstone 500

It was another victory for TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim as they took the GT3 win in the British GT Silverstone 500, the championships Blue Riband event. The duo also took the RAC trophy previously held by Rick Parfitt Jnr and Seb Morris. In an action packed race which saw multiple position changes at the front of the pack it was Barwell’s Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen that took second place after a great drive that saw them move up from twelfth place. In third place was Optimum Motorsports Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh in their first visit to the podium since their win at Oulton Park in April.

Riccardo Sanchez and Struan Moore who had began the race in pole position after a dominant qualifying run, looked set to repeat that performance holding a 16 second lead before the first round of pit stops, however when Struan Moore took over, the RJN Motorsport duo started to lose places.

Moore pitted again after completing just a few laps as his seat had come unclipped, slipped back in the Nissan GT-R Nismo and left Moore struggling to reach the pedals. Sanchez was duly sent back out and the pair eventually finished in fifth place.

Rick Parfitt Jnr had started the race in fourteenth place, was paired with former team mate Seb Morris who was drafted in at the very last minute when Ryan Radcliff was taken ill overnight.  Parfitt Jnr set a great pace getting past Jon Minshaw then Andrew Howard before spinning out after over steering, dropping Parfitt Jnr down to 13th place.

Morris took the seat and the Team Parker Racing #1 Bentley went on to finish in P6, they were set for P4 but a two place penalty was awarded post race due to Morris committing a yellow flag infringement.

Mark Farmer held pole position until the first pit stop when Marco Sorensen in the #17 TF Sport Aston Martin moved ahead, multiple order changes occurred, Beechdeans #99 Aston Martin with Darren Turner at the wheel also taking P1 for a while, but the pair struggled throughout with the performance of the Vantage eventually finishing in ninth place.  While Flick Haigh also fought her way up the order before handing the wheel to Jonny Adam in the final stint who consolidated their position.

Team ABBA’s Richard Neary made a return appearance at Silverstone alongside Adam Christadoulou, the team are currently entrants in the Britcar Endurance series, but just at over the half way point two bolts sheered from the front of the suspension mounting bringing the Mercedes AMG to a halt near the International pit straight and out of the race.

But it was Thiim and Farmer who remained unstoppable even despite losing places after a spin with Farmer at the wheel due to taking a hit from the #47Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin. Thiim fought back hard after serving success penalties, with just a one second gap ahead of Phil Keen which he widened to 3 seconds, bringing the #11 Aston Martin home in first place for the second time this season. 

Mark commented: “The team played a master stroke(with strategy) and Nicki drove  the car like he stole it and the team executed the pit stops flawlessly. Nicki stated: It was a great weekend, we started off really good, it was perfect I am so happy to win this race”

GT4 found the #43 Century Motorsport BMW of Alex Schjerpen and Jack Mitchell take the win after some hard fought racing right down to the drop of the flag, securing a second back to back win for the Century Motorsport squad.

Equipe Verschuur’s Finlay Hutchison and Daniel McKay who had started the race on pole suffered with front suspension failure in the final hour forcing their retirement and handing the lead to #42 Century Motorsports Ben Green and Ben Tuck, however after serving their success penalty the duo dropped back towards the end of the race.

The Tolman Motorsport McLarens had mixed fortunes with two of the three having to retire but Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert had a faultless drive moving from seventh into first place before being dropped back to second which they held for the remainder of the race. Ben Tuck did battle for third place with Academy Motorsports Matt Nicoll-Jones, with Tuck managing to hold Nicoll-Jones off initially but as Patrick Matthiesen also went into the fray however contact with the Academy Motorsport Aston Martin although giving a clear run to the finish line, also resulted in the positions being reversed post race.

While Matt George who was competing in two cars found himself without the drive in the Invictus Games Racing #44 when it was retired early on in the race. However the Aston Martin shared with James Holder faired better finishing seventh in class.

At the post race press conference Alex Schjerpen had this to say: “The BMW was flying and Century did a brilliant job of the pit stops, Jack went fastest and was flying as well! we knew the BMW would be good but didn’t know how good.”

The next British GT round takes place at Spa on July 21st-22nd.  

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

British GT Silverstone Qualifying: Sanchez and Moore take pole

In his debut British GT outing Ricardo Sanchez put the RJN Motorsport Nissan Nismo on pole in GT3 for tomorrow’s 3 hour race at Silverstone. Sanchez, who partners Struan Moore, is a former GT Academy winner and recently took third place in the Silver Cup in the Blancpain GT Series at Silverstone.  While second place in qualifying was fastest in Free Practice 1, Mark Farmer and Nicky Thiim.

Farmer completing his session just 0.7 seconds behind Sanchez. The duo only just claiming second after mere fractions of a second kept third place Maxime Martin and Graham Davidson. Barwells Minshaw and Keen start from 13th, one place behind Championship leaders Yelmer Buurmen and Lee Mowle.

Equipe Verschuur claimed their first GT4 pole, Finlay Hutchinson and Daniel McKay comfortably holding off second position Academy Motorsports, Tom Wood and Jan Jonck.

Hutchinson remarked: “The car was perfect – I couldn’t fault it! This is the first time since Oulton Park that, as a team, we’ve maximised everything, and that Dan and I have managed to pull something out of the bag. I think this is his first endurance race so it’ll be a bit different to what we’re used to tomorrow.”

Third on the GT4 grid will be Fox Motorsports Mark Murfitt and Michael Broadhurst, Broadhurst also setting fastest time of the day and a British GT4 qualifying record in the second session, Murfitt was fastest in the Am category finishing his session seventh overall.

Elsewhere in GT4 Matt George held a good pace, his driving two cars in the event meant his Am Generation AMR Super Racing co driver James Holder went up against the pros in the second session giving Daniel McKay the advantage to put the Mclaren 570S on pole.

George’s second drive in the Invictus Racing #44 Jaguar alongside Paul Vice will start the race from 21st place.

British GT Silverstone Qualifying Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi

British GT Silverstone 500 look ahead

British GT  Silverstone 500 takes place this weekend for the series Blue Riband 3 hour race. The Silverstone 500 puts points and a half up for grabs as well as the prestigious RAC Trophy, last year won by 2017 champions Seb Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr.

The event will also field the largest entry list of the season with 36 cars on the grid. Entries to look out for include former GT4 championship contender Alex Reed who returns aboard the Team HARD with Trade Price Cars Ginetta alongside Benjamin Wallace Reed commented: “I came so close to winning the British GT4 title in 2017 and hoped to return for another run at it this year, so it’s great to be involved, especially as I’ll be back behind the wheel of a Ginetta, which I’m so familiar with. I’m confident in Team HARD’s ability to provide a competitive racecar and there’s no doubt in my mind that we have the potential to achieve something spectacular at Silverstone.”

While long time Team HARD driver Jordan Stilp joins Callum Hawkins-Row in the #34 Ginetta after Anna Walewska earlier announced her withdrawal from the Silverstone round alongside University of Bolton who will also no longer be working with Team HARD.

Invictus Games Racings Matt George will be the first competitor to drive 2 cars in the same race when he continues his mentorship with the Invictus Games backed squad driving alongside Paul Vice and also joins James Holder in the Generation AMR Super Racing Aston Martin.

Speaking at an Invictus Games Racing VIP event George said: “Yes I am fortunate to be racing Aston Martin as well as the Invictus Car, it’s something that has not been done before, I’ve been training very hard and eating healthily. It’s going to to be difficult, it’s going to be a fantastic challenge and it’s nice for us professionals to prove to these guys(the Invictus Games Racing am drivers) that we are working as hard as they are!

Another addition to the grid will be Ricardo Sanchez who joins Blancpain team mate Struan Moore in the #24 RJN Motorsport Nissan, fresh from the teams Silver Cup podium place at Silverstone in May.

With Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman leading the championship just four and a half points ahead of Barwells Minshaw and Keen and a very competitive Darren Turner and Andrew Howard on 66 points in third place, the top of the leaderboard is wide open with points and a half available at Silverstone.

The British GT event features Supercar Sunday, a chance to see a paddock full of owner driven supercars, and the three hour race takes place on Sunday at 13.10.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick