All posts by Allison Remzi

Toyota win 1000 Miles of Sebring

Pole sitters Fernando Alonso, Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi took the win in the #8 Toyota after an untroubled race at the Florida circuit, a first win for the trio since 2018’s 24 of Le Mans. Sister car #7 helmed by Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez failed to give the #8 crew close competition, when the car with Lopez at the wheel lost almost two laps after contact with the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Jonny Adam, put them in the pits with floor damage to the TS050.
Podium, 1000 Miles of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida

In the closing half hour of the race, heavy rain fell causing a scramble to the pits to change to wet tyres. There was misfortune for Loic Duval, crashing the TDS Racing LMP2 as the minutes ticked down, bringing out the safety car, not releasing the cars until just before the chequered flag dropped. Second across the line was the #7 Toyota with the #11 SMP Racing car of Brendon Hartley, Mikhail Aleshin and Vitaly Petrov, taking the third step on the podium.

In LMP2 it was Will Stevens, David Heinemeier-Hansson and Jordan King who took the win in the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car. Completing the LMP2 podium was #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut’s Nicolas Lapierre, Pierre Thiriet and André Negrão, with Anthony Davidson, Pastor Maldonado and Roberto Gonzalez taking third place in the #31 DragonSpeed Oreca.

With two rounds left of the 2018/19 Super Season, the #37 Jackie Chan DC racing squad lead the points in LMP2.

#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca 07: David Heinemeier Hansson, Jordan King, Will Stevens , 1000 Miles of Sebring, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida

GTE Pro found the Porsche GT Team #91 of Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz take the win with BMW Team MTEK of Alexander Sims, Nicky Catsburg and Martin Tomczyk in second place. Third step of the podium went to #67 Ford Chip Ganassi’s Jonathan Bomarito, Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

While in GTE Am, the pole sitter #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche of Christian Ried, Julien Andlauer and Matt Campbell had a faultless race taking their second consecutive win. The #54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci, Thomas Flohr and Giancarlo Fisichella taking second place and Team Project 1’s Porsche 911 of Patrick Lindsey, Jorg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti.

WEC returns to Spa-Francorchamps for the penultimate round of the 2018/19 season, on May 2nd.

Images ©Fozzy Images

Porsche Carrera Cup GB set as support for Silverstone WEC Weekend

The one make series announced today that its blue-riband rounds would be held on FIA WEC weekend, 30th August-1st September, that being the launch of the 2019/20 WEC Super Season.

Originally pencilled in for Barcelona alongside the European Le Mans series, the change to WEC Silverstone is the first time Porsche Carrera Cup GB has supported WEC since 2016, with format and timings yet to be confirmed. The rest of the fourteen rounds held over seven weekends will continue to be as support to BTCC on the TOCA package, the calendar is as follows:

Brands Hatch-Indy circuit             Rounds 1&2   5-7 April

Donington Park                                     Rounds 3&4   25-28 April

Croft                                                             Rounds 5&6   14-16 June

Oulton Park                                             Rounds 7&8    28-30 June

Thruxton                                                    Rounds 9&10  16-18 August

Silverstone-Grand Prix circuit       Rounds 11&12 30 August–1 September

Silverstone-National circuit              Rounds 13&14 27-29 September

Brands Hatch-Grand Prix circuit    Rounds 15&16 11-13 October

 

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Spotlight on off season fun at Mallory Park

The off season can seem a long drag when you spend most of your weekends trackside from March to October, but there are one or two events that are welcome little gems in the cold winter months, one such being the VSCC’s Pomeroy Trophy that takes place this weekend at Silverstone, their first event of the year, and another is the Plum Pudding Races at Leicestershire’s Mallory Park, which took place on Boxing Day, giving a great day of on track action and a chance to blow off the Christmas cobwebs during the festive period. The event draws large crowds, enjoying some fantastic motorbike, sports car and saloon car racing.


Mallory Park is a great little circuit for spectators due to the compactness, low fencing and a feel of being close to the action. The 2018 event, was the 44th year of the fun event, putting 2 wheeled and 4 wheeled racing together. In the past sidecar racing was also included, but with low entries in the last few years, it’s sadly dropped off of the timetable.

Some of the cars on track included an eclectic array of cars from Ariel Atoms and Caterhams to an MG Midget and MGB.

While in the motorcycle races entries ranged from a Honda 125 to 1000cc Yamaha’s and Kawasaki’s. But fun is the order of the day with many riders competing while wearing Christmas themed fancy dress and a great atmosphere in the paddock adding to Mallory Parks deserved reputation as the “friendly circuit”.

Mallory Park at not even a mile and a half long is one of the shortest circuits in the UK, but is also beloved by spectators, drivers and riders alike. Originally what is now the circuit was part of the estate of Kirkby Hall, after the last occupant died the estate was sold on and as with many circuits in Britain it began life as a military base, being RAF Kirkby Mallory, a Standby Landing Ground until it’s closure in 1947. Thereafter the Hall was demolished in the early fifties with only the stable block and coach house remaining, which now partly form the circuits offices. In the late 1940’s a pony trotting track was formed in the 300 acres, and after the sale of the estate in 1953 the new owner planned to use the trotting track for horse racing. However the collapse of the Kirkby Mallory Racing Association, who were responsible for the running of the track, led to it being hired out to a number of different motorcycle and sidecar racing clubs. The first tarmaced track was constructed in 1956, after the estate changed hands again. The first test of the circuit being driven by Grand Prix driver Bob Gerard in a Cooper-Bristol Formula Two car and Maurice Cann on a Moto Guzzi. The track continued to flourish and maintain its popularity throughout the sixties but by the early seventies Mallory Parks future was under threat when the estate was again put up for sale. The circuit eventually came into the hands of Chris Meek in 1982 and reopened in 1983. Mallory Park continues to be used for racing, testing and track day events and is one of the favourite small circuits in the UK.

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Images @Andy Fitzpatrick

The VSCC’s Pomeroy Trophy returns to Silverstone this weekend

The VSCC’s Pomeroy Trophy takes place at Silverstone this weekend, bringing one of the most unique motorsport tests back to the Northamptonshire circuit.

Tests include braking, handling and acceleration as well as the infamous suitcase test, where entrants are required to carry two standard sized suitcases. Cars range from some fantastic pre war models, just a few of this years entrants include a Vauxhall 30-98 OE Velox 1924, a 1934 Aston Martin Mark IIL, a 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider and a 2017 Citroen C1.

New this year is the side by side event of the Toyota GB’s Parallel Pomeroy Trophy, the trophy or ParaPom as it has been dubbed is open to any model or age Toyota. Using similar tests as those in the Pomeroy Trophy and the same judges, the ParaPom looks set to be quite a draw for Toyota clubs and entrants keen to get on track in a one of a kind event.

The Pomeroy really is a must see event for any vintage car enthusiast and great way to shake off the pre season blues at Silverstone. The Pomeroy Trophy takes place this Saturday 16th February and is free for spectators, gates open at 8am.

Images @Andy Fitzpatrick 

Look ahead to 2019 season in some of our British Championships.

We return from our winter break, with a look at what the 2019 season has in store across a number of British Championships.

In British GT it looks to be another thriller of a season with a number of exciting announcements ahead of next months media day season launch at Donington. Phil Keen will be joined by Adam Balon aboard one of Barwell Motorsports two new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo’s. Balon has for the last two seasons raced in GT4 on board the Track-club McLaren, while Keen has just been confirmed as a factory driver for Lamborghini.

Keen has been partnered for the last few years in British GT by Jon Minshaw who now says goodbye to British GT and continues racing on an international level. Barwells second Huracan will be driven again by the pairing of Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker.

Also returning to British GT is Nicki Thiim who will continue his partnership alongside Mark Farmer at TF Sport aboard the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage,

the teams other Vantage will be driven by Graham Davidson and current British GT champ Jonny Adam. The team will also enter two GT4 cars with upcoming drivers Tom Canning, Rory Collingbourne, Patrick Kibble and Josh Price.

Balfe Motorsport bring the new McLaren 720S GT3 to the Championship, with Shaun Balfe and McLaren factory driver Rob Bell returning for a second season together, fielding the first ever GT model designed and built in-house by McLaren Customer Racing at their Surrey base.

Making a much anticipated return to British GT is Team ABBA Racing, with team owner Richard Neary partnering with Adam Christodoulou at every round other than the June Donington round, when the date clashes with Christodoulou’s appearance at the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

A new addition to the British GT roster is Multimatic Motorsports GT4 Ford Mustangs. Seb Priaulx, Scott Maxwell, Billy Johnson and a yet to be announced driver will be helming the cars, developed by Multimatic which earned Ford the manufacturer’s title in 2018’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

Century Motorsport expands its stable of BMW’s with the addition of the M6 GT3 to be driven by reigning GT4 Champion Jack Mitchell who returns to the team alongside Adrian Willmott. The team also return with two BMW’s in GT4, with the pairing of Angus Fender and Andrew Gordon-Colebrooke. The second pairing is yet to be announced,

While Team Parker Racing will return with the new Bentley Continental GT3 but are yet to confirm driver pairings after the departure of Rick Parfitt Jnr at the end of last season.

There will be a treat in store for Porsche fans when WPI Motorsport bring the new 911 GT3 Cup to the Championship with Michael Igoe and Adam Wilcox taking driving duties.

 

BTCC has a new title sponsor for 2019 with Kwik Fit on board, Goodyear Dunlop continue to supply the competition tyres, meanwhile Trade Price Cars Racing joins the championship with two Audi S3’s, one to be driven by Jake Hill, that had previously been entered by AmD. AmD bought Eurotech’s Honda Civics after the outfit made the announcement after last season that they would be withdrawing from the championship, leaving Jack Goff so far without a drive for 2019. Sam Tordoff and Rory Butcher take the Honda Civic Type R’s into the series with Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance. Tom Oliphant makes the switch to West Surrey Racing in his second BTCC season, while Daniel Rowbottom in his maiden BTCC campaign, takes the vacant seat at Cicely Motorsport alongside Adam Morgan.

BRDC British F3 competitor Billy Monger was honoured at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, receiving the Helen Rollason award, recognising outstanding achievement in the face of adversity. The teenager who returned to racing in F3 a year after his life changing accident at Donington Park, has drawn support from around the world and his inspirational journey continues to gain him fans who look forward to seeing where this coming season will take the Carlin driver who has yet to confirm his plans for 2019.

Current champion Linus Lundqvist started the new year competing in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona after winning the Sunoco Whelen Challenge in 2018. The Swede took the wheel of Precision Performance Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan, a challenging, wet race that was eventually red flagged with less than two hours on the clock due to the poor conditions. However Lundqvist put in a sterling performance alongside Milos Pavlovic, Don Yount and
Steve Dunn, eventually finishing 20th in class.

Meanwhile confirmed to join the championship this year is Hampus Ericsson, brother of Marcus Ericsson. Hampus has previously competed in F4 before moving into British F3 for the final two rounds last year, achieving a podium place in only his second race at Donington Park. The Double R Racing driver looks set to impress in 2019. Hillspeed’s Sasakorn Chaimongkol will return for a second season after a very successful maiden season, while making his debut in BRDC British F3 is reigning British F4 champion Kiern Jewiss who joins Douglas Motorsport, with whom he has previously competed in the Ginetta Junior Championship, being crowned the Rookie Champion in 2017. As ever with BRDC British F3, 2019 looks to be an exciting season.

 

TCR UK enters its second season with a calendar that takes in a round at Spa-Francorchamps, the competitive series aims to continue to grow, having got off to a solid start in 2018. Some changes for 2019 include a revision of race and qualifying formats to bring it in line with the other worldwide TCR UK series, there will also be a drop in the entry fee as well as the introduction of a new class, the TCR UK Cup, in the hope of including drivers participating on an amateur footing. The series opens at Snetterton on April 21st.

 

The Britcar Endurance Championship sees many returning drivers including Marcus Fothergill and Dave Benett, Ash Woodman and Martin Byford, while Sam Neary joins his father Richard Neary, competing in most rounds, behind the wheel of fan favourite, the Team ABBA BMW M3.

Last years championship winner Sarah Moore will partner newcomer Moh Ritson behind the wheel of Tockwith Motorsport’s Ginetta G50. The pairing of David Mason OBE and Ross Wylie will be running one of FF Corse’s Ferrari 488 Challenge’s, a force to be reckoned with when the series return on 30th March at Silverstone.

 

The GT Cup Championship returns on 13th-14th April at Donington Park with the addition of a pair of new cars in the shape of a Mclaren 570GT4 to be driven by Steve Ruston and John Whitehouse and the Ferrari 488 of Ross Wylie and David Mason who will also be competing in the series.

 

With just a small taste of what is in store for some of our home championships, the 2019 season looks set to be a thriller.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Rockingham Super Send Off, chequered flag falls at the Northamptonshire circuit for the final race meeting.

It was the end of an era last weekend, as Rockingham Motor Speedway held its last race meeting, the Super Send Off.

The Northamptonshire circuit opened its doors in January 2001, and was formally opened in May 2001 by the Queen, Rockingham being the first purpose built oval in Britain since Brooklands was established in 1907. Built on the site of a former steel works, Rockingham was ten years in the planning and promised alongside other championships to introduce American style oval racing to the UK.

Rockingham fostered it’s own series, ASCAR, which was later rebranded Days Of Thunder, however the series demised in 2007, the same year that BTCC began its annual Rockingham Round, although the Championship had fielded a one off event there in 2003. 2004 saw the Special Stages Rally first appearance at the venue. The Rockingham Rally Stages will be closing track action at the venue for the final time on December 1st and 2nd.

From 2001 to 2003 British Superbikes held a Rockingham round, it lost the 2004 round to Croft as there were calls to hold some of the Championship further north. The Rockingham round was due to be reinstated in 2005, however BSB pulled further participation at Rockingham due to safety concerns. In later years there were proposals by Rockingham to bring BSB back but financial restraints meant it could not be achieved.  

In August of this year BTCC announced they would not be returning to Rockingham in 2019 stating uncertainty over the circuits future as the primary reason, with other championships following suit, Rockingham then made the announcement that all events for the rest of 2018 would go ahead but there would be a change of business operations in the future. Soon after Peter Hardman, Rockinghams CEO confirmed the closure speculation and revealed the plans for the venue being a huge automotive logistics hub.

There have been mixed feelings amongst motosport fans over the closure of the independent circuit. While the venue has been described as soulless, with the vast empty grandstands adding to a sense of isolation, Rockingham is often stated as a great track for testing, it was fast and always provided good racing. For spectators, it being a new purpose built track, the facilities were excellent and central location an advantage to race goers from far afield.

The Super Send Off attracted a large amount of spectators and marshals wishing to say a final goodbye to Rockingham, many of whom have been volunteering at the venue for numerous years. There were three categories racing: Saloons, Sports & GT and Single Seaters, as well as individual races there was also an hour race.

In Single Seaters the win in both races went to Dave Wheal, joining him on the podium in the first race was Ewen Sergison in second place and Will Cox in third place while the second race found Robert Bailey in second and Marcus Sheard in third. Bailey had an eventful race, spinning a few times in his Jedi MK6 but not stopping him from finishing the race just a few seconds behind Wheal, while Sheard took his podium place at the last corner overtaking Will Cox with just seconds left on the clock. There were DNF’s for Sergison and Nigel Lackford but the small grid still provided some excellent racing.

In the Saloon category Andy Baylie in his Volkswagen Golf took the win in both races with Daniel Kell taking second place and Gary Miller in third place in race one, while Martin Poole and Jason Evans completed the podium in the second race.

Pip Hammond shared racing duties with Esther Quaintmere, Hammond taking their Vauxhall Nova out in the first race bringing it home in fifth place, while Quaintmere completed her race in twentieth place.

But it was the One Hour race and Sports & GT races that saw a significant Rockingham win with the venue’s CEO Peter Hardman taking a fantastic victory in all three races in his Radical SR3.

The day finished with a firework display as Hardman crossed the line in the final race, a poignant farewell to a circuit that has divided opinion, seen some of the biggest names in motorsport race there and given 17 years of entertainment to spectators and drivers alike.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick full gallery will be added to www.finishlinephotos.net

British Rallycross Silverstone

The MSA British Rallycross Championship was wrapped up at Silverstone with three-time Champion Mark Higgins taking the title in a tightly fought round, Higgins eventually took the Championship with just a two point lead over Ollie O’Donovan.

There was disappointment for Xite Racing’s Oliver Bennett who set fastest times in Q2 and Q3 but disaster struck in semi-final one when a fire hit his Ford Fiesta, ruling him out of the final. Lining up alongside Higgins in the final was Dan Rooke, Julian Godfrey, Pat Doran, Ollie O’Donovan, Mike Manning, Steve Hill and Liam Manning.

Higgins took a decisive lead from the start, which he held throughout the race, despite best attempts by Godfrey and O’Donovan to cut into Higgins lead by taking early joker, the Albatec Racing driver remained unassailable, taking the race and Championship title.

In the Junior Rallycross Championship it was a battle to the last for brothers Tom and Luke Constantine with just a point separating them in the standings as they moved into the final round. The duo finished first and second,

Tom taking the race win and title, with Patrick O’Donovan in third place.

The Supernational Championship saw Paige Bellerby absent but her dad and multiple rallycross champion Dave Bellerby stepping into drive the Lotus Exige home to victory, seeing off newly crowned 2018 second time Championship winner Tristan Ovendon.

 

 

In the support races, the Swift Sport Rallycross Championship found Tom Llewellin taking the win. The title had already been handed to Morgan Bailey ahead of the Silverstone round and Bailey opted to sit the event out.

The BMW Mini Rallycross Championship saw outgoing 2017 Champ Martin Hawkes claim the race win, with the Championship title going to David Bell.

In Retro Rallycross, former Champ Ray Morgan was the winner. Rob Gibson took the flag but due to Morgan being within the five second handicap handed to 4 wheel drive competitors, he took the win, with James Harrold crowned the 2018 Champion.

Taking the win in the RX150 Championship and his fourth consecutive Championship title was Chrissy Palmer with former Champ Leo Forster in second place.

The 2019 British Rallycross Championship has been unveiled with the series continuing at Silverstone on the 24th Of March.

2019 MSA British Rallycross Championship Calendar:

24.03.19 Silverstone
22.04.19 Lydden (Easter Monday)
22.06.19 Pembrey
23.06.19 Pembrey
26.08.19 Lydden (Au
08.09.19 Croft
22.09.19 Pembrey
27.10.19 Croft

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Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick and  ©Allison Remzi

 

750 Motor Club Birkett Relay 2018

Drawing the 750 Motor Clubs season to a close last weekend at Silverstone, was the popular Birkett Relay. A busy grid of varied cars fielded by sixty six teams, duked it out over the six hour race, from Mini’s to Radicals, BMW’s to Ferrari’s.

The morning started dry but as the race got underway, the skies darkened and conditions worsened as the race drew on into the late October afternoon.

Taking the overall win was Area Motorsports Cupra Racing team, with Stewart Lines taking the final stint in the Maximum Motorsport TCR UK Cupra, beating Breakell Racing Heroes by just fractions of a second. Breakell Racing took third place in the overall “scratch” results.

On the handicap relay it was the six strong Red Rascal team who took first place, fielding a fleet of BMW M3’s. Second place in the handicap race was Mostly Rusty Two Seaters, who ran four Toyota MR2’s, while third place went to Area Motorsport.

The Armed Forces Race Challenge team finished seventh overall on handicap while the inter-service race found RAF Motorsport successfully defending their title with the RAF Engineering Motor Racing Team finishing 15th overall. Team Brit meanwhile took the Class C handicap win.

There was a welcome return to Birkett Relay, now in its 68th year, of the stunning GEM TVR. The car was last raced in the Birkett by Tommy Entwhistle 50 years ago.

Now in the hands of John Livesey, the car finished 52nd overall.

Full image gallery available on our sister site: http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=9196

Images @Andy Fitzpatrick

Linus Lundqvist takes 2018 BRDC British F3 Championship title

Double R Racings Linus Lundqvist claimed the Championship title this weekend at Silverstone. The young Swede took the win in the first race after starting on pole, and with it the 2018 Championship. He also finishes the season taking the Jack Cavill Pole Position Cup and the Sunoco Whelen Challenge, which will see him compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January next year.

Nicolai Kjaergaard finished second in the championship standings with Kush Maini just behind him in third place.

Lundqvist dominated the race finishing three seconds ahead of second place Tom Gamble, while Billy Monger finished in third place, his fourth podium place this year.

Monger had a scrap for third place throughout the race with Manuel Maldonado, Monger crossing the line just over half a second ahead of Maldonado, although Fortec driver Maldonado was handed a one second penalty post race, being deemed to have gained an unfair advantage, but the penalty made no difference, still finishing ahead of fifth place Ayrton Simmons.

Simmons who moved to BRDC British F3 from F4 in July, has enjoyed the progression to the pace of the Tatuus-Cosworth car, taking his seat with Chris Dittman Racing without any prior testing in the car, his first race in F3 being at Spa Francorchamps in the summer. The youngster from Epping who finished second in the F4 championship standings this year, told us that there will not be a return to F4, and although he has yet to confirm his plans for next year, he has impressed no end with the Chris Dittman team. Simmons loves single seater racing and makes no bones about his desire to progress to Formula One.

There were two further races due to run on the Sunday, however very wet weather conditions meant that after completing just a few laps under the safety car, the red flag fell as the weather worsened and just a few hours later the rest of the MSVR meeting was cancelled, bringing a damp end to the BRDC British F3 2018 season.

 

 

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Signatech Alpine Matmut confirmed as Le Mans LMP2 winners as G-Drive lose appeal

The FIA International Court of Appeal has upheld the decision to disqualify the #26 G-Drive Racing Oreca and the #28 TDS Racing Oreca, from the 24 Hrs of Le Mans on the grounds of their running the cars with modified fuelling rigs.

The French team were able to refuel their cars 25 % faster than other LMP2 entries due to an additional component in the fuel system assembly.  TDS Racing had argued that the regulations does not specifically rule out the use of additional parts, but this defence was rejected when the court ruled that the part protruded into the fuel flow restrictor, stating: “it is not allowable to have a compliant part which is rendered redundant by another part.”

The decision confirms the #36 Signatech Alpine Matmut of  Andre Negrao, Nicholas Lapierre and  Pierre Thiriet as class winners, with the #39 Graff-SO24 in second place and #32 United Autosports in third place.

Image ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

Historic Championship win for Haigh & Adam in British GT Donington Decider

History was made in the final round of British GT at Donington when Flick Haigh became the first woman to take the outright title, alongside Optimum Motorsport team mate Jonny Adam who took his third British GT Championship title. The pair finished fourth in the race but that was enough for them to end the season as champions.

Race winners were Barwell Motorsports Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, despite taking the chequered flag behind the #11 car of Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer, they took top step of the podium when the TF Sport duo were given a 30 second penalty for track limits. Finishing in third place was ERC Sports Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman

As the race got underway there were problems for Balfe Motorsports Mclaren which suffered suspension failure, and withdrew on the first lap. Contact between the #47 Aston Martin of Graham Davidson and Sam De Haan brought Davidson into the pits not long before a lengthy safety car period caused by oil on the track. Minshaw’s lead was wiped out under the safety car but it wasn’t long before he started to build it up again. Further back a squabble for fourth place between Rick Parfitt Jnr and Derek Johnston resulted in damage for both and a retirement for Johnston in his final race.

The pit window opened, and Jonny Adam began his push for the title rapidly making his way up from eighth, doing battle with a relentless Ryan Ratcliffe along the way before eventually making his way into fourth place. Meanwhile Keen and Thiim fought for first place, Keen holding him off, but Thiim’s incredible pace couldn’t be matched by Keen and the #11 car passed into first place. The 30 second time penalty handed to the TF Sport duo only lost them one place but TF Sport took the Team’s Championship title, nine points ahead of Barwell Motorsport.

 

In GT4 it was a nail biting race as there was much to play for. Century Motorsports Jack Mitchell took the title just one point ahead of team mates Ben Green and Ben tuck, Mitchell had started the race with a ten point lead and finished the race eighth in GT4. Title contenders Matt Nicoll-Jones and Will Moore were out of the race early on leaving the top four to fight it out. The safety car period and place changes resulted in Finlay Hutchison taking the lead and Charlie Fagg in second place. A pit lane infringement saw Mitchell and co driver Dean Macdonald incur a 10 second penalty which then dropped them down the order and left the #43 BMW fighting to capture places to hold the title place. Callum Pointon and Patrik Matthiesen briefly held the championship lead but lost it when relinquishing fifth place to Ben Tuck.

McKay and Hutchison took the GT4 win flanked by Tolman Motorsports Michael O’Brien and Charlie Fagg in second place with Joe Osborne and David Pattison in the #56 Tolman Motorsport McLaren in third place. In Pro/Am Scott Malvern and Nick Jones took the class win, while Century Motorsport took the GT4 Teams title.

Equipe Verschuur PMW Expo Team of the Weekend Award

Daniel McKay Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Race Award GT3

Marco Sorensen Sunoco Fastest Driver of the Season Award

Nicki Thiim Sunoco Fastest Lap of the Race Award GT4

British GT returns to Oulton Park on April 20th and 22nd 2019

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Minshaw & Keen take pole in British GT Donington Decider

It will be Barwell Motorsport in first and second place on the grid for the final British GT race of the season tomorrow as Minshaw and Keen took the fastest time in qualifying with the #69 of Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker just behind them.

Championship leaders Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam will start the race from fourth place, while outgoing champion Rick Parfitt Jnr will commence his final race from 13th place.

In GT4 The #42 Century Motorsport of Ben Tuck and Ben Green will be at the front of the GT4 pack just ahead of the Equipe Verschuur McLaren of Finlay Hutchison and Daniel McKay. GT4 Championship leader Jack Mitchell will be in 7th place.

The British GT Donington Decider takes place tomorrow at 1.35.

 

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Donington Decider lookahead

The final round of the British GT Championship takes place this weekend, with Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam topping the points table on 149.5 points, 27.5 points ahead of Barwell Motorsports Phil Keen and Jon Minshaw, who themselves sit only a point ahead of Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim.

With a huge advantage, history could be in the making for the Optimum Motorsport duo of Haigh and Adam, Flick would be the first woman to win the title outright and Adam would be the first competitor to win the title three times,

however the pair still have a 20 second success penalty to serve which along with expected wet weather conditions could add to the unpredictability of the race.
It has been announced that Sunday’s winner will be awarded the DPRAC Tom Wheatcroft Memorial Trophy. The cup is awarded by the Donington Park Racing Association Club to two and four wheeled Championships on alternate years, with previous recipients including Jason Plato, James Ellison, Matt Jackson and Marco Melandri.

There have been a few other GT3 announcements including the news that Rick Parfitt Jnr will be stepping down from racing. The Team Parker Racing driver has stated that he is not ruling out a return and if the right team and co-driver came along he would consider it but for now Donington would be his farewell race.

Another driver who we will be saying goodbye to is TF Sports Derek Johnston who retires after the Donington Decider. Johnston who was the 2016 British GT champion alongside Jonny Adam, started racing in 2007 in Radicals before eventually moving into British GT in 2013.

In GT4 Century Motorsports Jack Mitchell leads on 118 points, 10 points ahead of Century Motorsport duo of Ben Tuck and Ben Green.

The decider takes place at Donington Park on Sunday at 1.35.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

International GT Open Silverstone

Now in its the thirteenth year, the International GT Open returned to Silverstone bringing high level Pro and Am GT racing to the Northamptonshire circuit.

Taking a dominant win in race one was Marco Cioci and Daniel Serra, who led from the front throughout. The Luzich Racing duos #52 Ferrari 488 was helmed by Serra in the first stint who was untroubled by Imperiale Racings Rik Breukers remaining hot on his heels up to the pit window opening. There was an early retirement for Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod after their Team Parker Racing Bentley suffered with a damaged gearbox.


The #19 Lamboghini Huracan of Raffaele Giammaria took the race lead during pit stops while the #52 now in the hands of Marco Cioci rejoined in fifth place. When Giammaria pitted, the #33 Ferrari of Rinaldi Racings Daniel Keilwitz took the lead before handing the 488 over to teammate Steve Parrow.

Cioci in the #52 moved into third place then up into first as the pit window closed. As the race moved into its final laps, Jeroen Mul closed the gap between him and Cioci but it wasn’t enough, as the chequered flag dropped Serra and Cioci took the second win of the season.

 

Race two saw a fantastic win for Tom Onslowe-Cole and Valentin Pierburg. It was a
lights to flag win for the SPS Automotive Performance duo who also raced the fastest lap in their Mercedes AMG, second and third place going to Lamborghinis, second place to Imperiale Racings Giovanni Venturini and Jeroen Mul with third going to Ombra Racings Alex Frassineti and Damiano Fioravanti.

With two rounds left to go, Mikkel Mac tops the championship table on 86 points, eleven points ahead of Andrés Saravia and Fran Rueda. The International GT Open is the sister series to the Spanish GT Championship and visits some of the best circuits in Europe. The next round takes place at Monza on 22nd-23rd September.

Full Image gallery available at   http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=8128     

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick 

WEC 6 Hrs Silverstone: Toyota lose 1-2 finish, win handed to Rebellion

There was a shock twist at the end of the WEC Silverstone round when it was announced on Sunday night that the winning #8 Toyota of Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima and the second place #7 of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez had been disqualified after post race scrutineering.

The stewards decision on the #8 TS05 declared that; “the front part of the skid block deflected 9mm under the specified 2500 N load on both sides of the skid block.” This breached a technical regulation, the stewards report goes on to say “Although there are no reports of the car being involved in any specific incident, the competitor stated that his only explanation for the non-conformity must have been as a result of the car running off-track and sustaining some sort of damage to the internal stays that fix that portion of the car. The stewards considered this possibility but determined that the design of the car must be able to withstand the normal rigors of a 6 hours endurance race.”

In the case of the #7 car “the skid block deflected 6mm on the right hand side and 8mm on the left hand side under the specified 2500 N load at the front of the skid block”. The report goes on to give the same reasons stated in the decision on the #8 car.

Toyota Gazoo Racing responded earlier with the following statement;

“TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has lost its one-two victory in the 6 Hours of Silverstone following a post-race technical inspection.

The #8 TS050 HYBRID of Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso crossed the line to win the third round of the FIA World Endurance Championship from Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José María López in the second-placed #7 TS050 HYBRID.

Both cars suffered damage to their respective front floor areas during the race due to impacts against the new kerbs at Silverstone. Regrettably, this also caused both cars to fail deflection tests in post-race scrutineering. As a result, race stewards disqualified both cars.

The design and construction of the part concerned has not changed since its introduction at the beginning of the 2017 season. Since then it has successfully passed similar tests, most recently at Spa this season.

The team is now evaluating its next course of action.”

It was announced this morning that Toyota have withdrawn their appeal against the disqualifications and released the following statement by Akio Toyoda, the president of the Toyota Motor Corporation:

“All our drivers drove our cars with their full power and the fight for victory was truly exciting for the fans so I truly feel disappointed to lose the result.

I would like to apologize to the six drivers that we could not make a car with which they can win even though they drove all out.

On the other hand, I would also like to thank our drivers for their trust in our cars and for pushing to the limit, as this meant we could learn about improvements which can be made.

We will make our cars even stronger for the next race so that the drivers can drive all out again at Fuji Speedway and fight for another one-two victory to strengthen our challenge for the World Championship.

For the fans, thank you very much for your continued support. I hope you are looking forward to see an exciting race in October.”

The disqualification meant that third place #3 Rebellion Racing Gibson of Matthias Beche, Thomas Laurent and Gustavo Menezes was promoted to first place, with #1 sister car driven by Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer in second place. The #1 car with a driver short after Bruno Senna’s accident in Free Practice 1 in which he sustained a fractured foot.

As the race got underway it was a tricky start as their was contact between many cars in the first few turns including the #17 SMP Racing and #66 Ford Chip Ganassi, the result of contact with the #31 DragonSpeed LMP2 which suffered power problems, the #66 dropped back from LMGTE Pro pole, to back of the class but soon recovered putting in a fastest lap and finishing the first hour, fourth in class.

As the pit window opened just over halfway through the first hour, both Toyotas pitted but it was the #7 that got away quickest. Meanwhile the #11 SMP Racing of Mikhail Aleshin, Jenson Button and Vitaly Petrov pulled over at Copse with Aleshin at the wheel, engine problems took the BR Engineering BR1-AER car out of the race after 23 laps.

There was a first sniff of trouble for the #4 Bykolles Racing Team, with Oliver Webb at the wheel the car dropped down to 30th overall and spent several minutes in the pits. By just over the first hour Sebastien Buemi had reduced the gap between the #8 and the #7 Toyota by 

just over a second, and then slipping past the sister car and into the lead.

Meanwhile in GTE Pro the #67 

Ford continued to power on, moving up into second in class behind the #92 Porsche.

The #8 Toyota pitted and a driver change saw Fernando Alonso taking his first stint.

With fifteen minutes before moving into the second hour of the race, the Ford Chip Ganassi cars now dominated GTE Pro with the #67 well at the head of the class in front of the #66 with Stefan Mucke at the wheel.

Just ahead of the two hour mark, Alonso pulls off an audacious move at Stowe overtaking three GTE’s ahead of pitting a few laps later.

A full course yellow at just over the second hour due to debris on the track at Brooklands caused a degree of chaos, the Bykolles was already spun out on the Wellington Straight but there were a few more offs at the beginning of the period. The Bykolles #4 was duly rescued and their race was over at just over two hours in.

In GTE Pro Harry Tincknell now held the #67 in the lead but the #51 AF Corse with James Calado at the wheel was now second in class.

Halfway into the third hour Alonso took the lead. In LMP2 the #37 Jackie Chan Racing driven by Jazeman Jaafar suffered a puncture, giving the LMP2 lead to the #38 sister car.

Soon after the safety car was out due to debris on the track after the #71 AF Corse Ferrari also suffered a puncture and lost a lot of rear bodywork. The safety car damaged Alonso’s 5 second lead on the #7 Toyota in the hands of Mike Conway.

Eventually with just a second between the two Toyota’s, Jose Maria Lopez managed to pull ahead of Kazuki Nakajima in the #8.

The #90 TF Sport Aston Martin driven by Charlie Eastwood had contact with the #29 Racing Team Nederland, doing some damage to the Dallara P217.

Into the fourth hour there was misfortune for Antonio Felix Da Costa in the #82 BMW Team MTEK when he came off the track, eventually rejoining but suffering with a suspension problem that then brings him to a halt and causes another full course yellow.

As the final hour of the race ticked down there was problems in GTE Am for #56 Project 1 and #90 TF Sport’s cars when they were both handed 1 minute 15 seconds stop-go penalties for pit stop violations, effectively handing victory to the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche.

Meanwhile in LMP1 Buemi took the #8 Toyota back into the lead, by 30 minutes of race time left having a 9.7 second lead on the #7 with Kobayashi at the wheel. And so as the final moments of the race drew to a close it was the #8 car across the line first followed by the #7 swiftly followed by the #51 AF Corse taking the GTE Pro win.

The LMP2 win went to the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing with the #37 sister car in second place, while as expected the GTE Am win went to the #77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Team Porsche.

In post race scrutineering the #91 Porsche of Richard Lietz and Gianmaria Bruni, which had finished second in GTE Pro was found to have breached technical regulations due to having 48mm ground clearance instead of the regulation required minimum of 50mm, the team explained that this was due to extreme tyre wear, but the stewards decision was that competitors must meet minimum ground clearance at all times and the car was disqualified. This promoted the third place #67 Ford Chip Ganassi of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell to second place and the #92 Porsche GT Team of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen to third place.

The next round of the Championship takes place at Fuji on October 12th.

 

Final 6 hours of Silverstone top three in class results:

LMP1

#3 Rebellion Racing- M.Beche/T.Laurent/G.Menezes

#1 Rebellion Racing- N.Jani/A.Lotterer

#17 SMP Racing- S.Sarrazin/E.Orudzhev

LMP2

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing- H.Tung/G.Aubry/S.Richelmi

#37 Jackie Chan DC Racing- J.Jaafar/W.Tan/N.Jeffri

#36 Signatech Alpine Matmut- N.Lapierre/A.Negrao/P.Thiriet

GTE Pro

#51 AF Corse- A.Pier Guidi/J.Calado

#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK-A.Priaulx/H.Tincknell

#92 Porsche GT Team-M.Christensen/K.Estre

GTE Am

#77 Dempsey-Proton Racing-C.Ried/J.Andlauer/M.Campbell

#90 TF Sport-S.Yoluc/J.Adam/C.Eastwood

#56 Team Project 1-J.Bergmeister/P.Lindsey/E.Perfetti

 

Full image gallery available at:  http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=6121

Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick  ©Allison Remzi

ELMS Silverstone: G-Drive Racing take 3rd Consecutive Win

The European Le Mans Series 4hrs of Silverstone saw G-Drive Racing take their third win in a row. The Oreca 07 driven by Roman Rusinov, Andrea Pizzitola and Jean-Eric Vergne, a fan favourite, took a comfortable lead over the #24 Racing Engineering Oreca by the second hour and never looked back.

LMP3 saw the #3 United Autosports Ligier of Anthony Wells, Garret Grist and Matthew Bell take the class win fractions of a second ahead of the #7 Ecurie Ecosse/Nielsen of Colin Noble, Alex Kapadia and Christian Stubbe Olsen.

There was a twist to the end to the race in LMGTE when the first over the line #66 JMW Motorsport driven by Miguel Molina was handed a 10 second penalty for exceeding track limits, however with a 10.126 lead over second in class #88 Proton Competition meant that the #66 Ferrari kept the win by just 0.126 of a second.

G-Drive Racing continue to lead the championship with two rounds left to go.

Full gallery available at: http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=6123

Images ©Allison Remzi ©Andy Fitzpatrick

WEC Qualifying Silverstone; Toyota #7 on pole

Tomorrow’s 6hrs of Silverstone see’s the #7 Toyota of Mike Conway, Kamul Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez take pole position in LMP1, speaking after the qualifying session Conway said; “It wasnt the best start I tried to be greedy on the start of the lap, and had a big moment so had to save the tyres and go again. Jose jumped in and did a mega lap. Good start, the car has been pretty solid from the start so good for tomorrow”

Lopez stated; “I am very happy with my lap, it’s good to start in front, we have a clear line but we have a long race”

In LMP2 the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Jazeman Jaafar, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri  takes pole.  A delighted Jaafar commented; “Step by step we chipped away from FP1, 2 and 3, FP3 was something in which we made a huge step forward and confident for going into quali, obviously the thing to think about is the race and that’s where it all pans out to we really want to achieve, but pole position, we’re really happy with this achievement.“

Team mate Nabil Jeffri said; “I’m very happy with my lap, its good to start in front, we have a clear line but we have a long race”

Sitting on pole in LMGTE Pro is the #66 Ford Chip Ganassi Team of Stefan Mucke and Olivier Pla. Mucke was pleased with their result saying;  “We went out very early in the session at the green light, we put the car in the right window, Oli did a great lap, I get everything out of it, no mistakes. Its a home race for the team so it gives us a push for tomorrow”.

Taking their maiden WEC pole in LMGTE is Team Project 1 in the Porsche 911 driven by Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti. Bergmeister commented; ”I’m definitely very happy for our first pole for the team, for the race I am happy not to be in a pro car, tyre wear is an issue, depending on the weather it will be interesting!”

Perfetti; ”we are delighted, we are very pleased, there were some big changes before qualifying so when I went out there the car was definitely together for the second half”

 

The 6hrs of Silverstone starts Sunday at 12.00.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick 

WEC Silverstone Free Practice

Fridays free Practice 1 and 2 saw the #7 Toyota of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez top the timings just a second ahead of the #8 sister car of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Fernando Alonso, but in todays Free Practice 3 the #8 car was quicker with the #7 car finishing behind the  #11 and #17 SMP Racing duo, 3 seconds behind the sister TS050.  Bruno Senna had an accident in Free Practice 1 in the #1 Rebellion Racing Gibson, and will be missing the rest of the weekend due to a fractured foot, although the car is back out on track today.

The #28 TDS Racing of Francois Perrodo, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Loic Duval was fastest LMP2 in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 3, with the

#38 Jackie Chan DC Racing of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi fastest LMP2 in Free Practice 2.

LMGTE Pro was owned by Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK with the #66 of Stefan Mucke and Oliver Pla heading Free Practice 1 and #67 of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell fastest in Free Practice 2 and 3.

In LMGTE Am Dempsey Proton Racing in the #88 Porsche 911 of Gianluca Roda, Giorgio Road and Matteo Cairoli were fastest in both Friday sessions fresh from their class win at Le Mans In June.

In Free Practice 3 the #98 Aston Martin Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda led the class.

 

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

750 Motor Club Silverstone Round thrills

750 Motor Club headed to Silverstone last weekend with some great racing on the bill in front of some enthusiastic motorsport fans.

Race One was the Porsche Club Championship 25 minute race, the first of two for the championship on the Saturday. The win went to Mark McAleer in his Porsche 996 in an eventful race that saw championship leader Mark Sumpter, and third in the standings, Chris Dyer out of the race on the first corner. Simon Clark suffered gear box issues which saw him eventually finish in fourteenth place.

However Sumpter and Dyer were back for race two on the front of the grid, and Clark returned but only able to use his Cayman in fourth gear which didn’t stop him finishing the race in eighth place, but the win this time went to Paragon Porsche’s Sumpter with McAleer in second place and Dyer in third place.  Moving into the final round at Brands Hatch on September 2nd/3rd Sumpter leads the Championship table in Class 1, just 1 point ahead of Jonathan Evans who leads in Class 2.

The Aim Technologies Bikesports Championship caters for motorbike engine powered sportscars and non-current Radical models. The grid was made up almost entirely of Radicals with just one Spire among the pack. Joe Stables dominated across the weekend in his Radical SR3, winning all three races and consistently clocking the fastest laps. The 19 year old comes from a racing family and has competed in BRDC Formula 4.

Fielding two races across the weekend was the Heritage Parts Centre Formula Vee Championship, the single seater formula has been in existence for more than 50 years and attracts a huge grid of competitors and a large variety of marques. But it was Craig Pollard of Bears GAC who finished first in both races, the second race by just a whisker ahead of second place Daniel Hands

One of the most affordable championships is the RGB Sports 1000, four stroke motorbike engines powering a variety of two seater sports cars. RGB Sports 1000 is an understandably popular championship.

The first race of the weekend for the Championship saw Paul Smith in his Mittell MC-35 take a dominant win, with Mittell’s completing the rest of the line up on the podium courtesy of Christopher “Chippy” Wesemael in second place and Daniel Larner in third.

Race Two found Wesemael take his first win in the championship with a dominant 35 second lead, in a race with some incredibly close racing.

There was some fantastic track action courtesy of Classic Stock Hatch and the Hot Hatch Championship. In the Classic Stock Hatches Matt Rozier took the win in both races in his Peugeot 2015 GTi, while in the Hot Hatches Ben Rushworth took the win in the first race on Sunday, with the second win going to Steve Sawley.

The Cartek Club Enduro Championship is a great way to get into low cost endurance racing.

The Championship is open to production sports and saloon cars, and with a packed, varied grid fielding a variety of marques affording excellent endurance competition. Saturdays 2 hour race found Luke Sedzikowski on the top step of the podium and taking  the Class A win in his E92 M3. While second place went to Darren Ball also in the E92, third place going to Martin James in the Honda Civic Type R. A particularly good place for James who had earlier suffered damage causing him to pit early and was dropped to the back of the field.

Meanwhile in Class B Matt Faizey took the spoils in his Porsche 968, and the Invitational Class winners were Martin Duffy and Andrew Armstrong in their relay BMW M3’s completing in eighth place overall.

On Sunday Paul Cook in his BMW E46, took two for two in the Tegiwa M3 Cup + MTEC Brakes 330 Challenge, while the Gala Performance Toyota MR2 Championship races were both signed, sealed and delivered by Shaun Traynor.

The next 750 Motor Club race weekend takes place at Donington Park on September 1st and 2nd.

Images ©Allison Remzi

WEC Weekend starts at Silverstone with 2019/20 Calendar announcement.

WEC makes its much anticipated return to Silverstone this weekend with all eyes on Toyota after their historic win at Le Mans in June and the announcement this week that Toyota driver Fernando Alonso will be departing from McLaren and F1 at the end of the season.

Along with the excitement of the best endurance series in the word being back on British soil, WEC released their provisional 2019/20 calendar this morning , revealing that visits to São Paulo and Bahrain are re introduced alongside Silverstone, Fuji, Shanghai, Sebring, Spa and Le Mans. The calendar which was drawn up taking into account fan feedback sees a September visit to Silverstone in 2019 but Le Mans as expected retains its June date, the backbone of the FIA series. The provisional Calendar, which is subject to  approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, is as follows:

01 September 2019        4 Hours of Silverstone (Great Britain)

13 October 2019             6 Hours of Fuji (Japan)

17 November 2019         4 Hours of Shanghai (China)

14 December 2019         8 Hours of Bahrain (Bahrain)

01 February 2020           6 Hours of São Paulo (Brazil)

xx March 2020                1000 Miles of Sebring (8 hours) (USA) –To be confirmed 

03 May 2020                   6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)

13-14 June 2020             24 Hours of Le Mans (France)

 

With the two month break since Le Mans over, WEC fans can look forward to a packed weekend of on track action, including the return of Jenson Button to Silverstone for the first time since his last full season in F1 in 2016. Qualifying for WEC gets underway tomorrow afternoon and the 6 hr of Silverstone begins at 12.00 on Sunday.

 

Image ©Allison Remzi

DTM Brands Hatch: The series returns to the UK

The German touring car series returned to the UK for the first time since 2013 and with it a maiden victory for Daniel Juncadella in race one and a home win for Paul Di Resta in race two.

The series was hosted at Brands Hatch which looked fantastic dressed in the DTM sponsorship hoardings and banners and such was the attention to detail the series even brought their own security to the event.  

Starting race one on Saturday from pole position, Juncadella ran an impeccable race despite a slower start off the grid which knocked him down to third place behind Lucas Auer and Rene Rast. However Rast’s pitstop on the first lap immediately handed P2 to Juncadella who then went after Auer. Pitting on the seventh lap, the Spaniard rejoined ahead of Augusto Farfus and on the ninth lap passed Auer, moving into the lead.

Juncadella continued to extend his lead eventually finishing just over 8 seconds of Farfus with Auer in third place. Great Britain’s Gary Paffett finished in sixth place while Paul Di Resta finished in sixteenth place, while former DTM champ and F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein finished the race in seventh place.

Race two saw Di Resta taking his second win of the season, the ex Force India and Williams driver quickly took the lead from pole sitter Gary Paffett. There was some drama when Lucas Auer was hit by Robin Frijns then Augusto Farfus’s BMW hit Frijns’ Audi, all of which brought about a safety car period, after which Di Resta held the lead.

But after Di Resta pitted, it was Audi Sport Team Rosbergs Jamie Green that took the lead, staying out until taking his pit stop on lap 30, putting Di Resta back in the lead and giving him a win on home soil, second place went to Gary Paffett, a Mercedes 1-2,  with Rene Rast completing the podium.

Paffett tops the driver standings, currently 29 points clear of Di Resta, with BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittman third in the championship table. There are four rounds left to go this season with the paddock moving to Misano at the end of the month.

Support racing was provided by the MINI Challenge Championship, as well as Demo Laps by retro F1 cars including the 1991 Dallara F191,

which had been raced by Emanuele Pirro and placed sixth in the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix and the Footworks Arrows FA13B raced in the 1993 season by Aguri Suzuki.

There were also Norton demo laps courtesy of John McGuinness aboard the Norton SG7.

The MINI Challenge saw double wins for ex BTCC driver Ant Whorton-Eales giving him a clear lead in the series standings.

There was a scary moment for former Top Gear editor James Mills when during Saturday’s practice session he had a spectacular crash at Paddock Hill bend, rolling several times through the gravel before hitting the barrier. Mills was extracted and taken to the medical centre but was fortunately unhurt.

The Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup is a new championship with the Brands Hatch round being the fourth meeting. The series fields Audi R8 with GT4 specifications, divided into pro, semi-pro and junior driver categories.

At Brands it was a double win for current championship leader Kris Heidorn.

DTM(Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) had its inaugural season in 1984 with the first rounds in the UK taking place in 1993 and 1994, due to a number of issues 1996 saw Opel and Alfa Romeo withdrawing from the series temporarily bringing DTM to a close. In 2000 DTM returned, fielding a variety of touring cars with lower costs involved, Bernd Schneider, the last champion of the old era was the first champion as the series relaunched. In 2004 Audi entered their first factory team and swept the board taking the drivers, manufacturers and teams championships. 2007 to 2013 saw a period where only two marques, Audi and Mercedes entered and Audi dominated.

Today BMW join them, with six BMW’s on the Brands Hatch grid. With the use of DRS and F1 style pit stops in the event there was a real flavour of top level racing at the Kent circuit. DRS used in zones in F1 has clearly defined use in DTM, DRS is prohibited in qualifying, broadly the use in the race isn’t allowed until the race leader has begun their fourth lap, from which point any driver who has a gap less than a second from the driver in front when crossing the line is allowed to use DRS. The driver is alerted by race control that use is permitted and then it is up to the driver when he uses the aid no more than three times, with some exceptions including during a yellow flag or safety car period.

With the much anticipated return of DTM, it’s hoped that 2018 will be the first of many future meetings in the UK by the premier series.

Full DTM Brands Hatch gallery available at: http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=6014

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

British GT Brands Hatch: Flick Haigh & Jonny Adam take win in penultimate round.

A sizzling Brands Hatch welcomed SRO’s British GT Championship back in the penultimate round of the season. Taking the win was Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam who now top the championship leaderboard.

An initial 12 second lead by Flick Haigh, who started the race on pole, looked set to give the Optimum Motorsport duo the advantage they needed, however a lengthy safety car period ate into that and there was little time to recover time lost once racing resumed, before the pit window opened. But the Aston Martin Vantage now in the hands of Jonny Adam, emerged from a busy round of pit stops in the lead.

However Barwell Motorsports Sam De Haan and Jonny Cocker in the #69 Lamborghini, had held back before pitting took advantage of the clear pit lane and jumped from sixth to first place. And so a battle for first place began between Cocker and Adam.

Further back the field, Barwells #33 Lamborghini suffered an overheated radiator after picking up debris on track, forcing the car into retirement. And there was misfortune for Ryan Ratcliffe and Rick Parfitt Jnr who had been race leaders before the pit stops, when Ratcliffe was run off the track and beached in the gravel. The Team Parker Racing Bentley eventually rejoined the race but was forced to retire after a lodged stone destroyed a brake caliper.  There was a frightening moment for Maxime Martin after a his windscreen was penetrated by a foreign object. Martin was promptly sent to the circuit medical centre and then later Kings College Hospital, London for ophthalmic checks but was cleared to leave that evening.

But back in the race it was Jonny Adam who emerged triumphant with Cocker finishing just short of 5 seconds behind him and third place going to TF Sports Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim.

In GT4 Balfe Motorsports Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson took the win despite understeer problems with the McLaren that led to Johnson describing it as sounding like “a bag of tools in the passenger footwell”.

Meanwhile the fight for second place was hotting up between Team Parker Racings Scott Malvern and Martin Plowman in the UltraTek Racing Nissan, however a dominant Ben Tuck in the Century Motorsport BMW soon made his way past Malvern before tackling Plowman and relieving him of his second place, consigning him to the third step of the podium.

The season finale of British GT takes place at Donington on September 22nd/23rd.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick 

Silverstone Classic: Fantastic racing across scorching weekend.

The ever popular Silverstone Classic returned to the Northamptonshire circuit bringing a packed race card of on track action. Just one highlight was the Masters Endurance Legends, a new addition to the programme that saw past Le Mans machines from 1995 through to 2012, racing into the evening. 

Some of the icons of endurance racing included the Lola B12/60 driven by Steve Tandy which took the win in the stunning Saturday evening race as well as the Sunday afternoon race,

the Audi R8 LMP1 driven by Travis Engen and the Gulf liveried Lola-Aston DBR 1-2 driven by Christophe D’Ansembourg and Herve Regout. Sir Chris Hoy, no stranger to endurance racing, took to the track in the Courage LC75 in Sunday’s race finishing in sixth place.

Sunday was dominated by tin tops, as celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of BTCC continued. There was a track parade with dozens of classic cars from the Austin A105 Westminster as driven to the first championship win by Jack Sears, to the 2017 winning Subaru which was driven by Jason Plato.

Four touring cars races on the Sunday alone gave the opportunity for fans to see the likes of Rickard Rydells Volvo S40, Abbie Eaton behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore and father, son duo Nick and Harry Whale dominated in the Historic Touring Car Challenge aboard the BMW M3.

Continuing the the Touring Car celebrations, BTCC driver Jake Hill dominated in the Pre’ 66 GT Race at the wheel of a Lotus Elan, the same race also found Richard Attwood, the driver who gave Porsche their first overall win at Le Mans in 1970, behind the wheel of a stunning 1965 911.

A firm fan favourite was the Classic F1 machinery on track courtesy of the FIA Masters Historic Formula One races and the Legends of Modern Formula One parade.

The parade laps gave the chance to see and just importantly hear cars that in their time were driven by Ayron Senna, Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet, Jaques Villeneuve and Jenson Button. Cars such as the Lotus 1010, Saber C30 and Jordan 198. Nick Padmore continued his domination of Historic Formula One taking the Williams FW07C to the win, flanked by perpetual F1 Historic front runners Martin Stretton and Michael Lyons.

As the Ace Cafe took over the National Paddocks Pit Stop Cafe and a chunk of the National Paddock, it drew a large crowd of motorbike enthusiasts ready to also enjoy a fantastic parade display by the World GP Bike Legends, including Phil Read,

Freddie Spencer and Wayne Gardner, on some iconic machinery from GP’s past.  

Just one of the anniversaries commemorated was Formula Junior. The 60 year old series attracted a huge grid of over 50 entries and some fantastic, close racing. Will Mitcham in the U2 Mk2 took the win on Saturday, while Andrew Hibberd took the honours on Sunday in his Lola Mk2.

Off track there was plenty for 

the enormous crowd to enjoy from car clubs to car clinics to a funfair and evening entertainment from UB40 and Soul II Soul. The event has garnered a peerless reputation as the must do event for anyone interested in classic cars and racing. And with 100,000 visitors enjoying the weekend, its huge popularity and success looks like it is set to continue.

The Classic will return to Silverstone  July 26th/27th/28th 2019.

Full Galleries available here:  http://www.finishlinephotos.net/?p=190 

Silverstone Classic 2018: Friday

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

British GT Brands Hatch Qualifying: Haigh and Adam take pole Position

Jonny Adam and Flick Haigh take pole position in GT3, for tomorrow’s two hour British GT race at Brands Hatch.

The pair currently sit fourteen points behind Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen, however GT3 Championship results will remain provisional due to Optimum Motorsports MSA appeal after May’s Snetterton outing.  Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam was awarded a 30 second time penalty, which dropped them from fourth place to ninth and a reduction in Championship points. Along with the outcome of the appeal there is everything to play for tomorrow.

 

TF Sport’s #17 and #11 Aston Martins will begin the race at the back of the grid after Mark Farmer ended up in the gravel at Paddock Hill bend, less than 2 minutes into the session. While the #17 of Marco Sorensen was at the bottom of the timings after losing a wheel early on, only rejoining as the session drew to a close.

Team Parker Racings Rick Parfitt Jnr was quickest in the Am class however problems for Ryan Ratcliffe during his session will see the duo start 8th on the grid.

In GT4 Jack Mitchell and Dean Macdonald take pole handing Century Motorsport a 1-2 as Ben Green and Ben Tuck in the #42 BMW M4 sit in second place on the GT4 grid, while Academy Motorsports Jan Jonck and Tom Wood finished third fastest.

Tomorrow’s Brands Hatch race starts at 1.40 and is live streamed via  www.britishgt.com

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

 

British GT Spa: Victory for Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin

The British GT Spa round resulted in a maiden win for Graham Davidson and Maxime Martin aboard the Jetstream Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage.

The chaotic race opened with Flick Haigh on pole, however a spin early on and a stop/go penalty for Ram Racings Remon Vos and Tom Onslowe-Cole, handed Davidson & Martin the lead. There was also strife for Nicki Thiim and Mark Farmer on lap one when their #11 Aston Martin caught fire with Farmer at the wheel, taking the duo out of the race. Another casualty after the safety car period lifted was the #99 Beechdean AMR of Darren Turner and Andrew Howard, who took an early pit stop with a radiator problem and exited the race.

Contact between Barwells Sam De Haan and Jon Minshaw caused problems for De Haan in the #69 Lamborghini as he was deemed to be have caused the tussle and given a 10 second stop/go penalty while Minshaw also lost places but managed to make them up by the time the pit window opened.

The second half of the race wasn’t without incident firstly the Team ABBA Mercedes AMG  caught fire, taking Adam Christodoulou and Richard Neary out of the race, and bringing the safety car out again but that didn’t diminish Martins lead in the #47 Jetstream Aston Martin, going on to take the chequered flag 8 seconds clear of Ryan Radcliff with Matt Sorenson in the #17 Aston Martin in third place.  However a post race 30 second penalty for Sorenson and Johnston for avoidable contact, saw them dropped down to seventh place, with Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam inheriting the third place on the podium.

In GT4 it was victory for Century Motorsports Dean MacDonald and Jack Mitchell. Pole sitters Charlie Fagg and Michael O’Brien held the lead for the first hour despite the chaotic start and with only a few seconds between them, Finlay Hutchinson, Ben Tuck and Lewis Proctor.  As the pit window opened Proctor along with the lead car headed into the pits only to have the Tolman Motorsport McLaren shared with Jordan Albert catch fire, forcing their retirement.

A safety car period saw Fagg lose his lead and pole switching to MacDonald and Mitchell, while Equipe Verschuur’s Daniel McKay and Finlay Hutchison took third place.

SRO’s Speed week  place at Spa kicked off with British GT last weekend and culminating in Blancpain GT the following weekend, the British GT Championship continues at Brands Hatch on August 4th and 5th.

Images  ©Andy Fitzpatrick