Tag Archives: BTCC

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

BTCC 2018 Season Launch Media day

As the series celebrates its 60th year the paddock descended on Donington Park for the BTCC 2018 season launch media day with a chance for a first glimpse at new liveries and some new team additions.

Eagerly anticipated was the Halfords Yuasa Honda Civic Type R in its stunning new livery. The team which said goodbye to Gordon Shedden earlier in the year welcomes former Porsche Carrera Cup GB Champ Dan Cammish alongside three times BTCC Champion Matt Neal “The Honda is a quantum leap forward, we’ve done some running, we’ve got to learn it’s sweet spots.”

While new team mate Cammish commented on following in Sheddens footprints: “I’m in a great  seat in a fantastic team as a rookie which doesn’t happen very often, I’ll do the best job I can”.

Reigning champ Ash Sutton was on hand to unveil the handsome new Adrian Flux Subaru Racing livery, of his move to the Subaru last year; ”Moving to Subaru was the right thing to do all the stars were aligned” Sutton is firmly back to contest his title.

Teammate Jason Plato commented ”I’m keen to start afresh, it was new ground for me where stuff went wrong. But if it was easy there would be more names on the trophy”

Team BMW’s Rob Collard, Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington took to the press conference stage, Turkington had a difficult finish to the season last year, when in the final race of the championship contact between Mat Johnson and him meant his race and championship was over: ”It’s difficult when you get so close to winning, runner up is the most difficult place to finish. The chin didn’t stay down for long, the motivation to come back for this season, it’s fortunate I’m on one of the best seats on the grid, hoping we can hit the ground running and be a force once again”

Collard commented ”I’m very pleased to retain my seat at WSR, my main aim is we see the whole season through and don’t end up in an ambulance! I wasn’t able to fight for the championship, Colin was so close at Brands Hatch, perhaps if I had been there we might have been able to clinch all three titles, we clinched two titles and that’s at least our aim this year, between the three of us aim for the drivers title”

The mic was handed to Andrew Jordan who went on “This year looks super, super competitive, the championship is at an all time high, and over the winter I signed a three year deal with Pirtek, which shows how strong the Championship is”

Rob Austin’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta was a popular unveiling and after topping the timings in the afternoons testing, despite it being the first time out in the wet, was a positive signal for the Duo Motorsport with HMS Racing driver. “Everybody wants to win, it’s no different for us and hasn’t been any different for me in 27 years of racing – we’ll be going to Brands looking to do the absolute best we can”, Austin added, “Realistically we don’t know what everyone else is doing, but we’re just going to concentrate on our job, focus on what we need to do and then see where we are at the first round.

“As I’ve said, we know others have more in the bag but so do we, so we’re in a good place as things stand. What I will say, this Duo Motorsport with HMS Alfa Romeo is the best package I’ve ever started a season with, so we’re definitely feeling confident for the new season.”

Sam Tordoff returns to BTCC with Team GardX Racing with Motorbase, after a year in British GT. Tordoff explained “I hate sharing a car,

I needed to go away and reset. I had a fantastic year racing GT’s but coming back here was always the end goal. I’m delighted to be back and excited to be driving the new Ford Focus RS.

Alan Gow kicked off the press conference talking about the 60th anniversary of the championship which is also the third oldest championship in the world. There are several plans throughout the year to celebrate BTCC’s Diamond Anniversary, not least the Diamond 60 mile race at the Snetterton round in July, where double points will be available in a winner takes all race. There are also plans to celebrate the 60th year at this years Silverstone Classic and there will be an adjustment to the rookie cup, the Jack Sears Trophy, which will also now find anyone who has not been on the podium eligible to lift the prize at the end of the season.

Gow also announced the new addition of a specially imported Ford safety truck which is equipped with the very latest and best in rescue and cutting equipment, and is the only one of it’s kind in Europe.

ITV will continue in its commitment to the Championship with its popular coverage and extensive highlights programme on ITV4.

Ben Crawley, Dunlops European Motorsport Director spoke about Dunlops long term commitment to BTCC, now in its 15th year as tyre supplier. Crawley went on to announce how due to fan feedback this year they would be introducing a blue sidewall on the blue response wet  tyre making the tyre easier for fans to identify on track.

Jonathan Palmer

MSV boss and Donington Park owner Jonathan Palmer was also in attendance where he spoke about the ongoing improvements to Donington which included new toilet blocks, offices, new grandstand, tarmaced paddocks and a new restaurant replacing the Pit Stop Diner. Improvements much needed to bring Donington Park back up to scratch.

The opening round of the season takes place at Brands Hatch on April 7th/8th.

BTCC 2018 season launch media day

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Aron Taylor-Smith switches from BTCC to GT for 2018

The MG Triple Eight driver announced today he is stepping away from the British Touring Car Championship to begin a new chapter racing in GT.

©Andy Fitzpatrick

Taylor-Smith made his debut in BTCC in 2011 and has raced successfully with Team BMR, Team BKR and in 2017 with Triple Eight. It has been a difficult season for the 28 year old, finishing in the top ten just once and sustaining a fractured leg in the horrific crash at Croft that also saw Luke Davenport and Jeff Smith put out off action.

It is not yet confirmed which series Taylor-smith will be competing in but the Irishman has stated he is in talks with the SRO Blancpain GT Championship but is also considering options to race in America, but has not ruled out a return to BTCC in the future.

©Andy Fitzpatrick