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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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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

FinishLineSports.net Year in Review Part 2….

July saw the British Superbikes Championship at Snetterton with Shane”Shakey” Burns taking his first double of the season. Josh Brookes took second and Jason O’Halloran third place in both races while James Ellison who was front row for race one suffered ECU problems but looked set for a podium place in race two before crashing out with only 6 laps to go. While Bournemouth Kawasaki’s Luke Mossey and Leon Haslam both suffered crashes which had knock on effects across race day.

The newly launched LMP3 Cup undertook its Silverstone round in July for some great racing despite a small field of entries. With six cars going into the first race it was Colin Noble and Alasdair McCaig in the #79 Nielsen Racing car that took first place, with the #3 United Autosports car in second and a fantastic debut LMP3 race for Callan O Keefe who started at the back of the grid but quickly took the lead in the #72 Douglas Motorsport car.

However a 60 second penalty for being a solo driver hindered his blistering start but the 21 year old eventually finished in third place, #2 United Autosport car of Christian England and Andrew Evans despite starting on pole finished fourth, fifth going to Nielson Racings #9 car driven by Dean Gibbs and Alex Kapadia and Speedworks Motorsports Andrew Bentley and Jack Butel in sixth place. On Sunday it was United Autosports #2 and #3 cars that locked out the front of the grid in qualifying with the #3 car of Tony Wells & Matt Bell going on to take top of the podium with McCaig & Noble taking second again and another podium place for O’Keeffe.

The Silverstone Classic also took place with a huge range of on and off track action including the Celebrity Challenge race  five teams were all led by motorsport experienced team captains. Anthony Reid who has had a lengthy career predominantly in Touring Cars but also British GT, led Going for Gold, SKY Sports Stars was helmed by former Formula 1 driver Rupert Keegan, Bike Legends by Touring Car driver Steve Soper, Rocking & Racing by Martin Donnelly who previously raced in Formula 1 and Formula 3000 and Screen Stars captained by Mark Blundell who has competed in Formula 1 and won the 24 Hrs of Le Mans in 1992.

It was Steve Soper for Bike Legends who took top step of the podium flanked by Martin Donnelly in second and Martin Blundell in third. Wayne Gardner the Former Motorcycle GP champ came in 4th just ahead of ex Top Gear presenter and racing driver Tiff Needell. The winning team accruing the most points were Screen Stars, the team consisting of Blundell, Vassos Alexander, Ant Anstead, Theo Paphitis, Tony Jardine and Tiff Needell. The winning team accruing the most points were Screen Stars, the team consisting of Blundell, Vassos Alexander, Ant Anstead, Theo Paphitis, Tony Jardine and Tiff Needell. And with 16 classes of track action being held at the Silverstone Classic it was a packed back to back timetable of historic racing.

Ranging from Formula Ford which celebrates its 50th anniversary with a large grid of over 50 entrants including Tiff Needell in his Lotus 69F and winner of both races Michael O Brien in the Merlyn MK20A, to the increasingly popular Group C Le Mans winning cars of the 90’s. As well as appearances by the Moto GP Legends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Roll on 2018 season!

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi
























FinishLineSports.net year in review Part 1….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Motorcycle Live 2017

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

Ducati introduced the Panigale V4 Superbike, an exciting addition, the first mass produced Ducati to be equipped with a 4-cylinder engine as such, closely related to the Desmosedici, Ducati’s MotoGP bike. The V4 issues 1103cc and can be configured to produce almost 220bhp. As the most advanced bike produced by the Italian brand, it is a highlight of the show and a must see for visitors to the show.

While Honda revealed its CBR1000R, the top spec model in the new trio of naked machines which includes the CB300R and CB125R.

Also adding to their formidable stable is Triumph with the updated Tiger 800 XC and XR, while the Tiger 1200 XC and XR range has also received significant technical updates. Also on display on the Triumph stand is the Moto2 engine that they will be supplying exclusively from 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

Kawasaki also introduced the Supercharged Ninja H2 SX and the new Ninja ZX-10R SE, with its electronic semi-active suspension.

 

Norton looks ahead to the 50th anniversary of the Commando, launching new anniversary editions along with the new model.

KTM launched their new  KTM 790 Duke, a beautiful, lightweight machine boasting 105 hp, a pared down chassis and integrated, up-to-date connectivity.

Other areas of the show include the Black Horse live stage, the platform for celebrity interviews and panel games hosted by Steve Parrish and James Witham. Joining them across the week are famous names such as Johann Zarco, Niall Mackenzie, Taylor and Tarran Mackenzie, Leon Haslam, Maria Costello, Ian Hutchinson, John McGuiness and Carl Fogarty to name but a few.

While the Arenacross FMX Live gives a taster of the popular Freestyle Motorcross spectacle, a show that sees the FMX team perform incredible airborne tricks and manoeuvers.

Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick  additional images  ©Allison Remzi

Lancaster Classic Motor Show: Classic Car Heaven at the NEC

The Lancaster Classic Motor Show returned to Birmingham NEC with an amazing array of classic cars and bikes on show, filling 5 halls. The theme of this years show was ‘Family Ties’ and the interpretations of that theme didn’t disappoint. From nostalgic family cars to family businesses, to a display including the Williams FW08 of Keke Rosberg and Williams FW30 of Nico Rosberg. The theme ran strong throughout the three day event.

In attendance was the prestigious Silverstone Auctions, with a large selection of lots including the 1968 Jensen Interceptor Mk1 that had belonged to Eric Morecambe

which sold for £95,625 a 1990 Audi Quattro Turbo that sold for £69,750 and a Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 which sold for an incredible £112,500.

In the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition, 20 finalists fought it out to take the sought after trophy and in a public vote take the title of Best in Show. That honour went to Simon McNamara with his fully restored 1983 VW Golf GTi Mk1.

Also competing were the 16 finalists in the Meguiar’s Club Showcase, the car care brand sponsored the competition which saw marques such as an E Type Jag rub shoulders with a Pontiac Wagon, Wolseley Hornet and eventual winner a stunning Mini Cooper.

Among the many car clubs present was The Porsche 924 Owners Club, who displayed a fantastic selection of owners cars alongside the Porsche Club of Great Britain. The club were fresh from winning the Classic Car Magazine, Club Magazine of the year.

Just one of the cars on display was the 1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GTP which raced at Le Mans, driven by Tony Dron and Andy Rouse, finishing in 12th place.

The car which had been in storage at the Porsche museum at Stuttgart was worked on by four UK Porsche Classic centres bringing the car back to life including a period correct GTP engine and the hand painted decals restored.

With tentative plans to have the car shown more widely over next year, it’s hoped it will be possible to see the stunning example back out on track sooner rather than later.

Porsche Club of Great Britain were also celebrating the 40th year of the 928 and on display was the 1978 928 which has competed in various Historic Sports Car Club events this year, entered by the UK Porsche Classic centres, with 1970 Le Mans winner Richard Atwood at the wheel.

The 928 was the final transaxle Porsche model, intended to replace the 911, the 928 did not initially gain the sales anticipated but went on to attract a loyal following over and beyond its 18 year production run.

At the NEC celebrating the re-launch of their historic oil brand was Duckhams. The heritage company which launched in 1899 was behind the invention of the first ever multigrade oil, Duckhams Q in 1951.

The brand, which was a huge part of the motoring industry, initially focuses on delivering oils for classic vehicles before expanding into modern vehicles and motorsport, the company having had a long association with Formula Ford, launching the career of Nigel Mansell, David Coulthard and Ayrton Senna among others.

Among familiar faces at the show was Ant Anstead and Mike Brewer launching the latest series of Wheeler Dealers, and Car SOS presenter Fuzz Townshend on hand to meet and greet fans on the Frost Restoration stand.

 

All things two wheeled weren’t excluded with a fantastic selection of classic bikes on display, with clubs present including Clifford Arms Classic Bike and Car Club, Royal Enfield Owners Club, Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club and the UK Honda Turbo Association.

In the Comet Classics Pride of Ownership competition there were over 30 entries including a display of eight Honda MBX 125’s in all the available paint combinations. But the win went to a 1922 Harley Davidson JD.

 

Allison Remzi    Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick

Formula Ford: Walter Hayes Trophy 2017

It was a fantastic weekend of close racing at Silverstone for the final race of the HSCC calendar, the Walter Hayes Trophy. With large grids of Formula Fords, Closed Wheel races, including the British Women’s Racing Drivers Club and for the first time a Britcar into the night endurance race.

Lifting the Walter Hayes Trophy for the first time in his career in Formula Ford was an emotional Michael Moyers, who crossed the finish line just ahead of Josh Fisher in a superb display of  close, hard fought racing.

After an extremely wet qualifying session on Saturday morning, which saw more than its fair share of incidents there was success in the afternoons races for Matt Round-Garrido, Ross Martin, Joey Foster, Keith Donegan, Michael Moyers and Josh Foster.

Meanwhile last years champion Niall Murray tangled with Keith Donegan after a fierce battle between Murray and the front sitters, Donegan was set to take the win but a 3.3 second time penalty was given to him putting Jonathan Kotyk on the top step of the podium and Murray in second place.  

BRDC British F3 driver and former British GT GT4 champion Jamie Chadwick competed across the weekend, finishing third in Race 3 encountered a problem with positioning on the grid in the Grand Final, but eventually finished in 25th place.

The conditions although colder and breezier were much drier on Sunday for the Grand Final race. Moyers who started in third place took an early lead and after making a move on Josh Fisher in the closing lap crossed the finish line just fractions of a second ahead of Fisher with James Raven in third place.

There was a large group of retirees in the race including Cameron Jackson, Thomas McArthur and David McArthur who were caught up in the carnage behind a spin involving Jonathan Kotyk and Stuart Gough. While in the closing laps, Matthew Cowley, Jack Wolfenden, Oliver White, Joshua Smith, Ross Martin and Joey Fisher also bowed out.

Moyers who was overcome by the win has had a lengthy career in Formula Ford and has been with Kevin Mills Racing for the last 6 years, at last striking the winning formula in the teams Spectrum 011C.

Allison Remzi      Images ©Andy Fitzpatrick ©Allison Remzi

Porsche take 2017 WEC titles in Shanghai

A resounding win for Toyota in Shanghai wasn’t enough to hold off Porsche from winning the 2017 Championship titles. The #8 car of Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima crossed the finish line just ahead of the #2 Porsche of Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley, while the Porsche #1 car of Neel Jani, Andre Lotterer and Nick Tandy took third place.

 

The Porsche team were already set to clinch the drivers championship with a third place position when the #7 Toyota being driven by Jose Maria Lopez had an incident with a GTE Pro car causing a pit stop and a promotion to second place for the #2 Porsche 919 and handing the manufacturers title, which would have been open otherwise until the Bahrain round to Porsche. It being Porsche’s 3rd consecutive year to win both titles.

In LMP2 the #31 Vaillante Rebellion of Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal took the win after an epic race filled with incidents. It had looked like Jackie Chan DC Racing’s Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent had laid the way for the win after a faultless opening stint, but when the team collided with the No.26 G-Drive Racing car they saw their advantage slip away, eventually finishing in fourth place.

 

Meanwhile it was victory for Ferrari as they took the GT World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship, with the #51 in third and #71 finishing sixth being enough to seal the title.

The race win however went to Fords Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell, their second of the season in the #67 Ford Ganassi Ford GT.

It  was the #98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy that took the win in the LMGTE Am class, their third win this season.

 

The final WEC round of this year and before the launch of the ‘Super Season’ in 2018 takes place in Bahrain on November 16th-18th.