Donington Park provided the backdrop for a spectacular two days of track action this past weekend (August 21/22) as the British Automobile Racing Club took centre stage at Convoy of the Park. Making a triumphant return after a pandemic-enforced hiatus last year, the festival of all things trucking was back and better than ever, with a bumper trackside crowd soaking up the variety of attractions situated around the Leicestershire venue. Whilst the likes of a stunt arena and a glittering array of Show Trucks garnered plenty of attention away from the track, on it saw non-stop edge-of-the-seat entertainment in mixed weather conditions. The British Truck Racing Championship served up five blockbuster contests and there was to be action aplenty across both Division’s 1 & 2. In Division 1, former champion David Jenkins ignited his title charge with a strong showing as he scored a brace of wins, as did Martin Gibson, whilst John Newell was the other winner. In Division 2, Michael Oliver enjoyed a weekend to remember as he marked his return to the series with a hat-trick of wins. Jock Borthwick and Craig Reid also tasted success as they topped the podium in the remaining two bouts.
The best of British Kart racing's talent took to the PF International Circuit at the weekend, reports Paul Horton. Trent Valley Kart Club staged the UK Kartmaster’s British Grand Prix in Brandon, near Stragglethorpe, an event that saw spectators and enthusiasts flock to the circuit for the first time in more than 16 months due to the pandemic. The vast event all began on Thursday with free practice followed by Friday and Saturday’s qualifying heats, leading up to Sunday’s race day. There were 60 races including the class heats over the event, with around 36 racers in each race, lasting for 15 minutes and one lap. Highlight was Sunday afternoon’s Grand Prix races, with 288 entrants competing over eight races. The Honda Cadet and IAME cadet races were both won by 11-year-old Noah Wolfe, making history by winning both GP plates on the same day. Junior Rotax Grand Prix honours went to Daniel Guinchard, while the Junior X30 title went to Luke Watts in the Tony Kart machine. astest karts on track saw Senior Rotax GP winner Guy Cunnington while the Senior C30 Class Grand Prix winner was Harry Platten. Previous winners of the races include Lewis Hamilton, Alex Albon and George Russell who won in 2009 and 2010.
The overall winners of HERO Challenge One 2021 : 1. Angus McQueen and Mike Cochrane – BMW 323i 2. Alistair Leckie and Matt Outhwaite – SAAB 900 Turbo 3. Nick Pullan and Andy Pullan – Hillman Imp Deluxe The highlight of the day, bookending the start and finish of the day’s competition, was rally driver and CASA Hotel (rally HQ) owner, Steve Perez’ Walton Lodge estate stage's. A mixture of fine gravel and tarmac roads around the magnificent lodge lead to a series of twisting, undulating private gravel tracks including some forest. The four tests at the estate were a big hit with teams as rally cars were unleashed accompanied by huge plumes of dust With temperatures peaking at 30 degrees plus in the beautiful rolling hills of the Derbyshire Peak District, crews and cars were battling heat and dust, whilst some suffered mechanical malfunctions. The 145 mile route included ten tests and eight regularities across the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District, at one point taking a short link section around the top of Chatsworth House which was famous for Sunday spectator stages on the RAC Rally in the nineties. Two crews at the top their respective games, reaching new highs of their competitive progress, were Angus McQueen and Mike Cochrane who blazed to victory in their BMW 323i with Alistair Leckie and Matt Outhwaite hot on their heels once more for second place in their SAAB 900 Turbo. But causing a sensation as their little 1967 car sizzled and popped its way to the podium, sometimes on three cylinders, were father and son Nick and Andy Pullan in their Hillman Imp.
Toprak Razgatlioglu won race one at the World Superbike round at Donington to reduce runner-up Jonathan Rea's championship lead to 15 points. The Yamaha rider produced a superlative ride to come from 13th on the grid to take his second victory of the season by 2.4 seconds after 23 laps. Polesitter Rea led early on but his Turkish rival stormed through the field and overtook the six-time champion. Rea's Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes won a thrilling battle for third place. Englishman Lowes claimed the final podium place, 10 seconds behind Rea, by seeing off the challenge of compatriot Tom Sykes, with Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam completing the top six. Northern Irishman Rea had raced to a fourth consecutive pole position of the 2021 series in a wet Superpole session but by the time the race started the track was damp but drying. The defending champion, a treble winner at the Leicestershire circuit in 2019, led off the line but behind him Razgatlioglu was blasting his way up to fifth by Turn One. Rea produced a couple of incredible saves to stay on his bike as he tried to make up ground and regain the lead in tricky conditions but his rival was able to control affairs from the front and maintain a steady advantage. Jonathan Rea crashed out of the lead of Sunday's race a to hand the championship advantage to rival Toprak Razgatlioglu. Northern Irishman Rea lost the front of his Kawasaki while battling Yamaha's Razgatlioglu for the lead on lap 10. The six-time champion remounted to finish in 20th position, his first time out of the points in 34 races. Razgatlioglu, leads the championship by two points over Rea. Yamaha's Garrett Gerloff was second and BMW's Tom Sykes completed the podium with his second rostrum of the day.
Held at the NEC since January 1991, Autosport International celebrated its 30th anniversary between the 9th and 12th January 2020 at the NEC in Birmingham. As usual a ‘Three Shows In One’ event featuring ‘Racing Cars’, ‘Performance Cars and tuning equipment‘ and ‘Engineering’ The regualr January date for the annual pre-season event covers all areas of motorsport, both professional and grass roots, from karting right up to Formula One. Featuring the very latest in motorsport, automotive and performance engineering technology, alongside cars and exhibitors from every level of motor racing, this must-attend event uniquely caters for the industry and motorsport fans alike; encompassing two trade-only days* for members of the motorsport industry to meet, network and do business and two days for enthusiasts to see the fastest cars, biggest stars and most amazing live action.
Lewis Hamilton dominated the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to end the season in which he won a sixth world drivers' title on a high. The Mercedes driver led away from pole position and cruised off into the distance, untroubled by anyone behind.In a soporific race, Red Bull's Max Verstappen took a comfortable second after Ferrari slipped backwards.Charles Leclerc ran second in the early laps, ahead of Verstappen, but slipped back to third. Leclerc held off an attack from Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages, the Finn right on his gearbox on the final lap, after an excellent race from the back of the grid.Leclerc was at risk of losing third place because governing body the FIA discovered before the race that the amount of fuel Ferrari said was in his car was different from the amount that was when it was checked.But after a post-race investigation, Ferrari were fined €50,000 for what had been a 4.88kg discrepancy and the result stood. Hamilton's victory was his 11th of the 21 races that have been held this season, and equals his previous best performance - in 2014 and 2018. It also moves his career total to 84 wins, just seven behind the all-time record held by Michael Schumacher. That sets the 34-year-old Briton up to potentially exceed Schumacher's win tally and match his all-time record of seven world championships in 2020. He was in a race of his own from the start, quickly opening a sizeable gap over Leclerc and never looking under any threat thereafter. Hamilton, who tied up the title last month at the US Grand Prix, said: "I'm proud but just super-grateful for this incredible team and all at Mercedes who have continued to push this year. "Even though we had the championship won we wanted to keep our head down and see if we could extract more from this beautiful car."
Double British Rally champion Russell Brookes, famous for driving his ‘Andrews Heat for Hire’-liveried cars, has passed away at the age of 74. Born on August 16, 1945, Brookes began competing in the early 1960s. But it was 1974 when Brookes signed the pioneering deal with heating/cooling hire company Andrews-Sykes when his profile skyrocketed. The Worcestershire-born driver got a big break in 1976 when he received a works Ford Escort for the British Rally Championship – which he lost to Ari Vatanen – but in the firm’s RS1800 he took his first British title one year later against stiff competition. He had to wait until 1985 for his second British title, coming at the end of a fierce two-year battle with Opel Manta 400 works' teammate Jimmy McRae, father of 1995 champion Colin. Despite that almost eight-year wait for a title, Brookes took wins – in most cases multiple victories – on most of the major prestigious events of the period, including the Circuit of Ireland, Manx, Ulster, Welsh and Scottish rallies, all at a time when the majority of the drivers in the World Rally Championship would come to the UK to compete in parallel programmes, raising competition. Brookes rarely ventured into the WRC, but scored three podiums on his home event, the RAC Rally (now Wales Rally GB), plus a sixth place on Rally Finland in a Vauxhall Chevette in 1982 and retired from the Tour of Corsica in 1977 while driving for Ford. In his career Brookes drove everything from Minis, Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, Lancia Delta Integrales, Porsche 911s and Opel Kadetts – as well as his trusty Escorts and Mantas – in a career which spanned three decades as he retired from regular competition at the end of 1991. He still competed in sporadic events and even won the historic-based RAC Rally in 1997, and was still giving demos in his eclectic cars last year, a regular at events like Rallyday and Race Retro.
The 2018 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Tom Gamble drove a Formula 1 car for the first time at Silverstone as part of his prize. Gamble, 17, has spent the 2019 season competing in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe series for the WRT squad in an Audi R8 LMS. Although Aston Martin has since taken over as an Award partner, McLaren returned to the grand prix venue to run Gamble in the ex-Jenson Button MP4-28 from 2013. The Ginetta Junior champion and BRDC British Formula 3 race winner completed an installation lap, followed by four runs of flying laps in the 2.4-litre V8 car. He told Autosport: "It's such a good car. I knew it'd be fast, but I didn't think it would be that fast! "Everything, the speed is phenomenal, the braking, the aerodynamics. It's awesome. "I just want to keep going. It's so good, such a good car. "A massive thanks to McLaren for giving me the opportunity. "When I saw the [pit]-in board, I said, 'I might just keep going' - see what they say!" In preparation for the test run, Gamble had already undertaken a session in the McLaren simulator in a tuned 2019-specification car. For his run at Silverstone, Gamble ran on Driver Academy Pirelli slick tyres, which meant the runs were split between flying and cooldown laps. Mark Temple, who was a race engineer for Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton, handled Gamble's data for the test. He said: "I was impressed with his approach. "He showed firstly that he was able to adapt his own driving very well and think about what he was doing. "He was able to respond to our advice - we'd show him some data and where changing an area of his driving would help him. "He has that quick adaptation." The session was watched by the 2019 Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award finalists. Enaam Ahmed, Jamie Chadwick, Johnathan Hoggard and Ayrton Simmons will be put through their paces this week with a two-day evaluation test at Silverstone in MotorSport Vision F2 and Ligier LMP3 machinery plus a Garage 59-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Once again a huge crowd turned out for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - and once again they were treated to a thriller. Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas looked to have done everything right as he led from the front and fought off team mate Lewis Hamilton, but a Safety Car intervention gifted his Mercedes team mate a free pit stop, allowing him to leapfrog the Finn and ultimately a record sixth home win. But the lead battle was just part of the story... Behind the Silver Arrows there was wheel-to-wheel action galore, as the Ferraris and Red Bulls engaged in a tense battle for third. It was eventually won by Charles Leclerc, but only after Max Verstappen had been dramatically punted out of the position by the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel... Bottas led away from pole position and held off a spirited attack from Hamilton in the early laps, before the Briton wriggled through at Luffield – to the delight of a packed house at Silverstone. But Bottas wasn’t having any of it, tucking into the slipstream before catapulting his Mercedes up the inside at Copse to retake the lead in sensational fashion. From there, he controlled the race from the front and was the first to pit, as he was the lead car and therefore was on the optimum strategy, re-joining third, behind Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. But then Antonio Giovinazzi beached his Alfa Romeo in the gravel, bringing out the Safety Car. Championship leader Hamilton dived into the pits, as did Vettel, and rejoined in the lead before taking the chequered flag for his seventh victory in 10 races in 2019, with Bottas finishing second. Hamilton hammered home his pace with the fastest lap on the final lap of the Grand Prix, on 30-lap old tyres, usurping Bottas, who pitted late on for fresh rubber. Red Bull had to settle for fourth and fifth with Pierre Gasly and a recovering Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz, who like Hamilton had a free stop when he pitted under the Safety Car, took sixth, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was ninth with Nico Hulkenberg snatching the final point from Alexander Albon on the final lap. Vettel meanwhile trailed home in 16th...
Jonathan Rea completed a Donington Park hat-trick by winning Sunday's second race to extend his World Superbike Championship lead by nine points. The Kawasaki-mounted Northern Irishman held off Turkey's Toprak Razgatlioglu to go 24 points ahead of Alvaro Bautista of Spain, who finished third. Four-time world champion Rea was 16 points behind Bautista going into the weekend's Donington Park meeting. Rea had started on pole after winning the earlier red-flagged sprint race. He and Razgatlioglu exchanged the lead in the early stages but Rea stayed in front when he capitalised on a mistake from the Turkish rider on lap 12. Alex Lowes was fourth whilst Leon Haslam completed the top five, only just ahead of Loris Baz. Rea had moved ahead of the Spaniard at the top of the standings by winning race one at Donington on Saturday. Sunday's earlier sprint race was stopped with three laps to go when an oil spillage from Peter Hickman's bike caused a number of riders to come off. Tom Sykes was removed from the results after coming off on the warm-down lap. He had been second behind Rea when the red flag was raised but then went across the oil himself, came down and did not bring his bike back within the five-minute time limit. It meant Razgatlioglu was awarded second place and Leon Haslam was third, with former championship leader Bautista in fourth.
Optimum Motorsport‘s Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam have both made history winning the 2018 British GT Championship. Haigh became the first woman ever to win the British GT Championship outright, while her co-driver Adam took his third title, becoming the first driver ever to achieve this accolade in British GT history. Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen both knew that they had a chance of winning the title themselves today, and so when the lights went green, the Barwell Lamborghini proceeded to disappear into the distance, as fellow Huracan driver and Barwell cohort Sam De Haan began to hold up the rest of the pack. Haigh played the game and skillfully managed to keep De Haan honest, anticipating many of his blocking manoeuvres and keeping her Aston Martin out of trouble but entirely in contention. With the pack backed up by De Haan, cars began to trip over each other with Graham Davidson‘s Jetstream Aston Martin and Derek Johnston‘s TF Vantage falling out of contention while fighting for position behind. Minshaw’s 15-second advantage was neutralised when the safety car came onto the circuit to allow marshalls clean up an oil spill caused by Will Moore‘s GT4 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Mark Farmer soon took advantage of the re-start, passing De Haan and slipping into second place, with Rick Parfitt Jr also making the most of the chaos to take fourth place from Haigh, who had a 20-second pitlane penalty to serve courtesy of victory in the last round at Brands Hatch. Nicki Thiim, meanwhile, was closing on Keen for the lead and showed sufficient pace to claim the Sunoco Fastest Lap Award in the process with a new British GT3 benchmark of 1m28.196s. The Dane made his move heading out of Redgate and through the Craner Curves, which put him and Farmer on course for a third victory of the season. That was until a 30-second penalty for track limits infringements was handed down in the final minutes, which, when added to #11’s final race time, gave Minshaw and Keen victory, as well as second in the standings for a third season running.
As usual the annual Donington Historic Festival saw three days of spectacular historic motorsport at Donington Park May 3, 4 and 5 2019. Featuring world-class grids of race cars from nine decades: Le Mans cars, single-seaters, GT cars, sports cars and Touring Cars. Plus all-access paddock, passenger rides, parade laps and classic car displays made this one of the best events in the UK
Two wins for reigning champ Colin Turkington before emotional victory for Tom Ingram Team BMW’s Colin Turkington doubled his 2018 race-winning tally in just one afternoon as the reigning champion secured two lights-to-flag Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship victories at Donington Park. The opening race was action packed at the East Midlands circuit, and the second bout provided its fair share of incident too, but it was Turkington out front in both contests. Turkington converted his first BTCC pole position in over two years into a relatively comfortable race one victory as the drama commenced behind him. A multi-car accident on lap one led to several retirements and heavy damage to a number of cars as Andrew Jordan’s BMW slid sideways following contact on the exit of the Old Hairpin. The Mercedes of Adam Morgan had nowhere to go – making contact with Jordan’s BMW – while Ollie Jackson’s Ford, Matt Simpson’s Honda and Jake Hill’s Audi also crashed out of the action. Jordan was taken to hospital as a precaution but the incident caused so much damage to his BMW 3 Series that the 2013 champion was unable to take part for the remainder of the day. When the dust eventually settled it was Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton who followed Turkington home, whilst Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant grabbed a first ever BTCC podium. Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton was fourth and the top Independent finisher. Turkington had to contend with a further two safety car periods in the next race as the action packed weekend continued. The triple BTCC champion took to the challenge with consummate ease as he scampered off into the distance on each occasion. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal – quietly going about his business on an otherwise dramatic day – made a great move by Sutton on lap 17 of 19 to take second place away from the Subaru star. Ingram then scored an emotional first win in the all-new Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Corolla in the final race, as more than 4,500 Toyota members and their families watched on. Ingram’s manufacturer-backed Speedworks Motorsport squad began the reversed grid encounter from pole position and last year’s runner-up went untroubled throughout the 19 laps of running. Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s Rob Collard claimed second after a mid-race pass by the Trade Price Cars Audi of Hill. Josh Cook took third in the BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R with his own smart move by Hill. Rory Butcher’s Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Honda and the manufacturer Subaru of Sutton eventually finished fourth and fifth respectively, whilst Hill had to settle for a solid top six finish on the harder Dunlop Sport Maxx tyre compound. Sutton’s two podiums moved him to the head of the overall Drivers’ standings, although just six points cover the top five drivers with Cook, Turkington, Chilton and Butcher following closely behind. Honda top the Manufacturers’ order whilst Team BMW lead the Teams’ table. Tom Chilton is the man to beat in the Independent Drivers’ field whilst BTC Racing currently lead the Independent Teams’. Rory Butcher extended his advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.
THE WRC’S STAR DRIVERS TOOK THE WRAPS OFF THEIR 2019 CARS TO REVEAL NEW SEASON COLOUR SCHEMES AT THE CHAMPIONSHIP’S SUPER SATURDAY LAUNCH IN BIRMINGHAM AT THE WEEKEND. Huge crowds watched as manufacturer teams representing Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Toyota provided a first public look at their challengers at the Autosport International show. World champion Sébastien Ogier and fellow new signing Esapekka Lappi unveiled a stylish new look on Citroën Total’s C3. It features the return of sponsor Red Bull and celebrates the French manufacturer’s centenary by displaying the double chevrons from its original logo. M-Sport Ford’s Fiesta also shows significant changes. Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans revealed a design which incorporates a silhouette of M-Sport’s new test track, which is due to open later this year at its Dovenby Hall base in Britain. Hyundai’s trio of drivers, Thierry Neuville, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo, and Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Ott Tänak, Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke unveiled more familiar liveries on their i20 and Yaris World Rally Cars.
The January 10-13 event moved to Halls 1 to 5 in the Piazza and included the Genting arena and Forum Live at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC), offering even more space for exhibitors, stars and cars. Bringing together the motorsport, automotive and engineering sectors under one roof, it is the definitive international hub and attracts visitors from across the UK and the globe. The Live Action Arena also returned as usual for those seeking an enthralling, high-octane experience for all of the family. While the emphasis was of course motorsport, Hall 4 has welcomed an influx of performance tuners to the Performance & Tuning Car Show that takes place within Autosport. It wasn’t the new cars that took our eye; more the number of classics which sat amongst the moderns while still attracting a strong percentage of show goers. It seems that classics haven’t escaped the influx of wide body kits as early Boxsters take a wider stance than GT3 racers. The show gave fans the chance to meet and hear from a plethora of stars from some of motorsport's most popular race series’. At various points throughout the four days of the show, the drivers will be in attendance taking part in on-stage interviews, autograph sessions and meet and greets. It also showcased on Super Saturday the first public day the unveils of all four new 2019 season World Rally Cars: the M-Sport Ford, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, Citroën Total WRT. Immediately after unveiling their cars, each driver at the show revealed their chosen race numbers for the upcoming year. All of the 2019 WRC cars remained at the show on Sunday before heading of to Monte-Carlo for the first round of the WRC two weeks later. McLaren F1 drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris opened the first public day of Autosport International in what has been a spectacular day of star-studded interviews, Public day two saw even more action-packed thrills with visitors treated to stars, cars and thrilling stunts within the Live Action Arena performances. Ex-F1 driver Johnny Herbert opened the show.
Michelin riders, Toni Bou (Repsol Honda-ESP) Jaime Busto (Gas Gas-ESP) and Adam Raga (TRS-ESP) dominated the opening event of the 2019 indoor season at the Martin Lampkin Memorial Trial. Britain’s James Dabill (Beta) joined the Spanish riders in the final, as Michelin once again dominated the event which dates back to 1996. Run as a standalone event with its own rules and using a separate format from the FIM X-Trial World Championship series, the trial provides a challenging and intense night of competition taking in six hazards and a dual-lane race in front of a crowd of just over 6,000 enthusiastic fans. Michelin and Toni Bou have dominated the event since 2007 and the undisputed 24 time FIM world champion arrived in the UK with his mind focused on another victory at the invitation-only indoor competition in Sheffield. The eight invited riders contest the qualifying against the clock riding over man-made hazards including the huge Michelin earth moving tyres, steel skips, a selection of rocks, logs and a HGV flatbed vehicle testing their abilities to the limit. The one-minute time allowance (with riders penalised a single mark for every other minute that exceed this allowance) adds to the action and excitement of the event. A dual-lane race decides the starting positions and in the final the same hazards are ridden in the opposite direction. The qualifying did not throw up any surprises, even though the eventual top three finishers Toni Bou, Jaime Busto and Adam Raga all made mistakes, conceding five-mark penalties as they worked out the best lines through the challenging hazards. Bou was in front by a small margin as Busto and Raga both parted with 19 marks. Current British trials champion, James Dabill, was the fourth rider to make the final with 22 marks lost. In the final, Dabill rode the hazards first followed by Busto and Raga, but unusually it was defending Sheffield winner from the past, Bou who made the first mistake as he slipped out of the HGV hazard.
Race One: Daniel Lloyd claimed an eighth victory of the 2018 TCR UK Championship season amid treacherously wet conditions at Donington Park, and in doing so the WestCoast Racing driver has been provisionally crowned the series’ inaugural Champion. Lloyd made a textbook start in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and eased into the lead, taking full advantage of a prolonged scuffle between team mate Andreas Bäckman and JP Racing’s Josh Price (Honda Civic Type R FK2) to edge 16.782 seconds clear at the chequered flag. The former TCR International Series race winner now holds an insurmountable 50 point advantage in the standings, with a maximum of just 40 available in the season finale. Pyro Motorsport’s Ollie Taylor started the penultimate round of the campaign as the only man mathematically able to deny Lloyd the crown, but his charge unravelled as, despite passing Jessica Bäckman’s VW for third off the start, he slid wide in the slippery conditions at Redgate and rejoined down the order after skimming through the gravel. Crocker, completed the podium in third and takes home silverware for the second successive meeting, with Taylor fourth and Lines edging out Jessica Bäckman for fifth and sixth respectively. Race Two : JP Racing’s Josh Price took a controlled victory in the 2018 TCR UK Championship finale at Donington Park, with a sweeping move around Redgate and then a blistering pace that were enough to earn him an 18.417 second advantage at the chequered flag. Stewart Lines ended his campaign on a high after an impressive fightback - coupled with a sublime defensive performance - to score a season-best second place for Maximum Motorsport, and the best result for a CUPRA on domestic shores. Newly-crowned TCR UK Champion Dan Lloyd showed his class after recovering from the rear of the field - and one or two setbacks - to complete the podium in the WestCoast Racing-run Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
Tom Gamble, the top-ranked British driver in the British F3 championship has been nominated for the prestigious McLaren Autosport Award, reports Paul Horton. The award, previously won by David Coulthard and 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, aims to boost the prospects of young British racing talent. It is a second accolade for Gamble, who earned a place on the BRDC Rising Star scheme earlier this year and is having a good season. The 16-year-old, of Epperstone, followed up last year’s Ginetta Junior Championship title with two wins so far this season. He is fifth in the standings, heading into rounds 22 to 24 at Silverstone, which are set to be raced on October 13 to 14. Gamble’s latest event at Donington Park was full of drama. Having finished runner-up in the second of the three races, the young driver lost his podium finish due to a technical infringement. It was part of a chaotic weekend. First Gamble, who used an excessive amount of oil during Saturday’s qualifying, finished 12th in race one before an overnight rebuild of his Fortec Motorsports car. Race two was just as dramatic for Gamble. He powered into the lead, but the race was red-flagged after damage to a kerb at the chicane. At the second attempt the driver could not replicate his brilliant start and remained third, battling for second place with Pavan Ravishankar. On the penultimate lap, Gamble made a successful overtaking manoeuvre to claim second place. However, having collected his trophy on the podium, the driver’s hard work suddenly counted for nothing after he was excluded from the results and newcomer Ericsson was promoted to the podium.
A talented young driver who lost his legs after a crash a Donington Park was back there racing this weekend for the first time since the smash. Billy Monger was 17 when he smashed into the back of another car while competing in a Formula Four Championship race on April 16 last year and it took 90 minutes for rescue teams to get him out of his mangled race car. He was airlifted to Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham for lengthy surgeries. But after the amputation of both legs, Billy was back in a racecar just 11 weeks later, using hand controls instead of pedals in a specially adapted vehicle. He hit the headlines again when reining F1 champion Lewis Hamilton invited him to attend the Grand Prix at Silverstone in July last year as his special guest. This weekend he returned to the Leicestershire track, where he put in the fastest lap in qualifying to start in pole position ahead of the first of Sunday’s three races. During the day he had an emotional reunion with some of the safety marshals at the track who were there on the day of his crash and helped him. He gave a speech telling them that there would be no racing without their efforts but joked he did not want to have to see them up close during a race again. He went on to come fourth in the first race 15th in the second and an emotional 3rd in race 3.
History was made at Donington Park (September 22/23) when Flick Haigh and Jonny Adam finished fourth on the road to claim the 2018 British GT title. Haigh becomes the first woman to win the series’ premier class whilst Adam now stands alone as the only driver to win three overall championships. Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen took a second victory of the season in their Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini after finishing second on the road but benefitting from a post-race 30-second time penalty handed to Mark Farmer and Nicki Thiim. The TF Sport Aston Martin therefore finished runner-up with the podium completed by ERC Sport’s Mercedes-AMG shared by Lee Mowle and Yelmer Buurman. The stage was set for the #DoningtonDecider with championship leaders Haigh and Adam starting fourth while closest title rivals Minshaw and Keen led the field away from pole position. Framer and Thiim, who also retained a chance of snatching the crown, lined up fifth. Haigh and Adam took fourth to secure a historic title with the Howard/Darren Turner Beechdean AMR Aston Martin placing fifth. Sixth belonged to De Haan/Jonny Cocker, while Ratcliffe brought the #1 Bentley home in seventh. The top-eight was rounded out by the sister Team Parker machine shared by Ian Loggie and Callum Macleod whose race was compromised by a stop/go penalty in the opening stint.