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.
Nottingham's Amigos Team Parker racing driver George Gamble was still top Rookie driver last weekend for rounds 13 and 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Silverstone Race Circuit in Northamptonshire (15/16 September). He narrowly missed out on a podium result in race one with fourth but was another one to suffer a puncture in race two, sadly ending his efforts on the penultimate lap, forcing him out of third position.
Chesterfield's Amigos Team Parker racing driver Seb Perez stormed to victory again last weekend for rounds 13 and 14 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship at Silverstone Race Circuit in Northamptonshire (15/16 September). The 18 year old racer took to a double Porsche ProAm podium success, winning the second race and taking a third in race one keeping him on top spot and a good position to win the championship with only two races to go at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.
The Rainworth Skoda Dukeries Rally returns to Donington Park for a full-on day of power slides, burning rubber and handbrake turns! over 7 special stages. This is the 59th consecutive Dukeries Rally and will form part of four regional championships, meaning there's plenty for all competitors to play for across the seven stages Organised by the Dukeries Motor Club, this rally will pit a range of rally cars against the clock, ranging from retro Ford Escorts to modern Subaru and Mitsubishi WRC specials. These cars will battle against the clock on stages incorporating sections of the circuit and venue access roads.
Michael van der Mark secured his second win in two days at Donington as World Superbike champion and series leader Jonathan Rea came in third. Rea edged in front with seven laps left before Dutchman Van der Mark made his decisive move two laps later and won comfortably on his Yamaha. Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu passed Rea on the final lap to take second place. The Northern Irishman, though, extended his championship lead to 64 points. England's Leon Haslam was forced out on lap two while lying second and it soon developed into a three-way battle between his compatriot Alex Lowes, Van der Mark and Rea. Rea pushed through to lead on his Kawasaki and he was on course to chalk up a record 60th series victory. But the weekend belonged to 25-year-old Van der Mark, who followed up his maiden World Superbike win on Saturday by cruising to race two success. Razgatlioglu became the first Turkish rider to make a World Superbike podium as he moved past Rea to finish runner-up. Lowes had to settle for fourth while Wales' Chaz Davies and England's Tom Sykes completed the top six.
The Kart Grand Prix of Great Britain reached its climax on Sunday, 20th May, 2018 on the circuit of PF International. During three days of good weather and intense competition, the best European Drivers were able to engage in a magnificent confrontation before concluding with two exciting final Races. The quality of the British hosting, a combination of conviviality and passion, added an extra touch to this second Competition of the CIK-FIA European Championships, dedicated to the OK and OK-Junior categories. Dilano Van T'Hoff of the Netherlands won the 12-14 age group while Hannes Janker of Germany won the Seniors event. The face of the Championships was significantly changed.
Donington Park provides the setting for the second race weekend of the 2018 BTCC season. Donington is undoubtedly one of the fans’ favourite places to watch the BTCC. Toyota Avensis driver Tom Ingram took his second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race win of the season at Donington Park to strengthen his points lead during another strong weekend for the rising stars in the series. Power Maxed Vauxhall racer Josh Cook claimed his maiden BTCC win in the weekend’s opening race and was only narrowly beaten by Adam Morgan (Mercedes) in the final race of the day. Ingram now leads the championship by seven points from Morgan, with Cook eight points further back.
The 2018 racing season from the Historic Sports Car Club got off to a fantastic start at Donington Park over the weekend (April 7/8). From a busy 15-race programme, the Historic Formula Ford pack delivered some epic racing as good battles ran across all categories.The life and racing success of Jim Clark was remembered by the Historic Sports Car Club during a moving commemoration at Donington Park on Saturday April 7 when around 500 people gathered on the start line. The HSCC’s opening race meeting of the season was exactly 50 years from the day when Clark was killed in a Formula 2 accident at Hockenheim. The Club held a minute’s silence at 1pm on Saturday and drivers, team members, marshals, officials and spectators went to the grid to show their respect for one of Britain’s greatest racing drivers.
The 1974 Stratos featured here is owned by Steve Perez, rally driver and boss of Chesterfield based Global Brands drinks distribution company. Perez is a big believer in giving his car a proper workout rather than locking it away in a museum. This car has been rebuilt for the Goodwood Festival of Speed by Castleford-based rally specialist BTR Preparation, and the bark of the Ferrari V6 will be heard on the Forest Rally Stage during the weekend in July. The origins of one of the most significant rally machines of all time lie in a concept created by coachbuilder Bertone for the 1970 Turin motor show. When Nuccio Bertone presented the wedge-shaped Stratos Zero concept, it happened to be fitted with a 1600cc Lancia Fulvia powerplant in a mid-engined configuration. Bertone’s design exercise inspired Cesare Fiorio, Lancia’s motorsport boss, to imagine a competition version of the Stratos Zero. Fiorio had already kicked around ‘ultimate rally car’ concepts with Lancia’s factory rally drivers such as Sandro Munari. In his mind, Fiorio conceived a powerful, mid-engined, rear-drive sports car. At the time, many of the unmade country roads used as rally stages on the Continent were being surfaced for the first time, so Fiorio envisioned a car that would handle well on smooth asphalt. To cope with the rough forest and desert rallies, he reckoned his dream car would need suspension that could be adjusted in less than 10 minutes. But Fiorio’s competition car would need more power. The answer lay in another part of the mighty Fiat empire, which had bought Lancia in 1969: Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari offered the use of the 2.4-litre V6 from the Ferrari Dino 246 GT. The Lancia Stratos HF broke new ground because it was the first car to be designed specifically with rally competition in mind. It was built around a steel monocoque with tubular sub-frames and clad in glassfibre body panels, and weighed less than a tonne. It also had extremely compact dimensions, at just 3708mm long, 1727mm wide and with a 2184mm wheelbase. The first win came courtesy of Sandro Munari in the Sanremo Rally of 1974 and Lancia went on to win the World Rally Championship for manufacturers each year between 1975 and 1977. About 500 road-going examples had to be built to meet rallying’s homologation rules, but with the price tag of £5000 close to that of the Ferrari Dino, the no-frills Stratos was slow to sell. Today, rally-prepared examples in mint condition fetch about £250,000.
Held at the NEC in Birmingham since January 1991, Autosport International celebrated its 28th year in 2018. This 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. Incorporated with this is the Live Action Arena, the UK’s largest indoor race track and every year it provides one of the highlights of the show. Located in Hall 5 of the NEC and seating 5000 racing fans, the Live Action Arena is a unique experience. Described accurately as “petrolhead heaven” it’s an intense 60 minutes of thrilling entertainment that offers an unrivalled variety of racing action, driving demonstrations, record-breaking stunts and celebrity appearances.
A large crowd gathered at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday 6th January for the 2018 Martin Lampkin Trial to see the top trials riders in the world attempt the tough sections created by Dougie and Harry Lampkin. And tough they certainly proved to be with the big gaps and slippery going on the man-made sections causing even multi World Champion Toni Bou some problems! Joining the more established stars of the world indoor scene for the first time was 2017 Trial2 World Champion Iwan Roberts, now mounted on the TRRS machine. The normally laid back Iwan was understandably nervous before the start but gave his all in the toughest trials arena in the world, helped along by a large vocal Welsh crowd willing him on all the way. If the qualification circuit didn’t look difficult enough all of the sections were reversed for the final, with some of the undercut huge steps onto slippery surfaces looking impossible. As we are aware impossible doesn’t seem to be a word in Toni Bou’s vocabulary, his brilliance on this type of going just has to be seen to be believed. As is often the way Adam Raga pushed Toni to his best but the Repsol Honda man eventually forged a lead that even allowed him the luxury of a relatively easy failure on the Mertux section. This soft five only encouraged Bou to have another “off the record” attempt in doing the whole section on the rear wheel only .. a feat he didn’t manage but the crowd certainly got into the spirit. Not only did every rider give their all but the superb organisation by all involved made the Martin Lampkin Trial one of the best events of the year once again. Roll on 2019 !!
The 2017 edition of the CIK-FIA World Championship and the CIK-FIA World Junior Championship which has just finished on the English circuit of PF International will be remembered as an extremely difficult Competition. In the presence of a total of 181 Drivers from more than 30 countries on five continents, one would have expected the Races to be a very open. tough world championships full of surprises. Many favourites missed their target, while a new hierarchy emerged. Two Britons finally imposed themselves with unquestionable brilliance. Danny Keirle was crowned World Champion, while young Dexter Patterson won the title of World Junior Champion with great emotion. The exemplary organisation of the Trent Valley Kart Club contributed greatly to the success of the World Competition with meticulous attention to every aspect; sporting, technical, media and public. The presence of many spectators on Sunday around the circuit and during the podium ceremonies testified to the popularity of karting in Great Britain. Present at PF International on Sunday, the double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso attended the Finals.