BRC | Bogie Wins At Home

Scottish-BRC
The third round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championshipwent right down to the wire on the final stage of the final day, with homegrown hero David Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae winning the RSAC Scottish Rally (19-20 May).Bogie and Rae enjoyed a ding-dong battle throughout with the fellow Skoda Fabia R5 crew of Fredrik Ahlin and Torstein Eriksen, until the Scandinavian pairing were forced out of the event with a damaged radiator. Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss in their Ford Fiesta R5 repeated their Pirelli International Rally result in second, while Marty McCormack and David Moynihan took their second top three finish of the year, rounding out the rostrum at the end of a gruelling weekend.Over 74 rough and tough gravel miles awaited the BRC crews. The opening night was to be a case of survival of the fittest, and flexing his muscles on the two passes of the Mount Joe stage was Tom Cave. The young Welshman and navigator James Morgan were on their second event with the Hyundai i20 R5 and looked comfortable at the overnight halt, with a healthy 9.9-second advantage. Not so lucky were Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod in their Ford Fiesta R5. The Hankook-backed pair set an impressive fourth-quickest time on the opening run before a large rock broke a suspension strut and wheel – putting them out of contention.It would be another bitter pill to swallow for Cave, who found himself forced out of the lead for the second event in a row, this time with a broken wheel. With the Hyundai unfixable, it was to be an early bath for the initial pace-setter.With the demise of the Korean machine, a battle royale was set up for the final day, with the fight for the lead becoming a two-horse race between CA1 Sport team-mates Ahlin and Bogie. The former came into the event riding a crest of a wave, having swept to glory on the first two rounds. The latter, on the other hand, had a point to prove. The Dumfries-based driver had shown flashes of brilliance in his DMACK-shod Fabia R5, but the results had not reflected his phenomenal speed. With the bit between his teeth, Bogie wasn’t leaving without a home win.

Descending rain made tyre choice extremely difficult as the two BRC heavyweights battled it out on the gravel stages, trading seconds after every test. Bogie was a man on a mission on the afternoon loop of stages, with the Scottish driver reducing the deficit to 1.4 seconds with two speed tests remaining. A stage later and he had turned the tables, to lead Swedish star Ahlin by 0.1 seconds going into the final 8.11km showdown.

Ahlin’s luck, however, would run out halfway through the stage when a rock made its way into the front of the Skoda, bursting a hole in the radiator. It was game over for the championship leader. Much to the delight of a packed Moffat town centre, Bogie rolled into the finish to a huge round of applause. David had won his first BRC event since his championship-winning year in 2011.

The battle for the podium was a similarly fraught affair. Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss in their Spencer Sport Ford Fiesta R5 battled their way up the order to second to strengthen their championship position, while Marty McCormack and David Moynihan had a spirited run to rise from fifth to third on the final stage in their Kumho-backed Skoda Fabia R5. Multiple BRC champion Keith Cronin in the M-Sport run Fiesta R5 was all set to take his first podium of the year, but a last-minute puncture dropped the Irishman and co-driver Mikie Galvin to fourth, just eight seconds shy of the rostrum positions. Desi Henry and Liam Moyinhan in their Michelin-supported Fabia R5 couldn’t quite repeat their third place from 2016, but were pleased to secure their first points of the year.

The Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC unfailingly produces action-packed entertainment on the stages, with the stars of tomorrow fighting tooth-and-nail to be at the top of the pecking order. On the previous round, the winning margin was a mere 0.4 seconds and the Scottish Rally was to provide an equally hard-fought contest.

Round one winners Oscar Solberg and Patrik Barth (Ford Fiesta R2T) led after the opening two stages, with the Scandinavian combination excelling on the wet, rough speed tests until turbo woes forced the Pirelli pair into retirement on Saturday afternoon. Stepping into the breach were Cameron Davies and Caron Tomlinson in their Peugeot 208 R2, following an exciting evening scrap with Solberg and Barth.

The Welsh duo had been dogged by mechanical gremlins on the opening two rounds and were eager to put their problems behind them on the Scottish gravel. Setting some impressive times, Davies would stretch out an advantage of nearly one-and-a-half minutes to take his first BRC win in his debut year – making it three different winners from the opening three events.

Fellow Welsh competitors Meirion Evans and Jonathan Jackson were delighted to finish second in a similar 208 R2, netting their best BRC finish to date. Such was the pace of the top two, the Peugeot drivers also scored points in the overall classification. Rounding out the rostrum were Marty Gallagher and Dean O’Sullivan in another Peugeot 208 R2. The Irish crew had never stepped on the podium previously and were thrilled to spray the champagne after a demanding contest.

The Cadet Cup forms an integral part of the BRC, with drivers aged 25 and under using the new formula to cut their teeth on the toughest tests the British Championship has to offer. Coming into the third round, Josh Cornwell and Richard Bliss had a perfect record and the duo completed the hat-trick on the Scottish Rally in their Ford Fiesta R2. The pair didn’t have it all their own way as they were pushed hard by Tom Williams and Bryan Hull in another Fiesta R2. Eighteen-year-old Williams picked up his second podium of the year while Fergus Barlow and Max Freeman put up a good fight in their Fiesta R2 to take third.

In the National Rally Cup, Donnie Macdonald suffered a DNF on the last round but alongside new co-driver Neil Shanks, he grabbed his right-hand-drive Ford Fiesta R5 by the scruff of the neck and threw it through the eight gravel stages. The pair quickly gelled and took a fine eighth overall – spraying the National Rally Cup champagne in Moffat.

Spencer Wilkinson and Glyn Thomas faced a race against time to make the start-line in Dumfries. The Production Cup pairing finished rebuilding their Subaru Impreza the morning of the Scottish Rally after a tough Pirelli International event. The crew enjoys the longer, tougher and demanding challenges the BRC has to offer and brought their car home in 21st overall – and more importantly they have swelled their Production Cup points account.

Quotes from round three – RSAC Scottish Rally:

RSAC Scottish Rally David Bogie – first overall – Skoda Fabia R5

“This is unbelievable! This is the one I have wanted to win the most. We didn’t get off to the best start on Friday night, but we pushed hard on Saturday to put us in a good position to fight. To go into the final stage with 0.1s between Fredrik and I was all or nothing, and it was disappointing to see him go out. It’s been a tough event – the weather has been changeable and the pace has been unreal, but we kept out of trouble and brought the car home in one piece. It’s really special to win at home in front of my friends and family. In fact, I have booked a table at a local restaurant so we will be celebrating this evening!”

RSAC Scottish Rally Osian Pryce – second overall – Ford Fiesta R5

“I am over the moon to get to the end of this rally and finish on the podium. It’s been hard on me, the tyres and the car. As well as punctures, we have had an electrical fire – we are lucky to be at the finish after all of that. I am so chuffed with the result, as it has made the championship very healthy for us. To be consistently on the podium in every rally – you can’t ask for any more to start the year off.”

RSAC Scottish Rally Marty McCormack – third overall – Skoda Fabia R5

“We didn’t think this one was coming. We struggled with the set-up to begin with, but we never gave up, we kept pushing and the times started to come to us. There were no real dramas – just a few mistakes on my behalf. I actually had a moment in the same corner where I made a mistake ten years ago – the last time I was here! We had no punctures, which helped our progress and the Kumho tyres really worked well. After the non-finish on round one, to get two podiums is very important for the championship and ticked a box for us as we head to Ypres, a rally I am really looking forward to.”

Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC first overall – Cameron Davies – Peugeot 208 R2

“This is fantastic, I don’t think it will ever sink in. It’s been a long time waiting for this. Last year we did the Fiesta Trophy in the BTRDA series. We won the prize to get to the BRC and now that we are here, to take the win is worth all the hard work. We had our fair share of drama – we caught cars on stage, nearly had a big, big spin, my co-driver got a bit sick and our lampods weren’t set up right. The win has really helped us in the championship, as another poor result would have put the pressure on too much. We just want to keep this going now!”
Prestone MSA British Rally Championship
Round 3 – RSAC Scottish Rally

1. David Bogie (GBR) / Kevin Rae (GBR) Skoda Fabia R5 1:09:47.1
2. Osian Pryce (GBR) / Dale Furniss (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +0:48.5
3. Martin McCormack (GBR) / David Moynihan (GBR) Skoda Fabia R5 +1:01.9
4. Keith Cronin (IRL) / Mikie Galvin (IRL) Ford Fiesta R5 +1:09.9
5. Desi Henry (IRL) / Liam Moyinhan (IRL) Skoda Fabia R5 +2:13.4
6. Euan Thorburn (GBR) / Paul Beaton (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +2:34.5
7. Jamie Anderson (GBR) / Ross Whittock (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +8:06.6
8. Donnie Macdonald (GBR) / Neil Shanks (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +8:39.8
9. Alex Laffey (GBR) / Patrick Walsh (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5 +9:33.9
10. Cameron Davies (GBR) / Carron Tomlinson (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2 +10:58.8

Prestone Motorsport News Junior British Rally Championship

Cameron Davies (GBR) / Carron Tomlinson (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2
Meirion Evans (GBR) / Jonathan Jackson (GBR) Peugeot 208 R2
Marty Gallagher (IRL) / Dean O’Sullivan (IRL) Peugeot 208 R2

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Standings (Drivers) after round three

1. Fredrik Ahlin – 55*
2. Osian Pryce – 51
3. Martin McCormack – 30
4. David Bogie – 25
5. Keith Cronin – 24
6. Tom Cave – 22*
7. Rhys Yates – 18
8. Matt Edwards – 18
9. Jamie Anderson – 16
10= Desi Henry – 10
10= Euan Thorburn – 10

Prestone MSA British Rally Championship Standings (Co-drivers) after round three

1. Dale Furniss – 51
2. Torstien Eriksen – 50
3. David Moynihan – 30
4. Kevin Rae – 25
5. Mikie Galvin – 24
6= James Morgan – 18
6= Carl Williamson – 18
6= Darren Garrod – 18
9. Ross Whittock – 16
10= Liam Moyinhan – 10
10= Paul Beaton – 10

(* = Joker nominations have been played. Rally Isle of Man is a double-header with two points-scoring opportunities. Every driver to drop one score.)

The full results and championship points can be found at www.msabrc.com.

BTCC | Oulton Park Review

 

Oulton-Park-BTCC
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden moved to the summit of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings after winning the final race at Oulton Park.

Shedden’s victory followed wins for Andrew Jordan in the opening encounter and a hugely popular success for young gun Ashley Sutton.

BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan fended off a Matt Neal fightback to claim the honours in a thrilling first race at the stunning Cheshire circuit.

Jordan blasted by pole-sitter Neal off the line as the rear-wheel drive 125i M Sport made its customary catapult start on the run down to Old Hall Corner for the first time. Critically for Neal, he was able to keep the sister BMW of Colin Turkington in his rear mirrors and could then set about recapturing the lead.

The top two pulled comfortably away from a sensational battle for third that often involved more than half a dozen cars.

After a series of position changes, the scrap for the final podium place built towards a tense climax. At one point Aiden Moffat squeezed Sutton’s Subaru onto the grass on the exit of Island Bend, allowing the previously demoted Turkington back by.

A fired-up Sutton would not be denied though, as he first went around the outside of Turkington at Lodge Corner and then repeated the trick on Moffat at Old Hall seconds later. Turkington was completely out of contention shortly afterwards, as he limped to the finish with an electrical problem.

Meanwhile, Neal was busy reeling in Jordan’s BMW up front, which was running the softer ‘option’ Dunlop SportMaxx tyre. The triple champion ran out of time, however, as the pair crossed the finish line separated by just 0.284s – confirming Jordan’s second win of the season.

Sutton claimed victory in the second contest, having produced yet another fantastic performance for Adrian Flux Subaru Racing.

Jordan maintained the lead from pole position off the line, whilst the rear-wheel drive machines of Sutton and Rob Collard gobbled up fellow front-row starter Neal.

Jordan’s BMW – carrying maximum success ballast following his race one win – couldn’t hang on for long, as Sutton slid his Subaru down the inside at Island Hairpin before completing the pass at Hislops on lap two. He immediately stormed away from the chasing pack as Jordan became the cork in the bottle behind.

Collard comfortably disposed of his stablemate Jordan, before the latter was impressively tag-teamed by the two works Hondas of Neal and Shedden. Neal edged inside of Jordan across the start/finish line as Shedden went around the outside into Old Hall Corner – creating a three-wide Honda-BMW-Honda sandwich. When the dust settled it was Neal in second with team-mate Shedden also getting past Jordan.

All credit in this contest though went to Sutton as the young gun scored his first win for Subaru and the second of his BTCC career.

Race three was another lively affair as Halfords Yuasa Racing scored a one-two finish with Shedden leading home Neal.

The fight for victory wasn’t without incident however, as contact between Shedden and the pole-sitting Ford Focus of Josh Cook left the former with significant damage and out of the race.

Jordan had already assumed the lead by that point, but Shedden’s triumphant move was of the highest order as he scythed his way past at Cascades following a mid-race safety car period.

Neal immediately followed suit and the Honda duo went on to take the laurels ahead of Jordan, the latter sealing West Surrey Racing’s 150th podium with BMW in the BTCC in the process.

The Dunlop ‘option’ soft tyre was the rubber that proved to be the most effective in all three races with each of Jordan, Sutton and Shedden donning that compound on the way to the top step.

As the sun-kissed occasion drew to a close and the huge number of spectators made their way home, it was Shedden who had returned to the top of the table.

The consistent Collard – the only driver to score points in each of the 12 races so far – is now second, whilst previous leader Tom Ingram drops to third after a disastrous weekend for local team Speedworks Motorsport.

BMW holds an eight-point advantage over Honda in the Manufacturers’ battle, whilst the postitions are reversed in the Teams’ table – Halfords Yuasa Racing overhauling Team BMW.

Ingram and Speedworks still lead both Independents’ standings, despite their difficult weekend, whilst Vauxhall’s Senna Proctor maintains his position as the best-placed rookie.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns in three weeks’ time when Rounds 13, 14 and 15 take place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 10/11 June.

Andrew Jordan said: “What a week it’s been! My partner had a little girl and now I’ve won again for BMW in the BTCC – life is good. It’s been a cracking effort from everybody at BMW Pirtek Racing. Ahead of this weekend, I was thinking ‘I really need to get my backside into gear now and do this’. I’ve made cracking starts this year, which added some pressure – people were telling me I should be leading by turn one! Thankfully, that’s exactly what happened and being on the soft tyres, I pushed hard to establish an early gap. Later on, they told me on the radio ‘Matt’s coming’, so I dug deep and was able to maintain the advantage – although if it had been a couple of laps longer, he might have got close enough to attempt a Matt Neal lunge! We’ve had a couple of dreadful weekends, but you don’t forget how to win and that’s a good message to send out.”

Ashley Sutton said: “That (race two) couldn’t have gone any better! After seeing the performance of the soft tyres in race one, I didn’t feel too confident, especially with an extra 57kg having been thrown at me but I got a great start and then the pace was just in the car. I had to get away as quickly as I could because we all know Rob Collard’s a charger and he was going to be coming after me, but I made the break just in time. It was then a question of managing the race, and it’s phenomenal to score the first win of the year for Adrian Flux Subaru Racing. We had a bit of a difficult start to the season, so this one is for all the boys – they’ve done a mega job to get the car to where it is now.”

Gordon Shedden said: “After my accident in FP2, the team did a mega job to prepare the car in time for qualifying and we managed to pull it back. Matt and I get the plaudits for standing on the podium, but yesterday was a true example of teamwork at its absolute best – and what a fantastic team we have. I drove my heart out in races one and two to grind some results out, and whilst they weren’t spectacular finishes, points do make prizes. Race three was pretty action-packed, but we had a lot of pace throughout and it really came to us. The Civic Type R came alive on the soft tyres – it was one of those races that could have kept going and going! My move for the lead was actually completely unplanned – Andrew (Jordan) jumped on the brakes very early into Cascades, so I just had to send it up the inside, which worked a treat – and to conclude the weekend with a one-two for the team was brilliant. It’s fantastic to be back in the lead of the championship, and whilst with that comes maximum ballast, as I’ve said before, I’ll take that any day of the week.”

Matt Neal said: “It’s been a cracking weekend! To be honest, we didn’t know what to expect coming here, but it worked out pretty well, didn’t it. Pole positions seem to be like buses at the moment – you wait for ages and then two come along all at once – and the Honda Civic Type R felt really well-balanced. I pushed hard in races one and two and to finish on the podium both times – particularly with 66kg in the car in the second of them – was great. We then lucked in with the reversed grid, but we had the pace to make it work and we made the most of the soft tyres. I covered Gordon’s back and in return, he opened the doors for me so I just had to make sure I stayed as close as I could to him to follow him through. I was actually more pleased with that one than the previous two – it was a real team effort, and what a result for Halfords Yuasa Racing and Honda! We needed a strong weekend, and this has lifted us right up there in the standings – we’re back in the game!”

Rob Collard said: “I’m extremely proud to take the 150th BTCC podium for WSR with BMW, which puts me in a strong position in the points. The BMW has been very good all weekend, as it usually is here, and three top five finishes is exactly what’s needed to keep up a head of steam in the title fight. The shortening of race two possibly cost me the chance to challenge for the win, because my end-of-race pace was quicker than the car ahead, but I guess we’ll never know.”

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 10 – Oulton Park

Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 15 laps
Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.284s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +11.987s
4 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +17.642s
5 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +18.750s
Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +19.325s
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +20.259s
Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +20.561s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +21.469s
10 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +22.046s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 11 – Oulton Park

Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 14 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +1.066s
Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.795s
4 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +10.096s
Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +10.443s
Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +10.863s
Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +12.560s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +13.196s
9 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +13.966s
10 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +14.596s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 12 – Oulton Park

1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +18 laps
Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.279s
Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +1.722s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.272s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +4.375s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +4.590s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +5.509s
8 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +7.045s
9 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +8.418s
10 Luke DAVENPORT (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +8.736s

Penalties:

Race one:
Tom Chilton received a verbal reprimand for gaining an unfair advantage in an incident involving Will Burns. As this was his third penalty strike of the season, Chilton was demoted to the back of the grid for race two.

Race two:
Senna Proctor received three penalty points and a £500 fine for an incident involving Colin Turkington and Jeff Smith.

Race three:
Gordon Shedden received a verbal warning for an incident involving Josh Cook.

Will Burns received a verbal warning for gaining an unfair advantage in an incident involving Tom Ingram.

BTCC | Thruxton Review

BTCC-ThruxtonRob Collard and Colin Turkington make it 100 winsfor BMW,as Matt Neal equals Andy Rouse

Colin Turkington claimed BMW’s 100th Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship win, after team-mate Rob Collard had earlier secured the 99th success for the German marque in a thrilling day of racing at Thruxton.

Honda machinery looked to be the dominant force after taking a 1-2-3 finish in the opening contest at Britain’s fastest circuit, which saw Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal head home stablemate Gordon Shedden and Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff.

It was a faultless lights-to-flag display from pole-sitter Neal, who drew level with Andy Rouse’s tally of 60 BTCC wins – the equal-second most victories in BTCC history.

Collard then claimed his first-ever triumph at Thruxton in a truncated encounter that included two stoppages and heartache for race one winner Neal.

Team BMW’s Collard had already surged from tenth on the grid up to sixth, before the race was red flagged for the first time following a high speed accident involving Senna Proctor’s Vauxhall and the two MGs of Aron Taylor-Smith and Daniel Lloyd.

Local driver Collard blasted his BMW 125i M Sport off the line again at the restart, firing his rear-wheel drive car up to third and immediately harassing the two factory Hondas ahead of him.

It was three-wide for second into the final chicane on the opening lap as Collard emerged, ‘elbows out’, ahead of Goff and Shedden.

The drama continued as the Honda Civic Type R of initial race leader Neal crawled into the pits with steering problems one tour later, handing Collard the advantage.

With the race seemingly building towards an exciting climax it was unfortunately cut short due to an accident for the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford of Martin Depper.

So, as the red flags waved it was Collard claiming a maiden win on home soil at Thruxton from Shedden and Ingram, who had both dispatched Goff earlier in the contest.

Then came another magic milestone as Turkington – having powered to two BTCC titles in BMW machinery – fittingly secured the memorable century for the German manufacturer.

The West Surrey Racing driver produced a commanding getaway from pole position and never looked in danger – the Northern Irishman eventually taking the chequered flag nearly three seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram took second place to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship, whilst Goff claimed a second podium of the day. The latter’s trio of top four results was just reward for the 26-year-old and his Eurotech Racing squad.

Honda’s Gordon Shedden finished fourth in the final encounter – cementing his place as the highest points-scorer over the course of the weekend, keeping pressure on Ingram in the process. Turkington is now third in the standings after his latest success.

Honda closed the gap on BMW in the Manufacturers’ order while Team BMW slightlyextended its advantage in the Teams’ standings.

Ingram and his Speedworks squad still hold sway in both Independents’ tables, whilst Senna Proctor took his third successive Jack Sears Trophy.

The BTCC returns in two weeks’ time (20/21 May) for Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

Matt Neal said: “I hadn’t given much thought to equalling Andy’s win tally, to be honest. We all thought Andy’s record was unachievable and even though Jason [Plato] exceeded it, I never thought I would get there. Just unbelievable. Yes, there are a lot more races in the season now, but its tough out there. We had a bit of a nightmare here last year and then Donington Park was a rotten weekend all-round for everybody, so to come away with a Halfords Yuasa Racing one-two and a Honda podium lockout on home soil is a dream – a fabulous result. I made sure to look after the car and the tyres were superb throughout.”

Rob Collard said: “The BMW felt absolutely stunning and I’m so pleased for the team. We did a lot at the first start, and then the re-start was similarly textbook. I had a really good opening lap and then I’m not sure what happened to Matt – I could see sparks coming off – so it was obviously a shame for him. but I will take this one and with pride. I must admit, going three-abreast into the chicane was pretty scary! I had one of the Hondas on my left and then cheeky Jack Goff snuck up my inside on the right – I didn’t see that one coming! The BMW was on fire today and it’s brilliant to take my first win of 2017. A big shout out to Billy [Monger], who is watching at home on TV – Forza!”

Colin Turkington said: “I wasn’t that confident before the race because we had been chasing the set-up all day, but the guys never let up which moved the car in a new direction – and the pace was there for all to see. To achieve BMW’s 100th win in the BTCC is a very special feeling for me. I grew up watching the likes of Smokin’ Jo Winkelhock and Tim Harvey, so to continue the history of this iconic brand means a lot to me. I’m so pleased to end the day like this. The BMW 125i M Sport is a fantastic car at the moment and we’vereally got it in the window. Thruxton has always been a challenge for us – it’s probably the circuit where we’ve won the least – so to take two victories is fantastic.”

Tom Ingram said: “After last month’s test, we came here knowing we had a car that would struggle to set a quick qualifying time but would be very strong in the races – and we proved that today. It’s a cracking points total to take away from here, and as long as we keep focusing on the consistency, the results will keep coming. That approach is paying dividends at the moment. At some stage, the gap will clearly close up but while we’re extending it, then I’m very happy.”

Jack Goff said: “We actually finished where we started for once – I’ve usually gone backwards this year! It’s a great result for Eurotech Racing and all my sponsors, because I’ve made them wait a little while this year for my first podium and it’s nice to finally be able to repay their support. I was keeping pace with Shedden until one of the Audis – which we were lapping – had a massive moment right in front of me and I had to lift off the throttle, which cost me all my momentum but we’ll still definitely take third place. We started off the weekend pretty strong in practice, and that form continued today. We improved the car again for the last race. I made a mistake through Church that allowed Tom [Ingram] to get a run on me and get past, but it’s been a very solid weekend with two third places and a fourth – I think we can be very happy with that.”

Gordon Shedden said: “To be on the front row with 75kg in the car definitely exceeded my expectations; every lap was an adventure as I tried to keep my foot in for as long as possible through the faster corners out the back of the circuit – there wasn’t much left in the tank! I got a slightly better start than Matt in race one but he was a lot lighter than me so I didn’t force the issue too much. It was fantastic for him to take his 60th BTCC win, and a tremendous effort from the boys to get a one-two finish. It was disappointing that we didn’t have another five or six laps in race two because we were definitely faster than Rob and then race three was another good finish. You always want more of course, but we came away with three very solid results and a strong points haul – and that gives us a lot of confidence going to Oulton Park.”

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 7 – Thruxton

Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.290s
Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.372s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +1.772s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +2.230s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +2.474s
7 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +5.060s
Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.940s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +6.366s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.302s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 8 – Thruxton

1 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW 6 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.212s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.507s
Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +1.575s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +2.791s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +2.971s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +3.327s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.143s
9 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +5.152s
10 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +5.623s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 9 – Thruxton

1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 16 laps
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.576s
Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +4.081s
4 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.836s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +10.002s
Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +10.756s
7 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +11.732s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +12.414s
9 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +12.989s
10 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +13.694s

Penalties

Qualifying
Tom Chilton was penalised by the loss of lap-time due to not slowing down under yellow flag signals. He received three penalty points.

Race One
Jake Hill was verbally reprimanded and received two penalty points for an incident involving Josh Cook

Race Three
Matt Neal was penalised by the addition of 0.5 seconds to his race time for gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Tom Chilton.

#BRC | Cumbrian challenge awaits for BRC stars

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The action-packed Prestone MSA British Rally Championship returns to action next weekend (29-30 April), with the famous Pirelli international Rally playing host to the second round of Britain’s premier rallying series. The legendary Kielder Forests await with over 100 gravel miles for the BRC elite. The Vital Equipment #BRC Refuel Team will be on hand fuelling the competitors who are powered by Carless Hiperflo Racing Fuels.

The 2017 campaign exploded back onto the scene in Scotland for round one of the BRC. The Brick & Steel Border Counties Rally got proceedings underway in dramatic fashion, with six drivers topping the timesheets throughout the weekend and the lead of the rally changing no fewer than five times during the two-day event.

Big-hitters set to do battle in Cumbria

After a commanding victory on the opening round, Fredrik Ahlin comes to the Pirelli International Rally in fine form in his DMACK-shod Skoda Fabia R5. The Swedish driver won the event last year and will be eager to stretch his standings lead further after his visit to Kielder with new co-driver Torstein Eriksen. Leading the charge to overhaul the Swedish/Norwegian pairing will be Tom Cave and James Morgan in their brand new Hyundai i20 R5. The Welsh pair will debut the Korean machine on British soil and will hope that Eastern promise will prevail, as they look to snatch their first Pirelli win and the championship lead.

Previous winners Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R5) will be in the podium hunt once again after a fine third place in Jedburgh. The most successful man in recent Pirelli Rally history is Irishman Keith Cronin, who already has two wins chalked against his name. With Mikie Galvin calling the notes, the Fiesta R5 driver will be keen to make it a hat-trick on M-Sport’s home ground. Team-mates Alex Laffey and Dai Roberts will be wanting to put a disappointing round one crash behind them, as they go in search of their first points this year.

Another former Pirelli Rally-winning crew, David Bogie and Kevin Rae were trading times at the top with team-mates Ahlin/Eriksen until a rare off for the Scottish pair put the Fabia R5 crew out of contention. Having scored no points with their ‘Joker’ last time out, the duo will be hungry for a win to put their title tilt back on-track. Fellow CA1 Sport crew, Jamie Anderson and Ross Whittock put their new Fiesta R5 through its paces on the Borders and will be eager to put themselves into the top six once again on their preferred gravel surface.

The biggest surprise in the build-up to the second round of the BRC was the announcement that WRC regular, Eyvind Brynildsen would be joining the fray. The Norwegian, backed by Pirelli brings his Fiesta R5 to the party and will be hoping to put the cat amongst the pigeons with his wildcard entry with co-driver Andreas Fredriksson.

Young gun Rhys Yates showed incredible form in Scotland to round out the top five at the opener. Alongside Carl Williamson, the Michelin-supported Fiesta R5 driver will hope to replicate that result as the cars return to Carlisle this weekend. Matt Edwards/Darren Garrod had a troubled first round but were pleased to take home sixth in their Hankook-shod Fiesta R5. With Edwards’ confidence ever growing, the Welshman will be challenging for a strong result.

Marty McCormack/David Moynihan showed flashes of brilliance on the opening round in the their Kumho-backed Fabia R5. The northern Irishman took a stage win on the Border Counties and will look to convert his raw speed into a points paying position.

Jonny Greer is one of the most experienced on the Pirelli International with the Northern Irishman set to start his eighth event, this time at the wheel of his Citroen DS3 R5 with Kirsty Riddick on the notes. Desi Henry/Liam Moynihan in a Fabia R5 will be aiming to fight inside the top five as they look to put a disappointing first round behind them.

Rejoining the series and kicking off his 2017 season on the Pirelli Rally is Thomas Preston in his striking Fabia R5. The Englishman got quicker with every stage mile in 2016 and will be hoping to burst into the points from the off this weekend, with the experienced Andrew Roughead calling the notes.

James Slaughter makes a welcome return in his striking Fiesta R5. The Kent-based driver has a new co-driver onboard in the form of Niall Burns. Slaughter is gaining experience with every mile and hopes to secure his first outright point on the Pirelli.

Leading from the front – Junior BRC runners eager to shine on round two

With a £30,000 prize fund on offer to the overall champion, the fight for supremacy in the Prestone Motorsport News Junior BRC is hotter than ever in 2017.

The scene-stealing performance on round one went to Oscar Solberg and Patrik Barth in their Ford Fiesta R2T. The Norwegian/Swedish pairing blazed a trail through Jedburgh to put the famous Solberg name at the top of the championship standings going into the Pirelli Rally.

Hot on the Scandinavian’s heals will be Dean Raftery and Tom Woodburn in the first Peugeot 208 R2. The Anglo-Irish partnership recorded second on the Border Counties Rally and will be gunning for the top spot this time around. Although a relative newcomer to gravel, Northern Irishman William Creighton stunned everyone with a fine third in his 208 R2, with Liam Regan expertly guiding.

Peugeot are well-represented in the Junior category this year, with five of the French pocket rockets lining up for the Pirelli Rally. Meirion Evans/Jonathan Jackson scored a strong fourth in Jedburgh and will be aiming for the top three on the fast, flowing stages. Fellow Welsh pairing Cameron Davies/Caron Tomlinson had a nightmare of a first round and will be eager to seal a solid result next time out – as will Irish crew Marty Gallagher/Dean O’Sullivan in the final Peugeot 208 R2.

Celtic two-wheel-drive champions Callum Devine/Keith Moriarty came fifth on their first gravel event in their Fiesta R2T. The Irish pair are gaining momentum and are sure to be fighting at the sharp end once again. Another Fiesta R2T will be in the hands of James Williams/Phil Hall, who will be hoping to score their first points of the season in the competitive front-wheel-drive series.

Josh McErlean/Damien Duffin showed flashes of brilliance in their Citroen C2 R2 before mechanical failure put paid to their opening round. The Irish crew have points on the agenda for the demanding Pirelli Rally.

Cadet Cup runners put through their paces

New for 2017 is the exciting formation of the Cadet Cup, home to the Ford Fiesta National, Opel ADAM Cup and older-generation Ford Fiesta R2.

Signalling his intent on round one was Josh Cornwell, with Richard Bliss in the co-driver’s seat in their Ford Fiesta R2. The pair dominated the first round, getting their season off to a textbook start.

Fergus Barlow and Max Freeman (Fiesta R2) notched up second and will be in the hunt for another podium to add to their collection. James McDiarmid and Max Haines Messenger fly the flag for Harper Adams University in a Ford Fiesta National. The team of enthusiastic students took the final step of the podium in Scotland and will hope to bring their turbocharged machine to the finish once again.

Challenging the top three will be a brace of MH Motorsport-prepared Ford Fiesta R2s for Nabila Tejpar/Charley Sayer-Payne and Alex Waterman/Harry Thomas, while Richard Burns’ godson, Tom Williams will be challenging for a rostrum in his Fiesta R2, with Bryan Hull on the notes.

Arron Windus is set to return to the series on the Pirelli in a brand new Vauxhall ADAM Cup. The Australian will be keen to get his series off to a flyer, by bagging a Cadet Class podium on the second round of the BRC.

The supporting cast out to steal the headlines

Following an outing in the FIA World Rally Championship, David White will hope more seat time in the Ford Fiesta R2 in Corsica will pay dividends in the fight for BRC4 honours.

Donnie Macdonald and Andrew Falconer will once again harness the powerful right-hand-drive Ford Fiesta R5 in the National Rally Cup. The Scottish duo will be hoping to top the NRC points standings and mix it in the top ten overall on the Pirelli International. John Morrison and Peter Carstairs in a Mitsubishi Evo9 will be waiting to pounce if Macdonald slips, while Spencer Wilkinson and Glyn Thomas aim to extend their margin in the BRC Production Cup.

The full entry list will be available early next week via www.msabrc.com andwww.pirelliinternationalrally.co.uk.

All seven rounds of the BRC will be beamed into homes around Europe with Channel 4, BT Sport and Motorsport TV all showcasing the best of the action with extensive highlights being transmitted after every weekend.

Keep tabs on all the latest BRC developments by visiting www.msabrc.com or following us on social media: Prestone MSA British Rally Championship on Facebook and @MSA_BRC on Twitter using #BRC

SRC | Exciting entry for Speyside Stages

A strong field lines up for round three of the 2017 Scottish Rally Championship

The 2017 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) resumes after a five week break in Elgin for round three of the series, the McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages.

Contested in the Moray and Aberdeenshire forests on Saturday 22nd April, the rally is the only to feature tarmac in the entire SRC season with a spectator stage in Elgin, but the event is characterised by its clean, flowing forest stages.

Using just five miles of double usage in a compact event with ten speed tests, the Speyside Stages is a favourite among competitors and that is reflected in the capacity entry that is heading to Moray in 2017.

David Bogie heads the entry list in his Skoda Fabia R5, with Andrew Roughead stepping in for Kevin Rae in the co-drivers’ seat. The five times Scottish Champion won the season’s opening round in Inverness and as a previous winner of the event seven times over, he is a strong favourite for victory on Saturday 22nd April.

Championship leader and defending double SRC champion Jock Armstrong lines up as car two in his Subaru Impreza, once again co-driven by Paula Swinscoe. The Castle Douglas ace stormed to his first victory of the year last time out in Jedburgh, so will be looking to make that two in Elgin.


Jock Armstrong is on good form – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton start at three in their Ford Fiesta R5, having scored two podiums on the first two rallies of 2017. The Duns driver bagged some valuable testing mileage on Rally of North Wales recently so will be looking to get up to speed quickly on round three and challenge at the front.

Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy grabbed their first podium with their new Mitsubishi Evo IX on the Border Counties, with the Cumbrian pilot still getting to the grips with his upgraded machine. The BSW Energy backed man starts at six ahead of Shaun Sinclair and Jamie Edwards who will be looking for a strong result in their Subaru Impreza S14 WRC after a trip into a ditch on the Border Counties.

Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts return to the SRC after missing the second round in their Evo IX, and start ahead of the similar car of Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry who were lucky to get fifth in the Borders after a frightening final stage moment.

Donnie MacDonald and Andrew Falconer bring their right-hand-drive Fiesta R5 to Elgin in search of a strong result, with the ever improving Greg McKnight start at 11 in his Mitsubishi Evo IX. Dale Robertson and Stuart Loudon make a welcome return to the championship in a Tunnock’s backed Fiesta R5.

Iain Wilson starts as top Challenger and will be looking to make it three wins from three in his Subaru, but local drivers John Wink (Evo IX) and Scott Mutch (Impreza GC8) will be looking to spoil the Dalbeattie driver’s party, with Simon Hay (Evo VI) and Michael Binnie (Evo V) also expected to challenge.

Dougal Brown heads the Scottish 2WD’s heading to the Speyside, but will face stiff competition from the similar Mk2 Escort of Quintin Milne, who switches back to the iconic machine after contesting the Snowman in Brian Watson’s Mitsubishi Evo. The pair had an epic duel last year with Milne just getting the better of his rival, so this is one contest to keep a watchful eye on.


Quintin Milne enjoyed a great battle with Dougal Brown in 2016 – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

Max and Callum Redpath lead the Juniors after a solid start to their season, but the battle on round three is expected to be the one that lit up the Snowman: Marty Gallagher versus Thomas Gray. The youngsters battled their Peugeot 208 and Ford Fiesta R2’s ferociously in Inverness finishing just seconds back, with Gray looking to get his revenge after losing out in this battle on round one.

In the www.usedcarparts.co.uk Subaru Cup, 2016 challenger Scott Mutch returns with Matthew Thomson, John McIlwraith, Michael Robertson and Colin Baxter all expected to fight for honours.

There is also the added incentive of the SRC John Horton Star Driver Award, given to the SRC-registered driver who most impresses a panel of judges during the rally. Thomas Gray and Greg McKnight have already booked their place in the end of season shoot-out for a paid entry to a top European event at the end of 2017.

Neil Shanks, Speyside Stages Clerk of the Course, explains the challenges that round three has to offer.

“The Cooper Park spectator tests which open the event are unique to the Speyside, and are a very popular spectator feature of the rally,” he said. “Not necessarily for the drivers though, as the hazards of the town park have caught out the likes of Steve Petch and Dave Weston before!

“This year’s rally route builds on 2016 which we ran for the first time in April. However, we’ve mixed things up with the ten year return of a stage which has never been run in this year’s format before.”

The McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages will be contested on Saturday 22nd April, in and around the city of Elgin.

You can keep up to date with all the drama across the weekend by following the SRC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts using the hashtag #SRC17.


Thomas Gray received Star Driver Award on the Snowman – Image: Lindsay Photo Sport

BRX | O’Donovan Wins 2nd Round

BRX-2Ollie O’Donovan (Iver) experienced a turbulent day in the second round of the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill [April 17] but climbed from sixth on the grid in the final to claim his first win of the season.

Following his third place finish in the opening round of the year at Croft Circuit last month, O’Donovan’s victory moves the 2007 Champion into the British RX points lead.

It was Kevin Procter (Northallerton), Julian Godfrey (Heathfield) and Steve Hill (Thame) who qualified on the front row for the final, thanks to consistent pace through the qualifying stages, while Warren Scott (Buntingford) and Oliver Bennett (Bristol) completed the second row.

Scott took the lead at the start of the race, passing Godfrey and Procter in the run to turn one, but received damage to the rear of his Citroen DS3 due to first corner contact. Bodywork rubbing on the right-rear tyre eventually caused a puncture, but Scott led until taking his joker on the final lap, returning to the main circuit just behind O’Donovan, who had made a slow start.

Godfrey passed Procter for second early in the race and chased down Scott, the multiple Champion following his rival into the joker lap on the final tour, allowing O’Donovan to claim the advantage. Attempting a move on Scott for second on the final lap, Godfrey hit a circuit marker and broke the front-right suspension on his Ford Fiesta, putting him out.

O’Donovan had also broken his Ford Focus’ suspension earlier in the day and missed Q2 as a result. He took the joker early in the final and passed both Jake Harris (Canewdon) and Bennett in pursuit of the leaders. As O’Donovan won his first event of the year, Scott and Bennett both scored their maiden rallycross podiums in second and third respectively.

“I made a slow start and did the joker quite early,” said O’Donovan. “I was counting the seconds to the boys ahead when I was going up the hill and in a lap I’d taken nearly eight seconds out of them, so I thought with a big push we had a chance. I think it was quite close coming out of the joker but I kept a nice tidy line and had better traction than them. We had some problems earlier in the day, that was driver error, but I think we made up for it later in the afternoon.”

Scott was pleased to fight for Lydden Hill victory and is enjoying his first season in British RX. “We had a great start. Liam (Doran) and the boys set the car up for me to get off the line with as little wheelspin as possible,” said Scott. “We got through the gap but unfortunately half way through the corner I got a hit and I knew I would get a puncture because of all the smoke from the tyre. I pushed as hard as I could for the laps the tyre was up for and pulled a gap. I took the joker on the last lap but just got pipped by Ollie and couldn’t do anything about him. The car was mega, the team did a great job and I’m loving every minute of being here.”

Bennett admitted to struggling with changeable track conditions in the mixed weather of the morning, but was more comfortable throughout the day as the circuit dried out. His maiden podium puts him second in the Championship, tied on points with Procter. “It was an interesting event. We had a few problems and then my clutch went so I had to do a rolling start from the back of the grid,” he said. “I guess the race unfolded along the way and a few calamities for others meant I managed to pick up third, which is really good. We had the pace in the final, the setup of the car was much better and I’m really happy with the result.”

Harris finished fourth despite losing fourth and fifth gear in his DS3 towards the end of the race, with Procter fifth. Hill was forced out with a broken driveshaft before the race got underway, as Mad Mark (Barnard Castle) had an event blighted by clutch cylinder problems.

Round one winner Nathan Heathcote (Ashford) also experienced a day beset with mechanical dramas. A broken gearbox in practice forced him to miss Q1, while broken power steering in Q2 spelled the end of his event.

Back-to-back victories for Bellerby as Ovenden sets pace

Following his debut event in the former title-winning Renault Clio V6 at the opening round of the MSA Supernational Rallycross Championship at Croft, Tristan Ovenden (Renault Clio) dominated proceedings at his home circuit. He set the fastest time in each of the three qualifying races before winning semi-final one and leading the final until the penultimate lap, when the rear suspension broke on his car, sending him into a gravel trap. Second to Ovenden throughout, Paige Bellerby (Northallerton) was perfectly placed to pick up the pieces and claim her second win of the season to extend her points lead. Guy Corner suffered from driveshaft failure in Q2 and sustained a substantial accident in Q3 at the circuit’s chicane. Thanks to the hard work of his team, Corner made it onto the grid for the semi-finals and a spirited drive in both the semi and final netted the Peugeot 206 driver second to Bellerby as reward for the team’s efforts.

Todd Crooks (Royston) competed the podium with his BMW Mini. Gary Simpson (York) in fourth and Michael Howlin (Haverfordwest) fifth were the last of the finishers, as Allan Tapscott (Umberleigh) retired in the same place as Ovenden with broken steering and Michael Labedz (London) also stopped with mechanical issues. Reigning Champion Tony Lynch (Wigan) was sidelined with engine troubles for the second event in a row.

“This track is all about horsepower, the Clio goes exceptionally well here and Tristan drove amazingly today,” said Bellerby. “He really did deserve to win. We went round to get the points for second in the final but luck was in our favor. I’m absolutely over the moon. The aim is to get consistent results this year and so far so good.”

Llewellin extends points lead with Lydden win

Undefeated MSA Junior Rallycross Championship driver Tom Llewellin (Haverfordwest) won his second event of the year and sixth in a row to extend his lead at the top of the points table, but didn’t have things all his own way at Lydden Hill. Tom Constantine (Richmond) was twice fastest in the opening two qualifying races to secure pole position, but it was Llewellin who took the lead on the opening lap of the final, pressured by Constantine in the early stages. Morgan Wroot (Doncaster) took his joker on lap one and when Constantine took his joker on lap three, he returned behind Wroot on the main circuit. As Llewellin scored another victory, Wroot led a train of cars in the fight for second but held on to score his best result to date, with Constanine third.

Tom Middleton (Maldon) was fourth with Ole Henry Steinsholt (Norway) fifth and James Constantine (Dalton-on-Tees) sixth.

“It was a great day at Lydden, I really enjoyed the racing,” said Llewellin. “It was really close with the other Juniors which made it really enjoyable.  I started on the back of the grid in Q1, then Tom (Constantine) was just too quick in Q2 but we managed to win Q3. I made a good start in the final but they were not far away. It’s always nice to win for sure.”

Ovenden dominates Swift Sport category at home circuit

Simon Ovenden (Canterbury) set the fastest time in each of the three qualifying races, won semi-final one and the final to get his Swift Sport Rallycross Championship title challenge underway at Lydden Hill. Morgan Bailey (Lincoln) lived up to the potential displayed at round one of the Championship with semi-final two victory and second in the final, while Norwegian driver Christoffer Lia (Norway) made his second appearance in the series and scored his second podium in a row. Local driver Don Macleod (Deal) earned a personal best result in fourth, as round one winner Chris Woollett (Herstmonceux) and Rob Maynard (Deal) both spun in the first corner of the final and lost ground.

For the first time in over a year, a new driver stood on the top of the podium in the RX150 Championship. John Ward (Dublin) won semi-final two as double-champion Chrissy Palmer (Chichester) claimed pole position for the final and led until lap the last lap when the points leader spun after contact with Ward and retired. Ward claimed his first RX150 victory with Brett Harris (Hawkwell) and Stephen Jones (Havant) both achieving their first podium finishes of the year in second and third.

Vauxhall Corsa driver Paul Coney (Dartford) won the amalgamated Super1600 / BMW Mini / Hot Hatch category for the second event in a row in his Super1600 specification car, ahead of local driver Darren Scott (Sittingbourne). Scott put mechanical troubles in the opening round of the year with his Citroen C2 behind him to finish less than half a second behind Coney in the final. Martin Hawkes (Stockton on Tees) was the best of the BMW Mini competitors for the second event in succession and finished third in the final, ahead of Championship rivals David Bell (Ferryhill), Drew Bellerby (Northallerton) and Bradley Durdon (Nazing). Tomasz Marciniak (London) was the top Hot Hatch finisher, the Polish driver fifth in semi-final one and just missed a place in the final.

Barry Stewart (Barcombe) returned to the Retro Rallycross Championship at Lydden Hill with his Porsche 911 and battled with reigning Champion Ray Morgan (Hastings) throughout the final to claim victory. A Mini Clubman once again finished on the overall Retro podium, on this occasion in the hands of Lance Foster (Washington).

Full results can be found on the MSA British Rallycross Championship website.

Highlights of the MSA British Rallycross Championship will be broadcast on BT Sport, Motorsport.TV and online in 2017.

The next round of the MSA British Rallycross Championship takes place at Pembrey in South Wales [June 25].

Supercar pack Lydden

BTCC | YOUNG GUNS TO THE FORE AS TOM INGRAM HITS THE TOP

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Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat – the youngest driver in the history of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – scored a hugely popular breakthrough win at Donington Park on Sunday (16 April).

Tom Ingram surged to the top of the overall standings after taking his second victory of the season, whilst Team BMW’s Colin Turkington claimed the honours in the final encounter at the Leicestershire venue.

Moffat produced a magnificent performance in the opener as he stormed through from fourth on the grid.

The striking blue Mercedes-Benz diced past Jack Goff’s Eurotech Racing Honda on the opening lap, and third became second shortly afterwards as Rob Austin’s Handy Motorsport Toyota was disposed of by the talented young driver.

Scotsman Moffat began hounding down early leader Ingram, who himself had made a forceful move into the lead past pole-sitter Austin on the run down to Redgate for the first time, and the two front-runners were soon locked in battle.

Moffat’s defining moment came on lap five as the Mercedes got the run alongside Ingram’s ballast-laden Avensis, which was also running the harder Dunlop SportMaxx option tyre. Ingram had no answer as Moffat blasted by on the run down through the Craner Curves, and the Laser Tools man would go on to take a comfortable victory.

Ingram was shuffled further down the order once Austin enacted his revenge on the sister Avensis, whilst Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal eventually grabbed second after he passed both Toyotas.

Ingram then became the first double winner of the 2017 campaign, claiming a commanding race two triumph.

The Speedworks Motorsport star made his way past the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard in the early stages, before he returned the favour on Moffat by making an almost carbon copy move as his younger rival had produced in the earlier encounter.

Collard and Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ashley Sutton eventually progressed to the rostrum positions, but neither could live with the pace shown by race-winner Ingram.

Double champion Turkington claimed the honours in the final race after on-the-road winner Gordon Shedden was excluded from the result for a technical infringement.

Shedden looked to have produced a classy drive amidst difficult conditions as heavy rain fell on the 1.98-mile National Circuit.

Pole-sitter Dave Newsham had initially scampered away whilst those behind squabbled for position. Shedden soon reeled in the BTC Norlin Racing Chevrolet Cruze, having already made moves on the Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus of Josh Cook and Turkington’s BMW.

The reigning champion blitzed around the outside of Newsham at Redgate to take the lead, and subsequently romped home to take the chequered flag. It soon became clear, however, that his Civic Type R had failed its post-race ride height checks, resulting in his exclusion from the final classification.

On reflection, it meant that the move for the win took place on lap eight as Turkington carved his way by Newsham at the final chicane.

Newsham fought valiantly for the remainder of the race as he tried to fend off a gaggle of cars. A pulsating battle saw Sutton’s Subaru nip by the Chevrolet, only for Newsham to claw his way back past on the penultimate tour.

The duo were joined by Adam Morgan’s Mercedes on the final lap, and it was three-abreast on the run down to Roberts. Morgan stunningly emerged ahead of Sutton to take second place, as Newsham narrowly missed out on a podium for the new BTC Norlin squad.

At the end of a dramatic weekend of action it’s Ingram in charge at the top of standings, with second-placed Turkington some 14 points in arrears.

BMW/WSR and its Team BMW squad lead the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ tables respectively, whilst Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport head the Independents’ points.

A top ten finish overall in the final contest helped Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor to extend his advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.

Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place at Thruxton in Hampshire on 6/7 May.

Aiden Moffat said: “It’s a very special feeling – I won’t be forgetting this moment anytime soon! The Laser Tools Racing car was absolutely brilliant. We’ve had a great set-up all weekend, so I was feeling confident and knew we had the pace. I might even ask my dad for a day off tomorrow but I doubt that’ll be happening! The guys gave me a brilliant car so it made my job a hell of a lot easier. It felt great out there so I just had to get my head down and drive how I know I can, and it all came together nicely to get that first win. It was great to bounce back after Brands Hatch and be at the sharp end of the field, where we know we can be consistently.”

Tom Ingram said: “I’m lost for words! I knew we would stand a fighting chance but I honestly didn’t expect to win like that, from where we were on the grid and with a little bit of weight on-board. We expected it to be tough to match the pace of the BMWs, but boy, aren’t Speedworks doing a great job at the moment. They’re a proper set of boys and we’ve got one hell of a car! It was all about finding gaps early on, and whenever opportunities arose, I had to take them, put my car in there and hope for the best. Everybody keeps telling me to get points, but that gets a bit boring after a while, doesn’t it, and after sensing a win, I really wanted to try to get through and go for it. It all worked out perfectly.”

Colin Turkington said: “We didn’t do anything spectacular but we did score good points. We weren’t the strongest car this weekend but we just kept it on the road and kept putting good points in the bag. The car was really good in the wet though and at Donington Park, traditionally it’s been tough for us so we’re pleased. The first start, you had to just tiptoe your way around. At the second start, I was struggling initially until the heat got into the front tyres but thereafter the pace was good. It wasn’t easy by any means. The grid is stronger than ever. Everybody is fast so it’s harder to get into the top ten in qualifying. Of course you always want to win or be on the podium but it’s just not always possible, so we’re delighted with our return.”

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 4 – Donington Park

1 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 16 laps
2 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.504s
3 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +2.164s
4 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +2.433s
5 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +14.539s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +14.984s
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.358s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +15.668s
9 Jeff SMITH (GBR) Eurotech Racing +17.996s
10 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +18.905s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 5 – Donington Park

1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 16 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +3.865s
3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +4.085s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +10.112s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +14.134s
6 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.340s
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +20.817s
8 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +21.912s
9 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +24.793s
10 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +27.670s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 6 – Donington Park

1 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW 17 laps
2 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +9.476s
3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +9.637s
4 Dave NEWSHAM (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +10.492s
5 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +10.769s
6 Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +10.976s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +14.909s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +15.500s
9 Aron TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) MG Racing RCIB Insurance +15.835s
10 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +18.672s

Penalties
Qualifying:
Ashley Sutton was excluded from the final result after his car was adjudged to have a turbo overboost infringement

Jake Hill was excluded from the final result after his car’s rear wing was adjudged to be outside of permitted tolerance

Race one:
Adam Morgan was permitted the addition of 0.5s to his race time for gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Gordon Shedden

Luke Davenport was excluded from the race result and received four penalty points for overtaking Dave Newsham under yellow flag conditions

Race two:
Tom Chilton received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Aiden Moffat

Race three:
Gordon Shedden was excluded from the race result after his car failed post-race ride height checks

 

BTRDA: Somerset Stages Preview

Round 3: Somerset Stages Rally – 8th April.
The BTRDA Rally Series® pays its annual visit to south-west England on 8th April for the Somerset Stages Rally and, with the forced abandonment of the first round due to the unpredictable British weather, there are a number of crews who will be looking to the event as an opportunity to put their respective seasons back on track.
Although more usually associated with football team managers, the old adage ‘you’re only as good as your last result’ will certainly strike a chord with Luke Francis and John Roberts (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9). The luck which saw them take outright victory on three BTRDA Rally Series events last year, including the Somerset Stages, has presently deserted them and, as they lead the field away from the Minehead start, all thoughts will be on a repeat performance this time.

Stephen Petch/Michael Wilkinson (Fiesta) didn’t finish the 2016 Somerset Stages and, having also retired from the recent Malcolm Wilson Rally, will be in an equally determined mood. They are proven winners at this level and, as one of the first crews to bring a Fiesta to the Championship, now need to put their experience to good use! Meanwhile Callum Black/Elliott Edmondson are relative newcomers to their R5+ but nevertheless acquitted themselves admirably last time out. Karl & Guy Simmons (Subaru Impreza WRC) were 3rd overall this time last year and a similar result would do very nicely, thank you!

David Wright and Steve Pugh (photo) in a Ford Focus WRC started the 2017 season with a very good points scoring result on the Malcolm Wilson Rally and they are followed, as they were then, by the 2011/12 Somerset Stages winner Hugh Hunter, with Rob Fagg, who start one minute behind them in a similar car. Irishmen Connor McCloskey/John Rowan (Fiesta) and Scotsman Fred Milne (Lancer EVO9), with Welsh co-driver Jamie Edwards, are next, while Tom Preston/Andrew Roughead (Skoda Fabia R5) will be looking to improve on their 7th place last time. In what was then a brand-new car to them. Taunton’s Martyn & Dawn England were 4th overall on their ‘home’ event in a Fiesta R5+. Now, with a further 12 months’ experience under their belts, can they produce a podium finish?…

Last time out, on the Malcolm Wilson Rally, just nine seconds separated the top four finishers in the BTRDA Production Cup, giving a hint of the competitive nature of this particular category. The stages on Exmoor obviously suit Group N cars – Jamie Anderson was 3rd overall in his Lancer in 2012, with Pat Naylor’s similar car 4th a year later. Now, whilst all the main contenders are starting together, the question is ‘will that still be the case at the end of the day?’…. Andy Davies/Max Freeman (Impreza) will have a succession of Lancers hunting them down – Pat Naylor/Ian Lawrence, Russ Thompson/Andy Murphy, Sacha Kakad/James Aldridge, Richard Hill/Steffan Evans & Aaron McClure/Michael Gilbey will all be in there fighting for every second!   Then, of course, there are the Fiesta STsSam Bilham/Cameron Fair’s example is the first of eight taking the start, with the Bingley driver aiming to consolidate his lead in the series. However, it would be reasonable to suppose that Jody McManus, Richard Wells and Alasdair Currie, for example, will have other ideas on that score!

Jody Bowcott and David Millard (Escort Mk2) travel down from the West Midlands to the seaside as leaders of the RAVENOL BTRDA Silver Star® Championship. David Bennett/Alistair McNeil (Corsa) were a constant thorn in their sides in the Lake District – and there’s every possibility that this will be the case once again! Rear-wheel drive exponents Ashley Davies/Sam Fordham & Somerset regulars Theo Bengry/Les Forsbrook will be there in their Escorts, while Richard Sykes/Simon Taylor (Citroen DS3 R3) will adding their weight to the FWD contingent. It’s also worth remembering that a 1400cc car made the Top Three of the Silver Star runners on the Malcolm Wilson Rally.

Speaking of which!….
Chris Powell/Jim Lewis (Talbot Sunbeam) will be the first of the Thomas Panels BTRDA 1400 Championship contenders, with Kieran Darrington/Simon Jones (Corsa) and Charlie Barlow’s Nissan Micra attempting to keep them honest!  Although, as previously discussed, numbers at this level continue to disappoint, the original concept of the series was to encourage new blood, or those returning after a lengthy absence, into the sport and, as a case in point, we welcome Tommi Meadows (son of 2000 Gold Star Champion Martin) to the party and hope he will take great satisfaction from his involvement. To those who say ‘nothing changes’, it’s noted that Tommi has enlisted the services of his dad’s co-driver, Ian Oakey, to help guide his Ford Ka across Exmoor!…

In their quest for BTRDA Rally First Championship points, John and Duncan Freeman’s VW Lupo will be besieged by a battalion of MG ZRs in the hands of Chris Hickman/Alex Stanbury, Sheldon Furby/Carrie Rogers and Ian Woollacott/Simon Stanbury as the battle to succeed 2016 winners Dominic Hodge/Stefan Arndt begins in earnest.

The Somerset Stages also hosts the opening round of the relaunched MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship which, for 2017, has been opened up to welcome all types of rally car that comply with MSA Safety and Technical Regulations. The calendar includes a selection of the best one-day forest and asphalt events in England, plus an ‘away’ weekend doubleheader in Wales, and 2016 champion Sam Bilham will need all his wits about him as he begins the defence of his title. For more information on the MAXXIS MSA English Rally Championship please go to www.englishrally.co.uk

The first car leaves the start of the Somerset Stages Rally in Minehead at 8.00am on Saturday 8th April and, 42 stage miles later (including the traditional two runs up the popular Porlock Toll Road), arrives back there for the finish at approximately 3.45pm that afternoon.   Further details of the Somerset Stages Rally from www.somersetstagesrally.com

Photo is David Wright and Steve Pugh on the recent Malcolm Wilson Rally courtesy of ralliphotoswales

Carless Hiperflo Powered Crews Triumph At Rally North Wales

Rally-North-Wales

Dolgellau star Osian Pryce and co-driver Dale Furniss secured a dominant victory at this weekend’s North Wales Rally Services Rally North Wales (1st April) at the wheel of their Ford Fiesta R5.

Fresh from a podium spot at the opening round of the MSA British Rally Championship, Pryce was fastest on each of the events six stages to win by a margin of over 1m 20sec from second placed Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton in a similar machine. The pairing made the long trip from Scotland to contest the event to gain seat time for their British and Scottish Championship campaigns.  South Wales Subaru pilot Dylan Davies and co-driver Llion Williams took the final podium spot in third.

Nick Elliott and Dave Price was another crew to stay out front all day long with a dominant performance in the Historic event to take the Mintex MSA British Rally Championship honours from Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke, both crews using the crowd pleasing Ford Escort MK2.

With heavy overnight rain, the forests of Dyfi and Gartheiniog proved to be tough going for many of the 100 crews which started the Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire Car Club organised event. The morning loop consisted of three stages and the first test of the day would be the longest at just over 11 miles.

Pryce would open a huge 20 second advantage over Thorburn in the opener despite the quick release steering wheel coming adrift part way through the stage. This lead would never be relinquished and the Gwynedd driver stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the day to cross the ceremonial finish in Dolgellau with a well-deserved overall victory and maximum points in the Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship.

“We didn’t come here specifically for the win but it’s great to have taken victory on an event that’s so close to my doorstep” said Pryce at the finish.  “It’s only my second outing in the car so we still have plenty to work on but we are moving in the right direction ‘pace wise’.  Doing the whole rally on just four tyres meant we lost a little grip towards the end but we had enough of a lead to back off a bit on that last one. It’s been a great day”.

Thorburn felt uneasy during the opening loop in the morning, citing a poor tyre choice for the loss of time to Pryce. The Scotsman bolted on a different tyre pattern in the afternoon and instantly found a better pace but by that time, Pryce was into the distance and second was as good as Thorburn could manage.

Davies fought with a stuck flat shift in the first three tests but still challenged Thorburn’s second spot on a number of stages. He brought the Impreza home in third ahead of David Howells and Jamie Edwards in their older shape Subaru in fourth.  Ieuan Rowlands and Emyr Hall were the first two wheel drive runners in a fine fifth spot in their Ford Escort MK2.

The battle for historic honours was equally as thrilling with Ford Escort pilot Elliott taking a huge chunk of time from pre-event favorite Pritchard in the opening stage. Pritchard admitted to not having a good feeling in the car on the opener and the times reflected that early on. A puncture in the second stage did little to help his confidence but the Builth Wells driver later found his pace to take second spot.

Joe Price and Chris Brooks were set for a Historic podium but their rally ended when they put their Escort on its side on stage four, which allowed Devon’s Rudi Lancaster and Guy Weaver to step up and claim the final podium place in third.

Former British Champion and two-time event winner David Llewellin returned to the stages in a Suzuki Swift courtesy of the Swift Shining Stars series. The Welshman had a little less power than he was used to but he and co-driver Carl Williamson enjoyed the event to take the Swift win by three minutes from Tom Delaney and Joe Cruttenden.

 

Image Courtesy of Rally Sport Media.

 

BTCC | Success for Ingram, Shedden and Jordan in BTCC curtain raiser

btcc-rd-1

Tom Ingram, Gordon Shedden and Andrew Jordan took a win apiece as the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship got underway at Brands Hatch this weekend (1/2 April).

Jeff Smith had secured the first pole position of the new campaign during mixed conditions on Saturday, but the experienced Eurotech Racing driver couldn’t hang on at the front once the lights went out for Sunday’s season-opener.

Fellow front row starter Ingram secured his move for the lead before the cars had even roared into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time, gliding his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis around the outside of Smith’s Honda Civic Type R, whilst contact behind took two of the championship’s big guns out of the running.

Matt Neal tried to defend against the charging rear-wheel drive BMW of Colin Turkington off the line, but unfortunate contact was made as the Honda moved across the track. Both cars stuttered into retirement with damage, bringing about the first safety car period of the new season.

Smith was immediately forced into full defensive mode when the race restarted, but he couldn’t keep Shedden’s Honda behind. The reigning champion made a superb move into Graham Hill Bend on lap six, whilst Adam Morgan eyed his opportunity to follow suit.

This left a top three of Ingram, Shedden and Morgan, an order that would remain unchanged until the chequered flag. It was an extremely good drive from race-winner Ingram, the 23-year-old repeating his 2016 performance with victory in the opening race of the season.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Shedden grabbed victory in a frenetic second encounter after a series of incidents interrupted proceedings.

An aborted start due to a problem for pole-sitter Ingram was followed by an accident at the restart, as Jason Plato’s Subaru Levorg was turned into the pit wall off the line. Heavy contact left the double champion’s Japanese machine stricken on-track in a dangerous position, obliging officials to red flag the contest.

Eventually it was lights-out for a reduced 23-lap race, as Ingram initially led the way from Shedden’s Honda. The ballast-laden Toyota Avensis couldn’t hang on however, as the Scot slipped by at Paddock Hill Bend on the second tour.

Shedden looked assured at the head of the pack, and his place was further cemented as Rob Collard hauled his BMW 125i M Sport onto the rear of Ingram’s Toyota. The experienced Collard nudged Ingram through Paddock Hill on lap 20 and eventually made the move stick on the run downhill. There was little time for him to make inroads into Shedden’s advantage, however, and the Honda man comfortably secured his first win of 2017.

Jordan completed a dream debut for BMW by claiming a victory in the final race on the 1.27-mile Indy circuit.

The 27-year-old – who switched from Ford to BMW machinery during the off-season – held off a late attack from West Surrey Racing stablemate Turkington. The pair touched briefly during the final lap, but Jordan held on to clinch an historic win for the returning manufacturer.

Tom Chilton made it a memorable podium as Vauxhall marked its own BTCC comeback with a fine third place for Power Maxed Racing.

BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan blasted from third on the grid to lead the field into Paddock Hill Bend on lap one, whilst Mat Jackson faced heartache trying to follow suit. Jackson’s Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo Ford went around the outside of Chilton’s Vauxhall Astra, but the former ran out of road after slight contact and endured a trip across the gravel.

Chilton maintained second while fellow front row starter Josh Cook was being shuffled down the order in the Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus.

Team BMW’s Turkington had jumped from tenth to third by a little over mid-distance and he busily closed in on Chilton’s PMR Astra ahead of him. The series returnee had no answer – deciding discretion was the better part of valour – and he allowed the Northern Irishman to nip by on lap 17.

Far from settling for second, Turkington reeled in Jordan at a rate of knots, and was on the blue Pirtek machine’s tail for the final few laps. He tried everything he could to get by – including a friendly rub through Clearways – but 2013 champion Jordan held firm to lead home a fantastic one-two for BMW.

Neal took fourth from Morgan, with both finishing ahead of the fading Collard, whilst Shedden had to settle for seventh – cementing an extremely positive day for the reigning champion.

Eurotech Racing’s topsy-turvy day ended with eighth for Jack Goff, following his earlier fourth and 12th-place finishes, whilst the impressive Michael Epps and Jake Hill rounded out the top ten in the Team HARD-run VWs. Epps notably scored three top ten finishes throughout the day for Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing.

Other standout results included a fifth-place finish for Rob Austin in race one, although his day rather unravelled following exclusion from the second contest due to contact made with Jordan and completing an overtaking manoeuvre under yellow flag conditions.

As the dust settled on an exciting opening weekend of the 2017 season, triple champ Shedden leads the standings by just six points from Ingram, with Jordan a further point in arrears.

Morgan is fourth after a trio of top five finishes, with Collard just behind following his own good run of results. Morgan and his Ciceley Motorsport squad also lead the Independents Drivers’ and Teams’ order.

BMW and Halfords Yuasa Racing top the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ tables respectively, whilst Vauxhall new boy Senna Proctor holds the advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.

The 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues at Donington Park on 15/16 April.

Tom Ingram said: “That was absolutely fantastic, how do you put it into words? Winning here two years on the bounce – it’s the best way to repay all that hard work over the winter. It’s a heck of a result and I’m really pleased. Everyone was reminding me for the next race, ‘get points – just get points’. As soon as I saw Rob [Collard] throw his nose down the inside at Paddock in race two, I thought, ‘I remember this from last year!’ We prioritsed the points and considering the weight we were carrying, third was a great return.”

Gordon Shedden said: “I’ll take those three results any weekend of the year – it’s been a brilliant start to the season. The Civic Type R felt great throughout. In fact, it was even better with the weight in race two than without it in race one, which was slightly random – but very encouraging going forward. I think this must be my best ever start to a BTCC campaign, so we’re clearly going in the right direction. I’m absolutely chuffed – a very happy Scotsman heading back north tonight!”

Andrew Jordan said: “That was quite a start wasn’t it with rear-wheel drive and a new team? I was getting a bit twitchy with Colin (Turkington) looking really, really strong on the soft tyres behind – the rear-wheel drive expert! We had a little rub at the end there but it was a good way to end. I knew he wasn’t going to do anything silly. It’s really special, to get the win on my first event with BMW Pirtek Racing and West Surrey Racing. It’s down to the team – credit to the guys for all the work they’ve put in.”

Adam Morgan said: “To get on the podium in race one was incredible. A third, fourth and fifth was more than we expected and to be leading the Independents’ is magnificent. Consistency is going to win the championship this year. We need to keep those points ticking over and we’ll be near the front come the end of the season. The car was extremely quick in the first race and I think we’re in for a good shout. We aim to be in overall title contention this year although the Independents’ is our main target.”

Rob Collard said: “I was so relieved that the second race was red-flagged early on, because [Rob] Austin had tipped me into a spin at Druids and I was nowhere – virtually last. A good re-start was crucial for me, and after that we picked them off one by one. Andrew [Jordan] worked well with me when it was clear that I was quicker, and to get Tom [Ingram] at the end was brilliant. The BMW felt amazing throughout.”

Colin Turkington said: “It’s so easy to let the head drop at the start of the day when you make 12 yards off the line and end up facing the traffic, but I’ve been around in this championship for so long that I know you’ve just got to look to the next race. Race two was where all the hard work was done really, carving through from the back and giving myself a chance with a good slot on the grid for race three. The guys gave me a great car in the BMW for the last one. We tweaked it for the soft tyre and I couldn’t believe the pace.”

Tom Chilton said: “It was perfect. It’s our first event of the year and we’re still learning the car. It shows what a great job Power Maxed Racing has done and to get a podium is brilliant. It’s put me right up there in the championship in a new car – it’s amazing. I didn’t expect it at all. The BTCC has 32 of the best drivers in Britain and some of the best teams in the world, so to get a result is very difficult – especially a podium, so I’m absolutely over the moon. It was quite special and for us, it felt like a win.”

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 1 – Brands Hatch (Indy):

1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 27 laps
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.181s
3 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +3.348s
Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +12.387s
Rob AUSTIN (GBR) Handy Motorsport +16.410s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +16.610s
7 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +16.760s
Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +18.109s
9 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +18.326s
10 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +18.632s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 2 – Brands Hatch (Indy):

1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 23 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +0.870s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.657s
4 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +4.565s
Mat JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo +5.125s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +5.140s
Josh COOK (GBR) Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport +8.013s
Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +8.197s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +9.441s
10 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +9.492s

2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch (Indy):

1 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing 24 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.315s
Tom CHILTON (GBR) Power Maxed Racing +4.692s
Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.558s
5 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +10.205s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +10.812s
7 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +11.719s
Jack GOFF (GBR) Eurotech Racing +12.141s
9 Michael EPPS (GBR) Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing +12.970s
10 Jake HILL (GBR) TAG Racing +14.367s

Penalties
Race one: 
Josh Cook received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Aiden Moffat

Chris Smiley received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Stephen Jelley

Ash Sutton received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Will Burns

Jack Goff received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Rob Austin

Rob Collard received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Mat Jackson

Michael Epps received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Matt Simpson

Race two: 
Rob Austin was excluded from Round 2 and received four penalty points for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety or departing from the standard of a reasonably competent driver during an incident involving Andrew Jordan

Race three: 
Jeff Smith received a verbal warning after gaining an unfair advantage during an incident involving Luke Davenport

Ash Sutton was officially reprimanded and received two penalty points for driving in a manner incompatible with general safety or departing from the standard of a reasonably competent driver during an incident involving Jeff Smith