Category Archive: Reis News

  1. Mitchell Masters Argyll to Claim Star Driver Award

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    Dunbar driver Bobby Mitchell has claimed the SRC John Horton Star Driver Award for the Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally after a giant-killing performance in his modest Ford Fiesta ST.

    Mitchell had been running as high as sixth overall in the Scottish 2WD Championship on his first rally with co-driver Craig Wallace, punching his little Fiesta into a battle it ought not to have been in.

    Unfortunately his rally would end on stage six of eight when damage sustained to his Fiesta pitched him off the road.

    But this Award puts him through to the end-of-season shoot-out alongside Scott Macbeth, Jude MacDonald and Scott Peacock.

    Mitchell admitted he was surprised to win the Star Driver Award given he didn’t finish the event.

    “It’s really nice being nominated for something like this, particularly when we didn’t finish the rally,” Mitchell said.

    “I was quite surprised. The rally was a strange tale with the highs of such competitive stage times, but then we were on a bit of a downer after failing to make the finish.

    “I was hoping to finish the rally and be nominated for the Award with our pace, so it’s nice to see that our pace is being noticed as usually folk leading rallies are the ones getting all the attention.

    “The prize itself would be awesome as I’ve never had much tuition before. Picking up even just little things can make such a big difference to your driving.”

    Mitchell admitted he was lucky not to do too much damage to his car in Argyll & Bute.

    “We had it in our notes as a left 7 and then a fast right with a little crest jump which was flat for us in our car,” he explained.

    “Just as soon as we started braking for the following hairpin left, within about five metres we hit a big rock that had been pulled out and cracked the hub where the bottom arm goes into.

    “It chucked the steering wheel to the left, and wouldn’t turn right when I tired, so we ended up being dragged into a ditch relatively softly and thankfully missing all the trees. The main damage was from the stone not the subsequent off, so we were very lucky.

    “It was a shame because it was the first time I’d done the Argyll Rally and I really enjoyed it. The stages were like a rollercoaster, up and down with some challenging corners which were really great to drive on.”

    Mitchell’s wasn’t the only driver to enjoy himself in Argyll, with plenty of others celebrating winning their respective classes.

    Wilson was eighth overall and top 2WD contender on the Argyll Rally

    Class 1:

    Scott Peacock and Robin Neil bagged their third consecutive class win in their MG ZR, proving their SRC John Horton Star Driver Award for the RSAC Scottish Rally was well-deserved. Chief rivals Niall Cowan Jr and Thomas Bruce failed to finish.

    Class 2:

    James Campbell and Ricky Finlayson were comfortable victors in their Talbot Sunbeam, cementing their championship lead in the process. Donald Peacock and Chirs Wareham were second as Peacock conserved his Peugeot 205 for a trip to Finland next month.

    Class 3:

    Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruikshank took a fine 18th overall en route to the class win in their Skoda Fabia R2. Caroline Carslaw and Matt Edwards were second in their Ford Fiesta R2, as expected challengers Angus Lawrie and Paul Gribben nosed their Citreon C2 R2 MAX into a ditch.

    Class 4:

    Paddy Munro and Keir Beaton steered their Ford Escort Mk2 to an important second class win of the season, ahead of Douglas Watt and Ian Parker’s similar machine. John and Meghan O’Kane endured a torrid event with various car woes but still bagged a class podium.

    Class 5:

    Historic and Class 5 honours went to Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Ernie Lee and Patricia Milligan managed to take second in their BMW 325i, ahead of the Ford Escort Mk2 of Ian and Dawn Milne.

    Class 6:

    Linzi Henderson and Tom Hynd took their first class win of the year in their Ford Fiesta R2T, breaking Carl and Rob Tuer’s dominance. Tuer had an eventful weekend, only just making the start of the rally as his flight from Switzerland was delayed and then retiring on the event itself.

    Class 7:

    Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry won Class 7 on their first appearance in the class, debuting their newly acquired Ford Escort Mk2. Paul McErlean and Niall McKenna were just three seconds back, with Duncan MacDonald and Neil Ross only a further second back. That meant just four seconds split the top three.

    Class 8:

    Iain Wilson and Chris Williams scored the Class 8 win as well as top two-wheel-drive with a fine eighth overall. Gordon Murray and David O’Brien finished second.

    Class 9:

    Michael Binnie and Claire Mole edged Thomas Gray and Harry Marchbank in an incredibly tight battle in their Mitsubishi Evo IX’s. Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young netted third in their Subaru Impreza.

    Class 10:

    Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest collected the spoils in Class 10 in their Mitsubishi Evo IX, two minutes ahead of championship title sponsor Kevin Crawford and Andrew Stevenson. John Rintoul and Ross Hynd were third in their Skoda Fabia.

    Class 11:

    The Class 11 podium was an exact replica of the overall one. Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton sealed first ahead of Garry Pearson and Dale Bowen and Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts.

    The SRC is now into its summer break, with action resuming in August, with the season reaching its crescendo.

    The KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship is supported by Royal Aero, Pirelli Motorsport, Moates Offshore Ltd, Albyn Garage Ltd, RAVENOL and Reis Motorsport Insurance.

    The next round of the series is the Grampian Forest Rally on Saturday 10th August.

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  2. Ingram denied shot at podium as Corolla proves pace in Cheshire

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    •Fast and feisty showing by Bucks ace in Toyota Corolla at Oulton Park

    •Christian Dick hails ‘significant progress’ on Speedworks’ home soil

    •Team Toyota GB with Ginsters enters summer break in confident mood

    Tom Ingram looked odds-on for a podium finish if not better in the final race of the British Touring Car Championship’s visit to Oulton Park last weekend (29/30 June), only for misfortune to strike at the end of arguably the most competitive outing to-date for the new Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Corolla.

    Oulton Park is home soil for Northwich, Cheshire-based Speedworks Motorsport, and Ingram headed into qualifying in optimistic mood following two busy and productive free practice sessions. A couple of grassy excursions restricted him to ninth on the grid amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders, but he did not let that hold him back.

    Under a sweltering summer sun and in front of both a capacity crowd and the live ITV4 television cameras, the 25-year-old Bucks-born ace went immediately on the attack on race day, pinching a position from double title-holder Jason Plato on the opening lap of the curtain-raiser before gaining another spot when Matt Neal went off. He subsequently had to get his elbows out to fend off Plato and 2017 champion Ash Sutton in a scrap that got physical on occasion on his way to a strong seventh at the chequered flag.

    In race two, Ingram again focussed on moving forward, snatching sixth from Rory Butcher before – headlights ablaze – zeroing in on Sam Tordoff in fifth. Relentlessly stalking his prey, he had closed right onto the Yorkshireman’s tail when the safety car was summoned with less than a handful of laps left to run.

    At the re-start, a big ‘moment’ at Knickerbrook cost him some ground – sliding spectacularly sideways after pushing a touch too hard and dropping a wheel over the kerb – but eighth position nonetheless secured the reigning two-time BTCC Independents’ champion fourth on the partially reversed grid for the day’s finale.

    When the lights went out, the leading quintet broke swiftly away from the chasing pack, but then going onto lap three, disaster struck as contact between the top two spat Neal broadside across the track heading down The Avenue towards Cascades. In the ensuing cloud of tyre smoke, Ingram – like several others – had to jink dramatically left onto the grass in avoidance.

    Rejoining in 22nd place and carrying damage, he later locked up on a pool of oil at the hairpin and skidded straight on, ultimately spelling retirement. Frustratingly, the second-fastest lap of the race – quicker than the eventual winner and set just before the incident – went to show what might have been.

    Ingram and Team Toyota GB with Ginsters now go into the BTCC’s mid-season break sitting ninth in the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ standings respectively in the UK’s premier motor racing series, with the action set to resume at Snetterton in Norfolk on 3/4 August.

    Ingram speeds past on track in-front of competitors

    Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “As our home event, we always get a lot of guests, family, friends and supporters coming along to Oulton and as ever, they all had a great time. On the track, we went into the weekend knowing we had a long job list we wanted to try out on the Corolla, which resulted in a lot of learning again and some significant progress.

    “Whilst we could probably have been a little further up the grid in qualifying, it didn’t stop Tom from fighting his way through the field at a circuit where overtaking is notoriously difficult. We took a big stride forward following race one, and after looking so strong in race two, we were pretty bullish about our prospects from the second row of the grid in race three.

    “It was a huge shame that we were robbed of a fair crack at it through no fault of our own, because we clearly had the pace to be on the podium – perhaps even more – but now, it’s time to go back to base and digest all the work we’ve done over the past few months. The plan for the next five weeks is to keep our heads down and keep pushing, and once we completely nail the sweet spot with the new Corolla, I genuinely think we will be competitive everywhere.”

    Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “Oulton Park and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I love the place, but it really doesn’t seem to like me very much as something has always stopped me from coming away with results there. We weren’t quite ‘in the window’ in qualifying, and I probably forced it a bit too much and ended up overdriving – with a new car, you occasionally have to overstretch the boundaries to find the limit.

    “In terms of race pace, though, the Corolla was the strongest it has been yet this season – I felt I could really push and attack. That marked the biggest step forward of the year so far, and the car got better and better as the weekend went on.

    “We gained ground in race one, before making a big set-up change for race two that really brought the Corolla to life. I was very much looking forward to race three after that, and – considering the pace we had in just the opening two laps – I’m convinced we would have been on the podium. When it all kicked off, Matt crossed the track right in front of me and my only option was to veer left onto the grass, but the wheels dug in and that ripped a load of front downforce off the car.

    “We eventually got going again but later hit oil and flat-spotted a tyre, which meant we had to pit and with the damage we were carrying, we reluctantly had to call it a day. That was obviously a disappointing way to finish the weekend, but overall, there was plenty of cause for encouragement and we will use that to continue to fuel development of the Corolla to make sure we come back fighting fit at Snetterton after the break.”

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  3. More podiums for Honda on day of frustration at BTCC Oulton Park

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    Honda British Touring Car Championship driver Dan Cammish added two more podium finishes to his 2019 total in the British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park today, but the day ended in frustrating fashion for the Halfords Yuasa Racing squad when team-mate Matt Neal was spun out of a winning position in the final race.

    After both Halfords Yuasa Racing cars topped the times in practice drivers Cammish and Neal were confident going into qualifying. But a tight session on the challenging Cheshire track saw Cammish forced to settle for third, under three tenths of a second down on rival and points leader Colin Turkington. Neal’s Civic Type R qualified sixth, under two tenths further back, the BTCC veteran sporting a special helmet marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

    Cammish made an excellent start to race one to snatch second place and begin the chase after leader Turkington. With Turkington on the softer option tyre, The Honda initially dropped back but with six laps down was closing in, only for Cammish’s progress to be undone by an accident to his team-mate.

    Neal had been holding a strong sixth and closing on the cars ahead, when a mechanical failure forced the Honda into retirement at the fast Druids corner. In the ensuing safety-car period Turkington was able to cool his tyres and on the restart keep Cammish’s Honda behind.

    Both Honda drivers started race 2 on the softer tyres. Cammish made another good getaway from second on the grid, but was beaten into the corner by Turkington and his team-mate Andrew Jordan. Thereafter the Honda completed a solid race to rack up another podium finish with third.

    Neal’s race was anything but quiet. A great effort by the Halfords Yuasa Racing team saw the damaged Civic Type R repaired in only 90 minutes to get their driver onto the grid, in a lowly 29th start spot. Matt then rewarded their efforts with a champion performance, passing cars on virtually every lap to make up 18 places, finishing 11th and earning potentially vital championship points.

    More reward quickly followed as the draw for the reverse-grid final race placed Neal’s Honda on the outside of the front row. While beaten off the line by pole-sitter Jake Hill, going into lap 3 the Honda powered past into the lead, only for Hill’s car to make contact with Neal’s and pitch the Civic Type R into a wild spin.

    Neal recovered, dropping to 17th and then fighting his way back to finish a frustrated 12th. This became 11th when Hill, who had won the race, was penalised 20 seconds for the contact with the Honda. Cammish, who had started 10th, was also badly delayed in the melee from Neal’s spin, dropping to 24th but recovering to finish 16th, just out of the points.

    The frustrated Honda squad will now put the meeting behind them and head in a month to the next rounds at Snetterton in Norfolk – scene last year of a major triumph for the team when Neal took the BTCC’s 60th anniversary ‘Diamond Double’ race.

    Dan Cammish Halfords Yuasa Racing Driver

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    Another weekend that promised much but did not deliver all of it through no fault of our own! I was pleased to keep racking up the podium finishes as consistency has so often proven so important in this championship. But what happened in the last race was so frustrating – Matt could very well have taken our first win of the year and my race was ruined as well.
    We were clearly the strongest team apart from the one leading the championship, so we will go to Snetterton next month in confident mood. I was on the podium there last season so I’m looking forward to the races.

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    A weekend to forget for me. I was strong in the first race only to be robbed by a mechanical issue. That put me on the back of the grid for race 2 and I was pleased to battle my way up the field, especially when the grid draw put me on the front row for race 3. But then of course it all went wrong, through no fault of my own.
    The only thing to do is put this meeting behind us and head on to Snetterton, a meeting I’m really looking forward to after my win in the Diamond Double last year.

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 15 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 154 points
    2. Andrew Jordan 162 points
    3. Josh Cook 148 points
    5. Dan Cammish 130 points
    8. Matt Neal 125 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 15 rounds

    1. BMW 425 points
    2. Honda 379 points
    3. Subaru 326 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 15 rounds

    1 Team BMW 276 points
    2. Halfords Yuasa Racing 252 points
    3. Cobra Sport AMD 218 points

    * all points provisional pending judicial decisions

    Rounds 16-18 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Snetterton, Norfolk on Sunday 4th August.

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  4. Ingram: I’d do the same again…

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    -Team Toyota GB with Ginsters star rolls the dice at Croft

    -Bucks ace’s tyre gamble narrowly fails to pay off in Yorkshire

    -Home soil next for Speedworks Motorsport-run squad

    Tom Ingram rolled the dice in a bid for glory in the British Touring Car Championship at Croft last weekend (15/16 June), and whilst his bold tyre gamble narrowly failed to pay off, the Team Toyota GB with Ginsters star insists he would ‘do the same again’ – as Team Principal Christian Dick revealed his pride in the Speedworks Motorsport-run squad for having the ‘courage of its convictions’.

    On a freshly-resurfaced track, Ingram worked methodically through his pre-planned programme during free practice in North Yorkshire, but a disjointed qualifying session – punctuated by a succession of red flag stoppages for incidents and rain showers – restricted him to a frustrated and unrepresentative 15th on the grid amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders in the UK’s premier motor racing series.

    That left the Bucks-born ace with a mountain to climb on race day, and he began the first of the three ITV4 live-televised contests with 24kg of success ballast on-board and on the less favourable hard-compound tyres, making his task doubly difficult. Undeterred, an assertive start saw him swiftly gain four positions to 11th behind the wheel of the #80 Toyota Corolla, and – despite losing his power steering not long after – that was where he would finish.

    The best-placed driver on the hard tyres, the result confirmed Ingram as the only competitor to have finished inside the points in each of the opening ten races of the campaign – testament to his commendable consistency in what is widely regarded as the world’s most fiercely-disputed tin-top series.

    Now free of ballast and back on the regular tyres, the reigning two-time BTCC Independents’ Champion pulled off a flurry of gritty overtakes to advance to seventh in race two, earning him third on the partially-reversed grid for the day’s finale. With his closest rival on the standard rubber all the way down in 14th, the stars were aligning – at least, until a heavy shower soaked the circuit and left teams in a quandary.

    With the track drying out, Ingram took a gamble and bolted on slicks – the only driver inside the top 15 to do so – knowing that the initial laps would be all about establishing the grip level, tiptoeing around and remaining patient while waiting for the conditions to come to him. They eventually did, but too late, and it was only in the closing stages that he was able to begin scything back through the field from 23rd, eventually taking the chequered flag 16th, just 1.7 seconds shy of the points-paying positions.

    Posting the race’s fastest lap on the final tour, all the 25-year-old could realistically do was prove his pace and prowess, and that he did with aplomb, circulating at times almost five seconds quicker than any of the other slick-shod drivers and thrilling fans along the way by repeatedly rescuing lurid sideways slides.

    Next up on the 2019 BTCC schedule will be Oulton Park on 29/30 June – Cheshire-based Speedworks Motorsport’s backyard – and Ingram will head there sitting ninth in the overall Drivers’ standings, with Team Toyota GB with Ginsters occupying the same spot in the Manufacturers’ table.

    Ingram smiling in sunglasses and Reis hat

    Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “Sometimes you have to take a chance, and I’ve received so many messages since the weekend from people saying they were impressed we had the guts to follow our instincts when nearly everybody else was playing safe. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of driving on slicks on a damp track, but we just couldn’t generate temperature in the tyres quickly enough and I had some proper big ‘moments’. Ultimately, we lost too much ground early on and by the time it turned our way, the damage was done – but it was a lot of fun.

    “Going back to the beginning of the weekend, with a new car this season and the new surface at Croft, there wasn’t really a lot of data we could carry over from previous years so it was a bit like starting from scratch, but the Corolla felt pretty good from the outset, which left us feeling confident.

    “Unfortunately, qualifying was then such a chaotic session with five red flags, two rain showers and just one flying lap, which was the ‘banker’ we set when we first went out – we started plenty of laps, but never actually got to complete them! That was frustrating, because we knew the car had so much more to give but at least we got one timed lap in when some drivers didn’t get any at all, so it could definitely have been worse.

    “We were conscious we were going to be up against it on the hard tyres in race one – particularly with the track still being greasy and cold from overnight rain – but we decided to take the pain then in the hope and expectation that it would pay off later in the day. The power steering issue compounded the situation – I felt like I’d done a full gym workout by the end – so in the circumstances, it was very satisfying to move forwards and score some decent points.

    “In race two, I was mindful of looking after the tyres to begin with to be able to attack later on, and that allowed me to pull off some ballsy overtakes in the closing stages. Since we’re not right up there in the title battle at the moment, we can take a few more risks and go properly doorhandle-to-doorhandle without fearing the consequences if it goes wrong – and that’s a nice position to be in. My move on Josh Cook was really enjoyable – just hanging on for dear life through the Jim Clark Esses at more than 130mph. That was mega!

    “Realistically, we knew it was going to be very tough to beat the rear wheel-drive cars in a straight fight at Croft, so our strategy was for race three to be our big opportunity, with the majority of the field on the harder tyres. That plan was working to perfection, and then obviously it rained – but whilst our gamble didn’t pay off on this occasion, I would do exactly the same again…”

    Ingram at speed down a straight with competitors trailing

    Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “Another weekend where circumstances conspired to prevent us from showing our full potential. After making good progress with the Corolla during free practice, we felt optimistic of challenging for the top eight in qualifying – but I’ve never seen a session like that before. Thankfully, we managed to get one timed lap in early, but whenever we went back out again, Tom would put in a green first sector, green second sector and then the red flags flew! A lot of people had a similar story to tell, but it was still obviously frustrating.

    “I thought Tom produced a blinding effort in race one on the hard tyres, and seventh position in race two represented more good, solid points and set us up very nicely on the reversed grid for race three. With everybody else at the sharp end being on the hard tyres, we felt it was pretty much ours to lose – and then the heavens opened, which threw our original strategy out of the window.

    “In the lead-up to the race, you could see a clear dry line was emerging, and considering the track temperature, the wind and the bright sky – plus the fact that the circuit had dried quickly all weekend after previous showers – we thought, ‘let’s give it a go’. We had gone conservative in similar scenarios at Brands Hatch both this year and last and each time we fell down the field, so we decided to take a punt.

    “It was a heck of a gamble, but if anyone was going to pull it off, we knew it would be Tom – he absolutely excels in those conditions and we know he can get the best out of the car in any situation. At least three other team managers came over to me before the start and said, ‘you’ve won this’ – that’s how close a call it was and with just another lap under the safety car or indeed another safety car period, it could so easily have been an inspired choice.

    “Tom delivered an absolute masterclass in car control and commitment, and none of the other slick-shod runners could get even remotely close to his pace for most of the race. Yes, ultimately it was the wrong decision, but I’m incredibly proud of all of us for sticking to our guns and having the courage of our convictions – and at the end of the day, it resulted in some fantastic TV coverage for our wonderful sponsors.

    “Next, it’s our home track – Oulton Park. The difficulty of overtaking there means qualifying is key, and we’ve tended to go into it heavy in recent seasons, which has left us further down the grid and really compromised the rest of our weekend. This year, we’ll arrive carrying significantly less ballast – so hopefully that will give us much more of a fighting chance.”

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  5. Magnificent Silverstone 500 podium for Morris and Parfitt Jnr under appeal after post-race disqualification

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    • British GT aces Seb Morris & Rick Parfitt Jnr race to superb P3 in Rd5
    • JRM drivers overcome tough qualifying and penalty in flagship race
    • Welshman Morris fastest driver in thrilling 3hr ‘Silverstone 500’
    • Car DQ’d after post-race checks for being ‘underweight without fuel’

     

    Lightning quick British GT Championship racer Seb Morris produced an absolutely sensational performance during round five of the season at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday, 9th June, with a superb charge to the podium – before his JRM-run car was disqualified from the results.

    Immediately invoking an appeal against the decision, where championship officials said the team’s Bentley Continental GT3 was underweight without fuel onboard, JRM and drivers Morris and Rick Parfitt Jnr are now awaiting the outcome which will have a huge bearing on their 2019 title bid.

    Chester-based Morris and team-mate Parfitt Jnr did the unthinkable in the race, overcoming a tough qualifying session to rise through from 11th on the grid and also overturning a frustrating mid-race penalty, linked to pit-stop procedure, to scythe through to the podium in third place.

    Morris took the chequered flag at the end of three hours of intense action just 0.6 seconds shy of the runner-up position, and also with the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2m02.014 seconds, but post-race scrutineering then delivered the hammer blow of disqualification.

    Reflecting on the decision, Morris commented: “We’re all unbelievably disappointed and JRM immediately lodged an appeal so we’re waiting to see what the outcome of that will be. In terms of the race performance, I was very happy with my pace and to come through from a tough qualifying and a mid-race penalty to take third was a fantastic effort.”

    JRM Technical Director Elliot Dason-Barber added: “We have not breached any regulations intentionally and we’ll be putting our case together for the appeal and are hopeful that the decision will be fair. The cause of the disqualification didn’t affect the performance of the car so we can be incredibly proud of the team to start 11th on the grid, crossing the line P3 and getting fastest lap too.”

    While starting the flagship Silverstone 500 from 11th on the grid wasn’t part of the plan, the No.31 Bentley starred in the race itself and Parfitt Jnr made good progress during the opening stint to climb up into the top five after half an hour of running.

    Morris at speed in race

    Photo credit: Inked Hand Images Motorsport

    Pitting to hand over the car to Morris with 42 minutes elapsed, the BRDC Superstar and Motorsport UK ‘Team UK’ driver instantly lit up the timing screens as soon as he joined the track and pumped in a fastest lap of 2m02.480 seconds on lap 21.

    When the first round of pit-stops shook out, Morris was sixth at the 60-minute mark and he produced some sensational overtaking to move through into the top four within just over 10 seconds of the podium placings. As the gap fluctuated through GT4 class traffic, Morris pitted just after the halfway point of the race from fourth to hand the Bentley back to Parfitt Jnr.

    Shortly after Parfitt Jnr rejoined the action, though, officials declared the JRM car had to serve a drive-through penalty following a perceived infringement of pit-stop procedure. Dropping from fourth to seventh in the process, and losing significant time, Parfitt Jnr was able to move back into the top four again before handing back to Morris for the run to the chequered flag.

    With just under 50 minutes remaining, the 23-year-old again delivered searing pace and set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2m02.014 seconds on lap 62. During a remarkable final stint, the Welsh star carved his way into the podium placings with 25 minutes to go.

    Although edged back to fourth into the final 10 minutes by the Aston Martin of Nicki Thiim, drama followed with just a couple of minutes on the clock when the race-leading Aston of Jonny Adam was involved in a tangle with a GT4 car being lapped. As a result, Morris was able to slice through into third and after closing back in on Thiim’s car only 0.6 seconds split them at the flag.

    While JRM now awaits the outcome of the Silverstone 500 appeal, the next race of the British GT season is just a fortnight away with round six taking place at Donington Park Grand Prix Circuit in Leicestershire on Sunday, 23rd June – the first of two visits this year to the East Midlands track.

    2019 British GT Championship Standings

    (after Rd5 – appeal pending)
    6th Seb Morris/Rick Parfitt Jnr, 37pts

    2019 British GT Championship ‘Pro-Am’ Standings

    (after Rd5 – appeal pending)
    7th Seb Morris/Rick Parfitt Jnr, 42pts

  6. Argyll could prove pivotal in SRC title chase

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    The KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) returns this weekend (22nd June) as the series speeds to Argyll & Bute for the Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally.

    Double SRC champions Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton head into the event with targets glued to their backs courtesy of two event wins from three, but there are plenty of pretenders vying to stop them in their tracks.

    Since returning to the SRC calendar in 2017, the winner in Argyll has gone on to win the championship, so the omens are in place for the eventual victor on Saturday.

    It’s a dangerous statistic if you’re anyone other than Thorburn and Beaton, who are currently in prime position to claim their third SRC title at the half-way point of the season.

    Thorburn and Beaton will fancy their chances in Argyll though. In their Ford Focus WRC05, they’ve had a near flawless start to their season with six event wins from seven starts across two championships.

    Thorburn flying round corner with mud spraying from each wheel

    However, the duo have been challenged hard in all three of the SRC rounds so far this season, chiefly by Ford Fiesta R5 crew Garry Pearson and Dale Bowen.

    Pearson and Bowen had led the Border Counties Rally before a costly spin mid-way through the event dropped them down to second place.

    The pair were in the thick of the battle on the Speyside Stages too before slowly rolling into retirement.
    The RSAC Scottish Rally was the closest battle of the season, as Thorburn, Pearson and eventual winner David Bogie were all separated by just 20 seconds at the end of the rally; Pearson third, but only just.

    Pearson knows he has to get the better of Thorburn this weekend in order to realise his dream of becoming Scottish Rally Champion, so the battle promises to be fierce.

    Jock Armstrong and Cameron Fair have a hat-trick of top five finishes under their belts thus far in 2019, with a podium finish on the Speyside a definite highlight.

    The pair’s Subaru Impreza is beginning to lose touch with the WRC and R5 machinery right at the sharp end, but the 2015 and ’16 champion’s prowess behind the wheel is unquestionable. Armstrong will be vying for another rostrum finish in Argyll.

    John Wink and Neil Shanks are also a likely threat in their Hyundai i20 R5. The pair faced a race against time to make it to Argyll following an off on a non-championship round earlier this month. Thankfully, the i20 is ready to go with Wink seeking a strong result to make amends.

    Bruce McCombie and Michael Coutts have steadily bedded themselves into life behind the wheel of a Ford Focus WRC. The duo scored their best result in the car so far on the Scottish with fifth, and traditionally have gone well in Argyll with third place the result last year.

    Michael Binnie and Claire Mole have been tantalisingly close to the podium in 2019, twice losing out to Freddie Milne this season by just a handful of seconds. The Mitsubishi Evo IX crew are confident the brake issues that plagued their Scottish Rally have been cured so will be pushing for a strong result on Saturday.

    Dickinson handling at speed with dust cloud trailing

    Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest are fresh from an outright podium on the recent Carlisle Stages in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. Their mission will be to transfer that form back into the SRC and onto the classic Argyll stages.

    Simon Hay and Calum Jaffray are set to make a welcome return to the SRC after a trying season in their Mitsubishi Evo VI. The pair failed to start the Border Counties Rally, and then crashed on the first forest stage of the Speyside.

    Electing to skip the Scottish as they assessed the damage, they are back and ready to put on a good showing in Argyll.

    The Albyn Garage SRC Challengers series has witnessed an incredibly close fight all season long between Keith Morris, Ian Baumgart, Alan Dickson, Scott Macbeth and Thomas Gray.

    Macbeth will unfortunately skip Argyll due to work commitments, but the battle between the remaining quartet is poised to be superb.

    MacDonald accelerates hard along gravel straight with lake in the background

    The Scottish 2WD Championship is headed by Gordon Murray after three of the six rounds, but the Ford Escort Mk2 pilot is yet to win a round.

    Those honours have gone to fellow Mk2 drivers Paddy Munro, Duncan MacDonald and Iain Wilson thus far, with Paul McErlean also in the thick of the championship battle courtesy of his fantastic consistency.

    Carl Tuer is an outside bet in his Suzuki Swift Maxi, having shown superb pace throughout the season. Angus Lawrie also makes a welcome return to the SRC, behind the wheel of a Citroen C2 R2 MAX for the first time on gravel.

    The Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally consists of 42 fantastic stage miles, split into two loops of four stages. Classics such as Glenbranter and Coire Ealt are on the itinerary, as well as a brand new stage which is poised to test the driver’s mettle.

    It all gets underway at Dunoon Stadium at 9am, before the winners return to the stadium to spray the champagne after 4pm.

    The KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship is supported by Royal Aero, Pirelli Motorsport, Moates Offshore Ltd, Albyn Garage Ltd, RAVENOL and  Reis Motorsport Insurance.

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  7. Another podium for Honda at tough Croft BTCC

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    Dan Cammish scored his third podium finish of the year in the Honda Civic Type R as the two Halfords Yuasa Racing drivers collected a solid haul of points at Croft, in yet another British Touring Car Championship meeting where weather played a major part in their fortunes.

    Both Cammish and team-mate Matt Neal were out of luck in a controversial qualifying session on the Yorkshire circuit, blighted by five stoppages and a rain shower just as they were building up for their quickest laps. Seventh and 13th starting spots did not reflect their speed in earlier practice sessions.

    A further rain shower made conditions tricky for race one but the two Honda drivers consolidated their positions. Cammish overcame the fast-starting Ford of Ollie Jackson and then found himself in a rear-wheel-drive sandwich, challenging the leading BMWs while also holding off the Subaru of Ashley Sutton. Sixth place at the flag was the reward while team-mate Neal made a bold pass of Tom Ingram’s Toyota to put his Honda into the top ten at the flag.

    Warmer temperatures for race two appeared to suit the Hondas as both drivers made solid progress. Cammish emerged from a frantic battle with rivals Sutton and Chris Smiley to secure the third podium spot, while in the final laps his mirrors were filled with the Civic Type R of team-mate Neal. Matt drove an excellent race from tenth on the grid, his progress commencing with a bold pass of his long-time rival Jason Plato.

    However the number nine was then drawn for the reverse grid final race, relegating Neal to sixth start spot with Cammish just behind, and with both set to run the mandatory hard compound tyre. But these were quickly swapped for wet tyres as another short but very sharp shower doused the circuit.

    Both drivers got away well but then slipped back as the track dried and their cars became harder to drive. Neal held off Suttton for several laps until the Subaru slipped through, relegating the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver to a fifth place finish, while an unsighted Cammish made a brief off-track excursion but recovered to 10th spot at the flag.

     

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    It proved a case of making something of the weekend after the qualifying issues, which affected a lot of people. The car has been fast all weekend – especially through the quick corners – and we had to try and claw back to where we should have been. It’s so tight round here and everyone knows how to defend.
    Race 2 was good as I had the success ballast from last week removed and the car was fast in clean air – fourth behind Dan was great. Then in race 3 I felt I could challenge the two in front but lost the front tyres after the safety car period. I held Sutton off for three or four laps, but eventually had to let him through in the hope he would cause some chaos among the leading trio and take me with him. But once he passed me he had used his tyres up.
    I’m looking forward to the next round at Oulton Park, it’s a circuit I’ve always gone well at.

    Dan Cammish's car lined up and ready

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    It’s been a pretty good weekend on the whole despite the disappointment of qualifying – in a dry, normal session I think I could have challenged for pole position. But it wasn’t to be and I was lucky to line up seventh.
    In race one I went forward, I was happy with sixth and after making some changes I went even better in race 2 to get another podium. In race 3 there was not much more I could have done. Eventually there was so much mud on the windscreen I couldn’t see where I was going and when a back marker suddenly appeared in front it startled me and I briefly went off the road. P10 was okay, especially as I needed follow the car in front to see where the track went!
    I like Oulton Park – I believe I’ve come a long way as a driver since last year’s meeting and I got here with high hopes we can get stuck in at the front.

     

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 12 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 143 points
    2. Josh Cook 132 points
    3. Ashley Sutton 130 points
    5. Matt Neal 115 points
    8. Dan Cammish 97 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 12 rounds

    1. BMW 318 points
    2. Honda 313 points
    3. Subaru 271 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 12 rounds

    1 Halfords Yuasa Racing 210 points
    2. Team BMW 188 points
    3. BTC Racing 176 points

    * all points provisional pending judicial decisions 

     

    Rounds 13-15 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Oulton Park, Cheshire on Sunday 30th June.

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  8. Ingram eager to lead front wheel-drive charge again at Croft

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    Ingram at the front of pack speeding along a straight

    •Bucks ace aiming to extend points-scoring run as BTCC races north
    •Yorkshire track has been happy hunting ground for Speedworks-run squad
    •New Toyota Corolla tipped to master circuit’s ‘all-round challenge’

    Team Toyota GB with Ginsters is North Yorkshire-bound this weekend (15/16 June) for the next stop on the 2019 British Touring Car Championship calendar at Croft, where reigning Independent Drivers’ Champion Tom Ingram will bid to maintain his title challenge in the UK’s premier motorsport series.

    Behind the wheel of the new Toyota Corolla, Ingram sped to a hat-trick of points-paying finishes last time out at Thruxton, preserving his commendable record of scoring in every race he has contested so far this season – an achievement matched by only one of his 29 high-calibre rivals.

    The Bucks-born ace will head north-east occupying sixth spot in the overall Drivers’ standings, just 21 points shy of the summit, while Team Toyota GB with Ginsters sits seventh out of 19 protagonists in the Teams’ table.

    Ingram will also be buoyed by an excellent showing at Croft this time last year. Not only was he the top-scoring front wheel-drive competitor – around a track traditionally regarded as a happy hunting ground for rear wheel-drive cars – but with a brace of podiums to his credit, he netted the second-highest points haul outright.

    Indeed, in 15 previous BTCC starts at Croft, the 25-year-old has tallied three rostrums and 11 top ten finishes, leaving him with high hopes of replicating that stellar form this weekend. All of the race day action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, starting at 11:00am on Sunday (16 June).

    Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “Croft is very much an all-round challenge, which means you have to try to make your package work in every scenario and for all types of corner. That was something at which the Avensis always excelled, and although it is still very early days in its development, all the signs are that the Corolla is heading in the same direction.

    “This weekend will actually represent a double step into the unknown for us, with not only a new car to dial into the circuit but also a resurfaced track to get to grips with. Hopefully we’ll have a clean run weather-wise on Saturday to get a proper handle on everything before race day.

    “Whilst it’s true that Croft has historically tended to favour rear wheel-drive machinery, we’ve gone well there in recent years and last season in particular was a belter, with two podiums out of three. We’ve got to be aiming to be the best front wheel-drive car again, so with that in mind, the goal is to continue taking steps forward and refining the Corolla while scoring as many points as possible to keep our title bid on-track.”

    Tom Ingram sporting a Reis Insurance cap

    Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:

    “I love Croft. As a circuit, it invariably generates exciting racing and there’s always a warm welcome when the BTCC rolls into town. I think we can confidently predict that it’s going to suit the rear wheel-drive lads, but we performed very well there last year, so we’re definitely looking forward to going back to see what we can achieve with the new Corolla.

    “There’s been some pretty major resurfacing work at Croft in the meantime, so it will be interesting to discover how that affects everything and if it swings the pendulum any more towards the front wheel-drive cars. Nobody has driven on it yet so there is no real information to go on, but hopefully it will be a little grippier than before.

    “Overall, we’ve had a very positive, solid start to the season and we’re understanding the Corolla more every time we take to the track. We’re moving in the right direction and going to Croft, I think we’re in good shape. I see no reason why the circuit shouldn’t suit us again, so hopefully we can push on and keep this points-scoring run intact.”

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  9. Honda BTCC title bid gains momentum as team heads to Croft

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    Honda British Touring Car Championship drivers Matt Neal and Dan Cammish head north to Croft for the next three rounds of the series on 16th June, knowing that the fast circuit will pose big challenges.

    After a rewarding weekend last time out at Thruxton, which saw Cammish twice put the Honda Civic Type R on the podium, the Halfords Yuasa Racing team will arrive in North Yorkshire at the head of both the BTCC Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships. Neal and Cammish are also moving up the Drivers’ title chase, currently in fifth and eighth places with Neal just 17 points shy of the championship leader.

    The former airfield track of Croft offers a unique combination of fast corners and a tricky complex section ending in a challenging hairpin bend, and has traditionally favoured rear-wheel-drive cars, such as the BMWs of Honda’s closest rivals in the series. But the Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic has also won seven times at the track since 2010, and the team is confident of another strong performance this year to consolidate its title bids.

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    Thruxton was a great points haul for the whole team and I just missed out on a podium in race 3. But we get two bites of the cherry this year with Thruxton so I’ll look to change that next time out! I just missed out on a podium at Croft last year as well, it is a circuit that favours the rear-wheel-drive cars, but I’ll be giving it my all to keep us at the head of the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ championships and to move myself up the Drivers’ standings.
    I enjoy the circuit, it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted and I’ve had a few high-speed dices through the Jim Clark Esses in previous years! After the four-week break I can’t wait to get back out racing again.

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    I was over the moon coming away from Thruxton with two podiums and a sixth, the Honda Civic Type R felt solid all weekend and has put me back in the title fight. Being from the North East Croft is really classed as my home circuit, I’ve raced there many times. I got a podium there last year and the target is very much set on repeating that this year.
    During the break I’ve been on holiday and I have come back well rested and up for the fight. I’ll be going all guns blazing now to keep the points tally increasing and to close the gap to the leaders.

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 9 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 102 points
    1. Rory Butcher 102 points
    3. Josh Cook 100 points
    5. Matt Neal 85 points
    8. Dan Cammish 66 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 9 rounds

    1. Honda 235 points
    2. BMW 220 points
    3. Subaru 205 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 9 rounds

    1 Halfords Yuasa Racing 149 points
    2. Team BMW 137 points
    3. Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 133 points

    Rounds 10-12 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Croft, North Yorkshire on Sunday 16th June.

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  10. Reis Motorsport Insurance join Rick Parfitt Jnr in his bid for British GT3 glory

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    Rick Parfitt with racing helmet on

    Reis Motorsport Insurance is thrilled to announce it is supporting Rick Parfitt Jnr as he continues his battle to regain the British GT3 Championship alongside co-driver Seb Morris.

    The duo are once again working with Bentley, which is celebrating its centenary year, and have forged a new partnership with JRM Racing. The 2017 GT3 Champions will be taking to the track in a 2019 Bentley Continental GT3 and the motorsport insurance specialist will be proudly displayed alongside their additional sponsors.

     

    Rick Parfitt Jnr comments: “I am very excited to welcome Mark and Reis on board. As a customer I personally know their service is second to none and as a racer their passion for the sport mirrors my own which is why this is such a great fit”.

     

    Mark Taylor from Reis Motorsport Insurance added; “We’re passionate about championing all levels of motorsport and it’s an absolute privilege to be supporting Rick in his GT3 quest for success. One of our key straplines is “We Share Your Passion” and Rick and the team certainly exude that every time they take to the track. We can’t wait to see them race and will be rooting for the team to take pole position.”

     

    The next British GT3 event will be at Silverstone 500 on 8th and 9th June.

    Rick Parfitt's race car receiving with pit team inspecting it