It’s been a year since we caught up with Sam Spinnael, who set the fastest time in a simulator battle at Reis Race Retro and won a funded drive in a SMRC Scottish C1 Cup Race Weekend.
We find out what he’s been up to:
“Winning the Reis competition has opened many doors, however I have decided to continue karting as it makes more sense for me, financially and logistically.
“I have progressed on the track and I’ve matured – I now approach every race with an open mind and try absorb as much information as I can. I’m also working with a performance fitness coach at Forza Performance, which has helped me improve my concentration and physical fitness.”
“During the past 12 months I’ve taken part in several races, taking both the ‘Teams’ and ‘Drivers Championship’ at the British University Karting Championship with Coventry University last November and winning the British 24h with team Q-Racing in August this year. On race weekends, when I’m not taking part, I’m involved in driver coaching and data analysis with X Kart.
“Over the next year, I’m looking to compete with X Kart in a Rotax at a Senior level and in the British Pro Endurance Championship with Haase Racing UK – I can’t wait!”
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With the whole field covered by just one second, FP1 on Saturday looked promising with both drivers in the Top 10. In FP2 Dan remained 7th with Gordon just 1/10th second behind in 14th.
Shoot out qualifying saw Dan post a fantastic lap to put the car on pole, but unfortunately this was later removed
for track limits, eventually finishing 4th for the first qualifying session.
Gordon was just 1/10th second off a top 10 time! In the shootout Dan struggled to get clear air and eventually finished in 7th position.
Race 1 started well for both drivers, Gordon was making his way through the field on lap 1 when he was involved in an incident that span him off the track and out of the race. Dan drove a solid race to finish in P8 and claim his first points of the day.
Race 2 found Flash starting at the rear of the grid and making superb progress until unfortunately he was forced off the road and that curtailed his progress, finishing up in 19th place. Dan again drove a sterling race to eventually bring the car home in P6.
Race 3 saw Dan drawn P6 on the reverse grid, but from the start he was swallowed up by the faster starting rear wheel drive cars behind him and battled hard but had to settle for P9. Flash again had to fight his way through from the back of the grid and finished up in P21.
Daniel Rowbottom commented “If you look at how tight it is round here, you can basically throw a blanket over the entire field, I have to be happy with those results and scoring a good haul of Championship points, but I am always pushing myself to do better. Once you are in the train it is very difficult to overtake and we have been struggling with power all weekend, so that hampers you even further. But we now go to two strong circuits for us in Donington and Brands, so I’ll be looking to build on those points again. I’m also chuffed to have come away with the Jack Sears Trophy and increase my lead in the Championship.”
Gordon added “Well what can I say, just not my weekend! I’ve yet again got involved in incidents that were unnecessary that has limited my progress. But you have to put into perspective here that 3/10ths of a second, the blink of an eye, would have made the difference in qualifying from me being on pole from 14th, so it just shows you how competitive it is. I’m off on holiday for a week now, so I’ll relax, reflect and come back fighting for Donington”
Croft was another weekend of ups and downs for the team, but both drivers fought valiantly all weekend claiming several top 10 finishes and valuable Championship points.
Saturday again began well with both drivers in the Top 10 and Top 5 respectively in FP1 and FP2.
Qualifying was however to be a different matter, with the session being stopped twice for red flag incidents, unfortunately both drivers were out on track when the red flags were thrown and ultimately lost any opportunity to set a quick time.
Dan, on his final lap of the session with literally seconds to spare, pulled together a stellar lap to qualify 9th with Flash ending up in 17th after struggling to get a
Race 1 was a tale of two halves for the team. Dan was unfortunately involved in early contact from two other drivers which eventually ended his race in the barriers on lap 3. Flash drove a solid race and fought his way through the pack to finish in tenth.
Race 2 saw Flash continue his charge through the field, finishing up in 6th place. Dan, who was celebrating his 50th start in the BTCC, drove an amazing race starting from the back of the grid to come through to finish in 16th place.
Race 3 saw Flash drawn P2 on the reverse grid, surrounded by the quicker starting rear wheel drive cars of Turkington and Sutton, but he got an awesome start that saw him almost out drag Colin to the first corner, he eventually settled into 2nd place and that is where he eventually finished the race.
Dan again dug deep in race 3 and rapidly moved through the field to score his first points of the day and finish up in a fantastic 9th position.
“I’ll take a 10th, a 6th and a 2nd” Flash commented “Qualifying is now so critical in this Championship, and I just literally ran out of laps with the red flags, it was wrong time, wrong place! I’m really pleased with my performance today, steadily moving up the field and grabbing myself a good haul of Championship points. My start in Race 3 was probably the best I have done all season and saw me challenging Colin into Turn one, so again chuffed with that result and a podium. We now move onto Silverstone this weekend, so no rest for the guys back at base and I’ll be giving it my all again to repay them for all their hard work!”
Daniel Rowbottom concluded “A frustrating weekend, qualifying I just managed to get my hot lap in with seconds of the session to spare! Race 1 was over before it started, I had contact from two drivers on separate corners that effectively ended my race on the 3rd lap! The car felt really strong in race two and I was able to scythe my way through the field, which then set me up well for the final race of the day. Race 3 I just got my head down and moved forward, my car doesn’t look so pretty after the weekend but finishing 9th in that final race just shows what we could have done had I not been taken out in race 1! Anyway, off to Silverstone now, where I’ll be pushing hard for points”
The team now have back-to-back weekends with Silverstone this weekend and plenty of work to do on the cars ready for the shakedown on Friday at circuit.
Reis Motorsport Insurance is proud to announce it has become the sole motorsport insurance partner to Motorsport UK Member Benefits programme from 2020.
Motorsport UK is the national membership organisation and governing body for four-wheeled motorsport in the UK. Representing 45,000 competitors, officials, marshals and fans, the organisations mission is to inspire and enable more people to participate in our sport in a safe, fair, fun, inclusive and progressive environment.
Reis Motorsport Insurance was launched in 2008 and arranges tailor-made insurance policies to suit individual circumstances. Their clients cover all sectors from private owners, club competition through to the highest professional level in International motorsport.
Richard Morley, Broking Director at Reis, comments: “We’re honoured to have become an official partner of Motorsport UK, an organisation which is highly respected within our industry. We’re looking forward to working with the team to offer its members a wider choice to suit their motorsport needs.”
Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK commented: “We’re delighted to be working with Reis Motorsport Insurance to offer a great range of motorsport insurance cover to our members. We are continually working to deliver genuine value and benefits to our members.”
Motorsport enthusiasts will be welcomed to the 2020 Reis Race Retro by Kevin ‘KeKi’ Kivlochan’s stunning racing Cobra. Not only does this competition car boast a fascinating place in the history of the model but it has notched up amazing success in the 2019 HSCC Historic Road Sports Championship.
Known in Cobra circles as ‘The FoMoCo Blue Demo’, chassis number CSX 2360 was delivered to Lew Spencer’s Hi-Performance Motors in Los Angeles on 29 January 1965. Intended as a demonstrator, potential customers would be treated to some very exciting test drives courtesy of Peter Brock, designer of the Daytona Cobra and split-screen Chevrolet Corvette. Having spent around ten years in America, the car came to the UK where it has remained ever since.
Its current owner began racing in 1992 with a 1966 Shelby GT350 Mustang and has since owned and campaigned a number of well-known Cobras, including COB 6008 driven by Jack Sears. Kevin acquired CSX 2360 in June 2018, describing it as a beautiful road car but one that was in no way ready for racing. In fact, the previous owner covered just 300 miles in eighteen years with the car.
Kevin’s plan was for competition, though, and the Cobra was despatched to RW Racing Services in Northamptonshire for preparation. The results speak for themselves. He raced his Morgan Plus 8 in the first round of the 2019 Championship at Donington Park, but with the Cobra ready for Round 2 at Snetterton, it was the beginning of a dominant season. That first double-header race resulted in pole position, two wins and two fastest laps.
It set the tone for an amazing season. Of the fourteen races contested – there were rounds at a number of UK circuits as well as Spa – Kevin would win all of them, along the way claiming twelve pole positions and 14 fastest laps. Just for good measure, he would set a new lap record at the Silverstone Finals held in October.
“The car was supremely reliable throughout the season, which is a real testament to the careful preparation” says Kevin. “I found it much more physical to drive than the Morgan, and there was certainly extra pressure towards the end of the season as people expected me to win, but I never imagined the Cobra would be this successful straight out of the box.”
Thanks to Carroll Shelby, the Cobra is already steeped in automotive folklore, but this particular example is truly special. And having proved such a successful winner on track, it is guaranteed plenty of interest at this year’s Reis Race Retro.
Tickets are now on sale for the show, held from February 21-23 2020 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors. For the latest updates and ticket information, visit www.raceretro.com.
Race Retro, Europe’s number one historic motorsport show, is kicking off a new season with brand new headline sponsor Reis Motorsport Insurance.
Held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 21-23 February, tickets are now on sale for the three-day season opener.
Reis Motorsport Insurance is one of the UK’s leading motorsport specialists, bringing flexible policies to a wide range of competitors and teams competing in events such as BTCC GP2, Formula E, Stage Rallying, Le Mans and GT series as well as International Endurance Rallying, and the Hope Classic Rally.
Reis is also a sponsor of Castle Combe Circuit, West Country’s Home of Motorsport, HERO (Historic Endurance Racing Organisation) and Sporting Bears Motor Club, a classic and sports car group which raises funds for children’s charity.
Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Reis Motorsport Insurance, said: “Race Retro is a key date for historic motorsport enthusiasts and we’re excited to be involved with the event and showcase what we can offer visitors.”
Show Director Lee Masters added: “We are thrilled to welcome Reis Motorsport Insurance as our headline sponsor and over the next three-years, plan to work together to promote historic motorsport to the next generation.
Now in its 18th year, Reis Race Retro will celebrate all disciplines of historic motorsport as well as the vehicles and drivers that created some of the most iconic motoring milestones of the past 100 years.
Tickets are now on sale for the show, held from February 21-23 2020 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, with free parking for all visitors.
•Bucks-born ace produces masterclass at ‘Home of British Motor Racing’ •26-year-old survives contact and conquers the conditions for double victory •New Toyota Corolla leaves BTCC rivals trailing on milestone weekend
Tom Ingram arrived at Silverstone as the most successful driver there in recent years in the British Touring Car Championship – and a sublime double victory behind the wheel of his Toyota Corolla extended that run in style yesterday (29 September) on a landmark weekend for Team Toyota GB with Ginsters.
After featuring up at the sharp end throughout free practice, Ingram made light of the 24kg of success ballast aboard the #80 Corolla to line up fourth on the grid in qualifying amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders, a scant 0.092 seconds shy of pole position.
Despite the extra weight making his car the heaviest amongst the top five, he immediately went on the attack on race day, putting on a stellar show for the hardy spectators braving the distinctly inclement conditions and in front of both a number of Toyota (GB) top brass and the live ITV4 television cameras.
Morning rain meant Ingram’s side of the grid was less grippy at the start of race one, but the Bucks-born ace shrugged off that disadvantage to advance to third when the lights went out, before muscling his way past three-time champion Matt Neal for second at the end of the opening tour. Immediately pulling away, he rapidly reduced the deficit to double title-holder Jason Plato in the lead, prising the door open going onto lap four and toughing it out along the start/finish straight to boldly seize the initiative.
Effortlessly edging clear as the race progressed, Ingram ultimately took the chequered flag more than four seconds ahead of Plato, prompting his pursuer to admit that he simply ‘didn’t have an answer’ to the Team Toyota GB with Ginsters star’s prodigious pace.
With his success ballast increased to the maximum 54kg for race two, the reigning two-time BTCC Independents’ champion knew he faced a tougher task, but he confidently held sway at the front of the field for the first nine laps until a tag from Plato – as spots of rain began to fall – sent him into a wild sideways slide that he did well to control.
The delay allowed Tom Oliphant past into the lead, but as the rain intensified, Ingram refused to let his namesake get away and following a late safety car intervention to recover a car stuck in the gravel, he immediately pounced on cold slick tyres at the re-start to reclaim the top spot.
Revelling in the challenge on an increasingly greasy and slippery track surface, he was more than a second ahead when the action was red-flagged on safety grounds with four laps left to run, cementing his 13th BTCC career victory, fifth at Silverstone in the last four years and first touring car ‘double’.
From 11th on the partially-reversed grid for race three and carrying maximum ballast once again, the 26-year-old progressed to seventh on the opening lap before a knock from a rival broke the Corolla’s rear suspension toe link, necessitating a pit-stop for repairs and leaving him two laps down. Thereafter, the Toyota man lapped consistently amongst the fastest drivers on the track in evidence of what might have been.
Despite the non-score, Ingram’s earlier results were enough to elevate him to fifth in the Drivers’ standings in the UK’s premier motor racing series, and for the third consecutive year, he will travel to the Brands Hatch season finale on 12/13 October still in the title fight. Team Toyota GB with Ginsters is locked in a tight three-way tussle for seventh in the Teams’ table, as the single-car Speedworks Motorsport-run squad continues to outperform multi-car adversaries.
Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:
“What more can you ask for? To take two wins in a single day is just a phenomenal achievement by the whole team – a real milestone for Speedworks Motorsport in the BTCC, and a rarity in the modern era – and we’re all absolutely overjoyed. Better still, both wins were earned entirely on merit. I genuinely couldn’t be prouder of the entire crew – everybody here shares that same relentless, tireless dedication to winning. They just never stop pushing, consistently going above and beyond to generate results.
“We always knew Silverstone would be a good track for us, as it has been in the past – albeit with a different car. Race one was a stunning performance and a commanding victory, and even with a sizeable amount of ballast on-board, Tom looked confident and comfortable throughout.
“He then produced another cracking drive in race two, building up a gap before the rain began to fall and doing a remarkable job to catch the slide when Plato tagged him, which really showcased his supreme car control.
“By the time the safety car peeled back into the pit-lane later on, the rain had worsened, yet Tom didn’t put a wheel out of place. A lot of drivers said afterwards that they were glad the race had been stopped early, but Tom was disappointed it didn’t carry on, which I think speaks volumes. For me, it was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from him.
“There were a variety of different tyre strategies at play in race three, but we were looking good until the contact and I think we would have come away with another decent points haul. As it was, all we could really aim for was fastest lap, and despite running on maximum ballast again, Tom came very close. Now we’re all immensely fired-up to go and sign off the season in style at Brands Hatch!”
Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Ginsters, said:
“What a weekend! We were optimistic arriving at Silverstone that we would be on the pace – the Toyota Corolla is just insanely good at these fast circuits – and I was very pleased with the performance of the car throughout free practice and qualifying. I was actually disappointed to miss out on pole position, but the weight definitely played a part in that so we weren’t too concerned and I knew we had a good shot at bringing home some silverware from there.
“We had a lot of quick guys around us on the grid for race one in lighter cars, but I was confident we could hold our own and I love conditions like that – you’ve just got to man up and crack on with it, and I got a fair bit of practice at Croft earlier in the year of running on slick tyres on a greasy track! Jason [Plato] is a wily old fox and I knew he wasn’t going to be beaten easily, so to be able to drive up to the back of him and make a move pretty much straightaway was tremendously satisfying.
“The Corolla felt fantastic – superbly balanced and very strong, as it did all weekend – and after taking the lead, I was able to control it almost at will. It was great to keep our winning run going at Silverstone, and then to repeat the result in the next one – in a totally different kind of race – was just incredible.
“Despite losing the lead when Jason hit me, I could see Oliphant wasn’t getting away. With a lighter car, his only real advantage was straight-line speed whereas we still had the edge through the corners, so I knew it wasn’t over and when he ran wide at the re-start after the safety car, I didn’t need any second invitation!
“It’s so difficult to know how hard to push when you are the first one to explore the conditions, but at the same time it was really enjoyable. It was a shame it was red-flagged because I was having fun out there and felt in a good place, so I would have been more than happy to keep going.
“Race three was then just carnage right from the start – a bit of a destruction derby with everybody seemingly wanting a piece of everybody else and all fighting over the same bit of tarmac. The team worked their magic to repair the Corolla and get me back out on-track after the damage, and we treated the rest of the race as a test session. The car felt great again – really confidence-inspiring – and while we were never going to get a result from two laps down, that didn’t detract at all from an amazing weekend.
“With a lot of high-profile people from Toyota (GB) in attendance at Silverstone, it was super important for us to perform well – and I think it’s fair to say we managed that. Back-to-back wins is a first for us in the BTCC, and full credit must go to the team for such a massive achievement. What a special day!”