Category Archive: Reis News

  1. Ingram climbs championship table on hard-fought Knockhill weekend

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    A view from the stands with Ingram in front of competitors going into a corner

    •Bucks ace re-enters top six in Britain’s biggest motorsport series

    •26-year-old battles his way to strong points score in Scotland

    •New Toyota Corolla proves raw pace with flurry of fast lap times

    A trio of strong finishes at Knockhill last weekend (14/15 September) has vaulted Tom Ingram back into the top six in the British Touring Car Championship standings, leaving Team Toyota GB with Ginsters ‘genuinely excited’ about its prospects in the remaining two outings of the 2019 campaign.

    Ingram arrived at Knockhill – the only Scottish fixture on the BTCC calendar – occupying eighth spot in the Drivers’ table in the UK’s premier motor racing series, but knowing he had a mountain to climb. Team Toyota GB with Ginsters’ lack of prior experience with its new Corolla around the undulating Fife circuit meant the Speedworks Motorsport-run outfit would be playing catch-up through free practice, and that was reflected in 11th position in qualifying amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders – frustratingly, less than a tenth-of-a-second away from a spot on the second row of the grid.

    Carrying 12kg of success ballast in race one, the Bucks-born ace snatched tenth place from three-time title-winner Matt Neal over the course of an assertive opening lap and was subsequently gifted ninth by a drive-through penalty for Tom Oliphant. Switching his headlights on as a signal of intent, he later punished a mistake by Adam Morgan to steal eighth and that was where he would finish, less than four seconds adrift of victory after consistently reducing the gap to the leader in the closing stages.

    Ingram taking a corner at speed with cars trailing

    In front of the live ITV4 television cameras, Ingram maintained that upward momentum in race two. Having swiftly battled past Chris Smiley for seventh, the reigning two-time BTCC Independents’ Champion comfortably shook off his pursuers and zeroed in on the scrap for the podium. Sixth place was his reward for another hard-charging effort, with the second-fastest lap amongst the top ten finishers and fourth-fastest overall again underscoring the Corolla’s raw pace.

    With 24kg of weight on-board in race three and on the less favourable medium-compound rubber, Ingram initially settled into a tussle for third. Whilst ultimately unable to challenge his soft-shod rivals ahead, he performed admirably to hold onto fifth position and take the chequered flag as the best-placed runner on medium tyres. The third-quickest lap time on this occasion – less than six hundredths-of-a-second shy of the absolute benchmark and a single thousandth off the race-winner’s best – represented further cause for encouragement.

    The 26-year-old’s results north of the border see him gain two spots in the Drivers’ classification to sixth heading next to Silverstone (28/29 September) – a happy hunting ground in seasons past. Team Toyota GB with Ginsters sits ninth in the Teams’ table.

    Ingrams car travelling out of a corner with two wheels high off the ground

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

    “We arrived at Knockhill on the back foot to a certain extent, with no prior running there with the Corolla or relevant data around what is inherently a rear wheel-drive circuit. That inevitably hurt us a little bit on Saturday as we got to grips with everything. The car was quick out-of-the-box, but when the lap times are so close, you can’t afford to give away even half a tenth-of-a-second; it only takes the smallest gain or loss in qualifying to significantly affect your grid position, and as the timesheets proved, we really weren’t missing very much.

    “Given the nature of the circuit, we could definitely have done with starting a little further up the grid, but we found a bit more pace overnight and kept chipping away throughout race day. With Knockhill being so tight-and-twisty, it’s tricky to make progress but we succeeded in doing so in all three races. By the time we got to the last one, the ambient track temperature had crept up and the soft tyre was clearly the one to be on, so to come home inside the top five on the medium compound I thought was an excellent effort.

    “Tom largely kept his nose clean and avoided the various dramas unfolding around a track where it is so easy to get sucked into trouble – as was the case for a number of our rivals – and his reward was a hat-trick of top eight results and a decent haul of points. That constituted a rock-solid performance, and I’m super proud of everybody involved.

    “It would be nice to be able to go back and re-start the weekend in the position in which we finished it, but that leaves us genuinely excited moving forward. After the quirks of Thruxton and Knockhill, both Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP are much more conventional circuits and should suit us well. It’s shaping up to be a really strong end to the season.”

    Ingram in his racing ear with his hands ready to take his helmet off

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

    “Knockhill was really positive for us; it wasn’t a champagne weekend like Snetterton, but we were there-or-thereabouts and consistently improved the Corolla throughout. We hit the ground running in free practice – the car felt nicely-balanced from the outset – and we could just as easily have ended up fourth in qualifying rather than 11th. We were quite literally on the wrong end of a tenth-of-a-second in an insanely close session.

    “Disappointing as that obviously was, we knew that pace-wise, we weren’t far away and races one and two both went to plan. We moved forward at a track where making up ground is never easy, and we were then particularly strong on the medium tyre in race three. We didn’t really have anything for the guys at the front on softs so there was no point in risking too much against them, but we had the legs on everybody else on the medium compound – I’d say we got the strategy spot-on given the results we achieved. Only a handful of drivers scored well in all three races, and we were amongst them.

    “To post two top four lap times on the Corolla’s debut at Knockhill was very satisfying, and we know there is more speed to be found when we return next year. Overall, the weekend represented another clear step in the right direction – and I’m confident we will be even more competitive at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.”

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  2. Honda BTCC driver Cammish closes on points lead with podiums in Scotland

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    Cammish leading the pack during the race

    Honda driver Dan Cammish took giant strides towards his 2019 British Touring Car Championship bid at Knockhil in Scotland, coming away with two more podium finishes and a vastly reduced points deficit to his two major rivals. Team-mate Matt Neal again fought back from early bad luck to earn vital points for the Halfords Yuasa Racing team.

    Qualifying around the tight and undulating 1.3-mile track brought mixed fortunes for the two Honda drivers. Neal struggled to find a clear lap in his Civic Type R and took tenth on the grid, 41 hundredths of a second behind pole position, but Cammish earned the outside front-row spot, ahead of his closest championship rivals and just 24 hundredths shy of the fastest qualifier.

    Taking the medium compound tyre option for race one, Cammish was overtaken off the grid by Andrew Jordan, then lost third to Tom Chilton, both rivals on the preferred soft tyre. The Honda man quickly repassed Chilton and then triumphed in a race-long battle with championship leader Colin Turkington, to hold onto his third place and earn his 10th podium finish of the year.

    Matt Neal’s race was short-lived. On the second lap rival Ashley Sutton tried to overtake the Honda into McIntyres corner and the two cars made contact, both suffering terminal suspension damage and relegating Neal to a back-of-the-grid start in race 2.

    Cammish edging the lead around a corner

    Cammish lined up for the second race with his Civic Type R on the soft compound tyre, and held off the fast-starting Turkington as the lights went green. With six laps down the Honda man dived inside race one winner Rory Butcher at the hairpin to claim second spot, thereafter keeping race leader Andy Jordan in his sights to take yet another podium and a welcome haul of championship points.

    Starting down in 26th spot after repairs to his Civic Type R, Neal staged another of the comeback drives he has become renowned for in 2019. This time, however he could only reach 16th place, one shy of scoring a championship point.

    The reverse grid draw for the final race put Cammish in eighth on the grid, closest championship rival Jordan just behind. In a dramatic first lap the Honda just avoided an accident that removed Jordan from the action, and then became involved in a frantic multi-car battle. Sixth place at the chequered flag was the reward, along with a significant gain in the championship as the Honda driver outscored both drivers ahead of him in the points.

    Starting 16th Matt Neal fought an even more frantic scrap than his team-mate, eventually making up five places to finish 11th and earn some vital extra championship points for Honda.

    Cammish now heads to the next rounds at Silverstone on 29th September with the most podium finishes in the field. More significantly while still holding third place in the championship, he is just nine points back from leader Turkington and a single point behind Jordan. With more than 120 points available from the six races left in the 2019 BTCC, the Honda team is firmly in the title chase.

    Cammish on the podium lifting his trophy in the air

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    A very positive weekend – if you had told me we were going to come to Knockhill and cut the point deficit to our rivals by two thirds I wouldn’t have believed you.
    Qualifying second with the success weight we were carrying showed the performance we had. It was the right decision to use the medium tyre in race one and taking second in race two set us up for a strong finish. And our rivals losing points was the icing on the cake.
    Silverstone is a power circuit and we have the performance. Hopefully we can go there and do a good job.

    Cammish in his racecar geared up for the race with a team member talking to him through the door

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    The weekend was disappointing for me but very good for Dan and for the team. We thought this would be the difficult track for us so to close the points gap was really positive.
    We think we can do a good job at Silverstone and Brands. And of course our rivals have two team-mates battling for the championship, we can focus on one and that makes a big difference.

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 24 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 268 points
    2. Andrew Jordan 258 points
    3. Dan Cammish 257 points
    8. Matt Neal 174 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 24 rounds

    1. BMW 652 points
    2. Honda 622 points
    3. Vauxhall 486 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 24 rounds

    1. Halfords Yuasa Racing 426 points
    2 Team BMW 392 points
    3. Cobra Sport AMD 362 points
    Rounds 25-27 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Silverstone, Northants on Sunday 29th September.

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    Photos by Jakob Ebrey Photography

  3. Reis Motorsport Insurance Highly Commended in UK Broker Awards

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    Leading specialist motor sport broker Reis Motorsport was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Personal Lines Broker of the Year category on Friday (13th September) at the UK Broker Awards.

    Held at The Brewery, London, the awards ‘celebrate the superheroes of the insurance industry, and are ‘the leading platform for national recognition within the insurance broker market’. The judges were looking for a broker in the personal lines arena that has managed to excel despite the on-going tough economic environment.

    Reis Motorsport Insurance has had an impressive 12 months, increasing GWP by 32% and growing policy count by almost 18%. Its entry focused on the successful delivery of new bespoke on-track accidental damage and multi-vehicle products, partnership with one of the UK’s best-loved race tracks and sponsorship of a range of championships and drivers.

    Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Reis, commented: “We’re delighted to have been ‘Highly Commended’ for this award. We’re very proud of our team who work so hard to ensure we exceed our performance expectations and deliver excellent customer service. We’re continuing to drive hard to take pole position in a tough economic climate through 2019 and beyond!”

  4. Brilliant Bogie grabs Galloway glory

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    MINI JCW WRCFive-time KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) champion David Bogie sealed a commanding victory on the final round of the series, the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (Saturday 14th August).

    Co-driven by John Rowan, Bogie took victory in his MINI John Cooper Works WRC by over a minute from local hero Jock Armstrong and Cameron Fair’s Subaru Impreza. Michael Binnie and Claire Mole were third in a Mitsubishi Evo IX.

    Switching to a hired McGeehan Motorsport Mini JCW WRC for the Galloway Hills, Bogie was undeterred and adapted to the new machine quickly. Pulling out a 10.3 second lead on the opening test, the gap stretched to 15s then 29s before service as the Dumfries driver went on to win all five of the rally’s stages.

    A puncture on stage one Dalbeattie hampered Armstrong’s cause, but ultimately his Subaru Impreza couldn’t quite match the pace of the MINI upfront meaning Armstrong’s quest for an unprecedented 10th Galloway Hills Rally win goes on.

    For Bogie it was his second SRC win of the season and fourth on this event, backing up his victory 12 months ago in a Skoda Fabia R5.

    “Of course it was the first time in the MINI World Rally Car so it’s been a good day,” Bogie said.

    “It took us a wee while to get up to speed with how the car handled this morning but as the day went on we got quicker and quicker and got the result that we wanted.

    “The car has been fantastic, never missed a beat all day and John [Rowan] has done a great job so it was a really enjoyable day’s sport.”

    “It could’ve been something else but not to be; it’s always disappointing to be second on your home rally,” Armstrong admitted.

    “The season has ended up OK. I haven’t had a win this year so I was hoping to celebrate even more tonight. The season has come and gone so quickly but it’s been a good year.”

    Armstrong sealed second in the championship with second place
    Armstrong sealed second in the championship with second place

    Michael Binnie headed to the Galloway Hills in a scrap for a top three place in the championship. But the Cornhill ace his focus was solely on grabbing the best result he could. Locked in a fierce battle with the returning Rory Young and John Wink, Binnie began to edge clear as the morning progressed.

    Wink’s demise on SS3 Dunharberry gave him some breathing space, but Binnie and Mole charged on to take their first ever SRC podium after finishing fourth on three previous occasions this season despite just three of his brakes working on the final stage.

    “It feels great. We’ve been fourth three times this season by a handful of seconds so it’s unreal to get on the podium,” Binnie beamed.

    “We had some really stiff competition today so we had to really drive the socks off the car so it was awesome fun. I wanted to come out and produce a good result today, I was up for it. I wanted a podium and we came out and got it.”

    Binnie grabbed his first ever SRC podium to end the season third in the championship
    Binnie grabbed his first ever SRC podium to end the season third in the championship

    Young and Allan Cathers (Ford Fiesta R5) and Scott Beattie and Paula Swinscoe (Mitsubishi Evo VII) were fifth and sixth overall behind the Fiesta WRC of Stephen Petch and Michael Wilkinson but all three were ineligible for championship points, meaning Keith Morris and Terry Mallin took a superb fourth in their Mitsubishi Evo IX and the Albyn Garage SRC Challengers win.

    Thomas Gray and Harry Marchbank had started the final Raiders Road test just one second ahead in a similar Evo IX, but wouldn’t emerge from the stage. It was a double-whammy as the off blew Gray’s championship as well as his chance to win the event.

    That meant the ever-consistent Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young swept in to grab the spoils at the 11th hour, taking the championship with fifth in their Subaru Impreza. Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest were a place behind and a point behind in the season’s overall table.

    Mark McCulloch and Michael Hendry scored a long overdue Scottish 2WD win in their Ford Escort Mk2 with a superb seventh in the SRC. But there were bigger celebrations behind for Iain Wilson and Chris Williams, whose ninth behind Simon Hay and Mark Fisher (Mitsubishi Evo VI) and second in 2WD assured them of the coveted title for 2019.

    Wilson and Williams were crowned Scottish 2WD champions
    Wilson and Williams were crowned Scottish 2WD champions

    Jude MacDonald drove nice and steady in his Skoda Fabia R2 to grab the SRC Juniors crown and the day’s tuition with Tapio Laukkanen that goes with it, while Max Redpath took another strong Used Car Parts Subaru Cup win.
    The KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship has produced another fantastic year of rallying in its 51st season. Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton wound up worthy champions, but there were plenty of other stars throughout the season.
    Up next for the SRC is the John Horton Star Driver Award shoot-out at Knockhill Racing Circuit on Wednesday 16th October. The winner will receive a day’s coaching with legendary Finnish driver Tapio Laukkanen.

    Provisional Championship Standings:

    PosDriverCarPts
    1Euan ThorburnFord Focus WRC05148
    2Jock ArmstrongSubaru Impreza135
    3Michael BinnieMitsubishi Evo IX131
    4Alan DicksonMitsubishi Evo IX109
    5Ian BaumgartSubaru Impreza108

    Armstrong, Fair, Bogie, Rowan, Binnie, Mole

    (L-R) Armstrong, Fair, Bogie, Rowan, Binnie, Mole

  5. Ingram the Brave ready to ‘push the limits’ at Knockhill

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    -Team Toyota GB with Ginsters heads north of the border

    -Bucks-born racer targeting podium finish in Scotland

    -Speedworks-run squad has strong previous form in Fife

    Tom Ingram and Team Toyota GB with Ginsters are Scotland-bound this weekend (14/15 September), as the British Touring Car Championship races north of the border to picturesque Fife circuit Knockhill – where the Bucks-born ace makes it clear he has silverware in his sights.

    A BTCC front-runner ever since making his debut in the UK’s premier motor racing series in 2014, Ingram boasts a strong record at Knockhill, piloting his Speedworks Motorsport-run car to a commanding triumph two years ago and taking the chequered flag an excellent second last season prior to post-race ride-height failure, the legacy of front splitter damage in deteriorating conditions.

    The 26-year-old similarly shone at Knockhill on his way up the ladder in the support series, with victories in multiple categories, and he returns sitting eighth in the BTCC standings amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders, barely 20 points outside of the top five. That means he will carry just 12kg of success ballast into qualifying and race one, around a track where additional weight is a greater handicap than usual.

    Ingram warmed up for his forthcoming Scottish jaunt by dropping into Silverstone late last month for the opening round of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship, where he enjoyed a privileged up close and personal peak at Toyota Gazoo Racing’s world-beating, state-of-the-art TS050 Hybrid sports prototype. Inspired by that experience, he is now ready to put on a spectacular show for the BTCC’s loyal Scottish fans behind the wheel of his Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Corolla this weekend.

    All of the Knockhill race day action will be broadcast live and in high-definition on ITV4, beginning at 11:00am on Sunday (15 September).

    Ingram hitting an apex hard with a competitor closely behind

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

    “We’ve been quick at Knockhill in previous years, so we understand what makes a front wheel-drive touring car tick round there – indeed, I think it’s fair to say we’ve had the strongest FWD package on the grid in Scotland in recent seasons.

    “Obviously this time we arrive with a new car and we’ve not been able to test there ahead of the race weekend, which does leave us slightly on the back foot compared to some of our rivals, but there’s absolutely no reason why the circuit shouldn’t suit the Corolla so we’re in positive mood.

    “In theory, the fact that the Corolla has a shorter wheelbase than the Avensis should play in our favour around Knockhill’s tight-and-twisty layout, and hopefully we can come out-of-the-blocks in good shape in free practice and then just fine-tune from there. Qualifying will be key because there’s only really one clear-cut overtaking opportunity, and the race weekend is taking place a little later in the year than usual which could impact upon the weather, but we are confident in all conditions.

    “The resurfacing in 2018 definitely helped front wheel-drive competitors, but Knockhill remains inherently a rear wheel-drive track. Have we got something for them this year? I think we have. We’ve given them a real run for their money over the past couple of seasons, and that leaves us optimistic of putting in a good performance and coming away with a clutch of strong results this time around, too.”

    Ingram in helmet and racing gear before race

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

    “I’m really looking forward to Knockhill. I’ve always gone well there and I enjoy the unique challenge the circuit presents. The driver can make more of a difference than at most tracks in the UK – there’s time to be found if you are willing to down a few brave pills and push the limits.

    “I’m optimistic we will have a more successful weekend than we did last time out at Thruxton, which we knew would probably be a bit of a struggle. We were definitely more competitive than we had been there earlier in the year, but the results didn’t really reflect our improved pace and I think we now understand why that was, so hopefully we can turn it around at Knockhill.

    “I’m confident the analysis we have done over the past three weeks will pay dividends, and whilst we’re still getting to grips with the Corolla, it should be well-suited to the circuit so on paper at least, we should be reasonably quick.

    “We’ll be playing catch-up to a certain extent in free practice, but nobody has any truly representative testing under their belt at Knockhill this year. Yes, a lot of teams have data from last season that they can fall back upon, which we obviously don’t have with the Corolla, but all the work we’ve done so far with the car will hopefully stand us in good stead. Ultimately, it’s all guesswork anyway until FP1!

    “Saturday (qualifying) is likely to be the most important day of the weekend, because you need to be significantly faster than the driver ahead at Knockhill to make any real headway in the races. With that in mind, my aim is to qualify inside the top five and then come away with a podium finish on Sunday – at the very least…”

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  6. SRC speeds to Dalbeattie for Galloway Hills showdown

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    Jude MacDonald racing on gravel in the junior class

    The KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) speeds into its final round, the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally on Saturday (14th August) with a number of titles still up for grabs.

    The SRC Junior title one such fight with SRC John Horton Star Driver Award finalist Jude MacDonald top of the pile in his Skoda Fabia R2 with co-driver Michael Cruikshank.

     

    On his first season rallying in the forests, MacDonald has been a revelation. Retiring from the Border Counties Rally, MacDonald has won the Juniors on every single round since, putting him in the box seat to claim the title and the day of driving tuition and practice that comes with it, as well as the Class 3 honours.

     

    New Class 6 and Ladies champion Linzi Henderson is the only one that can stop him, scoring a second place finish on all five rounds in her Ford Fiesta R2T. But the odds are stacked against her, with MacDonald only needing to claim four points to take the title.

     

    “Seeing that finish line is what we really need to do. Even if there’s no doors left, a wheel missing or whatever I’ll be getting that car over the line,” MacDonald joked.

     

    “If you’d have told me I’d be anywhere near the top 20 [overall this year] I would’ve been like ‘yeah funny one.’ It’s not just what I expected in the slightest after the year we had beforehand where the car’s engine exploded and no seat-time or time on gravel.

     

    “It’s gone far and beyond anything we could’ve expected. It would be absolutely unreal for me to be fair [to win the Junior title]. When I was back in the Juniors in the Citigo I never thought I’d get this far never mind start a gravel rally so it’s almost a dream come true to be able to win something on gravel.”
    Wilson at high speed along a straight during a race
    Iain Wilson and Chris Williams are in a similar position. A second place and a clutch failure on the Speyside was not the ideal start to the season, but three wins on the bounce since has lifted them into a commanding position in the Scottish 2WD Championship.

    The series has been as thrilling as ever, as Paul McErlean, Gordon Murray, Duncan MacDonald and later Mark McCulloch all battled tooth and nail in the stages.

     

    Pedaling his Ford Escort Mk2 affectionately known as ‘Bella’, Wilson only has to finish inside the points to take the title, but has an awkward dilemma as the Galloway Hills is his local rally. The event kicks off at his Jas P Wilson firm’s headquarters, so has home support to count upon.

     

    “I’ve been thinking more about the rally venue at our place rather than the driving!” Wilson commented.

     

    “With the championship in mind, we know we more or less just have to finish but I’ve never approached a rally to just tootle round and I’ll not be starting now. Of course we would love to win the 2WD’s again on our home event but we won’t go chasing anything if it turns out that way, we’ve just too much to lose.

     

    “The Escort battle this year has been the best fun I’ve ever found in my time in rallying and all the other crews in the fight are such a great bunch of lads. It feels like we’d all help each other out if we had a problem and that’s so refreshing these days.

     

    “It would be a dream come true to win this title in an Escort. I’ve managed to win my class in the SRC with front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive so rear-wheel-drive would make the perfect hattrick.”
    Gray in his Evo hurtling down a straight
    A glance at the current points table shows Ian Baumgart at the top of the Challengers battle, but with dropped scores considered its Thomas Gray and co-driver Harry Marchbank that head to Dalbeattie in the strongest position.

     

    The new-for-2019 Evo IX crew have scooped impressive victories on the Speyside, Argyll and Grampian Forest rallies with a close second place on the Border Counties Rally complimenting their tally. Baumgart and Alan Dickson have been models of consistency but both ultimately trail Gray by 11 points heading into the season finale.

     

    “We’ll be trying [to win] again as usual but it’ll just be a case of trying to screw the nuts early on especially. It’s easy to get excited and if you get too excited it can go the wrong way,” Gray admitted.

     

    “There’s still a lot of pace to be made up yet but we’re not far away from where we should be with the car. The car is still on a 32mm restrictor, it’s still Group N really. We’re battling with people we should be so I’m quite happy with where we are.

     

    “It has been good to have a battle [for the Challengers], it makes it more interesting rather than just an overall finish. Obviously it’s good to be in the top 10 but having something to chase certainly helps.”

     

    Both the winner of the Scottish 2WD Championship and the Challengers title will receive a free entry into a round of the 2020 SRC.

     

    Armstrong tackling a sharp right turn

     

    There’s a very different look and feel to the battle at the front of the SRC this weekend. With the championship sewn up on the previous round, Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton won’t make the trip to Dalbeattie, opening the door for plenty of pretenders who are keen to round out their season with a win.

     

    Multiple Scottish champion David Bogie returns with John Rowan though after two strong performances in a Skoda Fabia R5 in the spring, but the pair will make an exciting switch to a Mini John Cooper Works WRC. If Bogie can learn the car quickly he is a hot favourite for victory having won this rally last year.

     

    When it comes to winning Galloway Hills rallies though, nobody can touch Jock Armstrong who has taken a record-breaking nine wins on home turf. The Subaru Impreza man has Cameron Fair back in the hotseat this weekend and is looking for a first SRC win since this event in 2017.

     

    John Wink took his first SRC podium on the Galloway Hills Rally last year, and took his second on the Grampian Forest Rally last month. Armed with a Hyundai i20 R5 once again, Wink and co-driver Neil Shanks would dearly love another rostrum finish to round out the year.
    Wink picking up speed along a straight in his i20
    Michael Binnie and Claire Mole have had another quietly impressive year in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. It’s hard to believe they haven’t taken an SRC podium together yet, but the duo are chasing a sensational second place in the championship such has been their consistent speed.

     

    Ian Bainbridge hasn’t been seen in the SRC since the Border Counties Rally, but is back out for the Galloway Hills Rally with co-driver Giles Dykes. Trading his Subaru for a Skoda Fabia R5, Bainbridge is learning the R5 ropes ahead of a full-season attack in 2020.

     

    Outgoing champions Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol make a welcome return to action, switching from the Ford Focus WRC to a Fiesta R5+. With significantly less pressure on their shoulders than this time 12 months ago, Gallacher is out for a one-off drive on what he now considers his home event.

     

    Rory Young and Allan Cathers also return to action in a Ford Fiesta R5 and are a real dark horse for success. Sadly neither Young nor Gallacher will be eligible to score championship points.

     

    The Galloway Hills Rally consists of 43.5 superb stage miles and just 93 liasion miles making it a supremely compact route.

     

    The event is the final round of both the KNC Groundworks Ltd Scottish Rally Championship and the British Rally Championship, but the SRC crews will tackle four of the five tests ahead of the BRC runners.

     

    It all gets underway at Jas P Wilson, Dalbeattie at 9.30am with the first car due to finish in Castle Douglas at around 3:35pm.

     

    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. Honda title bid fired-up as BTCC heads to Scotland

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    The two Hondas leading the pack during a race

    Honda British Touring Car Championship drivers Dan Cammish and Matt Neal head for the Scottish round of the series on 15th September with confidence boosted by their most recent results. In the previous rounds at Thruxton, the team took its largest points haul of the season and Cammish his first race victory in 2019.

    The Honda Civic Type R race cars were on the podium in all three races in Hampshire, elevating Cammish to third in the drivers championship, closing up the manufacturer battle and regaining Halfords Yuasa Racing the lead of the teams points table.

    The tight and twisting Knockhill circuit in Fife generally favours the rear-wheel-drive cars of Honda’s closest rivals, but the team will be buoyed by its recent form and the knowledge that Cammish was the fastest in qualifying at the 2018 meeting, going on to secure a brace of podium finishes.

    With just nine races left in the 2019 championship, the Honda team is hopeful that it is hitting peak form at just the right time.

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    Thruxton was a great weekend for me and the team, to get the monkey off our back with our first win of the season was awesome, and to come away from that round with the biggest points haul I have ever accumulated in one BTCC weekend was amazing.
    I took my maiden pole position at Knockhill last year and I really like the track – it’s great for the spectators as they can get really close to the action and it’s great to drive, there is really no respite and you have to take your chances and be brave to overtake. I certainly have my eye on the prize now being just 34 points off the top of the table so I will be trying to put my Honda Civic Type R at the sharp end again this weekend, I can’t wait.

    Dan Cammish and Matt Neal spraying champagne on the podium

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    After a tough qualifying at Thruxton, I got my head down and made some great progress in the first race to finish 8th and to complete the day with two visits to the podium was fantastic. This has brought us right back in the game now for the drivers, teams and manufacturers championships, so onwards and upwards!
    I love Knockhill, it doesn’t necessarily suit front-wheel-drive cars with the slow hairpin at Taylors and then the steep uphill climb on the main straight. But our tails are most certainly up, so we’ll be taking the fight to our rivals for sure. I’m raring to go.

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 249 points
    2. Andrew Jordan 219 points
    3. Dan Cammish 215 points
    7. Matt Neal 168 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. BMW 577 points
    2. Honda 550 points
    3. Vauxhall 433 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. Halfords Yuasa Racing 378 points
    2 Team BMW 367 points
    3. Cobra Sport AMD 325 points

    Rounds 22-24 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at  Knockhill, Fife on Sunday 15th September.

    For more information on our products click here.

    Photos by Jakob Ebrey Photography

  8. Results don’t reflect improvement for Team Toyota GB with Ginsters at Thruxton

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    • Ingram forced to fight for points finishes on bruising Hampshire weekend
    • Toyota Corolla confirms improved form since earlier in the season
    • Bucks ace pulls off spectacular passes around Britain’s fastest circuit

    Tom Ingram added another hat-trick of points-scoring finishes to his 2019 tally as the British Touring Car Championship sped into the UK’s fastest circuit, Thruxton, last weekend (17/18 August), although a rough-and-tumble final race prevented the Team Toyota GB with Ginsters star from exploiting his and the Toyota Corolla’s full potential.

    After featuring well inside the top ten in both free practice sessions in Hampshire – going quickest of all through the middle sector of the lap in FP1 – Ingram went on to qualify eighth amongst the 30 high-calibre contenders in the UK’s premier motor racing series. The Bucks-born ace was, however, left to rue a ‘moment’ at Church – the fastest corner in the country – that likely deprived him of a top five grid slot for race one.

    A mistake at the Complex on the first lap of the curtain-raiser cost Ingram ground but he immediately fought back, and he was zeroing in on the scrap ahead for seventh until he found himself shuffled down to 11th in the closing stages.

    Being surrounded by fast-starting rear wheel-drive cars on the grid in race two, the BTCC’s reigning two-time Independents’ title-winner inevitably ceded a couple of places away from the lights but wasted no time at all in regaining them, with a crowd-pleasing ‘dive bomb’ on championship leader Colin Turkington into the chicane going down as unquestionably one of the overtaking moves of the weekend.

    From there, Ingram spent the majority of the race embroiled in a multi-car tussle for third, keeping company with the likes of Turkington, Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan and Ashley Sutton – BTCC champions all. After dispatching Sutton and race one winner Sam Tordoff in swift succession, he went on to take the chequered flag eighth.

    Race three got underway beneath menacing skies, and in front of the live ITV4 television cameras and an appreciative trackside audience, the Team Toyota GB with Ginsters man was the architect of a superbly assertive opening lap to pass both Turkington and Jordan and climb to seventh.

    A dramatic duel with Sutton followed – encompassing countless side-by-side skirmishes and no shortage of contact as the 2017 title-holder vigorously defended his position – before a sideswipe from the Subaru driver through the high-speed Segrave corner on lap 11 edged the Corolla onto the grass, just as the pair had latched onto the tail of the lead battle.

    That dropped Ingram to ninth and dashed his hopes of mounting a late charge for the podium, but the 25-year-old boldly held his nerve. His determination eventually paid off as – headlights ablaze – he grittily found a way past his race-long nemesis on the very last lap, notwithstanding intensifying rain that injected an extra challenge into what was already an extremely physical and demanding contest. A better fastest lap than any of the top four finishers went to show what might have been.

    The trio of results nonetheless kept Ingram firmly inside the top ten in the Drivers’ standings in eighth place heading next to Knockhill in Scotland on 14/15 September. Team Toyota GB with Ginsters will travel north of the border occupying ninth spot in the Teams’ table.

    Ingram taking a corner at speed with two wheels off of the ground

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

    “Thruxton was a solid if not spectacular weekend. Tom dug deep to bring home another full house of points scores in three particularly ‘lively’ races, which keeps him in the hunt for a strong championship finish and most significantly of all, we’ve clearly improved the Corolla since we were last here in May.

    “With very similar weight on-board, we were seven places further up the grid in qualifying than earlier in the season and more than halved the gap to pole position – we actually went quicker in what were slower conditions, which marks a real step forward. We also outpaced and outscored the championship leader in all three races – even on equal ballast – which was encouraging.

    “I’m very happy with the progress made both before and over the weekend. Thruxton requires such a different set-up to any other track we go to and you can’t really test here, so all the work has had to be carried out back at our Northwich workshop and once again, I must pay tribute to the stellar job done by the whole Speedworks crew over the BTCC’s summer break.

    “When you already have a car that’s pretty quick, you’re restricted to small steps on a race weekend – you daren’t do anything drastic, because big changes always carry the risk of sending you backwards rather than forwards. We kept chipping away, and by race three we had a package capable of challenging for the podium.

    “The weekend has given us plenty more pointers to continue honing and refining the Corolla to extract the best out of it, and we’re all very excited to get back to a more conventional circuit next time out – one that has traditionally been a reasonably happy hunting ground for us.”

    Ingram sitting in car with helmet and gear on ready for race

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

    “The results may not necessarily reflect it, but the Corolla definitely felt better than it did at Thruxton earlier in the year. It was just what I would call a very ‘vanilla’ weekend and we slipped under the radar a bit – not scene-stealing like Snetterton, but there-or-thereabouts throughout. There’s clearly still room for improvement, but equally, you can never read too much into people’s form at Thruxton because it’s such a niche circuit.

    “We underperformed in qualifying, and that one was completely on me. I just dropped a wheel slightly off at Church – not the kind of place you want to be making a mistake – and filled the radiator up with grass. That left us slightly out-of-position on the grid, although we didn’t really have the pace in race one to do anything special anyway – we seemed to lose something from Saturday to Sunday that we still need to evaluate and get to the bottom of.

    “We conceded a bit of ground on the first lap when I tried to go around the outside at the Complex – it was very close to coming off, but I left my braking just a fraction too late and that cost us. Once you’re back in the pack at Thruxton, it becomes very difficult to make progress because the advantage tends to ebb-and-flow from one part of the track to the next.

    “The car was sliding around quite a lot and I was really having to hang on through Church, but we got our heads down, worked hard and consistently improved it over the course of the day. We struggled for grip again early on in race two which resulted in a couple of big ‘moments’, but the Corolla came on stronger over the second half and that allowed me to pull off a few enjoyable moves – although it wasn’t until race three that we got it properly where we wanted it to be.

    “We had a good, aggressive start to the final race, and I held my breath a little going three-wide through Noble at 130mph, which was pretty heart-in-mouth! I then seemed to spend the whole time trying to get past and shake off Sutton. It felt like I was staring at his rear bumper for half the day, and if he hadn’t pushed me off, I’m confident we’d have finished inside the top five – Jason Plato, who eventually came in fifth, was behind us when the contact happened. That’s racing sometimes – we’ll come back fighting at Knockhill.”

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  9. Redpath turns in champion’s performance for Grampian Star Driver Award

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    Duns duo Max and Callum Redpath romped to 21st overall and the Used Car Parts Subaru Cup title on the recent Grampian Forest Rally, earning them the fifth KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) John Horton Star Driver Award of the season.

    Redpath switched to a Subaru Impreza for 2019 after winning the SRC Junior title in 2017 behind the wheel of a Peugeot 205, and has impressed all year long with some tight battles with class rival and championship associate sponsor Mike Moates.

    Scooping his third victory of the year on the Grampian along with two second places was enough to assure Redpath his second SRC title in as many years; and it was this measured performance and prowess behind the wheel that made the judges take notice and nominated him for the John Horton Star Driver Award.

    Redpath will now join Scott Macbeth, Jude MacDonald, Scott Peacock and Bobby Mitchell in the end-of-season shoot-out for a day’s driving tuition with an expert driver.

    “I never imagined I would ever be nominated so to be chosen by the judges for the Award was a shock and I am very grateful, especially up against the likes of [fellow nominees] Keith Morris and Duncan MacDonald,” Redpath said.

    “I just wanted to keep my head down and do as well as I could, so any awards like this are a bonus.

    “The Grampian was a great rally for us, a good laugh as well. We had hoped for some rain to give us an advantage over the two-wheel-drive cars, but that wasn’t to be. We lost a brake calliper just before service which made the afternoon quite difficult but we managed to keep it up and take the Subaru Cup.”

    Redpath admitted he is delighted with the progress he has made as a driver since stepping into the four-wheel-drive Impreza this season: “I’m really pleased with the progress this year,” he explained.

    “Bearing in mind we took 2018 off to find a different car and then jumped from the Peugeot to the Subaru, we are so happy with how we’ve performed considering. I can’t thank the team enough. I know everybody says it but neither Callum nor I would be here without them.”

    Redpath wasn’t the only driver celebrating in Aberdeenshire. A whole host of drivers took decisive class victories across the field.

    Wilson taking a corner at speed in his MK2 Escort

    Class 1: Scott Peacock and Robin Neil had become the Class 1 champions in the lead-up to the event, and celebrated with another class win in their MG ZR.

    Class 3: Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruikshank scooped class honours in their Skoda Fabia R2 for the fourth time this season. Caroline Carslaw and Charley Sayer-Payne’s Ford Fiesta R2 was second for the fourth time this season too ahead of Nikki Addison and Rachel Matheson in their Peugeot 106.

    Class 4: Douglas Watt and Ian Parker took a decisive step towards the class title with victory in Aberdeenshire, as their Ford Escort Mk2 had been locked level with Paddy Munro’s similar machine. But sadly Munro and navigator Gordon Chalmers failed to finish after sliding off the road on the final stage.

    Class 5: Historic and Class 5 honours went to Tom Coughtrie and Ian Fraser in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Ernie Lee and Patricia Milligan were second in a BMW 325i ahead of Ian and Sandy Milne’s Ford Escort Mk2. The victory maintained Coughtrie’s 100% streak and assures him of the class title with a round to spare.

    Class 6: Bobby Mitchell and Craig Wallace scored top honours in Class 6 in the cockpit of their Ford Fiesta ST. Linzi Henderson and Tom Hynd sealed second in their Ford Fiesta R2T ahead of Johnnie MacKay and Emily Easton-Page’s Ford Fiesta ST.

    Class 7: Duncan MacDonald and Neil Ross headed Class 7 in their Ford Escort Mk2 ahead of the similar car of Paul McErlean and Niall McKenna. Robert Adamson and Jane Nicol completed the podium in another Escort.

    Class 8: Iain Wilson and Chris Williams were Class 8 victors in their Ford Escort Mk2 as they nudged towards the class and overall 2WD titles. Gordon Murray was second in what is thought to be his last ever rally, ahead of Keith Robathan and Steven Brown’s BMW E30.

    Class 9: Michael Binnie and Claire Mole edged Thomas Gray and Harry Marchbank for the second rally in succession in their Mitsubishi Evo IX’s, taking the Class 9 title in the process with their fifth straight victory. Ian Baumgart and Sinclair Young were third in their Subaru Impreza.

    Class 10: Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick took a class win to complement their second place overall. Keith Morris and Terry Mallin took their Evo IX to second ahead of the similar machine of Alan Dickson and Martin Forrest.

    Class 11: Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton took the class victory alongside the overall 2019 Scottish Rally Championship title. John Wink and Neil Shanks slotted their Hyundai i20 R5 home second with John Rintoul and Ross Hynd third on their forest debut in a Ford Fiesta R5.

    Binnie keeping his Mitsubishi Evo IX steady along a gravel straight

    Up next for the SRC is the final round of the series in Dalbeattie. Five classic special stages are set to round out the season, and could prove decisive in settling some scores among the classes. Entries are open and can be made here.

    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 Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally on Saturday 14th September.

    Photos by Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography

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  10. Cammish wins at Thruxton to boost Honda BTCC title chase

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    A hard-fought win for Dan Cammish topped a strong weekend at Thruxton for the Honda British Touring Car Championship campaign, the Halfords Yuasa Racing team scoring podium finishes in all three races.

    Qualifying at the fast Hampshire circuit brought contrasting fortunes for the two drivers. After topping the time sheets in first practice, Cammish took a competitive third grid spot with a lap of more than 111mph, less than one hundredth of a second behind pole position. Neal struggled with the setup of his Civic Type R to take a disappointing 17th on the grid, only half a second behind his team-mate.

    With his Honda carrying more success ballast than either of its rivals ahead, Cammish did well to maintain third spot at the start of race one, and this quickly became second when Jason Plato was penalised for a jumped start. Thereafter the Honda kept in touch with leader Sam Tordoff, but the extra weight told as the race wore on. Cammish withstood the challenge of Adam Morgan to score his eighth podium finish of the season.

    Neal staged an impressive comeback performance to carve through the field, passing fellow former champions Colin Turkington, Andy Jordan and Ashley Sutton on the way to a well-deserved eighth-place finish.

    Cammish returning to pits with Halfords Yuasa Racing team cheering him on

    Weighed down by even more success ballast, Cammish’s car bogged down at the start of race two and he slipped back to sixth. Neal meanwhile made up a place and the two Hondas then ran together for several laps as part of a frantic battle involving several cars. Opportunistic passing with 11 laps down promoted Neal to fourth just ahead of his team-mate, and on the last corner he then rounded rival Tom Oliphant to secure third and maintain his record of at least one podium finish at Thruxton in each of the last 10 seasons. Cammish came home a fighting fifth.

    Fortune then smiled on the Halfords Yuasa Racing drivers, the draw for the final race putting Cammish on the outside of the front row with Neal just behind in fourth. The field lined up under threatening skies, and after initially being outdragged off the line by Oliphant, Cammish quickly regained second spot and closed in on leader Rob Collard.

    Rain began to fall around the circuit as the Honda made several passing attempts on the run to the chicane, finally making the move stick with four laps left. Skillfully controlling his slick-tyred car on the now rain-soaked track, Cammish stretched his lead to secure the Halfords Yuasa squad’s first victory of the season. To complete the team’s joy Matt Neal took third spot.

    Cammish and Neal now lie third and seventh in the driver’s title chase heading towards the next rounds at Knockhill in Scotland, while Honda has closed the gap in the manufacturers’ championship, holding a strong second, and Halfords Yuasa Racing regained the lead of the Teams points chase.

    Cammish lifting the trophy at Thruxton with smile on his face

    Dan Cammish – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver

    My best weekend this year, first, second and fifth. To finish race one in P2 with the weight in was a good effort. Race 2 I almost stalled at the start and if I had my weekend would have been ruined – shows you need a bit of luck in Touring Cars.
    I battled back to fifth and once the weight came out for race 3 I knew we had a good chance. I drove a sensible race, didn’t take too much out of the tyre in the opening laps. It was difficult with the rain at the end, but the team kept me cool and calm and we took the win.
    I was on pole at Knockhill last year. I’ll go there with the car much heavier than ever before but that won’t stop me giving it a good go.

    Matt Neal – Halfords Yuasa Racing driver and Team Dynamics Director

    We have had a great day, especially considering how we started after yesterday’s performance – I’m very relieved. I didn’t get a win but the next best thing – four podiums for us as a team, our best weekend of the year so far.
    Knockhill is a circuit that favours some of our rivals but we’ll go there in confident mood and see what we can do.

    BTCC Drivers’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. Colin Turkington 249 points
    2. Andrew Jordan 219 points
    3. Dan Cammish 215 points
    7. Matt Neal 168 points

    BTCC Manufacturers’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. BMW 577 points
    2. Honda 550 points
    3. Vauxhall 433 points

    BTCC Teams’ Championship, after 21 rounds

    1. Halfords Yuasa Racing 378 points
    2 Team BMW 367 points
    3. Cobra Sport AMD 325 points

    * all points provisional pending judicial decisions

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    Rounds 22-24 of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Knockhill, Fife, on Sunday 15th September.

    Photos by Jakob Ebrey Photography