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 clear lap.
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. As part of the deal, the motorsport insurance specialist will be offering Motorsport UK members an exclusive discount of 15% on a number of its schemes.
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, and the exclusive discount available with Reis certainly fits that bill.”
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!”
KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship (SRC) Junior contender Fraser Smith received the prestigious John Horton Star Driver Award for his startling performance on the final round of the season, the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally.
Smith has had an incredibly mixed season in 2019, superbly mastering the snowy conditions to win Class 3 on the opening round in Jedburgh. However mechanical misfortunes have blighted his season, with just one further finish coming on the Scottish Rally interrupting his streak of retirements and bad luck.
But Smith and co-driver Steven Brown were flying in the forests around Dalbeattie, powering their Honda Civic into second in class and third in the Juniors just 4.9 seconds behind the champions of both categories Jude MacDonald and Michael Cruikshank.
“To even be nominated was a surprise, so I’m absolutely over the moon to be picked as the Star Driver,” Smith said.
“We started off the day just wanting to get through Dalbeattie as I’d heard it was a tough stage and the rest of the stages went really well as we built up the pace.
“My season has been a difficult one with problems and not always the same navigator. The Galloway Hills was the first event all year where I’ve had a clean run with no problems. On every other event we’ve had issues with the car from the rear struts to the intercom so it’s been difficult.
“But I’m happy with how everything went on the Galloway and hopefully it’s a stepping stone for next season where things can head in the right direction!”
Smith admitted that receiving tuition would help him greatly as he looks to fine-tune his driving style.
“I feel I would see a great benefit from working with Tapio as I can feel myself gaining confidence with every event, but to learn some skills to help with my car control and driving style would be massive in giving me that extra confidence boost,” he said.
“I want to be in the best possible shape for next season and understanding how to consistently drive at a good pace would certainly help.”
SRC John Horton Star Driver Award shoot-out
Smith will join Scott Macbeth, Scott Peacock, Bobby Mitchell, Max Redpath and wildcard entrant Thomas Gray in the end-of-season shoot-out at Knockhill Racing Circuit on Wednesday 16 October. They will all compete for a day’s tuition with 1999 British Rally champion Tapio Laukkanen which last year’s shoot-out winner Michael Binnie used to superb effect, powering to third overall in this year’s SRC.
The shoot-out is split into various sections including a one-on-one interview with a panel of judges and an assessment of the driver’s skill behind the wheel. When the judging panel have conferred with each other, the winner will be announced on the day and will receive their free tuition from Laukannen at the end of October in the Forrest Estate in South West Scotland.
The judging panel this year will be headed up by 2001 World Rally champion co-driver Robert Reid who will also have the casting vote in the event of a tie.
Long-time supporter of the SRC Andrew Wood and Richard Moore return from last year with 2007 Scottish Rally Champion Gary Adam completing the line-up.
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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•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.
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.
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.”
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.”