Series Elite looks ahead to the first major stepping stone since the launch of its new racing initiative for the over 50’s at Stratstone Jaguar, in Mayfair, London.
Rockingham will play host to a ‘race licence event’ that will give prospective competitors the opportunity to gain their racing licence and upgrade to a National ‘A’ licence at an exclusive behind-closed-doors meeting.
Taking place 24th – 26th September, there will be a variety of benefits that future racers can expect, including on-track tuition, BARC Membership, a five-race schedule including qualifying, an opportunity to test the new Jaguar F-Type GT4, sports psychology, nutrition and fitness seminars, plus full hospitality and accommodation for the duration.
Limited to just 12 people, the event will provide a unique opportunity to gain a National ‘B’ and upgrade to the National ‘A’ licence in a short space of time. The Series Elite team will be on hand to guide racers through all of the necessary processes, and ensure everyone comes away well prepared and ready for this brand new motor racing concept.
Drivers will take part in a data and technical session with Jaguar, and a race craft seminar, to prepare them for the forthcoming Series Elite Championship.
Series Director, Graeme Glew, commented, “It’s going to be a wonderful chance for any prospective Series Elite racer to get their National ‘A’ licence in such a short timescale, while enjoying the hospitality we can offer, and get a glimpse into the ‘racing life’ they can expect to experience once the Series launches in 2019.”
The Series Elite F-Type has already visited Rockingham briefly, when the car spent the day at the Northamptonshire track producing the exciting promotion video you can view here: https://vimeo.com/268087234.
A fourth successive win in the BTRDA Rally Series – DMACK Fiesta ST Trophy this weekend brings the hotly contested single make championship title within the grasp of Bingley rally star Sam Bilham.
With victory at the DMACK Carlisle Stages on Saturday (10th June), the 2300 Club John Easson Award winner and co-driver Cameron Fair are just one podium result away from taking the Fiesta honours, despite three rounds of the series yet to run.
In his second season behind the wheel of the Fiesta ST, Bilham led the championship for much of last year, only losing out on the closing events of the championship to take runner up spot in the series. But this time around he has been on top on all four rounds so far, meaning he heads to next month’s Nicky Grist Stages as firm favourite for the win.
Based in Kershope and East Kielder forests, The Carlisle Stages runs across notorious stages in the Scottish Borders and is renowned for catching out even the most experienced of drivers. But Bilham endured an eventful lead up to the weekend which threatened his title assault.
A delay in parts for the transmission forced Bilham to work through the week to ensure the Calvert Construction and Reis Motorsport Insurance backed Fiesta would be ready for the event and he would start the rally with a plan to nett a solid points haul.
Look at the time sheets however and they tell a different story. Despite pre-event aspirations on perhaps a podium spot, he commanded a start to finish victory in the treacherous conditions. Taking the lead from the opening stage, he brought the Fiesta home with fastest time on every one of the five stages, making it back in 19th overall.
Sam is supported by 2300 Club John Easson Award, Calvert Construction, Reis Motorsport Insurance, The Garage at Stanley Mills, Northern Life Magazine and Gareth Hooper Motorsport Services.
Motorsport insurance intermediary, Reis Motorsport Insurance is extending its keen association with racing by supporting Max Bartell in the 2017 Historic Sports Car Championship (HSCC).
Max alongside partner, Ben Mitchell will be competing in the Historic Formula Ford Championship and The Guards Trophy and Max will also be driving in the Classic F3 Championship.
Max, who has been racing for over five years, has previously won the Classic F3 Championship and been runner up in the Historic Formula Ford Championship so will be looking to draw and build on his experience this year.
Mark Taylor, Operations Manager for Reis Motorsport Insurance, comments: “We sponsor a number of drivers in a range of competitions including Tom Ingram in the British Touring Car Championship, so are delighted to welcome Max into the Reis racing family. Max is enthusiastic, skilled and passionate and we’ll be supporting him ‘every turn of the track’ and wish him all the best in his quest for podium position.”
Max Bartell comments: “I’m thrilled to have the backing of Reis Motorsport Insurance, a name that’s trusted and recognised in the motorsport community. I’m aiming high this year and will be pushing for podium finishes every time I take to the track. I’m looking forward to seeing what the season holds as well as celebrating the Historic Formula Ford Championship’s 50th anniversary!”
Reis Motorsport Insurance is a dedicated motorsport insurance intermediary, involved in creating bespoke schemes and arranging tailor-made policies to suit individual circumstances.
Tom Ingram saw his title aspirations take another – very literal – knock at the hands of an over-aggressive rival at Croft last weekend (10/11 June), but the Speedworks Motorsport star has promised to come back all guns blazing when the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns from its summer break.
Following a torrid time of things at Oulton Park, early-season championship leader Ingram headed further north to Croft intent on clawing back ground in the chase for the most coveted crown in British Motorsport. Unfortunately, a minor error in treacherous conditions towards the end of the first free practice session resulted in significant front end damage to the #80 Toyota Avensis, ruling the 23-year-old out of FP2 as the Speedworks mechanics effected repairs.
That left Ingram short on track time going into qualifying, but he was nonetheless on a lap that looked good enough to put him on the front row of the starting grid when the red flags flew less than ten minutes in for a serious accident involving no fewer than 12 cars, which he carefully managed to avoid.
With no break in the weather and the need to carry out extensive barrier work, the running did not resume, meaning the talented young Bucks ace would line up an unrepresentative 13th amongst the 29 high-calibre contenders for the first race the following day.
Under sunnier skies and in front of the live ITV4 television cameras in what is commonly regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series, Ingram immediately set about moving forward, gaining two spots on the opening tour and cracking the top ten next time around. Settling into a multi-car scrap over fifth, a mature drive saw him take the chequered flag eighth – and second-highest Independent entry – to secure a solid clutch of points towards his title bid.
With less success ballast on-board for race two, the three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion was in confident mood. He made a bright start to advance to seventh, only to then find himself speared into by the MG of Josh Cook later around the first lap, breaking the Toyota’s suspension and consigning him to the rear of the grid for the day’s finale. From there, Ingram gritted his teeth and lapped amongst the quickest drivers on the track en route to a 16th-place finish – just one spot shy of the points.
His misfortune means the KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member enters the mid-season hiatus having slipped to fifth in the overall standings – 48 points shy of the top of the table – albeit still leading the way in the Independents’ Trophy. Speedworks sits second in the Independent Teams’ classification and fourth in the outright Teams’ rankings – with all eyes firmly fixed on an immediate fightback at Snetterton at the end of next month.
Reis Motorsport Insurance support Tom Ingram as he once again wins to jump to top of the BTCC table.
Tom Ingram has leapfrogged into the lead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship after a superb weekend at Donington Park (15/16 April), as he and Speedworks Motorsport secured their second victory of 2017 in emphatic fashion with a commanding performance.
Ingram headed to Donington – where he had set the benchmark pace in the only official pre-season test a month earlier – carrying 66kg of success ballast aboard his Toyota Avensis following his curtain-raising triumph at Brands Hatch. That, however, did not hold him back in free practice as the talented young Bucks ace lapped comfortably inside the top four in both sessions amongst the 32 high-calibre contenders – some of the finest touring car protagonists on the planet.
He maintained that impressive form in qualifying to line up an excellent third on the starting grid for race one, driving on the absolute ragged edge of adhesion and underscoring just how much he was pushing with a wild trip across the gravel.
As one of only two drivers in the field on the harder-compound Dunlop rubber in the opener, Ingram stormed into the lead as the lights went out and artfully controlled a cold tyre slide through the Craner Curves to sprint almost a second clear by the end of the first lap.
Ultimately, the extra weight was always going to tell as the race progressed, and after grittily remaining in charge for the first four tours, the three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion inevitably found himself forced to yield to several lighter rivals. He subsequently produced a defensive masterclass to heroically stave off intense pressure from reigning champion Gordon Shedden, Adam Morgan and Rob Collard to snare fifth at the chequered flag.
With 27kg removed from his Avensis for race two in the immensely popular, ITV4 live-televised BTCC – commonly regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series – Ingram made short work of scything his way past Matt Neal, Rob Austin, Colin Turkington and Collard before relieving Aiden Moffat of the top spot with a perfectly-judged move down the Craner Curves on lap four. Immediately scampering clear, the 23-year-old stretched his advantage to almost four seconds at the flag as his success made him the BTCC’s first multiple winner of the season and vaulted him to the summit of the Drivers’ standings.
The heavens then opened ahead of the day’s finale, severely reducing grip levels and sending countless cars – the #80 Toyota amongst them – aquaplaning off-track left, right and centre. The red flags unsurprisingly flew, prompting a re-start once the rain had abated. Despite grappling with maximum ballast, Ingram maturely mastered the spray and low setting sun to tally another top five finish from eighth on the grid, barely a second adrift of the rostrum.
That means the KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member will next travel to Thruxton – scene of his maiden car racing podium and win and a second career BTCC pole position last year – 14 points ahead of his closest adversary in the chase for the coveted crown and similarly atop the Independents’ Trophy classification.
Speedworks Motorsport has taken the wraps off its 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) challenger, with high hopes that the facelifted Toyota Avensis will help to propel the Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit to Independents’ glory in what is widely regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series.
Speedworks enjoyed its most successful BTCC campaign to-date in 2016, as three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion Tom Ingram stunned with both his and the team’s maiden pole position and race victory in the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser. He added to that with a second triumph at Silverstone and was a consistent podium threat at every circuit on the calendar.
Not only that, but the talented young Bucks ace proved to be the fastest average qualifier in the field – no mean feat in a series uniting some of the very best touring car protagonists on the planet. His results earned him fourth place amongst the 24 high-calibre contenders in the final Independents’ Trophy standings, with Speedworks snaring a best-yet third spot in the Independent Teams’ Trophy classification.
With even loftier ambitions in its sights for 2017, the plucky giant-killing squad has substantially updated its #80 entry, with a primary focus on aerodynamics, cooling and damping, revised bodywork from bumper to boot lid and a distinctive new front grille in a concerted bid to enhance efficiency.
It will be the only facelifted Avensis on the 32-strong grid, and Team Principal Christian Dick can scarcely contain his anticipation as Speedworks revs up towards its seventh season in the immensely popular, ITV4 live-televised, all-action BTCC.
“This is the biggest single overhaul the Avensis has ever had, and we are confident that we have taken significant strides in every respect,” he affirmed. “We decided towards the end of 2016 which direction we wanted to pursue and that gave us a head start on a lot of the groundwork. The boys have put in an immense effort over the winter, and what they have produced is a real testament to the strength-in-depth and design expertise inside this team. The car looks quite different from every angle, and we’re all extremely excited to see how it performs when it hits the track.
“The Avensis still has plenty of untapped potential, and our objective was to keep it fresh by bringing it right up-to-date. We carefully evaluated every aspect and identified quite a few areas in which we could make gains. The BTCC is so tight and intensely competitive that you have to carry on continuously developing because if you stand still, you will go backwards very quickly.
“2016 was by far our best season to-date in the championship, but we are certainly not going to rest on our laurels and we are all eager to take another step forward in 2017. By the time we get to Brands Hatch for the first round, we intend to be every bit as strong if not stronger than we were 12 months ago. As a team, it is imperative that we are absolutely on top of our game throughout. We have to be gunning for the Independents’ crown this year – and if we can do that, there is no reason why we can’t also be in with a shot at the overall title going into the final weekend…”
Ingram will put the redesigned Avensis through its paces for the first time at Portimão in southern Portugal this week as Speedworks aims to make the most of some milder weather. The 23-year-old KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member echoes Dick’s palpable enthusiasm about the team’s prospects for the forthcoming campaign.
“I’ve spent a lot of time up at the Speedworks factory over the winter, closely following the changes to the Avensis, and I cannot tell you how much of a buzz there is about the package we now have underneath us,” he revealed. “On paper, we have improved the car pretty much across the board and if it goes even half as quick as it looks, we will be in good shape. I can’t wait to get out there!”
The Reis Motorsport Insurance brand is well known across the rallying community and this new partnership will also be the preferred insurance partner for all events in the championship. The new tie-in further reinforces Reis’s support of motorsport at all levels as they also recently announced a partnership with the British Motorsport Marshals Club throughout the year.
Robert Beck, Championship Coordinator of the SRC commented: “It’s a real honour to have brands such as Pirelli, Reis Motorsport Insurance and the Coltel Group as partners this year and a true testament to how the Scottish Rally Championship is going from strength to strength as each season passes”.
Mark Taylor, Deputy Head of Motorsport for Reis added: “This is the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship”.
The opening round of the SRC takes place on February 18th with the Arnold Clark Jurys Inn Snowman Rally based in Inverness.
Reis Motorsport Insurance celebrated two new partnerships at Autosport International 2017 at the NEC Birmingham last week. Marking a focus on motorsport safety, The British Motorsport Marshals Club will join our existing sponsorship portfolio for 2017, alongside the Scottish Rally Championship.
The British Motorsports Marshals Club are at the heart of the industry and their volunteer officials and marshals are the linchpins to helping ensure the safety of all those taking part in the sport. Partnering with the Scottish Rally Championship also aids Reis’s dedication to supporting competitive racing at all levels, with a presence in domestic stage rallying.
Mark Taylor, Deputy Head of Motorsport Broking at Reis Motorsport Insurance, comments: “In 2017 a key focus for us is motorsport safety for all participants. We deal with risk on a daily basis and understand the need to support those who facilitate the safety and smooth running of our sport, whilst also promoting the importance and benefits personal accident cover can offer to those taking part. We’re delighted to partner with these dynamic organisations, to complement our on-going sponsorship of Tom Ingram and Speedworks in the BTCC.’
Nadine Lewis, British Motorsport Marshals Club Chairman, comments: “We’re the largest marshalling organisation in the world and in our diamond anniversary year, we’re delighted to welcome Reis as one of our sponsors. Founded in 1957, the club still follows its original objectives of training and providing marshals for all forms of motorsport and provides officials for all the organising clubs in the country. The club has over 2,300 volunteer members, who will benefit from subsidised overalls which provide protection whilst ensuring visibility and we look forward to working with Reis for the future benefit of marshals and motorsport.’
Dave Weston, from ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship comments: “The championship has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we’re delighted to have Reis Motorsport Insurance on board this season, for the first time. As well as being championship partners, Reis will also be the preferred insurance provider for all our events and competitors. The Scottish Championship has a fantastic reputation for breeding champions in the sport such as Colin McRae who started his career in the series. After the epic battle for title honours which went down to the very last stage of the final round in 2016, we’re looking forward to another great year of rallying in the Scottish forests.”
Image (from left to right) Mark Taylor, Deputy Head at Reis Motorsport Insurance, Nadine Lewis, Chairman of the British Motorsport Marshals Club and Tom Ingram, BTCC driver.
Team and driver renew relationship following stellar 2016 campaign
Cheshire-based outfit firmly focussed on Independents’ Trophy
Bucks ace Ingram keen to add consistency to his armoury for title bid
Speedworks Motorsport has re-signed Tom Ingram for a fourth consecutive Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) campaign in 2017, with the plucky Independent outfit and its highly-rated young charge both bullish about their prospects in the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series.
Having broken through with their maiden podium finishes in 2015, Ingram and Speedworks took another step forward last year by coming out-of-the-blocks in dazzling form to win the first race of the season as the talented Bucks ace converted pole position into both his and the Northwich, Cheshire-based squad’s maiden BTCC victory.
That was bolstered by a second success at Silverstone later on in the campaign, in addition to ten further top six finishes – four of them on the rostrum. Those results secured KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member Ingram tenth spot amongst the 35 high-calibre protagonists in the final Drivers’ standings and fourth in the Independents’ Trophy, with Speedworks snaring seventh in the Teams’ table and third-best Independent entry, marking an improvement in every area at the end of a season that was widely regarded as one of the toughest in living memory.
Indeed, only head gasket failure in the penultimate outing at Silverstone ruled Ingram out of overall title contention entering the Brands Hatch GP finale, and in evidence of his outstanding raw speed, the 23-year-old British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star wound up as the fastest average qualifier in the field in 2016, annexing a brace of pole positions and two further front row starts behind the wheel of the #80 Toyota Avensis as he missed the top ten just once.
Following the mantra that if it ain’t broke, there is no reason to fix it, Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick is in optimistic mood as he outlines his objectives for the forthcoming campaign.
“Last year was beyond doubt our best yet in the BTCC by a country mile,” he reflected. “Winning our first race was a massively significant milestone, and to then back that promise up by fighting towards the sharp end season-long represented a huge step forward. That said, it was far from perfect and there are many aspects that we have focussed on refining over the winter to enhance our performance for 2017 because the championship never stands still.
“Keeping Tom on-board is a major coup. He was unquestionably one of the BTCC’s standout stars last year and with a competitive car underneath him, he consummately proved his potential with both his pace and racecraft, all underpinned by a mature and intelligent approach that belies his age. He is at the forefront of the series’ next generation and a champion of the future, I am sure.
“There are clearly areas in which both we as a team and he as a driver still need to improve, but we have been working tirelessly on all fronts since last season ended and I think the benefits of that effort and remaining together for a fourth year will shine through when we hit the track. There has been a raft of updates to the Avensis that we are all very excited about, and we believe we can be genuine contenders for the Independents’ crown in 2017. Brands Hatch cannot come round soon enough!”
“It was a very easy decision to stay with Speedworks,” concurred three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion Ingram. “In a championship as ultra-competitive and unpredictable as the BTCC, the importance of continuity can never be overstated.
“We made tremendous progress last season, and to win our first race together in the very first round was an incredible achievement. Our qualifying pace was superb and our race pace was equally strong. Quite frankly, I don’t see anybody else in our position and with our level of resources doing a better job out there.
“Last year was both mine and Speedworks’ first experience of competing regularly up at the front in the BTCC; yes, I’ve won races and championships in lower categories and Christian has done likewise in other series as a team owner, but the BTCC is a whole different ballgame and that meant there was a lot of learning to be done in the full glare of 20 million people!
“It’s vital in the BTCC to make hay on the good days and make the most of the bad days – but last year, our bad days were very, very bad. In races two and three at Brands Hatch Indy, Donington Park and Thruxton early in the season, we scored a grand total of two points and then Rockingham was quite literally a pointless weekend.
“In nine of the 30 races, we didn’t score at all and in two more we picked up just a single point. If we’d been more consistent and averaged just eighth place in each of those races, we’d have won the championship – I think that’s a measure of how much potential there is inside this team, which is hugely exciting heading into 2017.
“The benefit of all the experience we have gained will galvanise us and we now have a much stronger package all-round and a completely different mindset and approach. Having broken our duck, that box has been ticked and we can focus on the bigger picture. We have proved we deserve to be here and will go into the new season with a lot more confidence – whereas last year we were simply hoping to be in the mix, this year we will be aiming to win.
“The key will be to finish races, stay out of trouble and keep scoring points – and ultimately, I want to be going to Brands Hatch in October in with a shot at the overall title.”
That aim is shared by Speedworks and Ingram’s loyal partners, who form the backbone of the team’s challenge in the immensely popular, ITV4 live-televised, all-action BTCC, with Reis Motorsport Insurance, Hansford Sensors, Motul and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) all recommitting to the cause for another year.
“Building upon a successful relationship, we’re delighted to be extending our sponsorship of Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport in 2017,” enthused Mark Taylor, Deputy Head of Motorsport Broking at Reis Motorsport Insurance. “The team showed huge passion, dedication and skill in last year’s championship and to see Tom on the top step of the podium was fantastic.
“Tom will also be joining us on our stand at the Autosport International Show at 09:30 on Thursday, 12 January to celebrate working together over the coming season.”
“We are very pleased to announce our continued support of Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport in the BTCC in 2017,” echoed Hansford Sensors Managing Director Chris Hansford. “We wish Tom all the best for the year ahead and hope we can assist him in his further development.”
“Motul has partnered Speedworks Motorsport for the past three years, during which time we have been made to feel a part of both the team and the wider BTCC family,” remarked Richard Scarbrough, Sales Director at the Witham Group, Motul’s principal UK importer and distributor. “Having watched Tom and the team gain tremendously in stature – particularly in 2016 – we are all eager to see what they can achieve together this season.”
“The Road Haulage Association is excited to once again be sponsoring Speedworks Motorsport and Tom Ingram,” added RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett. “Not only have the past two seasons seen Tom develop into an extremely successful and competent racing driver, but his involvement with the RHA has had an enormous effect on raising the profile of the industry amongst, potentially, the next generation of truck drivers.” Image Credit: Matt Sayle Photography
I have competed in various forms of motorsport for over 37 years but, at the time, I never did consider the potential consequences if I had an accident, to me or my young family. For instance, I might have been unable to work, financially support them, or live a normal able bodied life. I put it down to that immortal and invincible attitude of youth at the time, which I’m certainly not proud of it, (and now shudder at the thought)!
In motorsport, every driver, mechanic and co-driver takes a risk when they go on track, knowing that an accident may occur. I personally dreaded that one day I may have to explain to a family that someone under my care had been injured or killed. I therefore insisted that our competition budget contributed to everyone in the teams I managed, having Personal Accident and Repatriation Insurance.
Long before I joined the insurance world, about three hours before the start of a round in the MSA British Rally Championship, I assembled sixty or so competitors together. I asked how many had taken out personal accident insurance and was stunned with the response, only six had! Outspoken as always, I reprimanded them, reminding them that they had a responsibility to others and should be ashamed of themselves as the majority of standard life insurance products exclude dangerous activities, including motorsport and especially stage rallying. I was met with stark faces.
Back in the day of course I was also guilty, thinking that, in the UK, we are blessed with free emergency treatment, repatriation and health care, why bother. But is it right that we expect the tax payer to pick up the tab? What would happen to my life and those that rely on me if I needed major life care, or was unable to bring home a salary? Outside of the UK, medical repatriation can be a major cost, especially outside the EU where fees can be life changing amounts of money.
The FIA has regulated the need to have repatriation insurance as a compulsory requirement for entrants taking part in any of their World or Regional rallies. Should such social responsibility need to be regulated? In a world of “It won’t happen to me.”, the FIA clearly thinks so!
Personal accident insurance policies are available for motorsport participants who compete from amateur through to a professional level in most parts of the world. I would challenge drivers, co-drivers, participants and team owners to seriously consider the consequences of injuries. Insurance is a risk transfer mechanism, you don’t need it, until you need it! When we have all done our best to mitigate chances of the incident happening in the first place, you can sleep sound in the knowledge that no matter the outcome, everyone is protected.