Category Archive: Reis News

  1. Race Retro Announces New Headline Sponsor as Tickets Go on Sale

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    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.

    For the latest updates and ticket information, visit www.raceretro.com.

  2. Team Toyota GB with Ginsters doubles up as Ingram stars at Silverstone again

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    Ingram with his headlights on in front of competitors on the very wet track with low visibility

    •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.

    A side on view of Ingram powering around the track

    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.

    Ingram in his Toyota coming out of a bend with a rival close behind

    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.

    Ingram exiting his car in full race gear after win with a crowd of press in the background taking pictures

    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 spraying Champagne into the crowd on the podium following his win

    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!

    Ingram leading the pack on the track at Silverstone

    “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!”

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  3. Smith shines on Galloway Hills Rally to scoop Star Driver Award

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    Smith at speed during a race on a gravel track

    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

    Michael Binnie taking a corner a speed with dirt flying out behind him

    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.

    Laukkanen standing with a rally driver in-front of his car

    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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    Photos by Eddie Kelly

  4. 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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  5. 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

  6. 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!”

  7. 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

  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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.

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    Photos by Jakob Ebrey Photography