Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:15 PM
Onslow-Cole will not start; problems with the Golf after scoring serious points in the first race. Manifold's cracked.
Boardman keeps it together, but the commentators sure can't. A solid 15 seconds of Ben and Tim both talking, but neither one in English.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:20 PM
Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:22 PM
And there it is. Quick and simple for Neal.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:27 PM
Jordan taking a look at Gordon here. Neal leads comfortably enough.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:28 PM
Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:31 PM
Couple to go...Neal's got this all locked up.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:34 PM
Officials judged he had gained an unfair advantage by putting all four wheels off the track and have handed him a 1.3s penalty.
This promotes Gordon Shedden to second position meaning the Honda Racing Team is now celebrating its second 1-2 result of the day.
Jordan’s Pirtek Vauxhall Vectra will still have to start race three carrying the second-placed success ballast of 36kgs – the weight penalty is applied according to the order in which cars had crossed the finish line.
Furthermore, Jordan’s penalty also means he drops to third in the championship table after he’d initially been tied for second with James Nash.
Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:50 PM
Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:34 AM
Dave Newsham will be making his debut in an STR Seat Leon:
Whilst Lea Wood's Honda Integra should also be present.
Edited by JHS, 01 June 2011 - 11:36 AM.
Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:06 PM
Massive rise in ITV audience
ITV has revealed that the number of people watching its coverage of this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is up by a staggering 34.6 per cent on average over 2010.
Official figures from the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB) show Brands Hatch’s opening event of 2011 (3 April) attracted 21 per cent more viewers than the Kent circuit’s corresponding round from the previous season.
Donington Park’s (17 April) ITV audience was then 27 per cent greater than that which followed the action at the Leicestershire circuit last year.
There then followed a massive 56 per cent increase in viewers for 2011’s third round at Thruxton (1 May) when compared to the numbers of those who watched coverage of the Hampshire circuit’s BTCC fixture 12 months earlier.
All ten BTCC race events in 2011 receive comprehensive live TV coverage on free-to-air channels ITV4 and ITV4 HD. Each broadcast runs for a minimum of six and a half hours and includes all three BTCC races on the day as well as much of the action from the supporting categories.
Niall Sloane, Controller of Sport for ITV, commented: “We are delighted by these figures. An increase of this sort of popularity in any sport on mainstream TV is terrific and very much a testament to the BTCC’s fantastic on track action, dramatic storylines, rivalries and levels of professionalism which make for compelling viewing. The BTCC quite rightly remains at the forefront of our motor sport coverage and we very much look forward to continuing our coverage of this great championship into future years.”
BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “In the world of television I'm told that these are extraordinary increases, particularly as they are 'like for like'. These figures make for more fantastic news for all our teams, drivers, circuits and sponsors. They also yet again further underline the superior levels of TV coverage enjoyed by the BTCC over any other form of motor sport in the UK, as well as the great entertainment the championship provides for households up and down the land.”
Neal's Plato-Oulton triple tip
Matt Neal has tipped Jason Plato to win all three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races at Oulton Park in just over a week’s time (Sun 5 June).
Neal currently leads the championship standings in his Honda Racing Team Civic but believes reigning champion Plato could prove unstoppable at Oulton – particularly if his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze gets on the pace in qualifying.
“I’m aiming to pick up whatever points I can,” said Worcestershire’s Neal. “However, the Chevys are very strong in race trim, so if Jason qualifies at the front then he could win all three.
“The Honda is a brilliant car so we’ll see how we go, but we won’t know until we get there. The car is hard on brakes and the track has a lot of stopping and starting.”
Certainly Plato will go into the weekend in need of a major points haul if he’s to get back on terms with his long-time arch rival Neal. Although, like Neal, he has also won three times so far this season, two big crashes have left him down in sixth in the standings, some 27 points – equivalent to a win and a second place finish – behind.
The Oulton statistics show that of all the drivers on the current grid Plato has enjoyed the most success around Oulton to date with six victories there during his career. Neal has four and Honda team-mate Gordon Shedden three while there’s been one each for Tom Chilton, Tom Onslow-Cole, Mat Jackson and home hero, Widnes’s Paul O’Neill.
TOC hunts Oulton podium
Tom Onslow-Cole is confident his AmD Milltek Racing.com VW Golf will be at its strongest yet in Oulton Park’s round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this weekend.
The New Malden racer qualified the car a sensational sixth fastest during the series’ most recent round at the high-speed Thruxton circuit before driving it to two top ten points finishes.
But he believes there’s more still to come and that Oulton’s dramatic mix of slow, medium and high-speed turns will bring out the best in the Golf.
Onslow-Cole, who won a race last year at Oulton, told btcc.net: “I don’t know if the Golf is quite ready for its first win, but I’m going to Oulton looking for a podium. We had a great weekend at Thruxton, but I still think we could have come away with a few more points than we did.
“I think the car is very definitely capable of running in the top six now on a regular basis. Thruxton was no fluke – bear in mind it’s not really a circuit that necessarily suits our car as we don’t have the power of some of the others. Oulton will be better for us as it comes a bit more down to the chassis – it’s still a power circuit with straights and hills, but hopefully the chassis side will take over.
“Our next big thing is to improve the brakes, in both their outright efficiency and the way they work over a race distance. You certainly need them to work well around Oulton…”
BTCC team boss d#ck Bennetts does not believe the latest rules adjustments will help his BMW squad compete at the front. Bennett's WSR squad ran Colin Turkington to the 2009 BTCC crown in a BMW, but the rear-wheel-drive cars have struggled this season against the influx of turbo machines.
Series organiser TOCA has reduced the BMW's minimum weight by 10kg (to 1140kg) ahead of this weekend's Oulton Park round. They will also be allowed to run a free first gear: previously RWD cars had been forced to use a mandatory longer first ratio, which was designed to reduce the layout's inherent startline advantage.
But Bennetts does not believe the changes go far enough.
"We'll have difficulty getting down to the weight and they shouldn't have taken our first gear away in the first place," he said.
"We've spent a lot of money to get it down to 1150kg. Why should we spend more when we are supposed to be cutting costs. We may get 5kg off before Oulton, there's no way we'll get 10kg."
Bennetts, who has not ruled out switching to turbo units in future, believes a further reduction of the turbo boost would be a better measure. TOCA has introduced a suspended 0.05 bar reduction ahead of Oulton.
"The turbos have got 40-50bhp more and 40 per cent more torque," he added. "Why not take 0.3 bar off? You can always put it back up for Croft - that's one meeting [at a disadvantage], we've had three.
"It's a tough job to get parity, but the best way would be to slow them down on the straights."
NA machines have had their minimum weights reduced and turbo cars have been handed a suspended drop of 0.05 bar boost after the turbos dominated at the last two meetings.
Harrison, whose successful squad last won the BTCC title with Fabrizio Giovanardi in 2008, switched from NA engines to Swindon turbo units for this season. His lead driver James Nash currently lies third in the standings.
"I have to admit disappointment that TOCA has again seen fit to penalise the turbocharged cars in the name of equivalency," said Harrison.
"I appreciate that they have a difficult job to do in managing the situation given all the politics and games involved but I didn't think that a case to apply further measures had been made at Thruxton last time out."
Harrison believes that, despite the turbo cars' obvious advantage in qualifying, the fact that Jason Plato's NA Chevrolet Cruze has won three of the nine 2011 races so far indicates extra changes were unnecessary.
"You can look at all the data you want, power curves, torque and top speeds etc. but the data that counts is the race result," he added.
"Every team knows how to work the system in terms of masking car performance and the last time I looked I noticed that one particular normally aspirated car had won a third of all the races held so far - a pretty good return particularly so when you bear in mind that the entry is dominated by turbo cars."
British Touring Car racer Paul O'Neill believes the latest rules tweaks will help him to score points at this weekend's Oulton Park round. The Tech-Speed Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze driver suffered a difficult weekend last time out at Thruxton, but is ninth in the championship table.
He believes the 25kg normally aspirated cars like his Cruze are now allowed to lose will help him fight the turbo cars.
"If we can get the weight out of the car that we are now allowed to take out, then that is going to help us move up a few places in qualifying and get into the top 10," he said. "Then we can focus on building on that in the races."
O'Neill also believes the team, which switched to running Cruzes for 2011 after years with Honda Integras, is making progress with the car.
"The lower base weight is a start, but we found a few things on the car that we wanted to look at and the guys have worked hard to make some changes ahead of the weekend," he said.
"Oulton Park is my home track and I do a lot of work there so I'm keen to see what we can do. I want to put on a good show and it's vital that we have a good weekend. We can't afford to have another weekend like Thruxton."
British Touring Car rookie Frank Wrathall is hoping for improved form at Oulton Park this weekend after a raft of changes to his NGTC Toyota Avensis. Although Wrathall's Dynojet car has been the quickest of the new-for-2011 NGTC cars he has only finished one of the nine races so far, in 16th.
Since the last round at Thruxton, Dynojet has rebuilt the car, making major revisions to the steering system, as well as working on the chassis. Engine developments have also been introduced to try and improve reliability.
"We need to get some races under our belt," said the 24-year-old. "We gave been doing a lot of dyno testing with the engine to try to trace the problems that afflicted us at Thruxton.
"We have done a tremendous amount to the Toyota since Thruxton. In fact, it's been like building a whole new car.
"Hopefully at Oulton we can pace ourselves and put in a solid showing."
Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:41 PM
Great job by Neate to take third. Will be interesting to see how he performs in the first race.
Looks like I'll have to record the racing. I said a couple of days ago that I might be going to it. I am going out all day tomorrow, but not to the BTCC.
Hope you enjoy it Eric if you get to see it.
Edited by JHS, 04 June 2011 - 04:41 PM.
Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:31 PM
(Great commentary by Edwards and Harvey btw)
It's important to know that Neal had actually hit Shedden previously in the race at the hairpin!
Massive kudos go to Shedden for being so calm about it afterwards. It'd be easy to say a lot of things about what happened, but he didn't.
Unlike Plato - gifted a win, and what does he do? Moan about the turbo cars again! Saying that he wanted Alan Gow to come and explain to the fans what is going on. Well Jason, if you look, err, slightly above this post you'll see an article about a massive increase in viewing figures this year. Seems us fans aren't really that bothered by it.
I thoroughly enjoyed all three races - watch them if you get a chance. Great jobs today by Collard, Foster and Lea Wood in particular.
Wow. What a season of racing this is turning out to be.
Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:40 PM
Great racing today. Saw races two and three and definitely enjoyed it.
Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:27 PM
Oh, and I'll bring this up. It was briefly mentioned before race three started. AmD Milltek and Onslow-Cole split. A real shame. It seemed they were just turning the corner with that Golf, and with all due respect to Hollamby, TOC would be the guy to get the car on the podium or even win a race with it.
Will be interesting to see where both parties go. Here's what I've read could happen for TOC.
- Third Motorbase Focus alongside Jackson and Griffin.
- Third AON Focus alongside Chilton and Neate.
- Third STR Seat alongside Boardman and Newsham.
- Replacement driver at Geoff Steel Racing in the BMW.
As for AmD? It's either going to be Shaun Hollamby returning to the driving seat (the most likely outcome I'd guess) or their development driver Jake Hill, who currently competes in the Ginetta GT Supercup in the G50 class, which he's had a couple of wins in so far this season. He was also a front runner in the Ginetta Junior class up until last year and I believe comes with sponsorship, so he'd certainly be one driver to look at. May not be the best choice in terms of car development though.
I'd say go with someone from the G55s, a Sharp, Freke or Breeze. Breeze has previous experience in BTCC, but obviously all three are competing this year for a fully funded ride in the BTCC next year, so may not be too willing at the moment. Will certainly be interesting to see how it develops, they've got two weeks to find a new driver before the next round!
Edited by JHS, 05 June 2011 - 10:30 PM.
Posted 06 June 2011 - 09:56 PM
The search for an AmD driver continues. Looks like the most likely candidate at this moment in time could be Stefan Hodgetts - Shaun Hollamby, the boss of the team confirmed he was in talks with lots of drivers (and their managers) and Stefan was one of them. Would be a good option to do for, Stefan is generally very quick in anything he drives.
Phil Glew could be another contender. I remember him driving a Your Racing Car SEAT at Silverstone last year, and AmD is the YRC team this season. Remember that he comes with WD-40 sponsorship along with a couple of others too.
Another interesting thing I saw (from Twitter, obviously) was an American driver by the name of Josh Hurley contacting Hollamby. He's "pro racing driver" who competes in a VW series, apparently, and is allegedly interested in "doing some racing in the UK". This is his website. Probably won't happen, but interesting to see anyway.
Oh, and remember Matt Hamilton, who raced a Honda Civic Type R for about a season? Yeah, neither do I either, but apparently he and his dad are apparently involved in a NGTC project with a Skoda Octavia. Internet speculation, and I'd be surprised if it happened, but stranger things have in the BTCC.
Edited by JHS, 06 June 2011 - 10:40 PM.
Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:03 PM
This Josh Hurley kid...means well, I'm sure, and is probably a nice guy, and an alright driver, but...if he can't find a team's contact info on his own, and has to use Twitter, and not even a DM, and not even decent grammar...uh...best of luck, I guess, is the right way to put that.
Posted 07 June 2011 - 09:34 PM
Can't wait till Croft in two week's time - the championship is incredible close between the top 6 right now:
01. Matt Neal 103
02. Gordon Shedden 101
03. Mat Jackson 96
04. James Nash 95
05. Jason Plato 91
06. Andrew Jordan 88
Four different manufacturers present there with Honda, Ford, Vauxhall and Chevrolet. I'd say it was one of the most open championship year, any one of those guys could win it and are capable of doing so. And if Onslow-Cole gets a great run going in the AON Ford like he did towards the back end of last year, he could be involved too. Brilliant.
Eric, I agree with you about Josh Hurley. It's great he's obviously aware of the championship, and maybe I'm biased when I say this, but the championship is a fantastic place for a young driver to get on the motorsport scene, due to the many hours of exposure the series gets on ITV, and also the high viewing figures. The BTCC is a great place to be right now, but AmD will be looking for someone with experience to develop what is still a very young car. Hurley would have to learn the car, the tracks, and the general form of racing, so it'd obviously take him some time to get fully up to speed. A Hodgetts (who won the G55 race at Oulton), Winrow or Glew would be ideal.
There's talk of Hollamby getting back in the car for Croft. Understandable, as obviously it is a short space of time between Oulton and Croft, but there's another 5 week break after Croft in which the team could find a replacement for the rest of the year.
Posted 08 June 2011 - 02:31 PM
Posted 19 June 2011 - 05:49 PM
Also great action in races two and three. Fantastic job by the WSR team today, especially by Collard. Nice to see him let Foster back through in race three once he knew he wouldn't be able to win. Hopefully the BMWs can start to be a bit more competitive and mix things up with the Chevrolets, Hondas and Fords.
Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:13 PM
I'll post news of what has been happening in recent weeks here soon, I don't have time at the moment.
Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:39 PM
TH Motorsport to return in 2011 with an NGTC spec Skoda Octavia, driven by Matt Hamilton. There had been talk of this for some time, so as I say, perhaps not the most surprising news, but great to have it confirmed.
Also in the news is:
Former Renault Clio Cup champion, Martin Byford, replaces Shaun Hollamby as driver at AmD Milltek.
Jonathan Adam has recently tested for Motorbase, with a third car for him alongside Mat Jackson and Liam Griffin seeming likely.
Geoff Steel Racing plan to return later this year with a turbocharged BMW, the first of such a car.
The turbo cars *cough* Honda *cough* have been hit with another change in turbo boost, a reduction in 0.05 bar.
Former Ginetta junior drive and current Renault Clio driver, 17 year old Chris Swanwick, looks likely to make his debut in the BTCC in a second RAR Audi alongside Rob Austin after testing for the team.
Finally, all being well, the Welch Motorsport Proton Gen 2 should makes its debut at Snetterton this weekend. The team have revealed a teaser image of the car taking shape.
Finally finally - on that Thommo thing. He's split from Polestar racing in the Scandinavian championship causing rumours that he could end up back in the BTCC, most likely in a Dynamics Honda.
Posted 06 August 2011 - 03:47 PM
I'll post a link to the complete times later. Great job by Newsham, and Wrathall as well. I made a prophecy at the start of the year that if an NGTC car won a race this season, he'd be the driver. That might still be a bit early, but if everything goes well, he could just sneek a podium in the final race of the day, the reverse grid draw. We'll see.
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