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Btcc '11

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Shedden takes pole.

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.

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What a day of racing! BTCC at its very, very best. Three super exciting races, and perhaps the moment of the season so far.

(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.

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Glad you enjoyed it Eric, I know I did. Heaven knows what the support races were like on the basis of the three touring car races, guess I'll find time and watch them tomorrow.

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.

The first two were talked about during the off season before he signed to AmD, and he also reportedly tested the SEAT a while back. I think a move to GSR would be a bad move, clearly the BMW isn't as competitive as it used to be, so that's pretty unlikely.

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!

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What's doing the rounds today then? Glad you asked.

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.

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I remember being impressed with Matt Hamilton last year. And any excuse for demonstrating the superiority of the Mac keyboard with special characters works for me, so bring on the Škoda. :P

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 of luck, I guess, is the right way to put that.

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This is why I love the BTCC. Action from race one.

It ends badly.

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.

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Tweet from Shaun Hollamby recently:

"We will be making an announcement regarding our driver for Croft this afternoon. Keep 'em peeled!"

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As ever, some fantastic racing, the highlight of which was surely the incredibly close finish in race one. Fantastic driving by Jackson.


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.

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BTCC is back this weekend after their summer break on the new Snetterton 300 circuit. Also, you heard it here first. James Thompson back to the BTCC. Possibly.

I'll post news of what has been happening in recent weeks here soon, I don't have time at the moment.

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Okay, so the biggest news from this break is probably not really surprising news.


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.

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Plato tops the 26 car entry on the news Snetterton 300 circuit for the first race of the day.

1. Plato

2. Shedden

3. MacDowall

4. Neal

5. Nash

6. Chilton

7. Wrathall

8. Newsham

9. O'Neill

10. Onslow-Cole

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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A full run down of the times here. Good job by Welch. 2.2 seconds off pole in a car that has hardly done any testing is a great effort.

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Some great racing once again yesterday. Perhaps the action wasn't as great as seen in previous rounds, but I'm not sure the Snetterton 300 layout really generates good racing. Great event in terms of the championship though. Neal lost the championship lead, Shedden gained in and then lost it in the third race. Jackson now leads the title and there's only 31 points between the top 5 in the standings. Seeing as there's four weeks til Knockhill, thought I'd do a run down of an early prediction in terms of a 2011 entry list.

Dynamics/Honda (Honda Civic)

Matt Neal

Gordon Shedden

? (third car possible for James Thompson?)

RML/Chevrolet (Chevrolet Cruze)

Jason Plato? (made comments before about wanting to do GT/Le Mans racing in future)

Alex MacDowall

Arena/Ford (Ford Focus)


? (Recent confirmation that Arena is building Fords for WTCC could mean Chilton and Onslow-Cole race there)

? (Glew/Neate?)

Motorbase/Airwaves (Ford Focus)

Mat Jackson

Liam Griffin

Johnny Adam? (recently tested for team)

West Surrey Racing/Team eBay (MG 7 - to become "unofficial" MG team? Ran MGs before)

Rob Collard

Nick Foster

Triple 8 (Vauxhall Vectra)

James Nash

Tony Gilham? (funding has been a struggle this year)

Tech Speed (Chevrolet Cruze)

Paul O'Neill? (made comments prior to the season about leaving the series if he doesn't win this year)

John George

AmD Milltek (VW Golf)

Martin Byford

? (Possibility to run a second car?)

Rob Austin Racing (Audi A4)

Rob Austin? (Said before the year he'd rather focus on team management)

Chris Swanwick/Dave Pinkney? (Swanwick recently tested for the team, expected to race later this year, Pinkney admitted he was in contact with 3 teams about a drive for '12, return here a possibility?

Speedworks (Toyota Avensis)

Tony Hughes (budget allowing)

Dynojet (Toyota Avensis - possibility of more Toyota backing?)

Frank Wrathall

? (Second car for G55 champion? Ginetta sponsors Dynojet)

Geoff Steel Racing (BMW 320si with turbo?)


? (Wanted to run two cars this year)

Special Tuning Racing UK (Seat Leon - unless they go the NGTC route - Seat Exeo?)

Tom Boardman

Dave Newsham

? (third car possibility?)

Eurotech/Pirtek Racing (Vauxhall Vectra)

Andy Jordan? (Recent entry into a competition to drive a V8 Supercar suggests he could be eyeing a move to Australia?)

Jeff Smith

Welch Automotive (Proton Gen 2)

Dan Welch

? (aim to have second car racing in 2012)

Thorney Motorsport (Vauxhall Insignia - entering Silverstone in preparation for full season in 2012)



TH Motorsport (Skoda Octavia - Skoda backing?)

Matt Hamilton

? (confirmed intentions to run a second car)

ES Racing (Chevrolet Lacetti)

Chris James (if he has the budget for a second season?)

Central Group Racing (? - BTC cars outlawed from 2012)

Lea Wood

bamboo Engineering (plans for 2011 fell through)

Harry Vaulkhard?

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