Month: April 2017

British RX Promises Thrilling Round 3 at Pembrey

We saw Nathan Heathcote bringing home the first win of the year in first round on the Crofts Circuit track. However, second round, at Lydden Hill proved to be beset with mechanical glitches for the leader, a broken gearbox in practice forced him to miss Q1, while broken power steering in Q2 brought the end of his event. Instead, we saw previous round’s, third place winner, Ollie O’Donovan, take everyone by surprise by coming first after an intense battle on the track. The question on everyone’s mind now is – will we have a new victor in the third round and if so, who can we expect that to be?

When looking at results from the last two races, we can be sure that a very exciting third round awaits. A couple of drivers showed impressive performance in the previous round and successfully secured themselves a stand on the podium. At the current leader’s board, we have a new to the British RX, Team BMR Principal, Warren Scott and Quick Motorsport’s Oliver Bennett, who both took second and third places respectively, and stood alongside winner O’Donovan. All three drivers showed great performance and even after a number of collisions, managed to climb to the top. With the third race set to be taking place at the famous Pembrey circuit on the 25th of June, drivers are wasting no time in preparing for what is bound to be an exhilarating race.

RCIB’s sponsored, Scott is hoping to come back with a fully mended Citroen DS3, which in the second race, endured quite a beating – receiving damage to the rear quite early on, due to first corner contact. Following that, he also experienced some bodywork rubbing on the right-rear tyre, which eventually caused him a puncture. However, determined Scott led until taking his joker on the final lap, returning to the main circuit and finishing the race spectacularly. What a champ!

His success in a completely new racing division, has confirmed him to be an adaptable and excellent driver. The past two rounds have been nothing less than thrilling for him. Yes, his car did experience some damage, but it has definitely proved to be worth it, now that he’s up on the leaders board. Next round is promised to be an intense one, Scott will undoubtedly be fighting to keep his title, or in better case – raise it. At the moment Scott is practising as much as possible and will continue to do so right up until the 25th of June – spectators can expect to see a great race!

AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Sponsored Ginetta G55’s

There’s a saying amongst diehard car enthusiasts that you should always take a look back over your shoulder at your car each time you park and walk away if you are truly in love with your vehicle. Writing this, I know I for one that I am certainly guilty and nobody can ever deny the love and passion that RCIB Insurance Racing staff have for specialist car ownership and for Motorsport. So, as well as sponsoring cars in BTCC, Rally and VAG series, RCIB Insurance Racing also have a foothold in the British GT Championship too.

For the 2nd year, Team HARD (who also run 3 Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing VW Passat CC’s in BTCC) are running two cars in the British GT4 Championship, with both Autoaid and RCIB Insurance Racing livery for 2017. The Championship itself is fairly well known to contain some of the best looking metal known to the Automotive industry and the Team HARD run, Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing sponsored cars must surely being seen to do their ‘bit’ with the track deployment of 2 x Ginetta G55 GT4 cars.

The 2 cars for 2017 are driven by 2 partnership duo’s of Mike Newbould and Michael Caine and Howard Fuller and Sam Webster.

Made in Ginetta’s Leeds factory, the cars are built with many hand crafted components which has helped establish the brand on a global scale as a Heritage ‘race car brand’. One can feel, just by following the lines and curves of our own sponsored G55’s, that the designer was very much in tune with how a car needed to look, as well as perform on the World stage.

In their own words, Ginetta explain precisely what makes this choice of car just so right for British GT Motorsport…:

“The G55 has been one of Ginetta’s most popular cars for export, racing in almost every continent of the world. The G55 GT4 has a successful track record for performance and reliability, as proven in some of the most gruelling races in the world including the VLN Nordschleife 24hr, Gulf 12 Hour and Dubai 24 Hour Endurance race in which the G55 GT4 has achieved consecutive wins for the past two years, securing both 1st and 2nd position in 2016.”

Autoaid, and parent company RCIB, are proud to be associated with this iconic British brand, and indeed with our good friends at Team HARD who help represent us so well on the tarmac…but even now, we still have to look back over our shoulder one final time at the stunning G55’s each time we walk away. We just wish we could take them home.

Race Win for Aiden Moffat and Laser Tools Racing!

Wow. Just wow. Those of you following BTCC on ITV4 at the weekend wouldn’t have failed to have noticed the impressive performance that young Aiden Moffat was putting in during testing and qualifying in his Laser Tools Racing Mercedes A Class. Showing a maturity way beyond his years, Aiden carved through the grid traffic to find himself sitting pretty in qualifying in position 4, behind Austin, Goff and Ingram for the first race at Donington Park.

Those of us watching would also have recalled the way Aiden confidently sliced through corners in testing on Media Day at the same track a few weeks earlier, seemingly having no fear on the apex as other drivers dabbed gently on the brakes before powering out the other side. Point to prove? Maybe. But more likely a huge confidence in his own abilities and that of his car.

Aiden is no stranger to setting records as he still holds the title of the youngest ever driver to have driven in BTCC at the age of just 16. But Sunday’s performance was a record on an altogether different level, bringing praise from experienced peers and onlookers alike. His team, Laser Tools Racing, are a close knit bunch who eat together, joke together and travel together. This is perhaps one of the reasons young Aiden holds such maturity both in person when you meet him and behind the wheel on the track. He’s an extremely likeable chap too.

Races 2 and 3 of the weekend weren’t bad for him either, with respectable 14th and 8th place finishes. This says as much about the set up and reliability of his car as it does about Aiden’s skills and confidence.

In terms of overall standings so far this season, Aiden now sits in 12th, just a point away from Ashley Sutton in 11th. With his growing confidence, and a proven reliable, and well set up car, all eyes will be on Aiden and Laser Tools Racing as we head to Thruxton for 6-7 May. We can’t wait…

BTCC Rounds 4, 5 and 6 – Donington Park

Anybody hanging around the pits of Team HARD may have heard one or two of their drivers comment as to how Donington will be the real early season tester for all the new cars on grid, and how they themselves actually relish competing on this circuit. Of course, it wasn’t long ago, just a few weeks in fact, when the season launch, or Media Day, was held at Donington and despite it being an opportunity for dry track testing, it was treated partly as a scouting mission to see what the rivals had developed ‘under the hood’ over the colder months.

Team HARD themselves have always said that they have always had a soft spot for the Passat CC cars they were reunited with for this season, and with drivers; Hill, Epps and Burns they’ve surely got a cracking opportunity to show what they can do this coming weekend for Rounds 4-6 at one of their favourite tracks. Mike Epps in particular had a superb first round and having spoken to a lot of the drivers on the grid on Media Day amongst the kerfuffle of media, sponsors and fans, Mike Epps came across as (by far) one the most down to earth and composed.

Then, there’s young Aiden Moffat of course. Aiden’s youth and exhilarance is infectious and despite being so young, at 20, he has more BTCC track time than a fair few of the other drivers lining up with him this weekend. His beautiful (and now repaired, since Round 1) Mercedes certainly also impressed at Donington during the test sessions on Media Day. Aiden’s strength then seemed to be his positioning into the corners and his faster exits but even since Media Day, his highly focused team (Laser Tools Racing) will have made further improvements to the car for the data logging in testing and during Rounds 1-3.

MG/Triple 8 Racing will be looking to prove a point at Donington. Early issues with cars seem to less of a problem now and Aron Taylor Smith was just a stones through from top 10 Round 1 finish at Brands Hatch. Drivers from all teams won’t forget that the last seasons title wasn’t even decided until the very last corner of the very last race (at Brands Hatch) so MG will literally be fighting for every single point, along with all others in Round 4-6.

The weather forecast at the moment looks like probable dry weather for race day itself and perhaps a little rain for testing and qualifying meaning cars on track for the big day will need to be set up slightly differently between the 2 days.

Photograph courtesy of Ian Cutting Photography.

BTCC Round 1 Pre-Race warm up: Team Hard Scalextric Dual!

Team HARD’s Jake Hill and Michael Epps dropped by the official Scalextric tent at Brands Hatch on the opening weekend of the 2017 British Touring Car season for a little unofficial practice time.

Anybody knowing the 2 lads, let alone the competitiveness of Team HARD as a whole, could probably anticipate was what going to happen when both BTCC drivers were handed a Scalextric hand controller each before the big BTCC racing itself on the larger track took place.

You could almost sense the adrenalin and testosterone as both drivers stepped up. Perhaps it was because both drivers normally work as part of a close knit team, and here they were, pitted, side by side in what was, after all, a ‘friendly’ challenge.

Jake Hill looked nervous possibly surprised with himself as he successfully ‘drifted’ one or two corners. Mike Epps kept his normal ice cold composure. Both drivers were of course driving officially licenced RCIB Insurance Racing branded cars so neither could argue a competitive advantage over the other.

The outcome of the race? We’ll let you see the ‘small track skills’ of Jake and Mike yourself so you can make up your own minds…Official Scalextric Video.