Month: April 2018

BTCC Rounds 4-6, Donington Park

BTCC Rounds 4-6 Donington Park

All eyes were on Aiden Moffat as BTCC returned to a damp Donington Park for rounds 4-6 this weekend. The reason for this, is because drivers tend to have their own favourite tracks, and Donington has always seemingly done it for young Aiden, with the same event a year ago enabling Aiden to stand at the top of the podium for the very first time.

The weekend started fairly well for Aiden, and Laser Tools Racing, and it looked as though Aiden could have been front row of the grid for Sunday’s first race, until he ran into gravel at the chicane and ended up breaking his suspension. This didn’t phase him though, indeed, it seemed to spur him with an upbeat Aiden posting on social media on saturday evening that he felt good in practice and had it not been for the chicane mishap, he was sure he’d have finished stronger. And as any casual observer will note, once Aiden gets position it’s hard to oust him from it.

Race 4, the first official race of the weekend went well and Aiden scored another podium finish in 3rd place (starting from 5th), behind Josh Cook and the very impressive BTCC rookie, Dan Cammish. The 2 MG’s of AmDTuning.com with AutoAid / RCIB insurance Racing came in 16th and 22nd (Boardman and Butcher respectively).

Race 5 saw a reversal of fortunes for the RCIB sponsored cars with Rory Butcher again in the points in 9th position in his MG6. Aiden this time trailed in 15th with Tom Boardman in the 2nd MG in 17th.

All eyes were therefore on the finale of the day for Race 6. And expectations were met when a delighted Aiden again took 3rd spot, behind Adam Morgan (in the other Mercedes A Class on track) and Josh Cook…again. Rory Butcher came in in 13th spot and Tom Boardman failed to finish this one.

At the end of the day, the points saw Aiden move up to 6th position in the drivers standings for the season so far, and 3rd in the independent drivers standings, with Rory slipping out of the top 10 to 11th spot in the overall table. Rory will be pleased however that he now only trails Dan Cammish by a single point in the Jack Sears trophy, so there’s plenty to play for there and we expect to see this one go to the wire as the season develops.

Next rounds are to be at Thruxton on the 19th – 20th May…we just wonder which of the drivers most favours that track!

AmDTuning.com with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Offers Money Can’t Buy BTCC Prize!

AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing offers money can’t buy BTCC prize

The AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team can today announce the launch of a special competition to win a road-going version of the MG6 GT being raced in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this season.

Born from an idea put forwards by joint title sponsors AutoAid and RCIB Insurance – who are providing the major prize – the competition will run throughout the 2018 season with the winner being chosen in a unique shoot-out to be held at Brands Hatch during the final meeting of the year in late September.

Prior to the season finale, a number of competitions will take place through AutoAid and RCIB Insurance’s social media channels with a total of eight winners picking up a pair of VIP Hospitality tickets to join the team at Brands Hatch.

Each individual winner will also receive a signed Scalextric model of an RCIB-backed race car.

During the Brands Hatch race weekend, those eight competition winners will not only get the chance to watch the action on track, but will also do battle themselves in a series of knock-out races using a Scalextric set to decide the overall victor.

That person will win a road-going MG6 GT featuring the same Joyce Designs livery that is displayed on the race cars of Rory Butcher and Tom Boardman this season.

The car will also benefit from a range of upgrades including a one-off rear wing, an AmD engine remap, a new Cobra exhaust system, Eibach springs and Pipercross filters.

An Autoglym car care set will be thrown into the mix, whilst AmD will also carry out a full carbon clean of the engine using the industry leading technology of team sponsors Carbon Clean. The new car will also be handed over running with fresh Liqui Moly oil as provided by the team’s latest racing partner.

To be in with a chance of winning the MG6 GT, potential entrants will need to follow both AutoAid and RCIB Insurance Racing on Facebook and Twitter using the accounts below, where the various qualifying competitions will take place.

AutoAid:
www.facebook.com/autoaidbreakdown
www.twitter.com/autoaidbreakd

RCIB:
www.facebook.com/RCIBInsuranceRacing
www.twitter.com/RCIBRacing

Shaun Hollamby, AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“This competition is a fantastic opportunity for a BTCC fan to win a unique prize unlike anything that has gone before.

“When the idea was put forwards by AutoAid and RCIB Insurance, we had no hesitation in helping to bring it together and it is a fantastic way for them as a sponsor to give something back to the fans who come along every weekend to cheer on the team.

“The car will undergo the full AmD treatment before being handed over to the new owner when we get to Brands Hatch and the battle to win it is sure to be as frantic as the racing will be on track.”

Mike Joseph, AutoAid & RCIB Insurance managing director, said:
“We are truly very excited about this extremely unique competition, not only because there is such a great prize but also because of the exciting final shoot-out.

“As major sponsors of BTCC teams for the past seven years, it’s great to give something very special back to one lucky fan and we hope that many touring car fans will take the chance to enter this competition.

“We would also like to thank both AmD and Scalextric for supporting this idea as we couldn’t have done it without them. The global appeal of the BTCC continues to grow and we are sure the winner will get lots of media coverage. We’d like to wish all of those who enter the best of luck.”

Season Opener: BTCC Rounds 1-3, Brands Hatch Indy

Tom Boardman Brands 2018

We think we speak for everybody when we state that this seasons start to BTCC couldn’t come around quickly enough. After a rather wet and depressing Winter, Media Day for BTCC 2 weeks prior unveiled a line up of some of the best, and most experienced drivers that has been seen within the series for at least 10 years or more. But winter hadn’t quite let go by the time the first race started with a rather slippery Kentish track (Brands Hatch Indy circuit), before race 2 saw a mixture of 2 seasons in one race which resulted in a rapidly drying track which left to frustrate teams making the wrong tyre compound choice.

AmDTuning.com with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing had a rather good weekend at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit with both drivers seeing the points in their very first outing in their new overalls.

In race one, the MG6 driven by Rory Butcher came in 13th, with team mate Tom Boardman 5 positions behind in 18th. Not a bad start for the duo, new to the car/team this season. Race 2 saw Tom Boardman finish in an astonishing 4th place with Rory this time trailing in 9th spot. 2 top 10 finishes in only their second every outing…At this stage, the team at RCIB HQ were all biting our nails and for the 3rd and final race we again saw the 2 reverse positions again with Rory finishing a very impressive 6th and Tom in 18th.

This excellent start to the season sees the 2 drivers going into the 2nd meeting of the season at Donington in 2 weeks time with Rory 9th in the drivers standings and Tom 15th. AmDTuning.com with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing team position is currently 5th in the independent teams rankings, a position we know the drivers and the team management will all be really quite stoked about.

From watching the race from the sidelines the enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude from the 2 drivers is obvious. The MG6 is being thrown through corners like it’s never done before and some rather well respected drivers for other teams are starting to get used to seeing the rear end of one, or both of the brightly liveried cars during all of the races,

A smiling Rory took the days events in his stride at the end of the day, posting on social media as if to say ‘job done’. True professionalism. What makes us even more excited is that we know for Rory in particular, Brands isn’t even his favourite track this season, so we really can’t wait to see what he does on a circuit he knows and relishes.

It’s also worth mentioning the Jack Sears trophy standings which see’s Rory currently occupying the 3rd place position. For those who aren’t aware, the Jack Sears trophy is an annual award made, historically, to the best ‘rookie’ driver to BTCC across the course of the season. This year it’s changed slightly in that it’s not just rookies that can win, those who have never won a BTCC race can also be in with a chance.

The other driver with RCIB Insurance Racing sponsorship is of course the excellent Aiden Moffat racing for Laser Tools Racing in his Mercedes A class. Aiden finished in 14th, 5th and 21st positions respectfully.

Roll on Donington.

Picture thanks to Marc Waller.

 

BTCC Media Day 2018

BTCC Media Day 2018

I look forward to BTCC Media Day 2018 like children look forward to Christmas. In my case, the official launch of the MSA Dunlop British Touring Car (BTCC) season, held at Donington Park race track, is a 600 + mile round trip from my home. So, a night before Media Day, I pack my GoPro, DSLR, laptop and plenty of spare batteries and chargers, into a rucksack and stay local to Donington in a B&B.

Media day itself starts pretty early…7.30am to be precise. The kind organisers lay on a breakfast, and coffee, and representatives of all teams, sponsors, journalists and BTCC organisers all mingle in a large room set aside for the occasion. This year, 2018, the reception was held in a different park of Donington than before.

At around 8.30am, the days events start. The chatter around the room dulls, and there is a brief presentation regarding the new rules, the season ahead, the choice of tyres etc, and then the drivers, sometimes looking quite nervous, are all hauled on stage and interviewed one by one in team groupings. The talk before the drivers intro is also actually really quite interesting and this year, the organisers were really quite proud to announce and show off, the official rescue vehicle to used at events this season.  TOCA, (BTCC Series organisers) have invested a hefty 6 figure sum importing a new Ford F250 pick up from the U.S. And it’s HUGE! It will basically carry safety officials and paramedics, along with a lot of kit, to the scene of any TOCA event held, including BTCC. In fact, another interesting statistic mentioned to the eager crowd, is that of the number of personnel taken to each BTCC event purely for safety purposes is 23 people! That’s more than 2 football teams. As the compère of events rightly stated though, hopefully the TOCA vehicle won’t be needed as that’ll mean there were no serious incidents.

The mention of tyres, provided (obviously) by Dunlop, was also of interest because BTCC have listened and considered spectating fans, by colour ‘banding’ the tyres this season (blue for wet) so at a glance, one can see what tyres are being run.

Of course, 2018 is a little special for BTCC as well, as it’s 60 years now of the series. The series is actually the 3rd oldest race series in the world after F1 and NASCAR. And to help mark such an important milestone, this year there will be a special mid season 60 mile race at Snetterton, the precise details of which haven’t been announced yet. Another annual milestone is that of Dunlop entering their 14th year as Tyre supplier to BTCC, AND, Dunlop themselves are celebrating 130 years as a trading business.

The drivers come on stage next, and the first thing I noticed about the drivers, was their size. Whilst they are of varying heights, they are all just so slim! Seriously. I wouldn’t consider myself particulary fat, but alongside these guys you soon begin to wonder if you’d actually fit through the gap between the roll cage and car roofs and into the snug fit racing seats. Maybe I shouldn’t have just had that complimentary bacon roll. For most of us, this unveiling of drivers is the first glimpse also of the new racing suits for that season, and perhaps a hint of how the cars may be decorated with the new sponsors livery this season. As Alan Gow said when he had his slot on stage, this season possibly has the best depth of talent in BTCC this century so far. And who could disagree as ex race winners, series winners, and long time series ‘celebs’ mingled side by side next to the main stage.

After an hour or so of talking, the organisers are keen to take the crowds outside for the walk to the pitlane for the unveiling of the cars. These are unveiled one by one in garage order. Some teams chose to fire up their engines and drive out of their garage after the shutters are lifted, and others were pushed. Drivers and sometimes, Grid Girls and Mascots then posed alongside cars for the first official season photos. As a petrolhead, this is the first time one gets to hear the sound of these fantastic engines being fired up and even now at my ‘mid life’ age, that sound still gives me goosebumps.

After the photocall in the pit lane, the cars are then taken on track and carefully organised for the official BTCC season pictures and a rolling lap whereby 3 rather brave photographers are perched on the back of a fairly fast moving vehicle with cameras pointed at persuing cars just a couple of feet off the rear bumper. Unlike previous years, the majority of photographers and sponsors etc weren’t allowed on track at this stage, but were allowed to watch from the pitlane wall.

All this excitement was hunger inducing, and yes, that meant more food by way of lunch, this time very kindly laid on for me by the Laser Tools Racing team. From our lunchtime vantage point, we began to see cars leave the pitlane for the first time in their new liveries under the scrutiny of journalists, reps and sponsors, as well as now, the general public, who were allowed in at 12.30pm. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t particulary kind this year and whilst slightly better than forecast, track conditions were nevertheless wet and greasy…as some drivers soon discovered.

It’s less than 2 weeks from Media Day launch to the first race of the season at Brands Hatch this season, so teams hurridly returned to base after Media Day to correct any settings, and get the cars proper race-ready. We can’t wait. We just hope it stops raining!

This article was written by ‘RH’ a media representative for RCIB Insurance Racing as a guest of Laser Tools Racing.