Category: News

Ashley Sutton – 2020 Kwik Fit BTCC Champion!

Ashley Sutton 2020 BTCC Champion

As the author of this article, I first met Ashley Sutton in person at the Autosport show in January 2020, at the NEC. Little did any of us know then what 2020 would hold for us, in more ways than one. I was also surprised at meeting Ash. He was a really down to earth guy, almost embarrassed by all the attention but at the same time he exuded this confidence that you could feel through the team.

When I arrived at the NEC on the opening day of the show, the RCIB sponsored Infiniti was so fresh off the ramps at Laser Tools Racing HQ, that the graphics were literally still being applied 15 minutes before the doors opened to the public. On the way up to Birmingham, emails were being exchanged with Ashley as we discussed how the big ‘reveal’ was to be made. Perhaps alarm bells should have started to ring at this early stage as to the attention to detail that Ash liked to strive for. ‘Good’ was never good enough. Nothing bar excellence would do.

So, roll on a couple of months and the world had gone mad. Covid 19 was no longer a small news article contained to just a City in China but suddenly it affected us all, and with that, the threat of a cancellation or at least a change of plan for the pending 2020 BTCC season which was now just a couple of weeks away. We know the rest; Boris announced a lockdown and the start of the season was curtailed.

We don’t know how any professional racing driver must have felt, when after a long winter raising sponsorship and mentally preparing for the season ahead, it’s suddenly, seemingly cancelled indefinately. But imagine it for a driver, new to a team and new to a car that had never graced the British circuits before. Frustration couldn’t have been a more apt description.

Of course, as summer came, lock down became ‘eat out’ and with it hope of races returning and possibly too fans, a postponed series commenced but fans were told to stay away. Perhaps all of us were greatful for the excellent, and at times humourous commentary that we’ve all now become used to on ITV4 (and on occasion ITV2).

Ash started the year at Donnington almost looking like he’d used race time to practice. His first race left him mid table in 14th but in Race 2 he’d made it up to 5th before winning Race 3. Even at this early stage it was obvious that his arch foe this season was going to be Colin Turkington who got off to a flying start with a 2nd, 1st and 10th placed finish.

The season then became a yo-you or roller coaster with Ashley grabbing the points lead one weekend before Colin fought back a week or two later. With several ‘back to back’ weekends whereby teams went from one track to another in order to facilitate a shorter season culminating in a late autumn finish, the tension grew as the sun started to give way to the rainy season. Suddenly though, the competition expanded to 2 other drivers who were technically in with contention, Dan Cammish who surely will become the series Champion before too long and also Tom Ingram who really discovered his mojo mid season. In fact, it wasn’t until Race 2 in the final weekend at Brands Hatch that the competition was whittled down to just 3, with Tom and also Rory who statistically could also have won at this stage, not making enough points to keep them in the game for outright title.

We all know that Race 3 at Brands at the end of the season is typically when the championship is always decided. On paper, with great results in Races 1 and 2, Ashley only needed to stay out of trouble and reach a Top 7 finish if Colin didn’t win that final duel in Race 3. As the race progressed Ashley moved up from his reverse grid start position of 12th to rear up behind Colin. Anybody watching on television must surely have noticed the in-car footage of Colin constantly checking his mirrors. The duel of course was on. Even though at this stage Ash could have comfortably cruised in behind Colin and taken the title, he wanted to prove a point. He wanted to get past.

If we said at this stage we weren’t starting to weep a little and utter ‘why, why, why’, we’d be lying. But the professionalism of Colin as 4 time championship winner himself, is undisputed. Colin allowed the overtake fair and square and Ash was in front, nice and cleanly.

It wouldn’t be right or proper to finish this report, and this season, without a mention of Ashley’s team mate, Aiden. Aiden had started Race 3 on pole and of course, he was there to help his team mate to championship glory. But after slipping back through the field, Aiden saw the duel unfolding a few cars ahead between his team mate and Colin Turkington. Catching up and starting to take back some of his lost positions,  Aiden’s appearance must surely have signalled to Ashley to take more chances with late braking into corners knocking him wide on occasion. Ashley always looks for the overtake in places most of us wouldn’t, even if that means mid-corner overtakes. Aiden’s appearance eventually gave Ash the confidence and ability to guide the reliable and trusty Infiniti ahead and past Colin and beyond. But to prove a point and almost as a guardian for his team mate, Aiden pushed on too. Many have commented as to how this was arguably the most mature and controlled drive by Aiden of his BTCC career. Aiden was no longer the lone driver for the team, he graduated 2020 as a loyal and supportive team mate.

The 2020 Season Finale…

Team Hard VW's Retire

As we write this, a day before the Teams are set to arrive at Brands Hatch for the 2020 BTCC season finale, on paper it looks like any normal year, aside from the time of year. At this stage, there are 3 viable contenders for the title, one of these is again an RCIB sponsored driver who at the very least should be walking away with the Indy drivers trophy (ironically, his biggest rival for the Indy is last years champion and ex-RCIB sponsored driver, Rory Butcher), the BMW’s are again very strong and Honda’s are in amongst the mix again too. We dare say Race 3 on Sunday shall again be the deciding race of the season, just as it was last year.

But, this is no ordinary season. Once again, fans will no longer be able to attend the track. Whilst we’ve all been fortunate enough to be able to tiune into ITV4 and sometimes ITV2 to catch all the action, including qualifying, free of charge, regular race goers and drivers alike will agree that there is nothing quite like having real fans trackside cheering their favourite driver and team on. Plus, with Covid having delayed the start of the season, it’s been pushed back into November for it’s finale, and this has meant earlier race starts, with the final race being run in fading light, and certainly a colder track. The last rounds saw track times some 2 seconds a lap down on 2019 times because of the difference in temperature…

So, what can we expect from this weekend? Aside from the first race starting at 10am, meaning fans will need an early night on Saturday if they want to watch with a cuppa without too bleary an eye, the final rounds bring the usual level of anticipation as to who will walk away with the ultimate glory. The duel between RCIB sponsored driver, Ash Sutton and  Colin Turkington has kept all race fans glued to the leaderboard all season and neutral fans must have really enjoyed the duel. Dan Cammish has once again roared up the leadserboard and is now a serious contender heading into the final weekend and Tom Ingram has had moments of phenomenal brilliance this season, and when he has a good run, they tend to come in runs of 2 or 3.

Anybody who knows the guy in our corner, Ashley, will know how focused he is. Racing isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life. His recent ‘finger wagging’ and flashing of lights is perhaps akin to a pro footballer or 1980’s tennis hero whacking the ball into the crowd in frustration but with a DNF after an agressive attempt to gain the points previously, he’s proven he’s not infallable either.

Then there are the cars. The Infiniti, running it’s first full season has proven it’s worth and has been said to be in some circumstances one of the fastest cars on the grid, of course coupled with one of the fastest drivers. But RCIB also of course sponsor the 2 cars in Team Hard which have included Jack Goff and a number of seemingly ever changing ‘wing men’ including Mike Bushell, Oli Brown, Tom-Onslow Cole and on paper at least, Howard Fuller. The Team Hard VW’s of course are bowing out at Brands this weekend after nye on 8 years racing in the series. Whilst ‘onwards and upwards’ is the phrase of the moment, in more than just Motorsport, there shall of course be a nostalgic tear or two shed for the Passats as they cross (hopefully) the finish line for the last time.

BTCC is getting close and Ash and Aiden and raring to go…

Laser Tools Racing 2020 BTCC Debut

Just three days before the 2020 BTCC season finally kicks off at Donington Park, we caught up with Aiden Moffat and Ashley Sutton as they prepare to start racing again. Both drivers shared their thoughts and aspirations for the forthcoming BTCC season:

Aiden:

I’ve just realised that on Sunday it will be 282 days since we last raced in BTCC! (Shakes head.) You miss the familiar faces; you miss driving a British touring car which is something very special. The most frustrating part was not knowing what was happening and when we were going to get going again.

Ash:

BTCC is addictive — you’ve got that long build-up over winter and then starting from the Autosport show right up to media day, you’re just raring to go at that point. And then for it to come to a grinding halt is a kick in the teeth. But now we’ve reset — we’re going again.

BTCC for me has always been a dream — you can’t beat that elbows-out style of racing. From a very young age I’ve always loved BTCC — followed it, watched it, to be a part of it, to have won a championship, is a great achievement. BTCC is home for me, to replace it would be very, very hard.

Aiden:

As you can see, we’re out in the Infiniti again, but this is a brand new car, new shell, new chassis, and new cage. It’s a completely brand new car that’s been redesigned, a collaboration with the Laser Tools Racing team, BMR Engineering and input from our engineers at Hexathron Racing Systems also. Two cars, completely new, built for this season for myself and Ash. It will be very exciting to see what these new cars are capable of.

Got any messages for the fans?

Aiden:

BTCC is made by the fans, the fans are what makes it so special. I must say a massive thank-you for the enthusiasts that follow myself and Laser Tools Racing.

Ash:

The fans are a huge part of the family, it’s the adrenalin buzz, the support from the fans at the circuit and at home — it’s that whole package, combined with the action-packed racing — you can’t beat it.

The rescheduled 27-race championship starts at Donington Park on the weekend of August 1-2 and continues over the next three and a half months across the UK’s best circuit layouts. The BTCC is the only major series to boast season-long free-to-air coverage on UK television, and around 20 million fans are expected to tune into ITV4’s live and exclusive coverage of every BTCC race during 2020.

Team HARD. take gamble with scholarship winner Brown for 2020 BTCC campaign

Team Hard Replace Mike Bushell...and Howard Fuller

Team HARD’s RCiB insurance racing scholarship winner Ollie Brown takes over the second RCiB Insurance with Fox Transport car to partner Jack Goff for the 2020 season.

Ollie Brown completes Team HARD. Racing’s 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver line up as he is confirmed to be replacing Mike Bushell in the second RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport VW CC.

Brown won the 2020 RCiB Insurance Racing scholarship run by Team HARD. Racing having never entered a competitive car race before. The last competitive race event Ollie participated in was some 20 years ago in karting. Since then however Ollie has been a driving instructor for the well known Palmersport organisation.

The team have been working hard to develop the Volkswagen CC which demonstrated an improvement in pace during the second half of the 2019 season, consistently challenging the front runners.  This improvement in performance was highlighted when the team took their first ever BTCC win at Silverstone.

Looking ahead to the biggest challenge of his life, Ollie Brown said, “To say I’m overwhelmed with joy to be in the BTCC is an understatement. I have been watching the BTCC as a fan for the last 20 years whilst working with some past and current drivers as a driver coach and I’m buzzing to join them on the track this year.
“This opportunity would never have been possible without my best friend of 25 years entering me into the RCiB Insurance Racing scholarship last year. A shot in the dark has become one of the best moments of my life!
“I cannot wait to get started at the weekend after experiencing my first BTCC action at Snetterton a few weeks ago when I tested the car.

“Naturally, I’m gutted for Mike and Howard and I’m sure that without COVID-19 they would have completed the season in the car, I wish them all the best.

“It has been a whirlwind already just to get to this point, I didn’t even have a licence 5 weeks ago!
“I would like to thank Tony and the team for having faith in me for this season and I will be going out there and giving as good as I get. Bring on Donington!”

Mike Bushell who recently recovered from Myocarditis – an inflammation of the heart muscle was set to miss the opening three rounds of the season pre-lockdown due to the illness. The nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic had looked to buy Bushell some time but with the economic complications of COVID-19 he looks set to miss out again in 2020.

Bushell commented. “I’m gutted to have been dealt two blows this year, firstly ill health followed by the economic implications of COVID further delaying the start of my season. It really feels that with these two unforeseeable situations that it just wasn’t to be for 2020.

“I must say thanks to Tony and the team for getting me out in the car at the recent tyre test and also delaying this decision for as long as realistically possible to see how things unfolded on my side.

“I’d like to wish Ollie good luck for the season ahead, he seems a very talented and capable driver and I’m sure he will be right in the mix throughout the season. For me, it’s time to focus on my family and business as we start to recover from lockdown.”

Team HARD. Racing’s Managing Director, Tony Gilham commented. “This is a bittersweet announcement for me, I’m gutted for Mike and Howard who have been fantastic for the team for a number of years now. The world is in a funny place at the moment and this BTCC season is proving to be no different. As other teams and drivers have proved getting onto the grid for 2020 is very tricky and unfortunately Mike and Howard have had to miss out.

“On the other hand, Ollie is a fantastic replacement to drive the RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport car this season and I’m proud of my team that we are able to source a replacement and not just withdraw the car. Ollie was among a very competitive scholarship programme in January and he stood top of the pile and was magnificent throughout.

“In previous years we have experienced some negativity for driver changes, but I have full confidence that nobody will be doubting our faith in Ollie by the end of the season.

“People outside of the Motorsport circle may have never heard of Ollie but within the industry Ollie is well known and has the potential to mix it with the best in the business.

“To get to this point Ollie has taken multiple wins and podiums over the last month as he has raced to get the required license to race in the BTCC against some very respectable opposition. He is a real dark horse for this season and certainly one to watch”

Ollie has been racing in multiple events since racing resumed after the nationwide lockdown to acquire the required license to compete in the BTCC which includes multiple test days in the VW CC prepared by Team HARD. Racing.

Team HARD. Racing Launches ‘Your Name, Our Car’ Fundraising Campaign

RCIB Sponsored Team Hard BTCC Cars for NHS

Team HARD. Racing have set up a fundraising campaign in support of  Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS that allows race fans to have their name on the teams British Touring Car Championship VW CC.

Team HARD. Racing have today launched a fundraising campaign in support of the Maidstone And Tunbridge Wells NHS who are currently fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. Team HARD. Racing are located just outside of Maidstone in Detling and with many team members living in the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells area see this as a fitting way to support the workers who are battling to save thousands of lives in the Kent region.

To raise money for the Maidstone And Tunbridge Wells NHS, Team HARD. Racing and its partners are planning to run a special ‘Your Name, Our Car’ livery on the Howard Fuller/Mike Bushell RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport VW CC at the opening round of the 2020 Kwik-Fit British Touring Car Championship where special thank you messages will be accompanied by the names of donors.

Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing is thinking of everyone during this time. “This is not how we envisaged our 2020 going and I am shocked at the devastation COVID-19 is causing. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the technology or infrastructure that the Formula 1 teams have to manufacture devices to make a direct impact. However, we are desperate to use our resources where we can to help the effort to fight the Coronavirus.

I’d like to thank our partners Right Choice Insurance Brokers, Fox Transport, Hub Financial Solutions and Autobrite Direct for being so supportive in this movement to help make our mark on fighting the coronavirus. When we do eventually get racing back underway the Fuller/Bushell RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport car will be awash with support messages and names accompanying them from everyone who has joined us in helping raise money for this very worthy cause.

The hospitality team are also putting a number of VIP tables at selected rounds of the championship on reserve for NHS staff raffle prize winners, this is something we are currently putting together, after all, these heroes are the most important people around at the moment.

On behalf of the whole team I can’t thank the entire NHS enough for all their hard work. You have supported us from the stands, now it’s time for us to support you.”

You can get involved and have both your and your loved ones names on a BTCC car via the teams JustGiving page.

Stay home, stay safe.

Right Choice for Team HARD. Racing in 2020

TeamHard with RCIB 2020

Team HARD. Racing are thrilled to announce that Right Choice Insurance Brokers (RCIB) is returning to the team as a title partner in 2020 making this season the 10th consecutive year that the two have joined forces in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

The Essex based Insurance Broker has been a sponsor of Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. Racing squad for a number of seasons with the firm first entering the series with Tony in 2011. The 2020 season sees RCIB return as title sponsor for the first time since 2017 as they continue to back BTCC race winner Jack Goff.

This year Goff was due to be partnered by Team HARD. Racing returnee Mike Bushell but due to Myicarditis – an inflammation of the heart muscle, Bushell has been forced to miss the opening three rounds of the season. Howard Fuller has stepped into partner Goff in the second of the RCIB insurance Volkswagen CC’s.

CEO of RCIB Insurance Mike Joseph, glad to be back with Team HARD. In its 10th year of BTCC sponsorship. “RCIB have been proud sponsors in the BTCC since we first sponsored Tony in 2010. Throughout the years since we have worked closely with Tony & Team HARD. and it gives me great pleasure to be 2020 Title partners. Team HARD. have a great driver pairing and fully refreshed cars, we expect to see them challenging for podiums this year and gaining coverage for both our RCIB Insurance & AutoAid breakdown brands.”

Tony Gilham, Managing Director of Team HARD. Racing is delighted to continue the team’s relationship with RCIB CEO Mike Joseph. “Mike and I have a great working relationship and have been friends for 10 years now. Mike has supported the team and helped us grow to where we are today. It’s great to have his full backing for the 2020 season, it’s a great compliment to our team’s business hub and marketing capabilities.

It was important to retain Mike and RCIB as a partner to the team as we finally feel that we are ready to capitalise on our potential. I can’t thank Mike enough for his support over the last 10 years and I’m excited to repay his trust as we kick on from a positive end to the 2019 season!”

Goff who is a long term RCIB backed BTCC star is confident of a strong season. “It’s brilliant to have RCIB back onboard, they were with me in my first season with Team HARD. Racing in 2013 where I achieved my first podium in the BTCC. They were then with us again in 2019 when we had the first win for Team HARD. Racing so you could say the three of us have a very special relationship.

Their support means a huge amount to me and the team and I am incredibly proud to carry their logos on my car once again in the 2020 BTCC season. I am looking forward to a successful season on and off track together as we push harder then ever before to mix it at the sharp end!”

Team HARD. Racing are currently undergoing their first ever winter test in Spain as they prepare for what is set to be their most competitive season yet in the BTCC.

RCIB Insurance Racing’s Sponsorship of Laser Tools Racing’s 2020 BTCC Cars unveiled at Autosport International

RCIB livery for 2020 BTCC Season

Autosport International has established itself as a ‘must attend’ fixture for any Autosport enthusiast or Autosport team every January. Held in the vast halls at Birmingham’s massive NEC, teams from all genres of Motorsport use the event to shake off the January blues and publicise their plans for the year ahead, introduce new driver signings, and allow the public to have a ‘first look’ at the vehicles and their new liveries.

The newly expanded Laser Tools Racing team which is again entered to compete in the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship, but this year with a 2 car/driver line up, has today used this traditional opportunity to unveil the new livery for their highly attractive, and much revered Infiniti Q50 NGTC cars.

This year piloted by the highly experienced Laser Tools Racing ‘old hand’, Aiden Moffat, and off-track friend, former Jack Sears Trophy champion, and former championship winner Ashley Sutton, the cars promise to be as exciting on track for the season ahead as today’s unveiling of the stunning looking Q50s were in their static environment in Birmingham. Whilst glimpses of the latest car have been had, the unveiling at Autosport has confirmed some continued sponsorship involvement.

Right Choice Insurance Brokers Ltd (RCIB), the Essex based Insurance Broker has been a sponsor of the Laser Tools Racing managed single entry car for a number of seasons, but the expansion to a 2 car set-up for the 2020 season has also seen an expansion of RCIB’s sponsorship of the team.

RCIB livery for 2020 BTCC Season

Mike Joseph, RCIB CEO said:

“We are proud to be major sponsor’s for the exciting driver pairing of Aiden Moffat and Ash Sutton, who are both drivers we have worked with at the beginning of their BTCC careers and have now gone on to become great drivers.”

“Aiden and Ash are both excellent brand ambassadors for RCIB and are amongst the best drivers on the grid, and we are confident that they will achieve great things this year in the Laser Tools Infiniti and we are really excited to be a part of it.”
“I have known Bob Moffat a long time and when I was offered the chance to increase our sponsorship with the team and move to two cars it was an easy decision to make.”

Ashley Sutton, 2017 title winner said:

“It’s great to be working with RCIB again, as they were a big part of making my graduation to the BTCC happen back in 2016. So, to be partnered back up with them again is fantastic and hopefully I can repay them for all their support, but this time behind the wheel of the Infiniti Q50.”

“There is lots going on behind the scenes with the build of two new cars for this up and coming season and I personally can’t wait to get going, I haven’t been this excited for what’s ahead since 2017. It’s great to see the colours of RCIB tie in so well with the addition of the orange on the car, personally it looks smart and I can’t wait to see what it looks like on track for the first time!”

Aiden Moffat, Laser Tools Racing #16 said:

“It’s great to continue working with RCIB Insurance and Mike Joseph. We have been involved together since my first ever season in the BTCC and have built a great relationship and friendship so to have RCIB as such a big part of this exciting new Laser Tools Racing project with the new Infiniti Q50’s and Ash joining us is really exciting for me.”

“This is the most excited I’ve been for a season. The Laser Tools Racing car is always one of the best looking cars on the grid in my eyes, but we always like to make little changes to keep things fresh, so tying in the RCIB colours with our striking Laser Tools Racing colour scheme makes for a stunning livery!”

“Right Choice Insurance Broker’s are a big name on the BTCC grid and have been for years now so it’s great having them onboard with ourselves.”

Bob Moffat, Laser Tools Racing Team Principal said:

“This is great news for us — Mike Joseph and the team at RCIB Insurance are all committed BTCC enthusiasts and this makes it a pleasure to work with them.”

“RCIB first supported Aiden in his maiden season and have continued to support him ever since. The commitment they have made this year to the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 two car team of Aiden and Ash is instrumental to the development and we are all extremely excited to get going.”

Triple title success for Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing at Brands Hatch

Independent Champions 2019

The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team enjoyed a stunning end to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season as it successfully wrapped up no fewer than three titles during the final rounds of the year.

The West Thurrock-based team went into the weekend chasing both Independent class titles and also in the lead of the Jack Sears Trophy, with drivers Rory Butcher and Mike Bushell keen to make most of the pace of the FK2 Honda Civic Type R around the full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.

Fife racer Rory qualified in a solid fifth place in tricky conditions in qualifying as the best placed front wheel drive car in the session, and a strong start to the opening race saw him move up into third spot by the end of lap two ahead of title hopeful Andrew Jordan.

After an early safety car period, and with rain starting to fall, Rory fought his way ahead of Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington to hit the front and would lead until the 16th lap when a charging Dan Cammish found a way through.

Running in a comfortable second, Rory only missed out on a podium on the final lap when Matt Neal and Tom Chilton managed to get ahead, having gambled on a switch to wet tyres behind the safety car.

With Josh Cook retiring from the race, second amongst the Independent class racers saw Rory close right in on his rival in the race for the title.

A tough opening lap in race two saw Rory forced to take avoiding action when two cars clashed ahead, which dropped him down the order to run outside the top ten. However, he fought back well to take the flag in ninth spot, bringing the gap to Cook down to a single point going into race three.

It was a result that also wrapped up the Jack Sears Trophy title after his only rival Tom Oliphant retired.

Aware that the final race of the weekend was a case of ‘winner takes all’ in terms of the Independent title, Rory found himself running in fourth at the end of the opening lap and then battled up into the podium places with Cook on his tail.

Knowing that he had to keep the newer FK8 Civic at bay, Rory produced one of his best drives of the season to secure the position and wrap up his second title of the weekend.

On his third outing in the car, Mike put the sister Honda ninth on the grid for the opening race with a solid performance in qualifying, although he would slip back to eleventh in the opening laps.

The former Clio Cup UK champion then started to make his way forwards however, and had climbed into the top ten before the safety car period to allow the similar Honda of Matt Simpson to be recovered from the gravel at Paddock Hill.

Continuing to make good progress, Mike climbed up to fourth going into the final lap although, like Rory, he would lose out to Neal and Chilton on the final lap to end up in P6.

A strong start to race two saw Mike jump up into fifth spot on the opening lap, but his hopes of trying to push towards the podium were ended by a drive through penalty for being slightly out of position at the start.

Dropping to the back of the field, he raced well to come through to 18th at the finish, and then came close to a points finish in race three with 16th in the season finale.

The combined efforts of the two drivers ensured that Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid RCIB Insurance Racing successfully wrapped up the Independent Teams’ Championship.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal, said:
“We had three trophies we were aiming for at the start of the season and to have won them all is absolutely fantastic. I’m delighted for the whole team because we have worked so hard and it has a been a massive team effort.

“We made some big improvements over the winter and the support of Cobra, AutoAid, RCIB and GardX has been key as their investment in us allowed us to strengthen and move forwards. We were able to get the right calibre of driver in as success like this doesn’t happen if you don’t have the right drivers. Huge thanks have to go to Rory, Sam [Tordoff] and Mike for their efforts.

“Rory was fantastic all year and the final race was his best of the season to hold off Josh like he did. Mike also did well again stepping in for Sam, who played a massive part in what we have achieved this year and who I know is happy at our success.

“Now it’s time for a few beers!”

Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
“I think being the chaser for the Independent title was the best thing for me coming into the weekend, as every race I just pushed hard to get as much as I could from it. I knew in race three that Josh would drive his socks off in the early laps to get to me and I had to drive at 100 per cent from the start. That was the hardest I’ve driven the car all year – it was to the maximum.

“To come away from the weekend with the Independent title and the Jack Sears Trophy for me personally, and to finish in the top five overall, is absolutely fantastic and I think it will take some time to sink in. It’s hard to believe what we have achieved.

“For the team to also win the Independent Teams’ title and finish third overall is brilliant, and you can see in the eyes of the guys in the team just how much it means to them. I’m so pleased to be part of this team and to have had this opportunity, and I’m also happy for all of my sponsors and for the team sponsors who have made it possible.”

Mike Bushell, #21 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said
“I put in so much effort alongside Rory this season and I’m not ashamed to say I cried when he was getting his trophies. For us to have led the overall championship at one stage, and to win the Independent title has been a phenomenal effort.

“Personally, I’m a bit annoyed with myself for being an inch over the line ahead of race two as I was comfortable in fifth place before the drive through penalty, and that really ended the weekend for me as race three was a case of just bringing the car home in one piece.

“I’ve enjoyed doing these final three rounds and it was nice to hear David Addison comment on TV that it was a case of what might have been if I’d been in the car for a full season. It shows that people have taken notice of how I’ve performed, and it’s been nice to have a chance to get out on track in a top level car and race with the big names towards the front.”

Photo by LAP – Laborne Action Photography.

Two final chances to win a Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing replica on BTCC Finals Day

Fans attending the final rounds of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend will have the opportunity to walk away with a new car when Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s latest ‘money can’t buy’ competition draws to a close.

Launched back in August in conjunction with joint title sponsors AutoAid and RCIB Insurance, the competition will see one lucky winner secure a road-going replica of the Honda Civic that has been raced in the series this season by Rory Butcher, Sam Tordoff and Mike Bushell.

Ten competition winners will enter a special Scalextric shootout at the famous Kent circuit, with the person who wins that shootout securing the car.

It will be the second time that the team has given away a new car, with one lucky person having secured a replica of the MG6 GT that the team campaigned last year during the 2018 season finale.

Seven of those winners have already been chosen through a series of competitions run through AutoAid and RCIB Insurance’s social media channels in recent months – with a further one to be chosen prior to the race weekend.

Those eight will all enjoy a VIP trip to the circuit to cheer on the team as it goes for glory in the BTCC finale, with two more lucky people attending this weekend’s event set to join them in the shootout.

The first of those winners will be chosen at random from Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing fans at the circuit, with members of the RCIB Insurance team on the lookout for one lucky person showing their support for Rory and Mike in the team clothing trackside.

The final person will be drawn at random through a selfie competition, with people who want to enter able to do so by taking a selfie of themselves at the circuit before uploading it to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – using the hashtag #RCIBHondaGiveaway and tagging in either AutoAid or RCIB Insurance.

The selfie competition will run until mid-day on Sunday, with the ten finalists then doing battle for the car at the circuit before the final race of the BTCC season.

Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Team Principal, said:
“The reaction to the competition since it launched in August has been fantastic and it’s great that AutoAid and RCIB Insurance are opening up the chance for two fans at Brands Hatch this weekend to get involved.

“On what promises to be a big weekend for us as a team as we chase championship silverware on track, we’re looking forward to rewarding a true BTCC fan for their support with the ultimate prize and good luck to all of those who find themselves doing battle for the Honda in the grand finale.”

A Rather Strange Weekend at Silverstone

Jack Goff wins at Silverstone

Wow. So, that was a very strange weekend’s racing. Those of you who watched the Silverstone BTCC on ITV4 will have heard the commentators reference race 3 in particular being one of the strangest they’d ever witnessed. Other comparisons were made to events on track during the 1992 season, a year which at least one of the RCIB sponsored drivers hadn’t even yet been born, with Aiden Moffat only celebrating his 23rd birthday on the eve of ‘race day’.

The weather forecast was always predicted to be a bit wet for Sunday and we’re not sure if it’s just us, but regardless of the time of year, any visit to Silverstone normally involves the need for waterproofs and an umbrella. This weekend was no exception. Race 1 wasn’t too bad weatherwise and Sam Tordoff ‘stand in’, Mike Bushell drove his heart out for a very respectable 7th place, whilst team mate Rory scraped into the points, not helped by the ballast he was forced to carry for this race. Jack Goff was showing promise too by biting at the heels of those in front.

Race 2 saw the weather close in, and a ‘prang’ between Rory and Ollie Jackson put Rory out with Mike again bringing in points with his 9th place finish.

But, race 3 is where it was at. This was a race that was almost comical in illustrating what a difference tyre choice makes in wet conditions. With the safety car out early on in the race, Aiden Moffat (who started at the near back of the grid in 29th) and Jack Goff, with one or two others, dived into the pits to swap tyres as the weather worsened. This was a decision that would have monumental effects on the overall result. With the safety car gone, and the track by now really quite wet, the cars of Aiden and Jack (Laser Tools Racing and Team Hard…both sponsored by RCIB) cut through the field like a knife through butter.

In fact, even when Aiden ran too wide on the run off towards the end of the race and did a rather spectacular ‘360’, he still climbed back up to 2nd with ease and confidence from position 4. Jack Goff by now, had opened up a spectaular lead having pulled away from Aiden who was his only real challenger until then, ending up with a significant lead. We can only but imagine what must have been going through Jack’s mind as the following pack became more and more distant in his rear view mirror.

The race finished with Jack Goff achieving his first ever win for Tony Gilham’s Team Hard, and it was a win based on determination and a great, and brave strategy. Aiden too deserved applause for his grit for climbing up from 29th to finish runner up and for listening to his tyre engineer’s suggestion of an early pit stop. Aiden also finished the Infiniti on the podium for the first time ever.

Unfortunately, the lack of points has formally meant Rory can’t now win the drivers championship, but Cobrasport AmD with Autoaid/RCIB can still win the Indy title, if points go their way at Brands. With Jack Goff now having a win behind him, and being on his team’s ‘home track’ for the final weekend, anything is possible for this remarkable conclusion to the 2019 season.