Category Archives: Reviews

Academy Motorsport, Moore & Strandberg reunite for European GT4 Finale

Dennis Strandberg comes full circle and back to a team and team mate he knows well from the 2015 season.
This weekend in Zandvoort, Dennis and Will Moore reunite and also with the team they drove together at, Academy Motorsport to take on the European GT4’s
The Aston Martin Vantage GT4 is a proven car and brought them together the team championship in British GT last year.
The pairing of Will and Dennis will please many of their fans who followed the 2015 season which brought them 5th in the driver championship and a nail biting finale, a season that saw them consistently qualify high in the GT4 order for the grid, unfortunately Lady Luck had other plans and the win that was owed eluded them. 
This also opens up a potential for the 2017 season, we await to see if this weekend may lead to more from the two men. 
Dennis Strandberg has been without a full season seat this year but this hasn’t stopped the “Slick Swede” from racing as a guest in many different series over the year.
He has shown his outstanding race craft in the VW cup and VW funcup at Spa in July, taking home trophies for both and most recently last weekend in Hockenheim for the Italian TCR outfit Target Competition, managing P2 in both his races.
2016 has been a great year for Dennis, he’s consistently shone in every race he’s competed in and shown he is a very versatile yet skilled racer.


Photo courtesy of Alex Denham Photography

Q&A With TeamBrit

 

Motorsport has many teams whose aim is to race, race hard and win. But sometimes you get teams that are aiming for more than winning. TeamBRIT, run by ex-serviceman Dave Player, has a noble goal and is almost unique in the racing world – to help injured British Army troops to recover from their injuries by introducing them to the adrenalin fuelled world of motor racing and to inspire those who have suffered life changing physical and mental injuries to what can be achieved with ambition, dedication and teamwork.

Born out of the KartForce programme, which lets injured troops get a taste for racing action, TeamBRIT stepped into the Britcar and Endurance Racing Series in the UK this season to great success with their drivers Martyn Compton and Mark Allen, themselves ex-servicemen who have had life changing injuries whilst on a tour of duty. Driving their Newbridge Motorsport prepared VW Golf racer the team has not just inspired people, it has positively flown up the racing order! A great start for the British team with aspirations to eventually compete with a team of injured troops in the most famous endurance race of all – the Le Mans 24 Hours. We took the chance to ask Dave Player a few questions about the team, their season and more besides.

Q: How exciting has it been for the team to make the leap into the world of tin-top racing from karting?

This has been lots and lots of Christmases rolled into one for the lads.  They never imagined it would be possible but their hard work has paid off and they’ve earned their places on the grid.

 

Q: What do you think it is about racing that makes it a good place for injured troops to be involved with?

Racing isn’t for everyone but it definitely offers injured troops that are highly driven, highly motivated and highly competitive the opportunity to compete against drivers of sorts of levels of ability and experience, on a totally level playing field.

 

Q: The VW Golf is fitted with hand controls in place of the regular pedals. Was this a big challenge in the development of the car for racing?

It can be driven with pedal or hand controls. It’s vital that we give the lads the tools to be able to compete on equal terms, regardless of their injuries. A double amputee needs to be able to go into a chicane – and with 2 hands – steer, throttle brake and change gears. This is our hand controls allows our drivers to do – no other hand controls offer this. The concept was easy to come up – getting to engineers to come up with workable solutions was the challenge.

 

Q: Can you explain to us the system you have in place for driver changes during a race?

We actually have an advantage as Mark Allen, our double amputee driver, can get in and out of a car faster than an able-bodied driver.  We’re going to put this challenge to some drivers!

 

There’s no special system.  Martyn Compton will come in, jump out and Mark will wheel up in his wheelchair and get in. We switch the car from foot to hand controls, and strap him in – like any other driver. Slap him round the face a few times to get the adrenalin flowing and send him on his way.

 

Q: What has been the toughest problem you have faced this year, and what would you say is the biggest success?

The toughest challenge by far has been convincing sponsoring these lads are more than capable for success.

 

The biggest success is the lads proving they are well worthy of support as they pulled off an amazing winning streak for 6 race and 6 wins – in a 6hr race they were 42 laps ahead of 2nd place.

 

In their debut race season, these Rookies have achieved 8 x P1’s out of 11 races, and an amazing 12th place out of 68 teams in the Birkett 6hr Relay at Silverstone. What Rookie team has achieved that, after stepping up from karting, by passing a year of Club Level racing and going straight into National Level racing? And no DNF’s… and no crashes…

 

Q: Do you find you get a lot of attention in the paddock during a race weekend?

The lads don’t like the extra attention they get and really enjoy getting all the fuss out of the way so they can be treated like any other driver.  They love the banter with competitors and really enjoy the fantastic camaraderie that comes with racing.

 

We tend to get more media interest as our team is unique.  This has been very positive and helpful.

 

Q: You recently signed a sponsorship deal with Coldplay. How did that come about, and do you catch any of the team singing their songs?

As we’re always winding each other up, we thought it was one of the lads pulling a prank. It took us 3 weeks to work out it was genuine! Chris Martin called Martyn after he read an article about us in his local paper.  Chris said he was so impressed about how Martyn and the lads had turned their lives around and were achieving so much, against all the odds.

 

We had lunch with the band in their studio in London where they recorded 2 of their albums.  Instead of us fans firing questions at them, it was the lads answering all the questions the band had. Coldplay are going to support Team BRIT long-term so some exciting news to come.

 

Q: What’s been the funniest thing you’ve seen this season?

Mark has missing fingers, half missing fingers, missing thumb etc. so when he gives hand signals no one can work out what he’s trying to say.  Martyn wanted to know what position we were in during a pit stop so Mark puts up his hands to show him and Martyn just slowly and very sarcastically rolled his eyes and shook his head like a very disappointed father.  We fell about laughing…

 

Q: How hard is it to control your emotions when the team performs really well?

Martyn is like a kid for about 2 days before a race.  He’s like one of those mental puppies that never run out of energy.  And as the race gets closers, he starts to go quiet.

 

Mark rabbit-rabbits and doesn’t shut up!  And worst of all, he needs to “give birth” before race so will always rush to the loo at the last minute, adding to everyone’s stress.

 

We now expect them to do well so when something goes wrong with the car, we feel like we’re letting the lads down. Telling people how proud we are of the lads and talking about their amazing achievements is the hard part.  It always brings a big lump to the throat.

 

Q: Injured ex-servicemen must bring some great qualities to the team as drivers. What would you say these are?

Most – but not all – injured troops are those that were on the front line.  To be a front line soldier you need to be a certain type of character – one that is prepared to face danger, thrive on it, and keep pushing the boundaries.

 

Being accustomed to following instructions to the letter without questioning them every time has also proved extremely valuable.  This is what we attribute to their rapid progression. Instructors tell them what to do, how to do it and when to do it – and the lads do exactly as they ask. They go faster and come back gagging to receive more instructions.

 

Q: You have been competing in Britcar Endurance this year alongside some well-established racing teams. Are you considering entry into a 24 hour race in 2016?

Most definitely – it’s the longer endurance races the lads are most keen to compete in. We wanted to make their first ever race in a car the 24hr Britcar race last April. What better way to announce the lad’s arrival to team endurance car racing? After buying the car, we only had 3 weeks to get the car and lads prepped for a 24hr race, and it just wasn’t possible.

 

But we’re most certainly entering the 24hr race in April at Silverstone in 2016.  We already have the new engine.

 

Q: Your long term goal is to get to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours. What do you make of the changes to the LMP2 rules coming in 2017?

The LMP rules change from one season to the next so we’re not too concerned at the moment.  We’ll address whatever rules are put in place when we’re at that hurdle.

Q: What do the team do to wind down once the chequered flag falls on a busy weekend?

The lads are big family guys.  Their lives are mostly about racing and family, so when they finish racing, they head home.

 

If we staying at a hotel after a race… be warned… do not end up in a bar with them! We met a WWII Navy veteran after a race who was at the same hotel for a wedding.  Old Joe insisted on buying us a round of drinks, so Jaeger Bombs were ordered – including one for this 85 to 90 year old sailor. There’s never just one round of Jaeger Bombs… As much as we discouraged Old Joe from having any more, he insisted – something to do with sailors and soldiers…. The next morning Old Joe was at breakfast, shirt tie, blazer…  the lads were in bed dying!

 

Q: Do you have any motorsport heroes that you look up to?

Mark is a massive Valentino Rossi fan.  If he’s not watching car racing, he’ll be watching The Doc on his bike.

 

Martyn’s a huge fan of a driver called Marko Alleno and is constantly trying to beat his times.

 

Q: If you weren’t in racing, what would you be doing in its place?

Hard question as there’s very little that offers what motorsport does to participants with such a wide range of injuries and disabilities.  Maybe off-roading…

 

Q: Who’s the team joker?

Mark Allen – we thought it was him that was calling Martyn pretending to be Chris Martyn.

 

Q: Who’s the least likely to buy a round after the race?

Martyn Ebenezer Compton has such short arms he can never reach his wallet in his pocket.

 

Q: If you could pick any driver to join the team for a weekend who would it be?

Alex Zanardi

 

Q: Do any members of your team have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?

Mark needs to “give birth”!

 

We’d like to thank Dave Player for taking the time to answer our questions. If you’d like to learn more about TeamBRIT’s aims and their racing vision, visit their website at www.teambrit.co.uk.

McLaren In GT Racing

Back in the 1960s, Bruce McLaren had set up a team that would be able to compete on many fronts. Formula 1 was only a part of the story for the McLaren team. In fact, Bruce McLaren had set down a marker for the future successes of the grand prix cars that the team would build by kicking off with an excellent campaign in sports cars. Ask any true McLaren fan where they won their first titles, and they will tell you it was in Can-Am – the North American series for Group 7 sports prototypes. Between 1967 and 1971, the championship winning car was a McLaren.

After the death of Bruce McLaren, the focus of manufacturing switched to the single seater market with F1 and Indycars. In the early 1990s though, design genius Gordon Murray came up with a concept for a new and exciting car. Powered by a massive BMW V12 engine (which sounded as good as any sports car V12 engine should) it was meant to become the ultimate road car, manufactured with the expertise of the Formula One team. The McLaren F1. This was the first McLaren sports car for the road, but it wasn’t going to be unnoticed by racing teams. Such a brilliant car would be welcomed on the tracks, where GT racing was going through a rebirth.

1995, kicked off and the McLaren F1 GTR arrived and stormed the world of GT racing, which at that time still relied on the Porsche 911 and Ferrari F40. It had taken some arm twisting, as Murray’s original concept was never that of racing, but of the perfect road machine. The car proved to be magnificent. The engine had been perfectly produced, and was even overpowered for the GT rules of the time! The highlight of the season though was a victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, on debut, which was stunning against a field of seasoned prototype specialists!

1996, brought more of the same, especially seeing as BMW suddenly sat up and took their engine seriously! The famous sight of the Schnitzer liveried McLaren tearing around the great circuits of the world brought joy to many racing fans. However, GT1 was becoming endangered. At the end of 1997, the McLaren F1 GTR stopped production, and the McLaren sports car business went into hiatus.

The late 2000s, it was decided by McLaren, would be a great time to release a new production sports car. The car would be of the highest specification. There would be a new engine which had input from Ilmor and Ricardo, two experts in engine manufacturer. The twin-turbo M838T was born. Whilst the roadcar would have fewer restrictions, the GT version would be restricted to just under 500bhp to correspond with homologation rules for GT3, where it would come up to face the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, old compatriots BMW, and Aston Martin. The 12C’s lowline bodywork made it an attractive car to look at, and the addition of aggressive aerodynamics on the front and rear of the car made it look the perfect part for racing.

CRS Racing entered the MP4-12C into a GT race for the first time in the 2011 British GT championship round at Spa Francorchamps. The thing that made it stand out though was the paint. McLaren were back, and the heritage of the years shone through as the traditionally liveried orange machine stormed to pole position at Spa in the hands of Andrew Kirkaldy and Chris Goodwin. The two races at Spa proved to be a mixed bag, but a 4th place in the second race showed what was capable from this new machine. It had caught the eye of teams around Europe, and 2012 was going to show an absolute wealth of McLarens on the GT3 grid. Teams like Von Ryan (run by Dave Ryan, who was the sporting director for McLaren F1), United Autosports, ART Grand Prix and HEXIS Racing would show up on the Blancpain and FIA GT Championships in 2012.

The first taste of glory for the MP4-12C came at Navarra in Spain, where Fred Makowiecki and Step Dusseldorp pedalled their car to top spot in race 1 of the weekend. The first international GT win for McLaren since 1997 had been long coming, but it would be backed up in the FIA GT Championship by wins at Moscow Raceway, Donington Park and the Baku Challenge. There were also wins in the FFSA GT and British GT Championships for the 12C in GT3 form.

2013 bought changes to the aerodynamics of the car, with a taller rear wing adding improved downforce and a sharper look to the vehicle. The car took wins in French GT, GT Open, and once again at Navarra in FIA GT, this time in the hands of legendary driver Sebastien Loeb, who had bought the McLaren for his entry into international GT3 events, alongside long serving McLaren GT driver, Alvaro Parente. 2013 was also the second year for Von Ryan’s partnership with the MP4-12C, and with entries into the Blancpain Endurance Series and the British GT championship. Being able to witness the storming drive from French ace Gregoire Demoustier and Duncan Tappy at Brands Hatch 2013 was a personal highlight of mine, as it showed exactly what the car could achieve in the right hands.

2014 was the MP4-12C’s swansong year at the top level of GT3 racing, but the year started with a bang. The opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, the 3 Hours of Monza fell to the ART Grand Prix car driven by Demoustier, Alex Premat and Parente. One of the highlight drives of the year for the McLaren came in a race on the famous Mount Panorama circuit, at Bathurst in Australia. The 12H of Bathurst is the premier long distance GT race in Australia. Darrell Lea Racing had taken purchase of a McLaren, and the Kiwi hotshot Shane van Gisbergen went out and shot around the circuit to record the fastest ever lap of the course at a hair-raising 2:03.850. This was something truly awesome to behold, and van Gisbergen found himself called up to races for McLaren in Europe.

But, there was a new machine in development at McLaren. The 650S was coming. A leaner, meaner looking bodyshell that enhanced the aerodynamic grip of the GT competitor, whilst retaining the M838T engine. The 650S GT3 certainly took the prize of the best looking new GT3 machine in 2015, with Von Ryan leading the way for the team in the Blancpain Endurance Series and in the frantically fought British GT series, and the debut international win came at the 3 Hours of Silverstone. Shane Van Gisbergen returned to Europe to partner Rob Bell and rising star Kevin Estre to victory in a fantastic strategic race round the British track. A second victory at the season ending 3 Hours Nurburgring for the same driver combination led to Von Ryan’s most successful season in the Blancpain GT Series. A further win at Silverstone in British GT, along with victories in GT Open for stalwart Alvaro Parente, means that the 650S has been one of the best performers in GT3 of the year.

GT racing might not have been Bruce McLaren’s original goal when he raced the M1, M6 and M8 machines in Can-Am, but the performance of the latest breed of McLaren GT machinery certainly live up to his visions of improvement, innovation and excitement. And yes, that famous winning McLaren orange certainly isn’t disappearing from these cars any time soon…

Strandberg On Pole For The Aston Martin Festival Le Mans 2015

While all the attention is on the main 24 hour race at Le Mans, a new star is beginning to shine.

In racing how can we tell when one driver is naturally uber talented over a learned skill set?

For me it is when a driver can do something extraordinary, when they can make a car do something that they shouldn’t have been able to and for the last 2 days thats exactly what Dennis Strandberg has been doing at the Aston Martin Festival at Le Mans.

This 21 year old naturally gifted driver arrived at Le Mans with the job of assisting his team Academy Motorsport who are there with both their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 cars that are usually seen in the British GT Championship.

Dennis was not planning on driving but very last minute, late Wednesday morning the opportunity arose to race in the 2nd Academy Motorsport car and he signed up to drive with his team boss Matt Nicoll-Jones in the number 42 car.

This is the car that is usually number 62 in British GT’s so NOT his usual car and therefore is a different feeling car to usual.

Later that day it was time to take to the track in free practise and with just 4 laps in the simulator Dennis topped the time sheets. Impressive given that he has never driven the Le Mans circuit before and also that its a different car he hasn’t driven before and that only 4 laps had been driven in the sim, yet still being able to get the very best from his machine.

Qualification was the following day and just 23 hours after finishing free practise the fastest, the car finished quali in pole position for Tomorrow’s race.

This alone surely shows how talented this young man is but there is a little more to this yet as qualification took place with no downshift for Dennis as it had been used to replace a broken one in the team’s sister car.

Again showing his gift in racing in even being able to get the car around the circuit with no downshift. Could any of us ‘normal folk’ drive the socks of a car with no clutch? Let alone drive it on its limits in an the middle of somewhere we have never driven before and in the shadows of the greatest race on the planet?!

This naturally able Swede is now out from the shadows for all to see as he prepares to race tomorrow from the front in the 45 minute support race to the main Le Mans 24 hrs and I for one hope that all of those in Aston Martin Racing and especially the Evolution Academy are watching him tomorrow and taking notes.

Dennis Strandberg is found currently racing in British GT for Academy Motorsport and is 1 of 10 young racers under the wing of the newly formed Aston Martin Evolution Academy, in my opinion a very bright star of the future and one to watch, I think by the end of tomorrow he will have shown all of those at Le Mans that he will be back in the not too distant future as a competitor in the main race.

 

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#BPDriveInDineOut Free Meal At Pizza Express With BP

Hey Motorsport fans,

I have found something that may interest all of you that spend a lot of the racing season up and down motorways and in and out of service stations as well as endless weekends at race circuits throughout the UK.
BP have a new promotion in conjunction with Pizza Express, all you do is fill up with at least 35 litres of fuel, three times and  collect three voucher codes, then validate these online at bp.co.uk/driveindineout (full t’s & c’s there too) and you will receive a free main meal code to be used at Pizza Express.

The offer starts today June 2nd and runs until June 29th and all you have to do is fill up a minimum of 35 litres each time to receive a voucher with a code. Come on, with the amount of time we all spend on the road and all weekends at circuits, how great is that? A main meal for FREE!!! and who doesn’t like pizza!!

Just think you can go and get a nice sit down meal instead of a grabbed fast meal on your way home from a circuit, what a way to top off a racing weekend, I know I will definitely be doing this for the summer, the offer is redeemable between June 2nd and August 9th and with a family in tow most weekends it will definitely make my weekends of travelling that bit easier.

The free meal entitles you to choose from Classic or Leggera Pizza, Pasta dishes or Main salad and is available all day Sunday to Friday, absolutely perfect driving home on a Sunday evening or to enjoy during the week after. All my Twitter followers you can keep up with the Twitter hashtag of #BPDriveInDineOut.

I hope all of you will enjoy this promotion as much as we will.

Take Care Sandra

We’ve Been Nominated….How Amazing..

We found out yesterday that we’ve been nominated in the very first F1 Fan Awards. These are meant to be a light hearted nod from the fans, who we all know don’t get much of a say in anything F1 so what a welcome relief they are!
FullSizeRender-28To even be nominated is simply amazing, considering we have only been blogging since the start of the year and only been able to take our followers and fans to races with us since the Spanish GP.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who enjoys what we do and understands that we do it because we know its what fans want.

Fans want that little bit more, to know that little extra piece of info, to feel included in the team and that they matter!!

Of course fans matter, without fans there in no Motorsport!!

We’d appreciate a vote, although these are not meant to be take too seriously we like you love our sport, so we are in it to win it!!

Thank you

Sandra & Ben

 >> Please vote here <<

Lotus F1 Team Filming Day At Brands Hatch

Today we all got involved at our home circuit Brands Hatch at the Lotus F1 team  filming day. The track was open to the general public, Ben is still here till Friday when he flies to Barcelona so it was a family affair, we took both our girls with us too!

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Brands Hatch to me is the home of the British Grand Prix so to have some bona fide F1 cars driving around it again was something I was not prepared to miss out on. It’s also a 10 minute drive from where we lived until 18 months ago and during the 7 years I spent in the Wrotham area it was pretty regular that weekends were spent at Brands. Since moving further out and having the baby I’ve hardly been, so it was a great excuse to all go for the day together for one of the final times till the European season is over in September.

We’d planned to meet up with a few people, our friend Mark who lives close by and Simon the editor in chief of ThePitCrewOnline and Nigel who we’ve met through twitter, great to have people to converse with inbetween car outings and great to meet up with likeminded people and maybe see a few faces recognisable from Twitter, and so onto the day…

We set up camp on the grassy bank opposite the pit garages so we could see the nose of the Lotus E23 sticking out of the garage waiting patiently to blast round the Indy circuit as the team and film crew worked together to set up the shots they needed. Then with the loud sound of the starter probe the car was fired up and a lap or two was completed with a custom made Mercedes ML500 AMG fitted with a roof top boom camera did its best to keep up and get those dynamic shots we come to expect from modern film making.  Although Romain Grosjean was driving the E23 was crawling round, playing with the ML like a lion with a mouse. It was a great demonstration of the power, speed and acceleration an F1 car is capable of. On normal roads a ML AMG would have the ability to disappear from view in seconds but against the E23 its speed was just enough to get the F1 car out of 2nd gear! Having completed several runs like that the car then went out with a fixed camera fitted to the top of the air box. This gave Romain a chance to drive a little faster but the E23 was not going flat out.

Lunch time called for the pit lane walkabout and the team laid out the E23 and a 1970’s Lotus 72 side by side for a photo opportunity with the complete Lotus F1 driver line up along side.

After lunch we were lucky enough to see the circuit from a different view as we were kindly invited to have a coffee in one of the hospitality suites. (To be covered in another post). Romain took a Lotus Europa round the circuit giving people a hot lap and then came a very special moment. The Lotus 72 was fired up and driven round. It was in 1986 that Brands Hatch last held a championship F1 race and seeing a car from that era driving around evoked the imagination and made me and many others wish we were there 40 years earlier watching a complete field of cars like that. A little later on both the E23 and the 72 went around together. This was another special moment and probably the only time i will see 2 different generations of Lotus F1 car together on track.

So to conclude, the day was a very unique and special opportunity and i would like to thank the Lotus F1 team and Brands Hatch for putting together the day. One day in my lifetime i may get to attend  an F1 race at Brands Hatch but for the time being this was a day that will keep me happy for many a year.

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Graham And Leigh Single Circuit Review

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Hello again friends, I know its been a little while since my last post, lots going on recently  but that’s for another post.

A little while ago Ben won a competition with Graham and Leigh through their twitter, this involved 56 circuit maps and naming all of them, actually there was 57 as the other 56 were in fact contained within the 57th circuit.

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Ben in the end was the only person to get all 57, yes his job at European circuits was a minor help, some of them were obscure with only a handful F1 tracks so really we had no more an advantage than anyone else.

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The prize was this amazing single circuit of Spa in Belgium, which i must say now before I even go into the piece itself is absolutely stunning! When i say that I truly mean it, the quality is out of this world and worth every single penny of their price tag.

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There is nothing on this piece that does not scream quality, craftsmanship & care, from the beautiful yet robust and thick frame to the  expertly and intricately carved track layout which sits floating above so is in 3D, its such a beautiful item that words fail me in searching for ones that can adequately describe this beautiful piece that would enhance any motorsport lovers wall.

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We have a friend that came round and saw it the other week, I passed it to him to take a closer look and he was blown away by it, he quite literally said ‘wow that’s amazing’ and then as I passed it and he saw how lovely a piece it is he said ‘oh wow!’ That’s really how stunning these pieces are, even writing this i feel like I’m failing to convey the beauty of it however much I try and also this is true of pictures, though I’ve tried my hardest to take pictures that can help show how magnificent it is.

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I will be completely honest in that when I first saw the prices I wondered if they weren’t a tad expensive but now being a proud owner I can hand on heart say they are worth more than they cost and evoke a need to own another, we will surely be adding to our Graham and Leigh collection again really soon!

Pre Season Chat With Ali Rushforth

 

As I’ve said from the beginning, I intend to pretty much diary my pit lane and paddock antics this season while Ben does his around Europe, its fast turning into a double edged sword as the 1st weekend in May comes ever closer as Ben leaves May 1st for Barcelona, the flip side is I am sure that I will meet a wide variety of new friendly faces, from differing walks of life and plenty of interesting conversations to be had.

As the MG Trophy Championship starts on May 2nd at Brands Hatch, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with Ali Rushforth and find out a bit more about what goes on in the final run up weeks to a season start.

I, for one am so overly excited for this so while I was at it I wanted to know how Quali work and the points system, hopefully I’m not alone in that I have more enjoyment when I understand more about a formula and as I have confessed previously the MG Trophy is a new one for me so i’ve shared this also as I know I’m not the only newbie this year!

 

Q) How’s the season’s preparation going?

A) Very well, there wasn’t a great deal that needed doing as maintaining the car is a constant process. There’s a few bits and pieces I’d like to change on the car to aid the evolution of it but these are niceties not necessities.

Q) How excited are you for the season ahead?

A) Very!! I think I’ve said before that I had considered a year off in order to concentrate on Lewis starting karting but after recent visits to race circuits to run other drivers, my enthusiasm has been reignited and now I can’t wait for the season to really kick off.

Q) How’s the car looking and more importantly sounding?

A) She is under-going a bit of a make over and even if I do say so myself, she looks amazing and will look even better when the final touches are added.

Q) Any chance of testing likely to happen?

A) Probably not although I may try and run the engine for a bit before round 1 following a top end rebuild.

Q) Apart from yourself and the car, what else have you got to get ready?

A) Finances, Logistics of getting everything/one there, Sponsor tickets, Food/Drink, Hospitality equipment, Personnel, Accommodation.

Q) I notice the car is a she, does she have a name?

A) Was originally Maria-Grace as to keep the initials MG, however I decided to follow what F1 Stock Car drivers do and name her after my wife, so its Becky.

Q) OK so I see there is a mountain of things to tick off the list before setting off for Brands Hatch , at what point can you get into the zone so to speak and think/concentrate on a good Quali for a great race win?

A) I’ll probably be in racing driver mode when I go to bed on the Friday evening following a cycle around the track.

Q) The BIG question….are you going to win the championship this year?

A) I’ll be giving it a damn good go again. This year however sees class C of the MG Trophy being the most competitive in it’s history with 20 cars in that class alone entered for Brands Hatch. The points system means that any driver in  any of the classes could become overall champion so we may find the classes with fewer drivers are able to score consistent points throughout the year. Rest assured though that I’ll be giving it 110% from the first green light of the year.

The MG Trophy Championship will be over 12 rounds :-

1 & 2 – May 2/3rd Brands Hatch Indy

3 & 4 – May 30th Donington

5 & 6 – June 20/21st Silverstone GP

7 & 8 – August 8th Castle Combe

9 & 10 September 12th Oulton Park

11 & 12- October 10/11th Snetterton

 

Qualification is done over 20 mins, the results of which the overall fastest lap gives you pole position for race 1 and the 2nd fastest lap time gives positions for race 2.

Points Awarding System :-

1 point – Fastest Lap in each class

1 point – Pole Position in each class

Race points are awards as follows – 1st (20), 2nd (17), 3rd (16), 4th (15), 5th (14), 6th (13), 7th (12), 8th (11), 9th (10), 10th (9), 11th (8), 12th (7), 13th (6), 14th (5), 15th (4), 16th (3), 17th (2) 18th and all other 1 point.

 

British GT’s Media Day 2015

 

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It was a sunny Wednesday morning and Life In The pitlane went off to Brands Hatch to walk their pit lane and admire all the fresh new British GT cars for the 2015 season.

GT15

I admit GT’s is new to me however as a McLaren car fan as well as the F1 team, I am very aware of their stunning cars, this is probably the main reason, the idea of prestige cars careering around a track, I mean come on! and with 13 Aston Martins in the mix to say the least, it seems to be in the common man’s term posh cars racing!

GT31

I had Leah Nicole with me, who likewise is no expert in this field even though we have spent many days at Brands Hatch, this has been to watch BTCC ,now ask me about that and i may actually have an answer.

GT23

However what did happen while there was a rush of emotion that can only lead to one outcome, a whole new motorsport love affair, to see a McLaren 650s and an Aston Martin Vantage racing around  track, with the roar of a big V12 engine…..oh that sound!!!!

GT24

lets not forget yes others were in attendance, BMW Z4 & Porsche,Mercedes Benz SLS AMG & Ferrari 458 Italia (not in attendance at the Media Day), Lotus Evora & Toyota GT86…..oh boy I suddenly have a lot more to do this year too…..alot more pit lane action for me!!!

GT2