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INSIDEBTCC.COM issue 10 : june 2012

PLUS - WE TALK TO STAR OF THE BTCC PITLANE, ALAN HYDE

WET AND WILD!

SHEDDEN BEATS THE WEATHER TO WIN TWICE AT THRUXTON OULTON PARK PREVIEW / LATEST RESULTS & POINTS / MUCH MORE...


Dzenis/PSP

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WELCOME... After the spring break, it’s time for the racing to resume as the BTCC heads to Oulton Park this weekend for the fourth round of the season. The three rounds so far this season have been actionpacked to say the least and the championship battle is already shaping up to be a classic, with just 14 points covering the top three in the standings. That action should continue at Oulton Park, where Jason Plato will hope to maintain his points lead but Honda pair Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal will be going all out to move ahead of him in the standings.

circuit with local star Frank Wrathall. We’ve got an in-depth chat with circuit commentator Alan Hyde to find out more about how he came to be involved with the series and we also have ten quick questions with Clio Cup racer James Colburn as we delve into the support series. As is the norm, you can follow the action over the course of the weekend by following us on Twitter at @InsideBTCC and feel free to get in touch by e-mail at contact@insidebtcc.com if you have any questions or queries. Until next time...

In this edition of Inside BTCC, we look back at the last round of the season to jog your memory on what happened at Thruxton while also previewing this weekend’s action – including getting a guided tour of the Oulton Park

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Jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 

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S T TEN

N O C

IN THIS ISSUE... THRUXTON REVIEW Results, reports & analysis from rounds 7, 8 & 9

6-9

ASKING ALAN We talk to the BTCC’s pitlane star, Alan Hyde

10 - 13

NEWS IN BRIEF Latest fron inside the BTCC paddock

16 - 17

OULTON PARK PREVIEW Looking ahead to rounds 10, 11 & 12

18 - 19

A LAP OF OULTON PARK... ...with Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall

24 - 25

10 QUICK QUESTIONS James Colburn

26 - 27

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS Points tables after Thruxton

28 - 29

THE SEASON SO FAR Results at-a-glance

30 - 31

ABOUT INSIDE BTCC... Inside BTCC is an independent publication that is in no way endorsed by, or affiliated to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship or its organisers.

Photos are credit PSP IMAGES or JAKOB EBREY unless otherwise stated. To get in touch, please email: CONTACT@INSIDEBTCC.COM. Written, produced and edited by Matt Salisbury and Matt Lamprell. Front cover images: Main - Shedden leads in the wet at Thruxton (Tozer/PSP); Top right - Alan Hyde (Still/PSP). Back cover: Grid girls (Jakob Ebrey).

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Dzenis/PSP

WET WEATHER WONDER! SHEDDEN OVERCOMES HAMPSHIRE DOWNPOURS TO WIN TWICE Inside BTCC 

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Dzenis/PSP

MATT LAMPRELL REPORTS

CLOSING THE GAP ON PLATO HONDA YUASA RACING DRIVER JUST FOUR POINTS BEHIND LEADER PLATO

Despite Shedden’s impressive form, it’s still MG KX Momentum Racing driver Jason Plato who heads the points standings – but by a reduced margin of just four points ahead of Shedden. RACE ONE Pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session went to the NGTC-spec Pirtek Racing Honda of Andrew Jordan, with Plato joining him on the front row of the grid. However, any www.insidebtcc.com

hopes Jordan had of converting pole into a race win were soon ended when he span into the tyre barrier at the first corner. Jordan’s demise came on a soaked track, which was to make the day’s racing even tougher than usual around the notorious Hampshire track. Mat Jackson emerged as the early race leader after contact between Jordan and Plato gave the Ford Focus driver a clear run out of Allard on the opening lap. Jackson made the most of his rivals’ difficulties – opening up a healthy lead in the early stages of the race. Dave Newsham was up to second for Team ES Racing.com, ahead of Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall in third. After their poor

qualifying sessions left them a long way down the grid, the two Honda Yuasa Racing drivers Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal made good progress through the pack. Both were soon into the top ten. Just 10 laps into the scheduled 16, there was a race-ending incident out on track when Liam Griffin put a wheel on the grass at Allard. That was enough to put the Redstone Racing Ford into a slide, which ended in a heavy impact with the tyre barrier. The pack initially ran behind the safety car for several laps, but with heavy damage to the tyre barrier and a recovery truck that was struggling for grip on the waterlogged grass, race officials took the Inside BTCC 

Pics: Tozer/PSP

Honda Yuasa Racing Team’s Gordon Shedden clinched a second consecutive double victory at a rain-soaked Thruxton circuit. He was joined on the top step of the podium by Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson, who won the day’s opening race.


RACE TWO The second race of the day started the same way that race one had ended – behind the safety car. Once the race ‘proper’ started – after two laps at reduced pace, it was Mat Jackson who led, just as he had in the earlier race. Dave Newsham was second, but almost

Gordon Shedden soon took up the chase of Jackson, passing Newsham to go into second at the chicane on lap five. Within a couple of laps, the Ford’s lead was less than a second and then on lap nine, Shedden found a way through at the Complex. Jackson continued to struggle over the remaining laps and lost second place to Jason Plato at Campbell on lap 13. He looked like he might fail to finish on the podium at all when Frank Wrathall closed over the last couple of laps. However, Jackson held on to the place. Shedden claimed his third win of the season,

ahead of Plato, Jackson and Wrathall. Matt Neal finished fifth, with Newsham sixth and Rob Collard seventh. Jeff Smith took eighth place, in front of Tony Gilham and Andrew Jordan. RACE THREE The rain had eased in the lead up to the final race of the day, only to start falling again immediately before the cars headed out on track. Most drivers opted for full wet setups, with just Aron Smith, Dave Newsham, Ollie Jackson and Chris James deciding to risk a mix of slicks and wets. Wet tyres proved to be the best option as the rain became heavier soon after the race started. On the following lap, Wrathall made the

RACE RESULTS - TOP 10s RACE ONE TOP TEN: 1 Mat Jackson (S2000) 22:36.478/14 Laps; 2 Dave Newsham (S2000) +0.876; 3 Jason Plato (NGTC) +1.999; 4 Rob Collard (S2000) +2.597; 5 Frank Wrathall (NGTC) +3.367; 6 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) + 4.744; 7 Aron Smith (S2000) +5.522; 8 Tom Onslow-Cole (S2000) +6.204; 9 Lea Wood (S2000) +7.212; 10 Matt Neal (NGTC) +7.971. Independent winner: Mat Jackson. Fastest lap: Gordon Shedden (1:24.565). RACE TWO TOP TEN: 1 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) 24:06.754/16 Laps; 2 Jason Plato (NGTC) +3.147; 3 Mat Jackson (S2000) +6.345; 4 Frank Wrathall (NGTC) + 6.585; 5 Matt Neal (NGTC) +9.858; 6 Dave Newsham (S2000) +15.085; 7 Rob Collard (S2000) +23.423;

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Victory went to Mat Jackson, ahead of Dave Newsham and Jason Plato. Fourth place went to eBay Motors’ Rob Collard, with Frank Wrathall fifth, Gordon Shedden sixth and Aron Smith seventh. Tom Onslow-Cole finished eighth, ahead of Lea Wood and Matt Neal.

four seconds behind Jackson by the time they reached the end of lap four.

8 Aron Smith (S2000) +26.406; 9 Tony Gilham (S2000) +29.130; 10 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +29.187. Independent winner: Mat Jackson. Fastest lap: Gordon Shedden (1:23.598). RACE THREE TOP TEN: 1 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) 22:42.574/16 Laps; 2 Matt Neal (NGTC) +0.719; 3 Frank Wrathall (NGTC) +8.102; 4 Jason Plato (NGTC) +9.647; 5 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +13.264; Mat Jackson (S2000) +25.112; 7 Rob Collard (S2000) +41.980; 8 Lea Wood (S2000) +44.687; 9 Jeff Smith (NGTC) +45.249; 10 Tom Onslow-Cole (S2000) +50.975. Independent winner: Frank Wrathall Fastest lap: Gordon Shedden (1:23.167)

Still/PSP

decision to red flag the race, declaring the result after 14 laps.

JORDAN QUALIFIES ON POLE AT THRUXTON

Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan claimed pole position at Thruxton, as both Matt Neal and Jason Plato failed to make it to the end of the 30minute session. Early in the session, Gordon Shedden sat ahead of Jordan at the top of the times, but the Honda Yuasa Racing Team driver lost his times after his Civic was found to have exceeded its maximum permitted boost levels.

The track was damp at the start, but the times soon started to tumble as a dry line appeared. Mat Jackson and Rob Collard both went fastest in the early stages of the session, but both drivers lost their times for exceeding the track limits. Jason Plato set a time of 1:18.883 to go quickest, before being bettered by Jordan. Matt Neal’s session came to an early close when he

stopped out on track after spinning off at the first corner. Shedden picked up the baton for Honda and duly went quickest. Indeed, Shedden was sitting pretty with provisional pole position when the session was red-flagged after 19 minutes. Jason Plato had suffered a high-speed ‘off’ at the Church corner. His MG6 went through the tyre barrier and landed in amongst the trees outside the circuit. Just before going off, Plato had set the third fastest time, behind Jordan and Shedden. Third became second for Plato, when Shedden had his times removed during the red flag period that followed. Following the lengthy pause for the recovery of Plato’s MG, there was still time for Jordan to improve his pole position time. Frank Wrathall also managed to move up to third in the NGTC Toyota.

Good weekend: Gordon Shedden Two more wins bring the Scot right back into contention at the top of the points table.

Inside BTCC 

Jason Plato May not have won a race, but still picked up 45 points and held on to the championship lead.

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most of Matt Neal running wide to claim second position. Neal also lost out to his Honda Racing teammate.

Honda to win through – Shedden made his move at Segrave on lap four, with Neal following him through into second.

The battle between the two Japanese marques soon swung back in Honda’s favour, with Shedden taking second from Wrathall next time around. What’s more, Neal also repassed the Toyota to take third.

Despite the tricky conditions, there was no looking back for the Hondas. They were comfortable enough at the front to be able to orchestrate a position swap for one lap, allowing Neal to claim an additional championship point for leading across the line. Behind the lead pair, Tony Gilham’s hopes of repeating his Donington podium

Gilham’s exit promoted Wrathall to third. It was a place that MG KX Momentum’s Jason Plato has his eyes on after getting the better of Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson for fourth. Over the closing stages, Plato closed right up, but Wrathall

did just enough to stay in front. At the chequered flag, Shedden led Neal home for a Honda 12, ahead of Wrathall and Plato. Andrew Jordan finished fifth for Pirtek Racing, with Mat Jackson in sixth. Seventh place went to Rob Collard (eBay Motors), ahead of Lea Wood (BINZ Racing). The pair made contact at the chicane on the final lap when Wood attempted to pass. Both ran across the chicane before continuing to the line. Behind them,

Jeff Smith and Tom Onslow-Cole completed the top ten. At the end of the three wet races, it was Gordon Shedden who left Thruxton with the biggest reason to be cheerful, after moving to within four points of championship leader Jason Palto and having won four of the last six races. The Honda driver will be hoping for more of the same at Oulton Park.

Tozer/PSP

Jakob Ebrey

Having passed Wrathall, Shedden set his sights on race leader Tony Gilham. It only took a couple of laps for the newer

came to a dramatic end on lap six. While defending from Frank Wrathall, the Team HARD. Honda ran out of track at the Complex and made heavy contact with the tyre barrier. Gilham was able to limp back to the pits, but he was out of the race.

NGTC LEADING THE WAY ON ALL FRONTS After three meetings of the 2012 BTCC season, it looks like NGTC-spec machinery has the advantage. Now leading the way

in all of our indicators below, the NGTC runners have the upper hand after nine of this season’s 30 races.

Jakob Ebrey

NGTC S2000 Races won

6

3

Fastest laps

6

3

Pole positions

2

1

Laps led Points scored

Bad weekend: Andrew Jordan His weekend promised so much after claiming pole position, but failed to deliver on raceday.

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96

76

658

555

Andy Neate Failed to pick up any points - in stark contrast to championship leading teammate.

Inside BTCC 


ASKING ALAN... MATT SALISBURY TALKS TO BTCC PITLANE STALWART ALAN HYDE

For well over a decade, Alan Hyde has been a key part of the BTCC package, providing interviews and insight from the paddock and pit-lane to fans watching on around the circuit.

Still/PSP

Given his popularity with racing fans, Inside BTCC decided to take the time to sit down with Alan for a chat during the last round of the season at Thruxton to find out more about how he came to be involved in the sport and more about his time behind the microphone‌

Inside BTCC 10

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Jakob Ebrey Q: You’ve been in this paddock for a long time and have been involved in a motorsport as a whole for a long time, but how did you get into it in the first place? Alan Hyde: Really weirdly. I was a fan of motor racing and I used to come along to race meetings with my old English teacher from school, a guy called Tony Coles, who used to race a clubman’s car and used to do some commentary as well. I used to come along as his lap charter and it was at Thruxton one weekend that they were without a podium interviewer. I’d been coming along listening to Tony doing commentary and I thought maybe I could help out myself. I was already working in radio from a production side and had been doing a little bit of presenting so I filled in at Thruxton on the podium for a race meeting and then I was asked to come back a few weeks later to do the support races for a touring car meeting – which was back in 1993. Q: So just as the series headed towards its hey day…

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Alan Hyde: Yeah. It was fantastic and very exciting for me to be asked to come along and do interviews at a British Touring Car Championship weekend. It wasn’t something I had planned and it’s difficult to describe. Sometimes you do something and all of a sudden you realise ‘this is something I want to be doing all week’. For the week after I had done my first meeting, I was counting down the time to the next race meeting I was going to be at, and then counting down to the next time I was going to be in a pit-lane commentating. There was a little switch that flicked on and I knew this was something I wanted to do on a regular basis. Q: Did you ever envisage it would go on from there to what it is today, where you are working with manufacturers and doing TV work? Alan Hyde: No I never did. I maybe envisaged that I would work in radio, which I’ve done a fair bit of. I’ve worked on national radio at TalkSport and have been a producer, so I had that in mind. I knew when I was a little kid that I wanted to work in radio and wanted to do the talking between records so I had hoped that it would

figure in my life, but I didn’t think it would be taking up so much of my time. I had no idea motor racing and talking would come together and its almost irrelevant that its motor racing. Motor racing is the sport I love and have always had an interest in, but it is about the people and when you end up talking about and commentating on different sports – and I’ve done various things along the way – it is all about the people and building a relationship with them. It’s about understanding what winning and losing means to sports people, so for that reason, I’m just somebody who chats to them. Q: A key part of the job is that relationship isn’t it, because people have their public persona and you need to get underneath that.. Alan Hyde: You make a really good point because it is about getting to know people and perhaps the problem with that is you almost get a little bit too close. You feel their pain and then have to interview them at a time when they don’t want to be interviewed… Q: Inside BTCC 11


Jakob Ebrey …or you have to ask probing questions you’d rather not ask… Alan Hyde: Correct. You think ‘I really don’t want to do this. I don’t want to upset you but I have to ask’. It is about meeting people and being approachable and friendly and I suppose one of the most important things is that you never take for granted that you will be doing this job next year or next week. The minute you do is when you become less approachable, so I never think ‘I’ll be doing this next year’ or ‘I’ll be doing that next year’. I’ve done some amazing jobs but the world doesn’t owe me this living. It could run away next week, so you have to stay approachable and friendly and never piss anyone off!

there! Q: When you look back from 1993 to today, there must be some good memories. Alan Hyde: There are some really obvious stick out moments. One of the first guys I made friends with and was able to swap e-mails and jokes with – and who was really helpful to me when I came into the BTCC paddock – was Matt Neal. He was never grumpy with me and would always do an interview so when he won at Donington Park and took the £250,000 and I did the podium afterwards with Matt and Steve both getting emotional; I got emotional as well. I suppose that was a special moment because I was having to clear my throat to talk

Q: Especially not Mr Gow as he’d have that pass off you in a flash.

Q: A bit like Murray Walker with Damon Hill.

Alan Hyde: Indeed he would, and in fact he did once take it off me and I had to beg for the pass back. I think I loaned it to someone else which was a very bad rule breakage and I was refused admission when I tried to get into the pit-lane without it. Come to think of it, that was at Thruxton too, so a lot seems to happen to me

Alan Hyde: ‘And I’ve got to stop because I have a lump in my throat’. It was exactly that. Maybe it made it more special because it was a family and there was the father and son on the podium and the team was achieving something special. In a similar vein, through the years I have seen so many young drivers come into

Inside BTCC 12

touring cars and achieve something, be that winning a title, winning a race, getting on the podium. They all mean something and because I do get to know the drivers, it almost means something to me as well. That might be why I’m still doing what I’m doing because I do feel involved and share in their pleasure and pain. An example is Colin Turkington. I saw him come into the championship as a young driver from Fiestas. I’d talked about him in Fiestas and eventually he went on to win the title. I for one am disappointed that Colin Turkington isn’t still racing with us in the BTCC because I think he was a great person to have in the championship. So there are these little milestones for people in the championship and they are almost my memories at the same time. Q: What would you say is the most difficult situation you’ve found yourself in as an interviewer? Alan Hyde: There are some people in F1 who are notoriously tricky. One of the lucky things about me being around the touring car paddock for some many years is that many of he drivers who www.insidebtcc.com


Still/PSP end up in F1, I’ve known when they have been in Formula Renault or in British Formula Three and I’ve got a bit a relationship with them. However, there are some who haven’t been able to have that relationship with.

New Wave period of the 70s, went with the flow of electronic music in the 80s, changed again in the 90s to involve brass and percussion and are still selling out gigs now even though I think the drummer is 78.

to see.

There was one very difficult moment with a driver in a recorded interview that was on camera for TV. It was at a Grand Prix. I won’t say who it was but it was an ex-British F3 driver who I had spoken to before. He was driving a Williams at the time. He came from across the Atlantic and when I asked if he could do an interview with me after retiring from the race, he used two words to tell me on camera what his answer was. I’ll leave it to you to work out who it was.

The Stranglers have moved with the times and that is absolutely what the BTCC has done. In the boom time of the 90s there were big budgets and manufacturer entries which was right for the time. Now, the NGTC rules, where teams can share components and build their own cars, are right for this time. The fact that that the BTCC has responded so cleverly to what is happening in the global economy means it goes from strength to strength. It is a very different championship than when I came into it in 1993, in the same way that championship was different to the 80s, and the 70s and the 60s. Right up to now, the series responds and evolves, and it does so in such an accurate way.

Lets pick Matt Neal and say you are a Matt Neal fan. You’ve watched him on the TV and you’ve seen his car but not in real life. The first time you come along to a circuit and the car leaves the pits, you see his name on the back of it and that is a little buzz.

Q: You’ve seen the BTCC evolve both as an insider and as a fan. How do you think the series stands now? Alan Hyde: I can liken this to a band that I liked when I was a kid. It kind of surprises me that they are still an ultra-successful band now even thought the guys in the band are now in their 60s and 70s and they are still playing to packed out crowds. The band is The Stranglers, who came to prominence during the www.insidebtcc.com

Q: Do you think that ability to respond is why the fans keep coming because in british motorsport, you could argue you can go to a club meeting and get racing that is as good, if not better, than here but the BTCC is the series that fans flock

Alan Hyde: But it means something doesn’t it? You watch at home on the TV, and I was exactly the same, it’s like this.

These people are stars and the TV coverage that we have at the moment all goes together to make this special. The people involved in it are special. You see the names on the cars, and it’s a little special moment. I won’t say who it was, but before I commentated on motorsport, I was sitting in the grandstand at Brands Hatch and I saw a car come out of the pits and I saw the driver’s name on the back. I just thought ‘Wow, it’s him. It’s actually him’. These are globally known sportsmen and this is big news.

Inside BTCC 13


Pics: PSP Images & Jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 14

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Inside BTCC 15

Pics: PSP Images & Jakob Ebrey

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Still/PSP

NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF

Turkington ready for return Former champion Colin Turkington is keen to try and return to the BTCC next season after testing with eBay Motors at Silverstone during the spring break. Turkington drove the team’s turbo-powered BMW as Tom Onslow-Cole, Nick Foster and Rob Collard were all busy elsewhere, with the 2009 title winner jumping at the chance to help the West Surrey Racing team that carried him to his championship crown.

Scandinavian touring cars in the last few years and I’ve enjoyed it but the BTCC is where I want to be next season. It’s important I get my name back on people’s radars and it’s possibly more sellable to potential sponsors in terms of budgets and marketing campaigns for them. “I also like the direction the BTCC is taking with the latest turbocharged regulations.”

Murray impressed with MG performance

Turkington is without a full-time drive this season and is keen to make a BTCC comeback if the opportunity arises.

Broadcasting legend Murray Walker says he is impressed with the way that Triple Eight has got the new MG6 up to speed this season.

“It feels great to be back in a BTCC car and, I’ll be honest, I am working on something to hopefully return in 2013,” he told BTCC.net after the test. It is for the BTCC and fingers crossed it’ll come together.

The car, run under the MG KX Momentum Racing banner, has already been a race winner this season in the hands of Jason Plato, who tops the standings heading to Oulton Park this weekend.

“I’ve raced in World and

“Jason Plato is once

Inside BTCC 16

again demonstrating that consistency is the name of the game and I’m very impressed with the way in which they have got the MG up at the front so very quickly,” he said. “Alongide Jason, Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Mat Jackson and the rest are ensuring there is great racing in the BTCC again this season.” Plato meanwhile, who goes into the fourth round of the season buoyed by a solid performance in testing at Rockingham recently, has backed team-mate Andy Neate to come good after a tough start to 2012. “Andy just needs one weekend when there are no electrical gremlins but instead just a nice flow from the moment he puts his bum in the car to when leaves on Sunday night,” he said. “It will do him the world of good…”

Plato, Jordan top qualifying charts

After three rounds of the current season, Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan top the qualifying charts based on their average performance so far this year. The pair, who have a pole position apiece so have, have an average qualifying result of 3.0 based on the sessions held at Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Thruxton, putting them just ahead of Dave Newsham (4.3) and Rob Collard (4.7). The tough session endured at Thruxton means both Honda drivers have slipped down the order, with Matt Neal’s average now 8.0 and Gordon Shedden’s average having gone out to 9.7.

Smith stars in Dublin Redstone Racing driver Aron Smith was amongst the stars who took to the streets of Dublin at the weekend for the annual Bavaria Street Racing event. www.insidebtcc.com


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NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF

Smith was at the wheel of his Redstone Racing Ford Focus in front of a huge crowd, who were also entertained by the likes of McLaren’s Jenson Button and World Superbike star Eugene Laverty.

Jordan in charity ride Andy Jordan joined staff from team sponsor Pirtek to take part in a charity bike rider from London to Cologne in Germany to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity. At the time of writing, the group has raised just under £10,000 towards their target of £15,000. Donations can be made by visiting: http://www. justgiving.com/teams/PirtekEasy-Rider-Team-2012

Big screens at Oulton Park MSV has confirmed two big screens will be in place for the Oulton Park weekend to www.insidebtcc.com

provide fans with the best viewing possible on race day.

the prime time show.

The first will be on the infield overlooking the wide open Cascades/Knickerbrook section of circuit and the second viewable from new spectator banking at Deer’s Leep towards the end of the lap.

Bratt in at Rob Austin Racing

Broadcast change for Oulton Park ITV will change its broadcast schedule for the Oulton Park weekend due a clash wirh the French Open tennis final. Race day coverage will start as normal at 11.30am but will then end on ITV4 at 4.00pm so the channel can air coverage of the tennis final. Live BTCC action will continue on www.itv.com/btcc with delayed coverage of the third race coming in a special primetime show on ITV4 from 8.00-10.00pm. The final two support races of the weekend will also air in

Will Bratt will make his BTCC debut at Oulton Park after inking a deal to join Rob Austin Racing. Former single-seater racer Bratt sampled the car in a recent test at Rockingham and has now agreed a deal for the Oulton Park weekend, which will mark his debut in the series. Bratt will drive the team’s second Audi A4, with the car of team boss Rob Austin still undergoing repairs after being damaged in a heavy accident at Thruxton prior to the spring break. Austin will aim to be back on track in his car at Croft in two weeks time.

Thorney Motorsport will miss the events at Oulton Park and Croft after splitting with engine builder Swindon Engines. The two parties have disagreed on certain points this season with the end result that the partnership has come to an end, with the team now set to map its own ECU to the Swindon Engine that it owns before returning to action later in the year. As well as mapping the engine in-house, Thorney is also set to work on developing its own engine for the 2013 season. Oulton Park was due to be the event where the team debuted its second car, although there has been little mention of Rob Hedley since the announcement that he would drive the car.

Thorney to miss Oulton, Croft

Inside BTCC 17


Jakob Ebrey

OULTON PARK PREVIEW LOOKING AHEAD TO ROUNDS 10, 11 & 12

Heading to one of the most popular circuits on the calendar for both drivers and fans alike, Jason Plato remains the man to beat in the championship standings having bounced back from his high-speed accident in qualifying at Thruxton last time out to take a brace of top four finishes. Despite the lack of testing prior to the season starting, Plato has finished inside the top four in eight of the nine races run so far to emerge as the early points leader and will hope to win at Oulton Park for the third successive Inside BTCC 18

Dzenis/PSP

After a spring break that seems to have gone on for longer than it actually has, the BTCC bursts back into life this weekend with the fourth round of the season at Oulton Park and – if the three previous rounds this year are anything to go by – action and excitement should be guaranteed during the annual trip to Cheshire.

season. In fact, Oulton Park has been a happy hunting ground for the double champion who has won at the circuit seven times in the past; second only to current Chevrolet WTCC star Alain Menu. Plato goes to Oulton Park buoyed by a strong test session for the MG KX Momentum Racing team at Rockingham recently, with the team hoping that Plato’s team-mate Andy Neate will be able to find some kind of

form after a difficult start to the year, where the former Team Aon man has run into more than his fair share of bad luck. Plato’s most recent win at Oulton Park came in dramatic fashion in race two last season, when he was the beneficiary of a last corner clash between Honda teammates Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal. That is something the pair will be keen to avoid this

weekend as they seek to knock Plato off the top of the standings, with the Honda duo currently his closest rivals in the title race. Both have a decent record at Oulton Park with four wins apiece, while Shedden also clinched pole position twelve months ago. The Scot is the form man going into the weekend having won four of the last five races; a run of form that has brought him right back into contention after his difficult start to the year at Brands Hatch. Shedden therefore starts the weekend just four points down on Plato, although his preparations for the event weren’t helped by a troublesome test session at the Pembrey circuit in Wales. Neal meanwhile is hoping for just his second win of the season, with his more consistent campaign thus far meaning his is just ten points behind his team-mate. Mat Jackson, winner of race www.insidebtcc.com


three last year and the only person aside from Shedden with more than one victory this season, will aim to add to his two previous Oulton Park successes on a venue where he feels things could be tight between the S2000-based cars and the full-blown NGTC machines. Rob Collard, the other man to win so far this season, and Andrew Jordan round out the top six in the points; the latter keen to bounce back to

form after his pole position at Thruxton was followed by a disappointing race day. Elsewhere, the likes of Dave Newsham, Tom Onslow-Cole and Frank Wrathall should all be in the mix for honours although further down the field it remains to be seen in the Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia will return this weekend on a circuit where the team had been due to debut its second car.

Instead, despite being able to improve the car during testing at Silverstone, a decision is still to be taken about whether the team is ready to race after sitting out the last meeting at Thruxton.

OULTON PARK RECENT HISTORY 2011 Pole

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race One

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race Two

Jason Plato, Chevrolet Cruze

Race Three

Mat Jackson, Ford Focus ST

2010 Pole

Tom Onslow-Cole, Ford Focus ST

Race One

Tom Onslow-Cole, Ford Focus ST

Race Two

Jason Plato, Chevrolet Cruze

Race Three

Matt Neal, Honda Civic

2009 Pole

Jason Plato, Chevrolet Lacetti

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

James Thompson, Honda Civic

Pole

Jason Plato, SEAT Leon TDi

Race One

Jason Plato, SEAT Leon TDi

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Pics: PSP Images

2008

2007 (2) Pole

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race One

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

Mat Jackson, BMW 320si

2006

OULTON PARK STATS LENGTH

2.26 miles

2012 RACE LAPS

15

RACE DISTANCE

33.9 miles

Pole

Jason Plato, SEAT Leon

LAP RECORD (QUALIFYING)

1m 27.186s (Jason Plato, 2009)

Race One

Gordon Shedden, Honda Integra

LAP RECORD (RACE)

Race Two

Matt Neal, Honda Integra

1m 27.793s (Gordon Shedden, 2010)

Race Three

Jason Plato, SEAT Leon

MOST WINS (1991-)

9 – Alain Menu

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Inside BTCC 19


Jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 20

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get involved! SEND US YOUR: •PHOTOS •QUESTIONS •SUGGESTIONS

@InsideBTCC facebook.com/insidebtcc contact@insidebtcc.com www.insidebtcc.com

Inside BTCC 21


directory a who’s who of btcc on twitter... BTCC DRIVERS Matt Neal Mat Jackson Aron Smith Rob Collard Frank Wrathall Dan Welch Rob Austin Dave Newsham Adam Morgan Tony Gilham Tom Onslow-Cole Lea Wood Andy Neate Tony Hughes Gordon Shedden Andrew Jordan Chris James Jason Plato

@MattNealRacing @mat_jackson @AronSmith_ @CollardRob @FrankWrathall @BTCCDanWelch @RobertoAustini @NewshamRacing @AdamMorgan33 @TonyGilham @TomOnslowCole @TeamWoodRacing @AndyNeate @TonyHughesBTCC @GordonShedden @AndrewJordan77 @ChrisJamesBTCC @JasonPlato

AND A FEW MORE... Official BTCC Inside BTCC Tin Top Tuesday Alan Hyde Not Alan Gow Talking Point ITV Toby Moody Richard John Neill Tim Harvey YourRacingCar Unlap Brands Hatch Oulton Park Snetterton Silverstone Rockingham Knockhill Croft Thruxton Donington Park

@DunlopBTCC @InsideBTCC @TinTopTuesday @AlanHydeStudio @alan_gow_btcc @TPBroadcasting @ITVtouringcars @TobyMoody @richardjneil @TimHarvey7 @YourRacingCar @unlap @Brands_Hatch @Oulton_Park @SnettertonMSV @SilverstoneUK @RockinghamUK @krcircuit @CroftSupporters @thruxtonracing @DoningtonParkUK

BTCC TEAMS Honda Yuasa Racing MG KX Momentum Racing Redstone Racing eBay Motors Welch Motorsport ES Racing Rob Austin Racing Speedworks BINZ Racing AmDTuning.com Pirtek Racing Thorney Motorsport Toyota

Inside BTCC 22

@HondaRacingBTCC @official888race @RedstoneRacing @ebaymotorsbtcc @WelchMotorsport @teamESracing @RobAustinRacing @SpeedworksMS @CentralGroupRacing @AmDessex @andyjordanBTCC @ThorneyMS @ToyotaBTCC

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Tozer/PSP

2012 BTCC CALENDAR 31 March-1 April, Brands Hatch Indy 14-15 April, Donington Park National 28-29 April, Thruxton 9-10 June, Oulton Park Island 23-24 June, Croft 11-12 August, Snetterton 300 25-26 August, Knockhill 22-23 September, Rockingham 6-7 October, Silverstone 20-21 October, Brands Hatch GP

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Inside BTCC 23


Dzenis/PSP

A LAP OF OULTON PARK WITH...

FRANK WRATHALL

BY MATT SALISBURY Next stop for the BTCC is one of the most popular circuits on the calendar; the challenging and undulating Oulton Park in Cheshire. The circuit has a mixture of high and low-speed corners and numerous elevation changes as it winds around the natural contours of the land on which it was built . Oulton Park will be the home circuit for a number of drivers, including Dynojet Racing’s Frank Wrathall who talks us though a lap of the track…

“Oulton Park is a real drivers track and the undulations make it very challenging. From the start/finish straight, you have Old Hall which has quite a late apex and there is a bit of a dip so it is important to hit the apex and then use all of the kerb on the exit to get a good run down to Cascades. “Cascades is probably one of the best corners on the calendar because you can really commit to the entry Inside BTCC 24

and the camber of the turn means it sucks you in. You can go in from the middle of the road and it will pull you tight into the apex. “It is difficult part of the circuit because you are braking while coming down the hill, which is probably why I stick to the middle of the track as it’s the safest place to be! It’s a case of hitting the brakes and then easing off again to run the speed into the turn and you can carry a lot more speed through that corner than you think. “Then there is the small straight up to Island Hairpin, which is a difficult corner to get right. It’s 100 per cent about the exit because it is so slow and so tight. It’s a case of squaring off the corner and getting the power down as early as you can without getting any wheelspin. Off the hairpin, you got up hill then there is another downhill braking zone into the Chicane, which is quite hard to judge. “The fact there are tyre stacks on the inside of the

corner removes the margin for the error and means you can’t use the kerb as much which is unfortunate, but you have to drive to your surroundings. You do aim for the tyre stacks as you go into the chicane but you have to make sure you brush past them rather than drive into them! “The Chicane again is all about the exit. You need to run the speed through the left-hand part of the chicane to then position the car correctly for the right-hander and the run up Clay Hill. It’s a brave part of the circuit as you momentarily go blind going up there. There is a left-hand kink that you have to back off for in the wet, but in the dry you are going flat out. You have to be brave through that kink, and then brave through Druids which is a double-apex right-hander that have to try and take as if it were just one corner. “On the exit of the corner there is a slight rise, and that was where I had my first crash. The barrier there was the first barrier I went into and it was because of

that bump in the road. I’m always wary as a result and make sure that the car is in a straight line before I commit to the power. In the dry it isn’t so bad but in the wet it can catch you out when the car goes light and you lose grip. It’s a tricky feature of the circuit. “The final corner is a late apex again and it’s another tricky one because of the undulations and the camber of the circuit as it drops away from you on the exit. It is hard to judge the correct speed to go round there but when you get it right, it feels mega and you can carry a lot of sped back onto the start/ finish straight. “I think the Toyota has the potential to be quick everywhere now and we’ve made good progress with it in the events at Donington Park at Thruxton, so I see no reason why we cant now go to Oulton Park and be challenging towards the front.”

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Dzenis/PSP www.insidebtcc.com

Inside BTCC 25


10 QUICK QUESTIONS JAMES COLBURN

Jakob Ebrey

In the first of a series of short features with drivers from the BTCC support package, we put ten quick questions to James Colburn, currently sitting fifth in the Renault UK Clio Cup standings with Westbourne Motorsport.

Inside BTCC 26

www.insidebtcc.com


JAMES COLBURN What is your favourite circuit? Brands Hatch Who is your racing hero? James Thompson If you could race any car, what would it be? A World Touring Car. I’m not bothered what make it is. If I get to race a World Touring Car, I don’t mind! If you could pick any driver as your team-mate on a race weekend, who would you pick? That’s quite a hard one. I’d have to say my current team-mate Ant Whorton-Eales as we get on really well together and also Will Davison my other team-mate. If we could just stick together it would be great as we are a fantastic team. What is your day job? I work with Westbourne Motors in the rescue and recovery business in the control room. What do you drive on the road? A Citroen Saxo. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in your racing career? If in doubt, flat out. Do you have any pre-race rituals? Not really – just make sure my boots are dry!

Who do you think will be BTCC champion at the end of the season? Who do I think or who would I like to win? I’d like to see Mat Jackson win as he’s had a bit of bad luck in the past. Realistically at the moment? Jason Plato. www.insidebtcc.com

Inside BTCC 27

Pics: Jakob Ebrey

What is your ultimate career goal? To compete in the WTCC and if that isn’t possible, then the BTCC.


RACE FOR

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDIN

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Jason Plato Gordon Shedden Matt Neal Mat Jackson Rob Collard Andrew Jordan Dave Newsham Jeff Smith Tom Onslow-Cole Frank Wrathall Tony Gilham Aron Smith Lea Wood Rob Austin Nick Foster Liam Griffin Dan Welch Ollie Jackson Andy Neate Chris James Adam Morgan Tony Hughes John Thorne

Inside BTCC 28

129 125 115 107 103 94 74 67 64 60 48 47 39 33 30 17 17 17 12 9 4 2 0

MANUFACTURER/CONSTRUCTOR 1 2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Honda/Dynamics MG/Triple Eight

270 235

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP Honda Yuasa Racing Redstone Racing Pirtek Racing eBay Motors MG KX Momentum Racing Team ES Racing.com Dynojet Team HARD BINZ Racing Rob Austin Racing AmDTuning.com Welch Motorsport Speedworks Thorney Motorsport

230 167 161 160 140 84 61 48 41 34 21 18 13 0

www.insidebtcc.com


THE TITLE

NGS AFTER 9 OF 30 RACES INDEPENDENT DRIVERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Mat Jackson Andrew Jordan Rob Collard Jeff Smith Dave Newsham Tom Onslow-Cole Frank Wrathall Tony Gilham Aron Smith Lea Wood Nick Foster Rob Austin Liam Griffin Ollie Jackson Dan Welch Chris James Tony Hughes Adam Morgan John Thorne

www.insidebtcc.com

125 124 121 93 89 84 81 69 64 60 49 47 33 32 27 25 21 10 5

INDEPENDENT TEAMS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Redstone Racing Pirtek Racing eBay Motors Team ES Racing.com Dynojet Team HARD BINZ Racing Rob Austin Racing Speedworks AmDTuning.com Welch Motorsport Thorney Motorsport

147 137 132 113 91 86 77 60 60 47 37 11

Inside BTCC 29


THE SEASON

RACE-BY-RACE RESULTS FOR THE 2012 DUNLOP 1

2

Matt Neal

2

Mat Jackson

7

Aron Smith

DNF

DNF

8

Liam Griffin

14

12

11

Rob Collard Frank Wrathall Dan Welch Rob Austin Dave Newsham Nick Foster

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

1

7

3

2

DNF

10

5

2

4

DNF

1

3

EXC

1

3

6

8

9

11

7

8

14

DNF

DNF

14

DNF

17

12

1

6

6

10

8

4

4

7

7

DNF

DNS

13

9

14

7

5

4

3

17

11

DNF

12

DNF

8

DNF

DNS

DNS

8

5

5

DNF

DNS

DNS

DNF

18

13

DNF

9

3

7

4

DNF

2

6

18

9

DNF

DNS

11

11

12

14

14

11

DNF

DNS

DNF

15

13

DNF

DNF

DNC

DNF

18

13

10

14

7

3

11

9

DNF

3

10

DNF

5

10

9

8

13

10

Lea Wood

11

15

9

DNF

15

10

9

12

8

Andy Neate

12

14

14

16

12

DNF

16

16

DNF

Ollie Jackson

13

8

DNF

DNC

DNS

DNS

12

15

15

Tony Hughes

16

16

15

DNF

16

15

DNC

19

16

5

DNF

EXC

2

1

1

6

1

1

Adam Morgan Tony Gilham Tom Onslow-Cole

Gordon Shedden Jeff Smith John Thorne

10

7

4

13

6

5

13

11

9

DNF

17

16

DNS

DNS

DNS

/

/

/

6

2

2

6

5

6

DNF

10

5

Chris James

15

DNF

12

17

DNF

13

15

DNS

17

Jason Plato

4

3

1

4

DNC

2

3

2

4

Andrew Jordan

11

12

BOLD denotes pole position ITALICS denotes fastest lap

Inside BTCC 30

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13


SO FAR

P MSA BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP 14

15

16

17

18

www.insidebtcc.com

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Inside BTCC 31


Hubbleday/Jakob Ebrey


Inside BTCC - Issue 10 - Oulton Park (June 2012)