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INSIDEBTCC.COM issue 11 : june 2012

PLUS - NEAL WINS TWICE AT OULTON; SHEDDEN TAKES LEAD

O’NEILL RETURNS

FANS’ FAVOURITE TO DRIVE FOR SPEEDWORKS AT CROFT! CROFT PREVIEW / LATEST RESULTS & POINTS / MUCH MORE...


Dzenis/PSP

Inside BTCC 

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WELCOME... Oulton Park turned out to be an action packed weekend in the BTCC, with three races full of drama at the Cheshire venue ending with Honda pair Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal sitting first and second in the standings. The duo will now hope to remain out front as the field heads to Croft for the fifth meeting of the year, which is also the final meeting before the summer break kicks in. In this edition of Inside BTCC, we look back at how the title race swung towards Honda at Oulton Park and preview the next meeting of the season in the North East.

interested spectator at Oulton with the eBay Motors squad. There is also a catch up with Rob Collard to see how he felt his son got on when he debuted in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Oulton, and we find out more about another Ginetta driver – GT Supercup racer Fergus Walkinshaw. If you want to keep up with the all the action from Croft, we’ll be busy tweeting away on @ InsideBTCC and if you have questions for us, feel free to drop us an e-mail on contact@ insidebtcc.com Until next time...

Along the way, we catch up with Paul O’Neill ahead of his return to action with the Speedworks Motorsport team and also chat with 2009 title winner Colin Turkington, who was an

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Inside BTCC 


Jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 

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S T TEN

N O C

IN THIS ISSUE... O’NEILL RETURNS Paul O’Neill will be on the grid at Croft

6

A LAP OF CROFT... ...with Paul O’Neill

7

CROFT PREVIEW Looking ahead to rounds 13, 14 & 15

8-9

OULTON PARK REVIEW All the action from rounds 10, 11 & 12

10 - 13

TALKING TURKINGTON Former champ says series has ‘lasting appeal’

14 - 15

COLLARD PRAISES JUNIOR SERIES Mixed Ginetta debut for Ricky Collard

16 - 17

NEWS IN BRIEF Latest fron inside the BTCC paddock

20 - 21

10 QUICK QUESTIONS Fergus Walkinshaw

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 - Paul O’Neill (Jakob Ebrey); Top right - Shedden celebrates (Dzenis/PSP). Back cover: Grid girl (Jakob Ebrey).

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Inside BTCC 


Dzenis/PSP

O’NEILL MAKES HIS RETURN

BY MATT SALISBURY When the 2012 entry list was announced at the annual media day at Silverstone earlier this year, there was widespread disappointment amongst BTCC fans at the fact that one driver in particular was missing from the list. Sponsorship issues meant there was no Tech-Speed Motorsport on the entry list and as a result, no Paul O’Neill with the fans’ favourite left without a drive for the 2012 campaign. That, however, changes this weekend, with the 32-yearold returning to action with Speedworks in place of Tony Hughes, who has business elsewhere on race day but didn’t fancy seeing his Toyota Avensis parked up when it could be out on track instead.

Sunday so for the sport, for the team, for Toyota and for all of our sponsors, we thought why not put the most popular driver on the grid in the car,” Tony admits. “It’s going to be great and good luck to Paul. There is plenty of time to fix the car after Croft but fingers crossed he brings the car back without too much damage!” For O’Neill, the outing in the Toyota will be his first appearance in the BTCC since Finals Day last year while it will also be very much a weekend of firsts. The former race winner will be competing in an NGTCspec car for the first time, will be racing the Avensis for the first time and will also be racing a turbo-powered touring car for the first time. “I spoke to Tony at one of the events earlier in the year and

off the cuff he asked if I’d like to drive the car at Croft as he wasn’t able to be there,” Paul explained. “It’s a chance for me to return to the grid, but I don’t want to just jump in the car for a weekend of racing, I want to do a good job. Speedworks is a good team, Carlube is going to be playing a big part in the event and I’ll be keeping a video

second race.

diary for ITV, so hopefully we can have a good weekend. Hopefully Adam can have a good weekend alongside me as he is a good driver and his luck has to change soon.

myself and see what we come away with. They are a great team and a great bunch of people and I’m sure it will be cracking!”

“My target is to run in the midfield but obviously the dream, as ever, is to finish on the podium. Although that is possible, I know it will be massive long shot. I’ve done a lot of things in this life that have been a long shot and sometimes they have come off, so I’ll go there to enjoy

“There are more unknowns than knowns for me, as I haven’t driven the Toyota, I haven’t driven an NGTC car and there is the turbo engine, so it will be difficult to start with but I’ll get quicker as the weekend goes on. I’ll be aiming to start steady and then maybe we could push to get into the top ten in the

“I can’t be there on the Inside BTCC 

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A LAP OF CROFT WITH...

BY MATT SALISBURY

Paul O’Neill’s return to the BTCC grid comes at a circuit where he went strongly during his time driving a Honda Integra for Tech-Speed and with that in mind, Inside BTCC thought he was the ideal man to talk us through a lap of the circuit… “Croft is a very difficult circuit,” he explains. “The first corner, Clervaux, is very quick but then you have a tight chicane in the braking zone for a long right-hander that leads into one of the most horrendous chicanes that I have ever been through! If you get it wrong, you can either go off onto the grass on the outside and have a crash or you can go off into the wall on the inside and have a crash. You’ve got to make sure you get it right! “From there, we go down the straight into Tower. That’s www.insidebtcc.com

a vital part of the circuit but there is a bump in the braking zone as you go into the corner. You have to get over the bump and then hit the brakes but sometimes when you are overtaking someone, you might touch the brakes before the bump and then you risk locking the fronts when you’re trying to go down the inside. Tower is

Sunny. It’s a very technical and like the rest of the circuit, you have to get the exit from the corner right. If you don’t, you’ll have a dodgy entry to the next corner and the car behind you will be sticking their nose in. You have to watch what you are doing.

the best overtaking point on the circuit and usually it is the place when the old heads will make a move for position.

hander that takes you into the complex. That corner is deceptively fast and you are in fourth gear, even though it looks like you should only be in second. You carry speed through the cambered section and then hit the brakes for the right-hander, which is second gear and often has a tyre stack on the inside which you need to try avoid. Then there is the hairpin which is another place where you’ll see people trying to overtake before the run to the line.

“Out of Tower, you head up to the Jim Clark Esses, which is a flat out left-hander into a flat-out right-hander followed by a right-hand kink that takes you down to Sunny. Sunny In then leads into Sunny Out which is third or fourth gear on the exit. If you get it wrong through Tower, you are going to be looking in your mirrors right through the Jim Clark Esses and into

“After you come out of Sunny Out, you have the left-

Dzenis/PSP

PAUL O’NEILL hook it up and get the fast bits and the technical bits right, then it feels great. You go to somewhere like Brands Hatch Indy and you hook up a lap and it feels good, simply because there are so many undulations. At Thruxton for example, you know you’ve done a good lap when you push through Church and Goodwood and come out the other side and Croft is the same. It’s technical and you have to be brave to pull a good lap out of the bag.”

“I really like Croft and if you

Inside BTCC 


Dzenis/PSP

CROFT PREVIEW LOOKING AHEAD TO ROUNDS 13, 14 & 15

The former airfield located close to Scotch Corner usually provides some dramatic action, most notably at the final hairpin as drivers dice for position for the run to the line, with Croft having been the location for some of the closest finishes that have ever been seen in the BTCC. As an example, Matt Neal beat Mat Jackson to top spot by just 0.05secs in the opening race twelve months ago.

will hope to add to the two victories he secured in 2010 to ensure he heads into the summer break sititng top of the standings. The Scot won’t have it easy however with team-mate Neal, who took a double win of his own last year, only five points behind.

Dzenis/PSP

No sooner has the BTCC resumed after a spring break, then its almost time for the summer break to kick in but before then comes the annual trip to the North East for rounds 13, 14 and 15 this weekend at Croft.

Despite his difficult start to the season at Brands Hatch, Gordon Shedden arrives at Croft sitting top of the championship standings and Inside BTCC 

Dzenis/PSP

Arriving at Croft, things are hotting up in the title race after things swung towards the Honda boys at Oulton Park, where the factory team secured victory in all three races.

The Honda pair will both be looking over their shoulders however, with Jason Plato eager to try and reclaim top spot after losing his lead on a tough weekend at Oulton Park where a technical issue on the grid ahead of race one hit his chances. The MG man has four wins at Croft in the past – equal with Neal for most wins amongst the drivers on the grid – but hasn’t won on ‘home’ soil since 2006. With the mid-season break imminent, the whole field will want to head into their summer holiday on a high, with the remaining three drivers in the top six all having realistic chances of victory. Rob Collard took a podium finish in every race last year and is now armed with a turbo in his eBay Motors BMW, while Andrew www.insidebtcc.com


Jordan joined the BTCC winners list in 2010 with his maiden victory in the final race of the weekend. Mat Jackson is also a Croft winner having taken victory in race three last year having earlier stormed through the field in drying conditions in race one. Also worth watching are the likes of Tom OnslowCole, Dave Newsham and Frank Wrathall, while Dan Welch and Lea Wood will be eager to build on impressive performances last time out at Oulton Park – which led

to the pair finishing first and second in the HiQ Champagne Moment award (see News in Brief). The return of Rob Austin to the grid this weekend alongside Will Bratt in the Rob Austin Racing line-up means a grid of 23 cars is set to compete, with plenty of interest in the return of Paul O’Neill to the grid after he signed up to replace the absent Tony Hughes at Speedworks for the weekend.

this weekend, the support package welcomes two new additions for Croft meeting, with the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup and the Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons both in action.

With no Renault Clio Cup

CROFT

RECENT HISTORY 2011 Pole

Jason Plato, Chevrolet Cruze

Race One

Matt Neal, Honda Civic

Race Two

Matt Neal, Honda Civic

Race Three

Mat Jackson, Ford Focus ST

2010 Pole

Tom Chilton, Ford Focus ST

Race One

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race Two

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race Three

Andrew Jordan, Vauxhall Vectra

2009 Pole

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall Vectra

Pole

Darren Turner, SEAT Leon TDi

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall Vectra

Pics: PSP Images

2008

2007 Pole

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Darren Turner, SEAT Leon

Race Three

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall Vectra

2006

CROFT STATS LENGTH

2.25 miles

2012 RACE LAPS

15

RACE DISTANCE

33.75 miles

Pole

James Thompson, SEAT Leon

LAP RECORD (QUALIFYING)

1m 24.629s (Tom Chilton, 2010)

Race One

Jason Plato, SEAT Leon

LAP RECORD (RACE)

Race Two

Matt Neal, Honda Integra

1m 25.749s (James Thompson, 2002)

Race Three

James Thompson, SEAT Leon

MOST WINS (1991-)

6 – Colin Turkington

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HONDA WHITEWASH

Dzenis/PSP

TWO WINS FOR NEAL AND ONE FOR SHEDDEN AS PLATO FALTERS AT OULTON PARK

Inside BTCC 10

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MATT LAMPRELL REPORTS

SHEDDEN TAKES POINTS LEAD FIVE STRAIGHT WINS FOR HONDA YUASA RACING TEAM PUTS SHEDDEN AND NEAL ON TOP

Shedden now leads the championship for the first time this year, five points ahead of teammate Matt Neal and a further seven in front of MG’s Jason Plato. RACE ONE The weekend started well for Plato, as he qualified on pole position for MG KX Momentum Racing, but he didn’t get a chance to make the most of the advantage. His MG6 was wheeled off the grid ahead of the first race after one of the Toca-spec front wishbones suffered a failure. So the race started www.insidebtcc.com

with the pole slot empty, leaving Matt Neal at the front. However, it was Rob Collard in the first of the eBay Motors BMWs who led through Old Hall for the first time. Neal followed him through the corner, ahead of Andrew Jordan and Tom Onslow-Cole. The fast-starting Collard was comfortable at the front in the early stages, but Neal began to close the gap and it became clear that the Honda was the quicker of the two cars. After making a couple of challenges at the Island hairpin, Neal claimed the lead by diving to the inside at Lodge corner at the end of lap four. Collard lost momentum as he recovered from Neal’s pass, but was able to hold on to second, despite the best efforts of Andrew

Jordan in the Pirtek racing Honda behind. As Neal enjoyed his lead, Collard spent the next few laps looking at Jordan in his mirrors – and feeling him on his rear bumper. Jordan tapped the back of Collard’s BMW on the approach to the hairpin on lap six, but had to wait until the following lap to find a way past. That dropped Collard down to third, and left him just ahead of his teammate Tom Onslow-Cole. However, the two BMWs didn’t run together for long. Onslow-Cole lost the back end of his car heading into Cascades on lap nine and slid off to the outside of the track. While it was a sunny raceday at Oulton Park, the heavy rain in the week leading up to the event had left the run off areas sodden and that mean Onslow-Cole Inside BTCC 11

Pics: Dzenis/PSP

Honda Yuasa Racing dominated at Oulton Park, with Matt Neal winning twice and Gordon Shedden once in rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.


The safety car was sent out while OnslowCole got going again, closing up the gaps and negating the 2.7 second lead that Neal had opened up at the front. When racing resumed, there were five laps of the race remaining and for Neal, that meant five laps to defend from Jordan. The two NGTC Hondas were both built by Neal’s Team Dynamics crew, but Jordan didn’t seem to mind putting the reigning champion under pressure – flashing his headlights along the way and hoping to prompt a mistake from the leader. In the end, Neal held on for his second win of the season, with Jordan following him

home in second place. Third place was Rob Collard’s reward for his early pace, ahead of Gordon Shedden. Mat Jackson finished fifth for Redstone Racing, ahead of Dan Welch. It marked a careerbest finish for the Proton driver and his family-run team, off the back of a qualifying performance that was also the best he has achieved since joining the series in mid-2011. There was some action-packed racing further down the order in the second half of the race, with Andy Neate emerging battle scarred to finish seventh, ahead of series debutant Will Bratt. Nick Foster (eBay Motors) and Lea Wood (BINZ Racing) rounded out the top ten. Speedworks Motorsport driver Adam Morgan was a victim of the

close racing in the pack, ending up in the barriers on the final lap after running eighth. There were also retirements for Chris James, Aron Smith and Tom Onslow-Cole – the latter suffering a second spin at Cascades that was almost identical to his earlier off. Jason Plato did join the race, completing just enough laps to check the repairs that had been made to his MG. However, there was nothing he could do to prevent the Honda pairing of Shedden and Neal from toppling him from the top of the championship points table.

1 Matt Neal (NGTC) 26:25.203; 2 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +0.242; 3 Rob Collard (S2000) +2.609; 4 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) +7.104; 5 Mat Jackson (S2000) +9.341; 6 Daniel Welch (NGTC) +9.832; 7 Andy Neate (NGTC) +12.556; 8 Will Bratt (NGTC) +17.044; 9 Nick Foster (S2000) +18.054; 10 Lea Wood (S2000) +19.615. Independent winner: Andrew Jordan. Fastest lap: Andrew Jordan (1:28.207). RACE TWO TOP TEN: 1 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) 22:17.805; 2 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +1.229; 3 Jason Plato (NGTC) +11.986; 4 Daniel Welch (NGTC) +13.900; 5 Matt Neal (NGTC) +23.550; 6 Nick Foster (S2000) +26.178; 7 Lea Wood

After his disappointment in the first race, Plato was out to make rapid progress this time out, starting alongside Chris James on the last row of the grid. At the front, Rob Collard repeated his first race getaway, moving into the lead ahead of Matt Neal and

Mat Jackson. Jackson found his way up to second before the end of the opening lap, passing the Honda into the chicane. There was an early change for fourth place, too, with Gordon Shedden passing Andrew Jordan into Lodge corner at the end of the first lap. Shedden then made further progress on lap two, getting the better of his Honda teammate to take third at Cascades. Neal was

RACE TWO As the second race at Oulton Park got underway, there were two questions to be answered. Firstly, who would win the race and

RACE RESULTS - TOP 10s RACE ONE TOP TEN:

additionally, just how much progress would Jason Plato be able to make from the back of the grid?

(S2000) +27.619; 8 Liam Griffin (S2000) +29.643; 9 Tom Onslow-Cole (S2000) +30.025; 10 Dave Newsham (S2000) +41.830. Independent winner: Andrew Jordan. Fastest lap: Gordon Shedden (1:27.690). RACE THREE TOP TEN: 1 Matt Neal (NGTC) 32:00.812; 2 Jason Plato (NGTC) +0.324; 3 Tom Onslow-Cole (S2000) +0.891; 4 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) +1.084; 5 Lea Wood (S2000) +3.150; 6 Rob Collard (S2000) +3.257; 7 Mat Jackson (S2000) +3.345; 8 Nick Foster (S2000) +3.781; 9 Frank Wrathall (NGTC) +8.751; 10 Tony Gilham (S2000) +9.281. Independent winner: Tom Onslow-Cole. Fastest lap: Tom Onslow-Cole (1:27.878).

Jakob Ebrey

could not find enough grip to get moving again.

QUALIFYING REPORT Pole position at Oulton Park went to Jason Plato. The MG KX Momentum driver’s best time of 1:26.872 was enough to secure his second pole position of the 2012 BTCC season, putting him ahead of rival and reigning champion Matt Neal on the front row.

thing and then lost most of that second session. As the weekend evolves, I think we’ll see different cars improving.”

Following the session, Plato said, “I’m Pleased with that. We put ourselves under a bit of pressure out there. We made a mistake on our first run and then on the second run, I just ran out of talent – again! I went off the track at Cascades, but managed to keep it going.

Behind Plato and Neal, the second row was filled by Rob Collard (eBay Motors) and Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing), both of whom held provisional pole position earlier in the session.

“Then we had one more run. That means the pressure starts building. I’m really pleased with that though, especially as we still haven’t got the car where we want it. We had a wet session first

Little did Plato know that a mechanical failure on the grid would prevent him from taking up his pole position.

Gordon Shedden claimed fifth on the grid, ahead of Tom Onslow-Cole. Row four saw Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall ahead of Welch Motorsport’s Dan Welch, while Dave Newsham and Mat Jackson rounded out the top ten.

Good weekend: Honda Racing Two wins for Neal and one for Shedden, with the Scot moving into the championship lead.

Inside BTCC 12

Daniel Welch His strongest outing yet in the Sopp + Sopp Proton suggests a strong second half to the season.

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The battle at the front saw Jackson right on the tail of Collard. The Redstone Racing driver closed the gap to the BMW but seemed short of pace to make a passing move. As the pair approached Island on lap seven, Jackson gave Collard a gentle tap, putting the Focus onto the inside line as they rounded the right-hander. Collard was having none of it though and fought back. The pair clashed wheels and ended up on the grass on the exit from the hairpin. Gordon Shedden was on hand to pick up the pieces – and the race lead – while both Collard and Jackson were left with punctures and were forced to visit the pits at the end of the lap. Shedden now led the race, ahead of Jordan, Dan Welch and Matt Neal. Meanwhile, Jason Plato was working his way up the order – at the rate of two places each lap in the early part of the race. Such was the MG star’s progress that he was soon on the back of Matt Neal. It took until just lap nine of the 15 for Plato to pass Neal and move up to an impressive fourth position. Next target for Plato was Dan Welch, enjoying his most successful outing to date in the Sopp & Sopp Proton, and aiming for his first visit to the BTCC podium. However, it was more a question of when rather than if Plato would find a way through. After closing up on the back of the Persona relatively quickly, it took Plato several laps to pass Welch. The move eventually came when

Welch ran wide on the exit from Lodge corner. That was it for Plato’s progress in this race – third place going some way to making up for the startline failure in race one. The remaining question to be answered was which of the Hondas at the front would claim victory? For the second consecutive race, Andrew Jordan found himself in second place staring at the exhaust pipe of a Honda Yuasa Racing Civic. This time, though, it was Gordon Shedden at the front. Just as in the first race, Jordan tried his best to find a way past, but there was no chance of him trying anything too risky and he was forced to settle for second once again. Victiry went to Shedden, with Jordan second and Plato third. Welch held on to fourth, ahead of Neal. Nick Foster finished sixth, ahead of Nick Foster, Lea Wood and Liam Griffin. Tom Onslow-Cole and Dave Newsham crossed the line ninth and tenth respectively. RACE THREE The reverse grid draw handed pole position for the final race at Oulton Park to eBay Motors driver Tom Onslow-Cole. Unsurprisingly, the BMW driver converted pole position into the race lead, followed through Old Hall by his teammate Nick Foster. The leaders all made it safely through the first few corners, but further down the order, there was a four-car skirmish that left Andy Neate Adam Morgan, Will Bratt and Jeff Smith trailing behind the rest of the pack – and Morgan without a windscreen. As Onslow-Cole

continued to lead, Nick Foster lost second place to Matt Neal and Plato claimed fourth from Liam Griffin. Plato then made it third when he, too, passed Foster. Lap four saw the safety car deployed when first Liam Griffin and then Dan Welch went off. Griffin collided with the tyres at Druids while Welch suffered contact with Mat Jackson at Lodge. It was a prolonged safety car period and even when the race was able to resume, it was only brief. As they headed through Old Hall after the safety car had pitted, Rob Collard moved to the inside of Andrew Jordan. Collard was well up on the inside but Jordan defended hard. The Honda was pushed onto the kerb and then the grass. By that point, Jordan was a passenger as the Civic headed towards the tyre barrier.

However, there were no more changes at the front and it was a second win of the day for Neal – and a fifth consecutive victory for Honda Yuasa Racing. Plato finished second, with Onslow-Cole holding on to the final podium spot. Shedden finished fourth, ahead of Lea Wood in his best-ever BTCC finish. Rob Collard took sixth, ahead of Mat Jackson and Nick Foster. Frank Wrathall and Tony Gilham completed the top ten.

“To have such a strong weekend in the manufacturers’ and teams’ points is very important to us.” Neal may have won twice at Oulton Park, but it’s Gordon Shedden who now holds the advantange in the championship race – but with 18 races still to come, he knows there’s plenty of hard works still to come. “We’ve got to keep racking up points so it’s good to score some here and keep it going”, said Shedden.

Following his double victory, Matt Neal said, “The car’s good and we’ve continued to improve it. We had a great test at Pembrey [before Oulton], but we’re going to keep pushing.”

Heavy damage to Jordan’s car brought the safety car straight back out on track. It was only a short pause this time and racing was able to get going again for the last six laps. Leader Onslow-Cole had made a great getaway after the first safety car period, but wasn’t able to open up such a gap the second time around. That left him under pressure from Matt Neal and while he was able to hold on to start with, OnslowCole succumbed a lap later. Indeed, the eBay Motors driver was passed by both Neal and Plato within half a lap. Neal wasn’t able to open up any real advantage at the front and the last few laps saw the top four drivers all running

Bad weekend: Mat Jackson On the back foot after an off in free practice. Penalised for clashes with Rob Collard and Dan Welch.

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together – with Neal, Plato and OnslowCole joined by Gordon Shedden.

Jakob Ebrey

also passed by Jordan.

NGTC ADVANTAGE GROWS WITH HONDA WINS Three more Honda wins helped the NGTC runners increase the points advantage over their S2000 counterparts.

Matt Neal led more laps than anyone else at Oulton Park, which means its still advantage NGTC on that front, too.

NGTC S2000 Races won

9

3

Fastest laps

8

4

Pole positions

3

1

Laps led

124

98

Points scored

895

717

Dave Newsham His lowest points haul of the season so far, with two DNFs.

Inside BTCC 13


TALKING TURKINGTON A familiar face was back in the BTCC paddock at Oulton Park recently, with 2009 title winner Colin Turkington spending race day with the West Surrey Racing crew that carried him to his championship crown.

Inside BTCC 14

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BTCC HAS ‘LASTING APPEAL’

Turkington’s visit to the paddock came weeks after he’d been back behind the wheel of a BTCC machine, having tested the eBay Motors BMW at Silverstone during the spring break. With Colin in the paddock, Inside BTCC took the chance to catch up for a chat and find out when we can expect to see him back behind the wheel of a race car… BY MATT SALISBURY Inside BTCC: Colin, is the trip to Oulton Park just a chance to catch up again with the eBay guys after the recent test? Colin Turkington: Yeah, I’m here as a fan as even though I haven’t been racing here for a few years, I still keep a close eye on the series. I did the test with the eBay team a few weeks ago and it’s nice to come along and see a few friendly faces. It’s also important for me to keep visible as I’ve been away from here for three years now and when you leave the UK – racing wise – it is easy to be forgotten about. I’m trying to make sure I stay familiar! Inside BTCC: How nice was it to get the call and be asked to go and test the BMW at Silverstone? Colin Turkington: It was good and I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t driven a race car for six months and it was great to get a full day behind the wheel and get a feel for the new breed of car. It was the first time I’d driven the two-litre turbo and I was very impressed with the speed – the car is a lot quicker than when I won the title back in 2009. Things www.insidebtcc.com

have moved on speed wise and it was good to try the car and hopefully put some positive input into what the team is trying to achieve. Inside BTCC: In recent seasons we’ve seen you appear in the WTCC and in the STCC. Is it frustrating for you that you are a championship-winning driver and you don’t have a full-time drive somewhere? Colin Turkington: It is a bit but that is the way of the world at the moment. There was an opportunity for me to race in Sweden last year and I’m glad that I took that as it was another year of racing experience for me and a year of racing somewhere new. Like I said though, when you leave the UK, it isn’t easy to get back in. At the moment, I’m waiting for a competitive seat somewhere and I’d love to be back in the BTCC but it had to be when the time is right. Sponsorship is a key part of that and we are working towards putting something together for next year. We are working to be back on the grid but it may or may not happen. Inside BTCC: Does being from Northern Ireland make it more difficult because you won’t be racing in front of your sponsors like someone from the mainland

will be? Colin Turkington: It does make it more difficult because of where I live as you don’t have the same kind of big companies in Northern Ireland that would be able to spend the money that is needed to compete in the BTCC. It is hard to get big money out of Northern Ireland so it is a case of looking in the UK and I’m sure that at some point we’ll be able to pull something together. Inside BTCC: Have you looked away from touring cars at other possible options? Colin Turkington: I’ve looked at GT racing and driving something there would be nice, but there is always a lasting appeal with British Touring Cars. You only have to look at how many people are here and the buzz that there is around the championship at the moment. It feels like it is in a good place and on the way up again. I think it would be a good place to be in the next few years. Inside BTCC: What do you make of the championship this season?

good. Obviously it is more difficult for some teams like West Surrey and Motorbase who are running the Super 2000 car with a turbo engine, as it is always more difficult when you have to compete against a new breed of car that is build to different specifications. It isn’t easy to balance the level of performance and someone is always going to come out second best. To win the championship, you have to be able to compete consistently at the front at every meeting. It seems at the moment like the S2000 teams aren’t quite able to do that and I think things will get better when everyone has an NGTC car and everyone is running to the same rules. Inside BTCC: So you think we’re looking at someone like Neal, Plato or Shedden for the title then? Colin Turkington: Every weekend so far it is those three guys who are consistently at the front and that will, in the end, determine who the champion is. Andy Jordan has also been running strongly and although I would love to see one of Dick Bennetts’ cars up there at the end of the season, the NGTC cars look very strong.

Colin Turkington: I think it’s looking pretty Inside BTCC 15


Dzenis/PSP

COLLARD JNR MAKES HIS MARK Lanyon/PSP

Son of BTCC racer Rob, Ricky Collard made his Ginetta Junior debut at Oulton Park. This unfortunate crash at Old Hall brought Ricky’s weekend to an early end. Inside BTCC 16

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Still/PSP

COLLARD PRAISES JUNIOR SERIES

Rob Collard was full of praise for the Ginetta Junior Championship after his son Ricky joined the grid for the most recent meeting of the season at Oulton Park a fortnight ago. The youngster, who is forging a hugely successful career in karting, signed up to drive for Tollbar Racing with WIRED for his debut in car racing which came just a matter of days after he successfully passed his ARDS test at Silverstone. Collard qualified eleventh in a damp qualifying session and successfully made it to the chequered flag to finish his first race at the wheel of a racing car in eleventh place. Race two would be more dramatic affair however, as Collard ended his race on the wrong side of the barriers at Old Hall after www.insidebtcc.com

losing the rear of his car going into the corner. It was a dramatic way in which to end his first weekend of car racing, but father Rob said there were plenty of positives for Ricky to take away from Oulton Park as he now turns his focus back to karting. “The big positive is that he wasn’t scared to go out there and have a go,” he said. “It is a massive ask to expect him to jump in a car and be right up to speed as it isn’t an easy task. To be honest, what those kids are achieving gets dwarfed by what everyone else in the paddock is doing. The Ginetta Junior Championship is a good series with a good car, and there are kids out there who are getting the job done on a man’s circuit.

“In hindsight, maybe the challenge was a bit too big and we should have gone and done some more testing before tackling a race weekend and Ricky will be hard on himself over the accident. He has to understand what went wrong, but he hadn’t driven a car with a clutch and manual gearbox before so he was learning all the time. He will have learnt a lot from the weekend but now, I want him to be focused on his karting again as that is the priority.” Collard will obviously hope to pass on some of the knowledge he has gained during his own racing career to Ricky as he progresses up the ladder, but he made it clear that there was no preferential treatment for his son.

driver should be driving because I race myself,” he said, “but I don’t treat Ricky any differently just because he is my son. I try to teach other people how to race cars as well and I give them the same advice and criticism that I would give Ricky as there is only one way to do things and that is the correct way. “Ricky can be very critical of himself and that shows that he will become a good driver as if you are arrogant, you don’t listen to what you are told. He is prepared to listen and prepared to learn, and motorsport is all about learning.”

“Obviously I have more of an insight into how a Inside BTCC 17


Pics: jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 18

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Inside BTCC 19

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Dzenis/PSP

NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF | NEWS IN BRIEF

RAR at full-strength Rob Austin Racing will be at full strength with a two car team this weekend at Croft, marking the first time that the Audi squad has fielded both of its NGTC-spec A4s since the 2011 season finale. After an impressive debut at Oulton Park, former singleseater racer Will Bratt returns for a second crack at the BTCC having extended his one-off deal while team boss Rob Austin will return having missed the last round as the team worked to repair damage sustained in a heavy accident at Thruxton. “I’m confident Will and I will be competitive this weekend,” Austin said. “We’re both very capable drivers and we know the Audi is a very fast car which, due to some bad luck, just hasn’t been seen yet – but Croft is a rearwheel-drive friendly circuit so hopefully this could be where it finally happens.” Welch takes HiQ award Dan Welch is the latest winner of the HiQ Champagne Moment for his performance during the last round of the season at Oulton Park.

Inside BTCC 20

Welch produced his best qualifying performance so far in his Proton Persona to secure eighth on the grid and then took two top six finishes on race day – including a best finish of fourth in race two. The Welch Motorsport was only prevented from scoring a hat-trick of top ten finishes when he was taken out of race three by Mat Jackson’s Ford. Welch took 38 per cent of the vote ahead of Lea Wood and double race winner Mat Neal. Classical outings for Jackson, Wrathall Mat Jackson and Frank Wrathall will both compete at the Silverstone Classic for the first time next month in machinery seen in the BTCC in years gone by. Jackson will share driving duties in a Ford Lotus Cortina in the Under 2-Litre Touring Car event, while Wrathall will be in action in the Fujifilm Touring Car Trophy for cars built between 1970 and 2000. The Dynojet driver will be at the wheel of an ex-Richard Kaye Vauxhall Cavalier owned by one of the mechanics who works on his Toyota Avensis.

KX launches driver academy Triple Eight sponsor KX used Oulton Park to launch the new KX Akademy, which will aim to help give young drivers a helping hand in their racing careers. From next year, six youngster – four on four-wheels and two from two-wheels – will be selected to join the programme, which will provide financial support but also a range of other benefits to help drivers with marketing and sponsorship. For 2012, two drivers will be selected for the programme and will be revealed at Croft this weekend. The two drivers, and members of the Akademy moving forwards, will be mentored by double BTCC champion Jason Plato. Ex-BTCC men shine at Le Mans A number of drivers to have competed in the BTCC produced impressive performances in the annual Le Mans 24 Hours – with two finishing inside the top six overall.

Former Honda man Tom Kristensen was part of the #2 Audi crew that finished second overall as part of an Audi podium lock-out, while ex-BMW racer David Brabham finished in sixth place in JRM Racing’s HPD ARX-03a. Former SEAT man Darren Turner helped Aston Martin Racing to secure third place in the GTE-Pro class while exMG racer Warren Hughes was part of the Murphy Prototypes team that ran at the front in the LMP2 class before a suspension issue forced the team to retire. It wasn’t just drivers with BTCC experience who played a part in the race, with former SEAT Sport UK engineer Piers Phillips in charge of the Strakka Racing team that took the flag in 30th place – having run as high as seventh before mechanical issues forced the team into the garage in the closing hours. Mechanics from RML were also involved with the running of the innovative DeltaWing, which competed in the race as the ‘Garage 56’ entry to showcase new technology.

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Inside BTCC 21

Jakob Ebrey

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Jakob Ebrey

Inside BTCC 22

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

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Inside BTCC 23


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 24

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

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Jakob Ebrey

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 25


10 QUICK QUESTIONS FERGUS WALKINSHAW

Jakob Ebrey

In the second quick feature with drivers from the BTCC support package, we catch up with Century Motorsport’s Fergus Walkinshaw as he prepares for his latest outing in the Ginetta GT Supercup.

Inside BTCC 26

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FERGUS WALKINSHAW

What is your favourite circuit? Nürburgring – I last drove the circuit in 2011, that was just for fun on a mate’s stag do, but I have done track days there before. I hope to race there sometime soon. Who is your racing hero? I don’t actually have one. If you could race any car, what would it be? V8 Supercar.

If you could pick any driver as your team-mate on a race weekend, who would you pick? David Brabham. What is your day job? I’ve just finished my second year at Oxford Brookes University studying Automotive Engineering. I’m about to go into my year out in industry, working at Ginetta Cars, then I’ve got one more year of study to complete. What do you drive on the road? BMW 120d and Land Rover Defender. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given in your racing career? Ken Clarke once told me: “Imagine the throttle is a tube of toothpaste. If you stamp on it, it will spray all over the sink.” Do you have any pre-race rituals? I’m not at all superstitious so I tend to shy away from rituals. I take time to prepare but I get in the car fairly late so I can just go to the assembly area.

Who do you think will be BTCC champion at the end of the season? I’m rooting for my fellow Scotsman, Gordon Shedden. www.insidebtcc.com

Inside BTCC 27

Pics: Jakob Ebrey

What is your ultimate career goal? To own, run and drive in my own sportscar team.


RACE FOR

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING

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 24

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

Inside BTCC 28

173 168 161 132 129 127 88 80 71 71 65 59 55 47 40 33 25 24 21 15 13 11 4 0

MANUFACTURER/CONSTRUCTOR 1 2

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

Honda/Dynamics MG/Triple Eight

377 284

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

327 224 200 196 181 97 73 67 60 48 41 30 23 0

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THE TITLE

GS AFTER 12 OF 30 RACES INDEPENDENT DRIVERS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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

www.insidebtcc.com

164 158 153 114 100 100 99 98 86 85 67 57 48 47 44 39 37 19 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 BINZ Racing Team HARD Speedworks Rob Austin Racing AmDTuning.com Welch Motorsport Thorney Motorsport

188 186 184 131 118 117 106 82 81 69 67 11

Inside BTCC 29


THE SEASON

RACE-BY-RACE RESULTS FOR THE 2012 DUNLOP

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Matt Neal

2

1

7

3

2

DNF

10

5

2

1

5

1

Mat Jackson

7

4

DNF

1

3

EXC

1

3

6

5

DNF

7

Aron Smith

DNF

DNF

8

8

9

11

7

8

14

DNF

16

DNF

Liam Griffin

14

12

11

DNF

DNF

14

DNF

17

12

DNF

8

DNF

Rob Collard

1

6

6

10

8

4

4

7

7

3

14

6

DNF

DNS

13

9

14

7

5

4

3

12

17

9

Dan Welch

Frank Wrathall

17

11

DNF

12

DNF

8

DNF

DNS

DNS

6

4

DNF

Rob Austin

8

5

5

DNF

DNS

DNS

DNF

18

13

/

/

/

Will Bratt

/

/

/

/

/

/

/

/

/

8

DNF

11

Dave Newsham Nick Foster Adam Morgan Tony Gilham Tom Onslow-Cole Lea Wood

DNF

9

3

7

4

DNF

2

6

18

DNF

10

DNF

9

DNF

DNS

11

11

12

14

14

11

9

6

8

DNF

DNS

DNF

15

13

DNF

DNF

DNC

DNF

DNF

DNF

DNF

18

13

10

14

7

3

11

9

DNF

DNF

11

10

3

10

DNF

5

10

9

8

13

10

DNF

9

3

11

15

9

DNF

15

10

9

12

8

10

7

5

Andy Neate

12

14

14

16

12

DNF

16

16

DNF

7

DNF

DNF

Ollie Jackson

13

8

DNF

DNC

DNS

DNS

12

15

15

11

15

15

Tony Hughes

16

16

15

DNF

16

15

DNC

19

16

13

12

14

5

DNF

EXC

2

1

1

6

1

1

4

1

4

10

7

4

13

6

5

13

11

9

DNF

DNS

12

DNF

17

16

DNS

DNS

DNS

/

/

/

/

/

/

6

2

2

6

5

6

DNF

10

5

2

2

DNF

Chris James

15

DNF

12

17

DNF

13

15

DNS

17

DNF

13

13

Jason Plato

4

3

1

4

DNC

2

3

2

4

DNC

3

2

Gordon Shedden Jeff Smith John Thorne Andrew Jordan

BOLD denotes pole position ITALICS denotes fastest lap

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

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19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

Inside BTCC 31


Hubbleday/Jakob Ebrey


Inside BTCC - Issue 11 - Croft (June 2012)