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INSIDEBTCC.COM issue 22: june 2013

PLUS - WARREN SCOTT ON HIS BTCC SWITCH

PLATO ON FIRE

TWO WINS BEFORE DRAMATIC THIRD RACE FOR MG STAR

www.insidebtcc.com Inside BTCC  MORE... PREVIEW / JASON PLATO / SUPPORT RACES / MUCH MUCH CROFT


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WELCOME... Jason Plato showed Honda won’t have it all their own way in this season’s BTCC title race with a fine performance at Oulton Park – where he took two wins to close on Matt Neal in the title race. The MG man is now within striking distance in the points as the series heads to Croft for the fifth round of the year, with Andy Jordan still between him and Neal in a title race that is bubbling up nicely ahead of the trip to the North East. In the latest edition of Inside BTCC, we look back at how Plato and Jordan shared victory in the three races, while we also chat at length with Plato about the strongest showing for MG to date this year.

they are enjoying life in the BTCC and look at the changes being made at Motorbase for the Croft weekend. There is also a full run-down on what’s been happening in the TOCA supports and the latest BTCC news alongside the championship standings and a look at the BTCC results to date this year. As usual, you can follow us on Twitter at @InsideBTCC or give us a like on Facebook at Facebook.com/InsideBTCC. You can also get in touch with us via e-mail on contact@insidebtcc. com if you have any feedback or suggestions you want to send our way. Until next time…

At the other end of the scale, we also catch up with one of the smallest teams on the grid in the shape of BMR Restart to see how

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S T TEN

N O C

IN THIS ISSUE... ALL CHANGE AT MOTORBASE Hill and Caine in for Croft

6-7

NEWS IN BRIEF Rounding up the news from around the paddock

10 - 11

PLATO GAINS MOMENTUM MG star is on a role

12 - 13

DOUBLE THE WHEELS Warren Scott on making the switch

16 - 19

OULTON PARK ROUND-UP Plato wins twice in Cheshire

20 - 25

SUPPORT RACES Rounding up the action from the support formulae

30 - 31

CROFT PREVIEW Looking ahead to rounds 13, 14 & 15

34 - 35

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 - Plato on fire (Chris Brown/ SpeedSnaps); Top right - Warren Scott (jakobebrey.com). Back cover: Grid girls (PSP Images).

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ALL CHANGE AT MOTORBASE

New-look line-up for Addison Lee-backed side of Ford garage at Croft By Matt Salisbury

The Addison Lee Motorbase line-up will take on a new appearance at Croft, with the debut of a new car and a new driver during the fifth round of the BTCC season. With Liam Griffin unable to make the trip thanks to business commitments Inside BTCC 

elsewhere, youngster Jake Hill will make his debut at the wheel of the team’s S2000-spec Ford Focus while the Croft weekend will also see the first appearance of Motorbase’s third NGTC-spec Focus.

comes on the back of a rollercoaster ride in his career in recent years, with the teenager having battled hard against budget issues to show race winning pace in both the Ginetta Junior Championship and the Ginetta GT Supercup.

Hill’s move into the BTCC

The 19-year-old will now www.insidebtcc.com


hope to make the most of the opportunity to race the S2000 Ford having previously tested the car following the conclusion of the 2012 season, with Jack Sears Trophy honours being his aim for the weekend.

to be on the same grid as them is like a dream come true. As long as I get my head around the car; I’m confident that I can put in a good challenge and my aim is to win at least one Jack Sears Trophy this weekend. I can’t wait!”

“It’s such an amazing opportunity that David [Bartrum] has kindly given me the chance to have another run in the car, and this time in an actual race,” the teenager said. “I can’t describe how thankful I am to Liam and everyone at Addison Lee Motorbase for letting me have this opportunity and I intend to make the most of it and do the best job I possibly can at the weekend.

New boy Hill will be joined at Croft by long-term Motorbase man Michael Caine, who returns to the championship for the first time since 2011 when he raced for the team at Rockingham and Brands Hatch.

“I’ve spent my whole racing career watching the touring cars, so too finally www.insidebtcc.com

Caine makes his comeback in what is slated to be a one-off appearance in the team’s third NGTCspec car, which will run alongside the S2000-spec car under the Addison Lee Motorbase banner. The car made its on-

track debut during a test at Snetterton earlier this month and will now join the grid for the fifth meeting of the year, with a striking livery featuring backing from car care company Autoglym, which is using the debut of the new car to help promote its LifeShine range of products. “I absolutely loved it the last time out – so if this weekend can be as good as that, then brilliant,” Caine said. “I’d like to say a massive thanks to Autoglym and everybody else that has been involved and helped to make this happen. “I’m really looking forward to being able to support the team once again, and hopefully we get the results that they deserve this weekend.”

Caine’s BTCC outing comes on the back of him helping the team to secure its first win in the British GT Championship at Snetterton. With the 43-year-old’s confidence on a high, team boss David Bartrum said he was confident of a strong weekend for Caine on his return, and also for rookie Hill on his debut. “It’s great to get the opportunity to race the third Motorbase NGTC and we’re really looking forward to seeing what Michael can do in the Focus this weekend,” Bartrum said, “especially coming off the back of

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NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF Mason hopes for more running Aaron Mason says he hopes to make further outings in the BTCC on the back of his debut in the series at Oulton Park. The VW Racing Cup points leader joined AmDTuning. com for the weekend as a replacement for James Kaye, who was forced to miss the event due to business commitments elsewhere. Mason produced a solid performance through qualifying and the first race of the weekend to run inside the top three in the Jack Sears Trophy before a snatched gear in race two caused the engine to let go. While that put him out of race three as well, Mason declared himself happy with the weekend and said he was hopeful of further appearances in the future if the chance arises. “It’s a shame the weekend ended as it did, but I’m pleased with how quickly Inside BTCC 10

I was able to adapt to the car and how quickly I was on the pace,” he said. “We made a few adjustments to the car to get it more to my liking and by the time we got to qualifying, I felt I was really up to speed. In the first race, the car didn’t feel quite as good but the guys made some changes for race two and it felt a lot better in the laps we did. I think we were showing strong pace before the engine let go. “I really enjoyed the weekend and working with the team, and I think I put in a good performance. It would be nice to get out again and give it another go later in the year if the chance arose.” AmD regular James Kaye will be back at Croft. Oulton draws bumper crowd One of the biggest crowds seen in recent years made the most of the fine weather to head trackside for the Oulton Park meeting.

Over 40,000 people heads to the Cheshire venue for the meeting, which is traditionally one of the most well-attended on the schedule. “The crowd figures and general atmosphere at Oulton Park are testament to the continued strength and appeal of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship,” series boss Alan Gow said. “Circuit owners MotorSport Vision ensured the venue was in fantastic condition and everyone involved in the BTCC plays their part on putting on a first class show, both on and off the track. “It is thanks to a collaboration of people – from drivers, teams, partners, sponsors, marshals, fans through to the wonderful free-to-air TV coverage from ITV that ensures the BTCC remains the hottest ticket in town.” Adam joins Le Mans graduates

Former Motorbase man Jonny Adam has become the latest graduate from the BTCC to sample the famous Circuit de la Sarthe after joining Aston Martin Racing for the recent test day ahead of the annual Le Mans 24 Hours. Adam, announced recently as a reserve for the factory team, completed his mandatory ten laps as a rookie driver during the test day at the wheel of the team’s iconic Gulfliveried Vantage GTE. “It went really well,” he said. “Obviously, ten laps of an 8.5-mile circuit takes up a large chunk of the session so we worked on some mapping while I clocked them up. “It was a great experience – I took it easy at first and built up to it but the conditions were constantly changing out there, the grip levels were really up and down.” Multiple winner Tom Kristensen and Adam’s fellow Aston Martin Racing www.insidebtcc.com


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NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF NEWS IN BRIEF man Darren Turner will both be chasing honours in the race, which takes place while the BTCC brigade are in action at Croft. Renault inks new threeyear TOCA deal The Renault UK Clio Cup will remain on the BTCC package until at least the end of 2016 after a new three-year deal was agreed between Renault, series promoters the BARC and TOCA. The agreement runs through to the end of 2016 and comes ahead of the introduction of the latest generation Clio racer, which will debut in the UK next year. The new model, already in use in the European series, was presented to prospective teams in the paddock at Oulton Park with orders having now opened. “We’re absolutely delighted to confirm the Renault UK Clio Cup will remain part of the country’s biggest and best www.insidebtcc.com

motorsport package for at least another three years,” Jeremy Townsend, Renault UK Communications Director, said. “On behalf of Renault UK, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Gow [BTCC Series Director] and his team at TOCA for their continued support.

Cole, Aron Smith, Dave Newsham and Jack Goff are amongst the raft of drivers to have competed in the Clio Cup who then made the move into the BTCC.

“Renault UK has been an integral part of the BTCC package for 21 seasons, since its inception, and we’re now looking forward to the arrival of the new Clio Cup race car from 2014 which will also be our 40th anniversary year in British motorsport. We’re at the start of an exciting new era for the championship, securing its continued place on the BTCC package is key to future success.”

Drivers in the Formula Ford Championship will hope to secure the chance to earn an all-expensespaid trip to the USA to take part in testing in both a USF2000 and a Pro Mazda car.

The new Clio will powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and will come fitted as standard, for the first time, with a steering wheel mounted paddle-shift gear change system. Rob Huff, Tom Onslow-

Indy chance for Formula Ford stars

The Mazda Road to Indy Formula Ford Driver of the Year will be chosen by a panel of experts, with representatives from the programme attending events through the rest of the year to meet drivers and explain how they can get involved. A special event for Formula Ford drivers will also take place at the Toronto Grand Prix next month.

about the opportunity to once again be part of such a well-regarded driver development programme,” Sam Loach, director of Formula Ford championship promoter RacingLine, said. “Drivers who cut their teeth in Formula Ford have gone on to stellar careers in Formula 1 – Jenson Button being our most recent World Champion – and also in INDYCAR, with Josef Newgarden the latest to join the grid. We very much hope that our renewed link with Mazda Road to Indy will give all our drivers new options to explore for the furtherance of their careers. “The reigning Formula Ford Champion, Antti Buri, won the Road To Indy scholarship prize in 2012 and I know that his trip to the USA to test at Indianapolis was the highlight of his season, and a major boost for his profile and career.”

“We are all very excited Inside BTCC 11


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PLATO GAINS MOMENTUM

MG man makes his advantage count to breathe fresh life into the 2013 title fight...

Heading to Oulton Park for the fourth round of the BTCC season, there was little doubt that the Honda teams were the ones to beat – having taken six wins out of nine through the opening three meetings of the campaign. A triple success for the factory Honda squad at Thruxton meant confidence was high for the Dynamicsrun team, with Matt Neal leading the way and Gordon Shedden fourth as he aimed to continue his fight-back from a tough start to the season. The fact that Andrew Jordan sat second to Neal in the standings only added to the argument that the Civic would be the car to beat in Cheshire. Jason Plato however had other ideas… The MG man had started his championship campaign with a double win at Brands Hatch, with Donington and Thruxton then yielded a podium apiece as Honda drivers came to the fore. Had it not been for a puncture in the final race in Hampshire however, things could have been very different… While that puncture cost Plato an almost certain victory, it came in a race where the Triple Eight-run MG squad had made a major step forward with

Inside BTCC 12

the MG6 GT. A test at Snetterton during the spring break allowed the team to further finetune the car, with Plato then making the most of the extra performance when the cars hit the track for the resumption of racing in the Cheshire countryside. Pole position by almost half a second in an MG frontrow lock-out was followed by a 1-2 finish in race one, and a further win in race two. While a fire in race three prevented Plato from pushing for a hattrick and instead left him watching on the sidelines, there was little doubt that the double champion had made a statement having closed the gap to leader Neal in the standings to seven points – with Jordan still three ahead after lodging the same score as Plato across the Oulton Park races. “I’m very pleased,” Plato admitted following the Oulton Park

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weekend. “We’d made some big gains with the car in the final race at Thruxton and showed strong pace, although we didn’t win because of the puncture. But we’d thrown some crazy stuff at the car in that race and were able to take a lot away from it. We’d wanted to run some development parts for a while and they worked, so we then went to Snetterton, put the same bits on and they worked again so we went with them at Oulton. “What we’ve done is improve the car in the areas where we wanted to make it work better, and while it made it easier to attack the lap times, it also gave us stronger pace throughout the race. I think we are now using our tyres less than anyone else, certainly when it comes to the harder tyre. It’s very satisfying, despite what happened in race three. That’s just one of those things that happens.” While the pace shown by the MG at Oulton Park may have been a surprise to some, given the fact that Honda has seemingly had the quickest car through www.insidebtcc.com

the opening three rounds, Plato insisted that he wasn’t shocked to have found himself out front. “I knew what we could do and truth be known, I didn’t get my lap in in qualifying as I got traffic on the approach to, and through, Druids and lost three tenths of a second,” he said. “I knew we would be a step above the others, but that is what the changes to the car gave us. I knew we had to get off the line, build up a cushion and we’d be fine. In race two for example, I hung everything out to dry and pulled out a two second lead on the first lap; I was a country mile ahead after three miles, which allowed me to break the chain. When you do that, you can start to look after your tyres and ease things up. By lap three in the first two races, I was into tyre preservation mode. “Momentum is what this game is about and it moves around. When the planets are aligned, and when your car and team are working well and you put in a performance like we did in qualifying, that is when

you have to attack and ram home the result. Matt had a sensational Thruxton and we had to go to Oulton Park, attack and come back at him. After race two, we led the standings, but the BTCC is full of highs and lows and you have to be good at bouncing back from the lows. I guess that is where my experience counts.” Although Plato was the undoubted star for MG with his double win, teammate Sam Tordoff also maintained his strong start to the season – qualifying on the front row for the first time and then taking his best result to date in race one. While a clash with Mat Jackson in race two meant his run of points scoring finishes came to an end, the youngster fought through the pack to score a top ten finish in race three and Plato said his contribution was proving to be key for the team on track. “Sam is doing a fantastic job,” Plato insisted. “I have two hats on when it comes to Sam because

there is also the fact that he is a member of the KX Akademy, but he has been a find in many ways. There are some similarities to when I joined the BTCC back in 1997 as I had an experienced team-mate in Alain Menu who was at the top of his game. There was a fair bit of pressure on me as there has been with Sam, and he has got himself in the shop window with some good results in the same way I did with Williams when I stick it on pole for the first three races. “Some of the inner pressure he put on himself has gone and he can focus on the job, and he is doing that job very well. He likes and dislikes the same things I do and that means I can trust his data and his feedback. If I have that trust, and he has it in me, we can cover ground quickly and make changes from the feedback we are both providing and it’s allowing us to make strides forwards.”

Inside BTCC 13


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DOUBLE THE WHEELS Inside BTCC 16

It’s been a tough start to life in the BTCC for Warren Scott and the BMR Restart team, but hopes are high of forward progress www.insidebtcc.com


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Amongst the newcomers to the grid for the 2013 British Touring Car Championship, there is little doubt that Warren Scott and the BMR Restart team were the biggest unknowns, with both driver and team being new names to TOCA paddock. Scott elected to join the BTCC field this year having spent 2012 running in the Lotus Cup, with the 41year-old Superbike racer having elected to make the switch from twowheels to four.

Scott and the team to use race weekends to increase its knowledge pace as it seeks to challenge for JST honours. Scott’s best finish to date was 15th place in race two at Brands Hatch, meaning he is one of only three of the seven drivers to appear in Super 2000spec cars to have scored overall championship points this year.

to finish seven times in the opening twelve races, with Oulton Park in particular proving to be a disappointment as the SEAT failed to make it to the chequered flag in any of the three races; giving an indication of how tough the move up the touring cars has been. “Oulton Park was tough,” he admitted. “On race day, we blew a seal in the master cylinder which would normally be an easy job to sort, but we

decided to change the clutch as well and the four studs holding it into the fly wheel snapped – which made it a much bigger job. We missed race two and then for race three, we didn’t quite have the clutch sorted and when I got round to the grid, I couldn’t get the car into gear so we were forced out.

A Super 2000-spec car purchased from Belgium was the weapon of choice for the new team, with an entry lodged into the Jack Sears Trophy, although it’s been a far from easy ride so far.

“There’s no doubt that this has been a massive step for us. We did the twelve races in the Lotus last year so I could get my licence and, having spent so much time in Superbikes, we thought it would be an easy step as we have the knowledge and experience of running and setting up vehicles. However, touring cars has really challenged us.

Issues ahead of the season led to limited running prior to the campaign getting underway, leaving both

“We are now getting some help and the lap times are coming down, although the results haven’t been there yet. We know we

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At the same time however, Scott has failed

Inside BTCC 17


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are improving and this year was always going to be a year to lean, that was the view we had from the start.” While the move into touring cars has provided numerous challenges, one of the main ones for Scott has been trying to avoid going back to what has been the norm for him on-track in the past and trying to ensure he doesn’t slip back into his old routines.

“As a team, we’ve all got challenges to overcome,” he said. “My biggest problem, especially in the heat of the moment, is that I go back to bike lines, which are completely wrong. After 12 years on bikes, you go to what feels natural, which I need to try and alter. There are other things like when the tyres start to go off, I can’t move my weight around as I would on the bike, but the whole team is finding challenges that we are

getting over, and we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. “I’d say we are only scraping the surface at the moment, we are maybe 50 per cent there. We haven’t had much testing time and have hardly changed the car as by the time I’ve got used to a circuit, we are in the race and it’s hard to test in that situation. We have to try and get out testing so we can make changes to the car and see what the changes do.” Scott has already insisted that he plans to make the move to an NGTC-spec car for the 2014 campaign but before then, his aim is to try and secure victories in the Jack Sears Trophy before the year is out; being one of only two of the full-season entrants yet to take class honours.

is out,” he said. “The sponsors know the team from bikes so they know what we can do already, but we’d like to have a few wins. While Oulton didn’t go to plan, we were there in the races at Thruxton but just didn’t get the result thanks to some bad luck. However, it’s just a matter of time. “At the moment, we are loving every minute of being in the BTCC and the best place for us to learn is by being here. Things will come together, and next year, we will be running an NGTC-spec car. The future for us isn’t running a Super 2000spec car again in 2014 but we aren’t 100 per cent sure what car we will run next year. That is something that has still to be decided.”

“It’s very important to get a win before the year Inside BTCC 18

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Inside BTCC 19


PLATO WINS TWICE

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OULTON DOUBLE FOR MG STAR

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Chris Brown / SpeedSnaps

MATT LAMPRELL REPORTS

PLATO DOMINATES OULTON SCORCHER

After claiming victory in the first two races in Cheshire, Plato’s MG caught light in the final race of the day, as our spectacular photo shows. Despite his two wins, Plato sits third in the championship behind Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan and the championship heads to its halfway point at Croft.

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RACE ONE The first race of the day brought Plato one of the most straightforward wins he will ever experience, as he led from lights to flag. Plato started from pole position, with his MG KX Momentum teammate Sam Tordoff alongside him and the pair enjoyed a relatively trouble-free run all the way to the chequered flag. Starting from third on the grid, Gordon Shedden made a

good getaway, challenging Tordoff for second through Old Hall for the first time. However, the MG was too strong and both Plato and Tordoff held their spots at the front. The leading trio edged away from the pack over the first few laps and the only prospect of changing places was mistakes or mechanical failures. Behind the front three, Dave Newsham headed Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington. From very early on in the race, Inside BTCC 21

PSP Images

Jason Plato was literally on fire at Oulton Park.


Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Honda Civic started smoking. The question seemed to be when rather than if the Honda would slow, but it held on as the laps ticked by.

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It was Newsham who struggled to keep up with the front-running pace and was soon passed by Turkington and then Matt Neal. Jordan’s smoking Honda kept going, despite the smoke become thicker lap after lap and it didn’t slow him down enough to

put his fourth place at risk.

battle scars at the end of the race.

There were no further changes in the order at the front, with Plato taking the victory ahead of Tordoff and Shedden. Jordan finished fourth, with Turkington in fifth. Matt Neal claimed sixth place, in front of Mat Jackson. Dave Newsham ended the race in eighth.

In the Jack Sears Trophy, Addison Lee Motorbase’s Liam Griffin took victory on the track, only to be penalised postrace for gaining an unfair advantage when he passed Lea Wood. Wood inherited the win following Griffin’s one second penalty.

Adam Morgan and Rob Collard completed the top ten, with Collard’s eBay Motors BMW bearing significant

1 Jason Plato (NGTC) 22:04.464 / 15 Laps; 2 Sam Tordoff (NGTC) +1.107; 3 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) +3.167; 4 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +4.104; 5 Colin Turkington (NGTC) +4.563; 6 Matt Neal (NGTC) +10.946; 7 Mat Jackson (NGTC) +11.551; 8 Dave Newsham (NGTC) +15.381; 9 Adam Morgan (NGTC) +23.909; 10 Rob Collard (NGTC) +23.942. Independent winner: Andrew Jordan. Fastest lap: Jason Plato (1:26.902). RACE TWO 1 Jason Plato (NGTC) 26:33.600 / 17 Laps; 2 Gordon Shedden (NGTC) +2.691; 3 Colin Turkington (NGTC) +3.285; 4 Matt Neal (NGTC) +5.591; 5 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) +9.354; 6 Dave Newsham (NGTC) +10.326; 7 Adam Morgan

Andrew Jordan.

Just as in race one, Plato converted pole position into the race lead. Behind him, Tordoff held on to second place, but Colin Turkington leapt to third in the rear wheel drive BMW. Shedden was fourth, ahead of

While Turkington made a good start to the race, the same wasn’t true for his eBay Motors teammates. Contact between Nick Foster and Rob Collard left the latter facing the wrong way at the hairpin on lap two.

RACE TWO Another dominant performance saw Jason Plato take a second consecutive win in race two at

RACE RESULTS - TOP 10s RACE ONE

Oulton Park.

(NGTC) +10.849; 8 Rob Austin (NGTC) +13.396; 9 Daniel Welch (NGTC) +16.078; 10 Jeff Smith (NGTC) +16.270. Independent winner: Colin Turkington. Fastest lap: Jason Plato (1:27.309). RACE THREE 1 Andrew Jordan (NGTC) 22:17.987 / 15 Laps; 2 Colin Turkington (NGTC) +1.358; 3 Adam Morgan (NGTC) +4.523; 4 Matt Neal (NGTC) +4.601; 5 Rob Austin (NGTC) +7.605; 6 Will Bratt (NGTC) +8.712; 7 Sam Tordoff (NGTC) +15.018; 8 Nick Foster (NGTC) +15.798; 9 Frank Wrathall (NGTC) +16.761; 10 Aron Smith (NGTC) +17.876. Independent winner: Andrew Jordan. Fastest lap: Gordon Shedden (1:27.387).

POLE SETS PLATO UP FOR WINNING WEEKEND Jason Plato’s Oulton park weekend started well. Plato claimed pole for MG KX Momentum Racing with a best lap of 1:16.130 around the sunny Oulton Park Island circuit – making it look easy, by completing fewer laps than any other driver. Plato’s MG teammate Sam Tordoff completed the dominant display by joining him on the front row. Following the session, Plato said, “That’s a great result. After free practice one, we were reasonably confident. I’m really pleased. I didn’t actually nail a lap - I reckon there was a 1:25.8 in my car. An all MG front row – that bodes well for tomorrow.

“It’s a long season and we need to keep chipping away and working as a team. That’s exactly what we’re doing at the moment. I’m dead chuffed.” Behind the MGs, Gordon Shedden claimed third for Honda, ahead of Dave Newsham with an impressive fourth for Speedworks Motorsport. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan took fifth on the grid, with Frank Wrathall sixth and Colin Turkington, seventh. Matt Neal could only manage eighth on the grid for the first race, while Adam Morgan and Tom Onslow-Cole completed the top ten.

Good weekend: JASON PLATO Pole position and two dominant wins.

Inside BTCC 22

MATT NEAL Didn’t championship.

make

the

podium

but

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the

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The safety car was the only thing likely to cause Jason Plato any worries at the front. It was

another dominant performance from the MG driver. In contrast, his teammate did not enjoy such a strong run in this race. Tordoff opted to use the softer Dunlop tyres in race two and this seemed to make his GT6 less competitive as the race went on. He lost second place to Gordon Shedden a couple of laps after the restart and was subsequently passed by Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan.

A battle with Mat Jackson brought Tordoff’s competitive race to an end, with contact between the pair leaving both cars with damage. At the end of the race, it was Plato who was first to the chequered flag, ahead of Shedden and Turkington. Matt Neal took fourth, ahead of Jordan and Dave Newsham. Adam Morgan finished seventh, with Rob Austin eighth, Dan

Bad weekend: ROB COLLARD Contact with teammate Nick Foster summed up a disappointing weekend.

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Welch ninth and Jeff Smith in tenth. Lea Wood claimed a second Jack Sears Trophy victory of the day, finishing in 18th place overall. RACE THREE An eventful final

race at Oulton Park ended with Andrew Jordan taking victory for Pirtek Racing. It was Jordan’s teammate Jeff Smith who benefitted from the reverse grid to start race three

Pics: PSP Images

Jack Goff was another driver to suffer misfortune, stopping at the entrance to the pitlane on lap three with smoke coming from under the bonnet of his Vauxhall Insignia. The position of Goff’s stranded car forced the deployment of the safety car, bunching up the pack.

MAT JACKSON Seventh in race one was the highlight.

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from pole position, however, he was leapfrogged by Rob Austin, who made the most of his Audi’s rear wheel drive power at the start. After his impressive getaway, Austin quickly had to defend as Smith challenged for the lead at the hairpin on the first lap. Austin held on, but Smith kept the pressure on. They were also joined by Dan Welch in his Proton. After his earlier two dominant victories, Jason Plato may have had faint hopes of a remarkable hattrick. However, those hopes were ended in some style on lap four when he pitted with his MG on fire. That was retirement for Plato. Back at the front, there were some five cars in Inside BTCC 24

the battle for the lead. Smith continued to challenge Austin, while Andrew Jordan put the pressure on third placed Adam Morgan. Jordan also had to keep an eye on his mirrors, where the challenge was coming from Colin Turkington.

passed Austin in quick succession.

Turkington himself came under pressure on lap seven when Matt Neal came flying into the chicane behind him. Neal ended up on two wheels as he hit the kerb, but fortunately managed to slow his Honda in time to prevent any contact.

Jordan ran close behind Smith for a few laps and just at the point when questions over team orders might have come into play, the issue was resolved. Smith slid wide as he entered the chicane on lap 12. This handed the lead to Jordan, but also dropped Smith down the order. Smith’s woes deepened when he had a further off next time around.

At the front, Jeff Smith finally got the better of Austin, with the help of a tap to the rear of the Audi as the approached Lodge. Smith took the lead, with Morgan moving through into second. Jordan and Turkington also

Andrew Jordan made it a Pirtek Racing one-two on lap nine when he passed Adam Morgan for second. He then set about closing on his teammate.

In fact, that’s how the order stayed until the end of the race. It was Jordan’s second win of the year and Turkington’s best result so far in the new eBay Motors BMW. The top ten was completed by Will Bratt, Sam Tordoff, Nick Foster, Frank Wrathall and Aron Smith. After 12 races of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Matt Neal leads the points standings by four points from Andrew Jordan, with Jason Plato a further three behind in third.

Going into the final few laps, Jordan led from Turkington and Morgan, with Neal in fourth and Austin fifth. www.insidebtcc.com


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Inside BTCC 25


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Inside BTCC 29


SUPPORT RACE ROUND-UP We look back at all the action from the support race paddock at Oulton Park...

Meadows moves to head of Porsche pack Michael Meadows heads to Croft as leader of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB on the back of his double success last time out at Oulton Park. The two wins in Cheshire gave Meadows five wins for the season and a 23 point lead in the standings going into the fifth round of the year.

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Former leader Jonas Gelzinis suffered a tough weekend at Oulton Park, with a puncture in the opening race of the weekend seeing him struggle to ninth, while fifth in race two resulted in his worst scoring weekend of the year. In fact, it was the first weekend in which he hadn’t taken a brace of podium finishes having picked up six from six prior to the fourth meeting of the year.

Inside BTCC 30

Gelzinis is six points clear of Dean Stoneman, with the double winner from Brands Hatch having also missed out on the podium at Oulton Park – something he will seek to rectify in an attempt to chase Meadows down for the points lead. Dan Lloyd – who has now finished in the top two in the last four races – and Rory Butcher will also be keen to impress, with Butcher aiming to build on his first podium of the year last time out. In Pro-Am1, Victor Jimenez continues to lead the standings ahead of team-mate Dan De Zille, with the pair set to be joined in battle by a returning George Brewster. However Karl Leonard – who took an overall podium finish at Oulton Park – is set to be missing from action with a return later in the year.

Cammish closes on Formula Ford record Dan Cammish added another three Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain wins to his resume at Oulton Park to put him within touching distance of the series record for consecutive wins. That record currently stands at 13, secured by Scott Malvern back in 2011. Cammish now has twelve wins to his name but didn’t have it all his own way at Oulton – most notably in race two when he found himself battling for the lead in the early stages with Harrison Scott. Sadly, Scott had got away from the line a bit too early with the resultant penalty ending what looked set to be an interesting fight for victory.

Cammish takes a lead of 133 points into the fifth round of the year, but its much closer behind with Nico Maranzana having moved ahead of Scott after he failed to score in the opening race at Oulton. The pair at now split by just two points in the standings while James Abbott’s switch to a Mygale chassis resulted in his best weekend of the year to put him fourth ahead of Cameren Kaminsky and Juan Rosso. It’s tight in the midfield however, with four points covering Kaminsky, Rosso and Sam Brabham. After a strong debut in the series at Oulton Park, South African driver Jayde Kruger will be keen to add to his two podiums so far while the grid will be boosted by three guest drivers in the shape of Robert Shield, Sam McLeod and Wei Fung Thong.

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Rivett extends advantage

at Oulton Park to lose ground in the title race.

Paul Rivett remains the man to beat in the Renault UK Clio Cup ahead of Croft having extended his advantage in the standings last time out at Oulton Park.

Behind them, James Colburn, Josh Cook and Lee Pattison round out the top six ahead of Stefan Hodgetts – who picked up his second win of the year in race two at Oulton Park. That made Hodgetts the only driver other than Rivett to have multiple victories this season so far.

Rivett had seen his lead cut to three points by Josh Files at Thruxton, but a win and third place finish in Cheshire allowed the SVE driver to extend his advantage to 22 points. Second in the standings is now Alex Morgan, who outscored Team Pyro partner Files to become Rivett’s closest rival, with Files having endured a challenging weekend

Ingram maintains advantage Tom Ingram maintained his lead in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup after extending his lead at Oulton Park – taking a 49 point advantage into the fifth round of the campaign at Croft. Although overshadowed somewhat by Nathan Freke in Cheshire, Ingram took home a pair of second place finishes despite feeling under the weather and was able to extend his lead over Carl Breeze as a result. For the first time this season, Breeze came away from a weekend without a podium finish to his name having been forced to settle for fourth in both races.

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Files continues to head the Graduate Cup standings despite seeing Colburn halve his advantage at Oulton Park, while Simon Belcher moved further clear of Graham Field in the Masters Cup.

Behind the top two, an intruiging battle for third in now developing nicely, with Pepe Massot, Matt NicollJones and Mark Davies covered by just five points. While Massot and NicollJones endured their worst weekends of the season at Oulton, Davis returned to the kind of form that saw him lift the G50 crown last year with a podium finish in both races of the doubleheader. Two wins for Freke at Oulton came after he was forced to return to action after James Birch made a late switch into the Porsche Carrera Cup, while Sean Huyton was without points scoring competition in the G50 class after Dan Norris-Jones moved up to a G55.

Woodhead keeps 100 per cent record Harry Woodhead maintained his 100 per cent record in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Oulton Park, with two wins allowing him to extend his lead in the championship standings still further.

half that in the earlier race. Palmer retains second spot despite being slightly outscored by Tom Jackson at Oulton Park, leaving him 15 points away from second spot, with Donegan five points behind in fourth.

The HHC Motorsport man was in dominant form in both races in Cheshire and is now 106 points clear of Will Palmer – meaning he could fail to score at all at Croft but would still be safe in the championship lead.

James Kellett and Ollie Chadwick round out the top six, although Chadwick will be eager to bounce back from a disastrous weekend at Oulton that yielded just nine points – the second lowest individual score of any driver on a race weekend this season.

Woodhead beat Keith Donegan to the flag by more than twelve seconds in race one at Oulton and was a comfortable winner again in race two despite his margin of victory over Palmer being

Chadwick has been third in the standings going into the Oulton Park weekend, showing – Woodhead aside – how close the youngsters have been on track this season.

Inside BTCC 31


CROFT PREVIEW

The BTCC season will reach its half way point as the series makes its annual trip to the North East for the fifth round of the year – and things are bubbling along nicely when it comes to the race to be the 2013 champion.

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Heading into the previous round at Oulton Park, things were going well for Honda with Matt Neal topping the standings on the back of a fine weekend at Thruxton. While the triple champion was able to stay out front at Oulton thanks to three top six finishes - despite failing to make it onto the podium - his advantage has been cut to just four points by fellow Honda

Inside BTCC 32

man Andrew Jordan, who celebrated his second win of the season in race three. However, it was Jason Plato who was the star in Cheshire with two wins for MG that mean he is just seven points off the lead himself, setting up an intruiging fight for bragging rights as the season reaches the halfway point.

Neal has a good record at Croft in recent years, having won three times in the past two years – including a win from pole in the opening race twelve months ago. If Neal can continue his recent strong run at the former airfield venue then he would go some way towards extending an impressive record that has seen him leading the championship standings at the mid-way

point of the campaign for the past three years. His two closest rivals also have good records at Croft however, with Jordan taking victory back in 2010 in a historic run that saw him secure the first win for an NGTC-spec engine. Plato meanwhile won for MG last year and – like Neal – has five previous wins at the circuit to his name in the past. While the top three have secured a little breathing space in the standings however, they certainly can’t afford to relax, with the chasing pack aiming to chase them down – headed by defending champion Gordon Shedden. As seems to have been

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the norm in recent seasons, Shedden heads to Croft seeking to continue his comeback from a difficult start to the season, although his run of podium finishes came to an end in the final race of the weekend at Oulton. Currently 24 points behind Plato, Shedden will hope to close in on the top three but will also need to be wary of the challenge of Sam Tordoff behind, with the rookie seeking to

make the most of the pace shown by MG last time out in what will be his home race. Tordoff saw his run of points finishes end in Cheshire but also picked up his best result to date with second place in race one – something he will seek to at least repeat before the summer break. Rounding out the top six is Colin Turkington, the man who has the best Croft record of anyone in the field. The eBay Motors man has six wins

CROFT

RECENT HISTORY 2012 Pole

Matt Neal, Honda Civic

Race One

Matt Neal, Honda Civic

Race Two

Gordon Shedden, Honda Civic

Race Three

Jason Plato, MG6 GT

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

to his name at the circuit over the years, including a double victory on his last appearance back in 2009. While his WSR-run team is still working to unlock the full potential from its new NGTC-spec car, Turkington enjoyed his best weekend of the season at Oulton Park with a double podium and his target will be to add to the victory he took at Donington Park earlier in the year. The likes of Adam Morgan and Rob Austin also heads for Croft having impressed on track at Oulton Park, with Austin seeing an upturn in fortune after switching to the TOCA engine in his Audi A4. Team-mate Will Bratt, now running under the Rob Austin Racing banner rather than under WIX Racing, is set to make the engine switch at Croft.

NGTC-spec Ford Focus. In the Jack Sears Trophy, Lea Wood will seek to drive home his advantage in the standings following the announcement that closest challenger, Liam Griffin, will be missing for the weekend. With Griffin replaced by debutant Jake Hill, Wood could extend his lead to four race wins if results go his way, although the returning James Kaye will seek to put his title challenge back on track in the AmDTuning.com VW Golf. Joe Girling should also be back, having missed the Oulton Park weekend for unspecified medical reasons.

Croft is also set to see the BTCC’s biggest grid of the season so far, with Andy Neate scheduled to debut his IP Tech Race Engineering Chevrolet Cruze after late issues forced him to delay his first outing of the year, and Michael Caine making his first outing for Addison Lee Motorbase in a third

Pole

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

CROFT STATS

Race Three

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall Vectra

LENGTH

2.25 miles

2013 RACE LAPS

15

RACE DISTANCE

33.75 miles

LAP RECORD (QUALIFYING)

1min 24.629secs (Tom Chilton – 2012)

LAP RECORD (RACE)

1min 25.749secs (James Thompson - 2002

MOST WINS (1991-)

Colin Turkington – 6

2008 Pole

Darren Turner, SEAT Leon TDi

Race One

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Two

Colin Turkington, BMW 320si

Race Three

Fabrizio Giovanardi, Vauxhall Vectrs

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Inside BTCC 33


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Inside BTCC 34

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Inside BTCC 35


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2013 BTCC CALENDAR 30-31 March, Brands Hatch Indy 20-21 April, Donington Park National 4-5 May, Thruxton 8-9 June, Oulton Park Island 22-23 June, Croft 3-4 August, Snetterton 300 24-25 August, Knockhill 14-15 September, Rockingham 28-29 September, Silverstone 12-13 October, Brands Hatch GP

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Inside BTCC 37


2013 BTCC POINTS STANDINGS DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

MANUFACTURER/CONSTRUCTOR

1

Matt Neal

173

1

Honda/Dynamics

390

2

Andrew Jordan

169

2

MG/Triple Eight

364

3

Jason Plato

166

4

Gordon Shedden

142

5

Sam Tordoff

129

1

Honda Yuasa Racing

305

6

Colin Turkington

123

2

MG KX Momentum Racing

285

7

Adam Morgan

116

3

Pirtek Racing

255

8

Jeff Smith

97

4

eBay Motors

164

9

Tom Onslow-Cole

72

5

Airwaves Racing

123

10

Aron Smith

66

6

Ciceley Racing

114

11

Dave Newsham

62

7

PPCGB.com/Kraftwerk Racing

73

12

Mat Jackson

58

8

Speedworks

71

13

Rob Austin

42

9

Dynojet

39

14

Frank Wrathall

39

10

WIX Racing

38

15

Dan Welch

33

11

RCIB Insurance Racing

34

16

Rob Collard

27

12

Welch Motorsport

34

17

Nick Foster

26

13

Rob Austin Racing

13

18

Will Bratt

21

14

Addison Lee Motorbase

7

19

Jack Goff

20

15

AmDTuning.com

5

20

James Cole

10

16

Team BMR Restart

1

21

Ollie Jackson

7

17

Wheel Heaven/Houseman

1

22

Liam Griffin

6

18

BTC Racing

0

23

James Kaye

5

19

IP Tech Race Engineering

0

24

Warren Scott

1

20

M247 Racing

0

25

Lea Wood

0

26

Michael Caine

0

27

David Nye

0

28

Howard Fuller

0

29

Chris Stockton

0

30

Andy Neate

0

31

Joe Girling

0

32

Aaron Mason

0

Inside BTCC 38

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP

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2013 BTCC POINTS STANDINGS INDEPENDENT DRIVERS

INDEPENDENT TEAMS

1

Andrew Jordan

206

1

Pirtek Racing

219

2

Adam Morgan

165

2

Ciceley Racing

174

3

Colin Turkington

163

3

eBay Motors

171

4

Jeff Smith

140

4

Airwaves Racing

141

5

Tom Onslow-Cole

110

5

PPCGB.com/Kraftwerk Racing

121

6

Aron Smith

101

6

Speedworks

114

7

Dave Newsham

97

7

WIX Racing

93

8

Mat Jackson

93

8

RCIB Insurance Racing

89

9

Dan Welch

63

9

Welch Motorsport

88

10

Frank Wrathall

62

10

Dynojet

79

11

Nick Foster

60

11

Addison Lee Motorbase

44

12

Rob Austin

56

12

Wheel Heaven/Houseman

39

13

Rob Collard

55

13

AmDTuning.com

28

14

Jack Goff

45

14

M247 Racing

24

15

Will Bratt

42

15

Rob Austin Racing

24

16

James Cole

33

16

Team BMR Restart

18

17

Ollie Jackson

24

17

BTC Racing

0

18

Liam Griffin

16

18

IP Tech Race Engineering

0

19

James Kaye

11

20

Lea Wood

10

21

Warren Scott

4

1

Lea Wood

5

22

Joe Girling

4

2

Liam Griffin

4

23

David Nye

4

3

James Kaye

2

24

Michael Caine

0

4

Joe Girling

1

25

Chris Stockton

0

5

David Nye

0

26

Howard Fuller

0

6

Warren Scott

0

27

Andy Neate

0

7

Aaron Mason

0

28

Aaron Mason

0

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JACK SEARS TROPHY

Inside BTCC 39


2013 BTCC RACE RESULTS 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Gordon Shedden

19

DSQ

2

1

3

2

25

3

1

3

2

17

Matt Neal

21

4

1

3

4

3

1

1

2

6

4

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

DNF

DNF

DNF

15

12

12

13

13

15

10

NC

11

Tom Onslow-Cole

14

DNF

16

13

10

6

3

2

4

15

11

DNF

Mat Jackson

20

7

10

12

13

9

7

15

7

7

20

19

Aron Smith

9

DNF

11

11

8

7

9

10

5

DNF

14

10

Dan Welch

11

14

12

NC

15

11

14

DNF

11

14

9

DNF

6

DNF

8

7

DNF

DNF

15

19

DNF

23

12

9

David Nye

18

DNF

17

23

DNF

DNS

22

21

18

22

22

NC

Rob Austin

3

DNF

DNF

14

DNF

DNS

19

18

DNF

13

8

5

Will Bratt

12

DNS

14

25

19

14

18

22

17

17

13

6

James Kaye

15

12

DNS

19

DNF

DNF

DNF

DNF

19

-

-

-

DNF

9

DNF

9

7

DNF

8

12

9

8

6

14

Nick Foster

NC

10

13

17

16

15

24

16

13

12

15

8

James Cole

DNF

13

DNF

22

18

17

17

14

14

18

17

13

Howard Fuller

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Chris Stockton

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Colin Turkington

8

8

9

8

9

1

6

11

10

5

3

2

13

DNS

NC

18

14

16

12

9

DNF

16

DNF

12

Adam Morgan

7

6

4

5

5

5

10

8

12

9

7

3

Warren Scott

22

15

DNF

26

DNF

19

DNF

DNF

21

DNF

DNS

DNF

Lea Wood

16

DNS

DSQ

24

17

DNF

21

20

16

19

18

DNF

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ollie Jackson

10

DNF

DNS

16

NC

DNF

16

17

DNF

24

16

15

Aaron Mason

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

21

DNF

DNS

Jeff Smith

5

3

7

10

11

10

5

6

6

11

10

18

17

11

15

20

DNF

DNF

20

DNF

DNF

20

19

16

Andrew Jordan

2

2

6

2

1

13

11

4

3

4

5

1

Sam Tordoff

4

5

3

6

6

4

4

7

8

2

21

7

Joe Girling

DNS

DNS

18

21

DNF

18

23

DNF

20

-

-

-

Jason Plato

1

1

5

4

2

8

2

5

22

1

1

DNF

Michael Caine Rob Collard

Frank Wrathall

Dave Newsham

Jack Goff

Andy Neate

Liam Griffin

Inside BTCC 40

13

14

15

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Inside BTCC 41


Inside BTCC 42

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Inside BTCC - Issue 22 - BTCC 2013 at Croft  

We preview rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship a Croft. We also talk to Jason Plato and Warren Scot...

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