Witham News


Already in the Christmas spirit.

Posted on Friday October 05, 2018

Mr Peter Ingall of Rand, Nr Wragby is already in the Christmas spirit. He’s manufactured and painted this lovely sleigh using Woco Supercote RAL 3006 Ruby Red & Woco Supercote RAL 6002 Leaf Green.

Do you have any projects where you’ve used our Qualube lubricants?, or painted with our Woco paint range? Please send us before and after shots of your recent projects.

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Spencer Sport aims to bring British Rallycross title home to Wales after third victory of the season at Pembrey

Posted on Tuesday October 02, 2018

The Spencer Sport team is aiming to bring the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship title back to Wales, after Julian Godfrey scored an emphatic victory at the penultimate round of the series at the Welsh Motorsports Centre this weekend, driving the team’s Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.

It was Godfrey’s third win of the season and puts the Heathfield-based driver in with a chance of taking his sixth British Rallycross title, with only the final race meeting at Silverstone on Sunday 4th November remaining. Godfrey won Round 1 at Silverstone earlier this year and will need to repeat that victory, with championship rival Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta RX) finishing third or lower, to be assured of the title.

The qualifying heats around the challenging Pembrey track once again proved to be a bruising affair, with a number of incidents taking place at the first corner. Godfrey finished second in all three heats, despite contact Mark Higgins (Peugeot 208 RX) in Heat 2.

The Spencer Sport driver started the final from the middle of the first row, with pole-sitter Higgins to his left and O’Donovan to his right. A strong wind had helped to dry the track and Godfrey made the all-important good start to be clear of all the bumping and barging at turn one. This allowed him to pull ahead and delay taking his Joker lap until lap four, when he knew he was far enough ahead to come back out in the lead of the race.

Cosnequently, Godfrey took the chequered flag a comfortable 3.3 seconds ahead of second-placed O’Donovan, with Higgins a further 2.8 seconds further back in third.

“It was a great race day at Pembrey and everything went according to plan,” said Godfrey. “We finished second in all three qualifying heats, but it’s the final that counts and all our focus was making sure that we had a good start, keep out of trouble and have a good run to the chequered flag – and that’s exactly what happened. We made a brilliant start, the launch worked perfectly and really hooked up well, so we were ahead of the chasing pack by the first corner.

“The car ran faultlessly and the Mirage RX’s handling really is superb, especially with the latest upgrades from the Spencer Sport team. So with no mistakes and after three closely fought heats, we were able to win the final quite comfortably. This has been a tremendous team effort and now puts us in with a chance of winning the title at the final round at Silverstone in November.”

Following the event, Spencer Sport Team Manager Charlie Jukes said: “We needed to win at Pembrey to keep our British Rallycross Championship title hopes alive and we did. It’s fantastic for the team and everyone is delighted,” said

“The Mitsubishi Mirage RX ran perfectly again and Julian was able to make the most of the car’s superior traction to put the it on the front row of the grid for the final. The track had dried a lot during the day and after all the rain it was even a little dusty for the final. We had a clear plan for the start and a strategy for each lap of the race that went like clockwork and allowed us to win the final by over three seconds, which in rallycross terms is a big margin.

“The dropped scores now come into play and we’re very much in with a chance of becoming British Rallycross Champions at the final round at Silverstone. It’s a track that suits the Mirage RX very well, as we won at there earlier in the year, so we’ll go to season finale in November with the aim of bringing the title back to Wales.”

Support for Spencer Sport’s rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering, Motul and Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages, Nicky Grist Motorsport, UNIC Transmissions and Rallycover Insurance.

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Congratulations to Nigel Hardy of Tattershall!

Posted on Tuesday October 02, 2018

Congratulations to Nigel Hardy of Tattershall!!, who won a Witham voucher at the Boston and District ploughing match. This topped the day for him as he also won his class at the event. Nigel chose a drum of Endurol 15w/40 for use in his own tractors.
 
Nigel works as a technician at local Deutz Fahr and Manitou dealer, JT Friskney of Horncastle.
#bostonanddistrictploughing #withamgroup #supportinglocalevents

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Power Maxed TAG Racing stars in BTCC’s 60th Anniversary Championship finale

Posted on Tuesday October 02, 2018

Date: 30th September 2018
Location: Brands Hatch

  • Cook recovers from poor qualifying to star in epic final race
  • Proctor races superbly to finish season on a high

Senna Proctor – Car #18
Race 1. Grid 6. Result P5
Race 2. Grid 5. Result P7
Race 3. Grid 8. Result P7
Championship position: P12

Josh Cook – Car #66
Race 1. Grid 23.  Result P22
Race 2. Grid 22. Result P10
Race 3. Grid 1. Result P2
Championship position: P6

 

Power Maxed TAG Racing arrived at Brands Hatch for Rounds 28, 29 and 30 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship right in the mix for Championship honours, lying in 2nd place overall in the Teams’ Championship.

Saturday’s Free Practice sessions set the trend for the day, with the Power Maxed TAG Racing Astra of Senna Proctor outpacing his Championship contending teammate, Josh Cook, in both sessions. Josh’s struggles with balance, particularly around the Grand Prix loop, continued into qualifying with a frustrated Cook languishing down in 21st place, although carrying success ballast was also a significant factor. On the other side of the Power Maxed TAG Racing garage, there were happier faces as the young Lancastrian set a strong 6th fastest lap to set him up nicely for Race 1 as the fastest non-Honda.

Qualifying was played out in warm balmy conditions, and although forecasts predicted colder temperatures for Race Day, the reality was another dose of late summer sun, which perhaps suited Senna in Race 1, starting as he was on the harder Prime tyre. It certainly seemed so, as the #18 Astra made a great launch off the tricky slopping grid and set off for Paddock Hill bend, holding onto P6, only to lose out to Tordoff’s pink Ford as they filed into Druids. Showing great speed on the harder Prime tyre, Senna immediately fought back, passing decisively into Surtees as the multi coloured chain headed out onto the demanding Grand Prix loop before then making a great move on Lloyd’s Honda for P5.

Further back, and after an overnight engine change, Josh started to move forward, up to P19 and looking to progress further. However, the #66 Astra looked out of sorts and the Bath driver almost immediately dropped back again, losing 19th to the Mercedes of Championship points rival Morgan and then 20th to Simpson’s Honda.

By Lap 7, Senna was firmly on the back of the lead group, with a good gap to Lloyd in P6. By Lap 9, the Power Maxed TAG Racing Astra and the other Honda (there were many) of Goff were the fastest pair on the track, as they looked to get into the podium battle. Unfortunately, the order and gaps remained static as the race reached its 15 laps conclusion, leaving Senna in a very competitive 5th place, and the heavier Josh in a very frustrated 22nd place, having lost out to the BMW of Jelley on the final lap.

By Race 2 temperatures were starting to drop a little, although the tension on track was definitely starting to warm up. Senna, now on the softer Option Dunlop, but with 39kg on board, this time got too much wheelspin on launch and slipped back to 8thon the run to Druids and 9th as he got muscled out exiting Surtees. Not to be outdone, the #18 Power Maxed TAG Racing Astra immediately fought back, diving inside Chilton and closing back up to Lloyd, looking all sides for a way past.

The outgoing Jack Sears Trophy winner then got ambushed by the Toyota of Ingram, being pushed wide through Dingle Dell and dropping behind the psychedelic Fords of Chilton and Tordoff, only again to show his race-craft by dispatching Chilton again in short order and moving back into P9.

From grid 22, Josh again made early moves up to P17 before a mid-race safety car (surprisingly the first and only one of the day) on Lap 6 to recover the expired Honda of Goff bunched the field up. Despite losing a then P18 to Sutton’s Subaru, the #66 Astra continued to make useful progress, moving up to an eventual P11.

On the restart, Senna was repassed by his former teammate, Chilton, and came under intense pressure from Austin’s Alfa Romeo and Turkington’s BMW. It was tense and great racing with both Power Maxed TAG Racing Astra’s performing at the heart of the action.  before expertly avoiding the clashing Lloyd and Turkington at Paddock bend, gratefully accepting a well-deserved P7 finish.

Race 3 provided a fitting end to the landmark 60th Anniversary year of this remarkable Championship and once again Power Maxed TAG Racing was a central player in the drama that unfolded.

With both Astra’s on the Prime tyre, hopes were high for Power Maxed TAG Racing to consolidate 2nd overall in the Teams Championship. From Pole, Josh got out-dragged to Paddock by Austin’s fast starting Alfa Romeo, slotting into 2nd as they swept down the hill. The Bath-based driver then applied intense pressure over the next two laps, eager to get past and pull away.

Senna, meanwhile once again struggled to get off the line and slipped from P4 to P8 by the end of the opening lap, once again fighting the pink Ford of Tordoff.

On lap 5 Josh pulled a great move to slide up the inside of the Alfa on the exit of Clearways to claim the inside line into Paddock, immediately lapping 6/10th quicker and pulling away. However, the Alfa found some speed and started to hold the gap, pushed along by the eager Subaru of Sutton. By Lap 7 Sutton had moved into 2ndand thereafter one of the great cat and mouse fights of recent memory ensued.

From Lap 10 to the finish, the two friends and former team-mates showed great race-craft and a healthy does of mutual respect as the cars ran side by side almost constantly. The outgoing Champion was probing left and right, not quick enough to pass but challenging every aspect of Josh’s extensive defensive armoury. It was captivating, edge of the seat stuff.

With Senna firmly slotted into P7 and Josh leading, Power Maxed TAG Racing was on course for a remarkable 2nd overall in the Teams’ Championship, despite the double one – two of the factory Hondas in Races 1 and 2.

Moving into the final lap, it looked as though Sutton had run out of ideas, with Josh placing his #66 Astra expertly. Coming into Clearways all looked rosy, only for the Subaru to pull out to the left of the Vauxhall Astra on the run to the line, moving ahead to win by just 32/1000ths of a second. Gutting for Josh and Power Maxed Racing, but proud to have performed so well in a race neither driver deserved to lose.

Senna crossed the line in P7 and retained his 12th position overall in the Drivers Championship, whilst the width of a leaf denied Josh P5, dropping to P6 overall by just one point.

Similarly, Power Maxed TAG Racing finished 3rd in the Teams Championship, equal on points with Honda but defeated on count back. Nevertheless, a superb performance against the established giants of BTCC, and one that offers great hope for a Title challenge in 2019.

Vauxhall also finished 3rd in the Manufacturers Championship.

Quotes:

Josh Cook, Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra #66 said: “The weekend started off frustrating, with us just unable to find the pace we’ve proven repeatedly the car has in it. The team worked super hard Saturday night to change the engine and sort a few issues, which paid off come Race 2 and 3 on Sunday. Seeing out the season with Ash was something I’ll never forget; it was clean, respectful and proper racing! Disappointed we missed out on first, obviously, but he drove well and it was well deserved.”

Senna Proctor, Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra #18  “For me this weekend has been brilliant. Consistent Top-10s throughout have given us the points we needed to counteract Dynamics’ two 1 – 2s, and the car and the team have been spot on. I can’t thank my Engineer Rob, Number 1 Mechanic Paul and the rest of the tea, enough for putting together what has been a great car to see out the season in. I’m a little frustrated with a couple of my starts, but Brands is notoriously hard to launch at, and we made up more than enough ground to do the team and my sponsors proud.”

Martin Broadhurst, Technical Director, Power Maxed TAG Racing “It’s a weekend that’ll definitely stick in my memory. Senna was on the pace from the start, as his 3 Top-10 finishes show, and between him and his engineer, Rob Peacey, they put together a storming car this weekend. After an engine swap on Josh’s car last night, we were hoping for more pace in Race 1, but his performance in Race 2 and Race 3 was epic, though it was slightly disappointing to be pipped at the post. It’ll doubtless go down as one of the best races in BTCC history.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal, Power Maxed TAG Racing “As always, the BTCC never fails to disappoint. We started the season with a ground-breaking race at Brands Hatch, with Senna making up 27 places to take his first win, and ended it with Josh fighting one of the greatest battles of the season with the outgoing champion. I couldn’t be prouder of both of them, along with the whole team.”

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Ingram and Speedworks retain Independent crowns in nail-biting BTCC finale

Posted on Tuesday October 02, 2018

Back-to-back Independent Trophies for Ingram and Speedworks at Brands Hatch

Talented Bucks ace clinches second overall and Dunlop #ForeverForward honours

BTCC boss tips 25-year-old for future glory in Britain’s premier motorsport series Tom Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport successfully defended their hard-won Independent crowns in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch last weekend (29/30 September), as the talented young Bucks ace came within just 12 points of stealing the biggest prize in UK motorsport in the series’ record-breaking Diamond Jubilee year.

Having done the Independents’ double in 2017 – a maiden BTCC title for both driver and team – Ingram and Speedworks arrived at Brands’ legendary 2.43-mile GP Circuit fully focussed on replicating that achievement, while simultaneously chasing the top spot in the overall Drivers’ standings, in which the three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion trailed Colin Turkington by 34 points.

Whilst such a deficit had never previously been overcome in the BTCC, that certainly did not stop Ingram and Speedworks from trying. As had been anticipated, the 66kg of success ballast aboard the #80 Toyota Avensis hurt their challenge in qualifying, restricting the KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member to an uncharacteristically lowly 19th on the starting grid amongst the 31 high-calibre contenders – some of the very best touring car protagonists on the planet – but he determinedly ground out a 14th-place finish in race one, less than a second outside the top ten.

The result extended the gap between Turkington and Ingram to 36 points going into race two, with only 44 remaining in play – but the Speedworks star was anything but defeated. With the weight removed and in front of the live ITV4 television cameras and tens of thousands of trackside spectators, he immediately went on the attack, gaining three spots on the opening lap, despatching his title rival with an incisive overtake into Paddock Hill Bend beginning lap two and pulling off several more ultra-committed moves as he charged up into fourth place.

There, unfortunately, his spectacular progress was stopped in its tracks by Turkington’s team-mate Andrew Jordan, who proved impossible to unseat. Only 1.3 seconds shy of victory at the chequered flag, the result agonisingly left Ingram just a single point short of taking the fight on to the last race of the season.

His eighth Independents’ triumph of the campaign nonetheless sealed that title for the second consecutive year, and from seventh on the reversed grid for the finale – his 150th start in the BTCC – the 25-year-old unleashed another gritty display. Belying the 48kg of success ballast back on-board, he was firmly in the podium battle throughout, with fifth position – again, well within sight of the race-winner – more than enough to guarantee Speedworks’ the Independent Teams’ laurels.

Ingram’s extraordinary never-say-die effort – allied to multiple title-winner Turkington failing to score in races two and three – ultimately saw him finish just 12 points adrift in the Drivers’ table, prompting BTCC boss Alan Gow to tip him to ‘be champion one day’ in what is commonly regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series. It was a performance that drew similarly high praise from Speedworks Team Principal Christian Dick.

“Tom has been brilliant all year,” he enthused, after the plucky Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit secured an excellent fifth spot out of 21 in the outright Teams’ Championship. “I can’t think of a single moment when he has put a foot wrong, and he has produced some sensational drives through the field – including here at Brands. Likewise, the boys have been exceptional – their work ethic is just faultless. We’re far from the biggest crew in the paddock, but we’ve definitely got the most talented and passionate bunch of guys out there and I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of them.

“We were all really excited coming to Brands Hatch to see what we could do. We knew we were very much the underdogs and that the odds were stacked against us, but we fought right to the bitter end and Tom never gave up – he threw absolutely everything at it. He might not have been in a BTCC title showdown before, but you would never have known – he was peerless under the pressure.

“The tension inevitably builds as the weekend unfolds, and it was an emotional rollercoaster ride throughout. There was understandably some disappointment after race two, but there was still a job to do in race three and we all knuckled down to get that job done.

“It’s a phenomenal achievement to win both Independents’ titles two years on the bounce, and testament to the stellar work everybody here has put in – particularly as a single-car operation. We have performed well with full ballast, no ballast and on all different compounds of tyre, which fills us with so much confidence moving forward. This season, we thought we could win the overall Drivers’ Championship; going into next season, we know we can do it.”   “Coming into 2018, we had our sights set on the outright title,” echoed Ingram, whose hat-trick of victories, nine podium finishes, five fastest laps and 171 crowd-pleasing overtakes over the course of the campaign earned him the Dunlop #ForeverForward honours.

“It was perhaps a little bit tongue-in-cheek given the might of the manufacturer-backed teams we are up against, and to put together a successful championship-winning bid in what is Britain’s toughest motorsport series is a huge challenge, but that was our goal.   “You can always look back at what could have been or should have been, but we can’t dwell and overall it has been one hell of a year for us. The Avensis has been an absolute joy to drive, and the support we have received has been nothing short of mind-blowing.

“We’ve got some amazing people here at Speedworks, and the work they all put in is truly second-to-none, both at the track and behind-the-scenes back at the factory – they’re a brilliant bunch of lads and I couldn’t ask to have a better team around me.

“We had to give it everything at Brands Hatch and we gave it 150 per cent – we couldn’t have done any more. I knew we needed one more place in race two, but my brakes and tyres were gone and there was just nothing left in the tank.

“Obviously I’m bitterly disappointed, but Colin is a great champion and has done a fantastic job so all credit to him, and we certainly didn’t go down without a fight! We had a few setbacks along the way that ultimately cost us, but they only serve to pull this small team of ours even tighter together and make us want it even more.

“Ultimately, we weren’t quite able to match Colin’s consistency this year, so that’s what we need to work on for next season but we will learn from that and come back stronger. 2018 has been incredible. Hopefully 2019 will be even better!”

Image Credits: Matt Sayle Photography

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The 98th Flintham Ploughing Match and District Agriculture Show

Posted on Wednesday September 26, 2018

We are getting set up and ready for the 98th Flintham Ploughing Match and District Agriculture Show – tomorrow, Thursday 27th September 2018. If you’ve not been before the Flintham Show and Ploughing Match, takes place at Granby Lane, Bingham, Nottinghamshire, NG13 9AJ and it’s a great day out for everyone.
Exhibitors showcasing all things agricultural are just one of the many things to see and do along with a selection of food, craft and retail therapy stands!
Over the years there has been a growing interest in Flintham Show’s craft marquee. This huge marquee will be brimming with excellent and innovative stalls ‘selling, making and doing’ all things craft.
There will be a range of events running throughout the day. From Horse Ploughing to traditional Hedging, you won’t be short of something to see or do! You can visit the livestock area, plus the educational tent which also displays the bygones from farming through the years.
The show also has a Horticultural marquee with competitions for all ages alike. From home baked goods to vegetable growing and wine making to flower arranging, there is always something interesting to see in this marquee of many talents!
With this year’s site having two rings there will be a range of fantastic attractions to see throughout the day including horse classes, gun dog displays, the horses and hounds from the South Notts Hunt along with bloodhounds too. The shows extensive history means the day will be full of both traditional and modern attractions – all equally exciting!
Witham Group are proud to support the Flintham Show 2018 – we will be showcasing our lubes, greases, paints and fencing products as well as our new hand cleaner range.We look forward to welcoming customers old and new to our stand for a good old-fashioned cup of Witham hospitality!
Pre-show tickets are £8.00 when purchased online – or £10.00 on show day. Flintham and District Ploughing Match

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Power Maxed TAG Racing bounce back ahead of Brands finale

Posted on Tuesday September 18, 2018

  • Cook recovers ground superbly after Race 1 disaster
  • Proctor fighting all the way
Date: 16th September 2018
Location: Silverstone

 

Senna Proctor – Car #18
Race 1. Grid 21. Result P18
Race 2. Grid 18. Result P10
Race 3. Grid 10. Result P11
Championship position: P12

Josh Cook – Car #66
Race 1. Grid 14.  Result DNF
Race 2. Grid 28. Result P12
Race 3. Grid 12. Result P4
Championship position. P6

Power Maxed TAG Racing arrived at Silverstone for Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship right in the mix for Championship honours.

Both Free Practice sessions showed that the Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astras were going to be a player across Sunday’s three races, although the inherent pace in the cars were hidden somewhat in qualifying.  Josh Cook put the #66 car on grid P14, just 3/10ths from pole position whilst carrying 39kg of success ballast, whilst young team mate Senna Proctor followed in P21, after being hindered by an untimely red flag. The top 24 cars were separated by less than half a second, promising a race day of tight panel rubbing action.

Needless to say, race-day didn’t disappoint if you were looking for more action packed BTCC racing. Sadly however, the biggest piece of panel rubbing in Race 1 occurred as Josh, having made a solid start on the hard Dunlop Option tyre, broke for Brooklands on Lap 3 in P13. A locked up and out of control Honda of Smiley smashed through the left rear quarter of the Astra, turning Josh around and unceremoniously dumping the Bath ace into the gravel. Not the best start to the Championship run in.

Before the Safety Car was deployed to recover the stricken Astra, Senna was caught in a Subaru sandwich over P23, before then resisting a hard hit from Jordan as he too entered Brooklands.

Fortunately for the young Yorkshireman, he was able to carry on, moving impressively forward on the hard (and slower by half a second) Option tyre, from grid P21 to bring the #18 Astra up to P17 at the finish, after finally finding a gap and passing the VW of Thompson.

Senna’s P17 start meant a challenging opening few laps, as he battled to move forward, successfully gaining two places with great inside moves at both Becketts and Copse to join the train of Oliphant, Cammish and Turkington, now in P13 and looking to make up further ground.

A little further back, driven by a deep frustration of chances missed in Race 1, Josh was also on the move, making good progress from P28 up to P16 after the opening 10 laps. Diving inside Jordan’s BMW at Copse put the Power Maxed TAG Racing Astra in the train of cars that also housed his team-mate, now in P10.

Manic side by side action followed, as the multi coloured train fought tooth and nail, often three abreast, with both Power Maxed TAG Racing Astras playing central roles in the drama unfolding. Senna was past Cammish into Becketts and setting his sights on Oliphant and Chilton ahead, as Josh bravely cut across Neal’s Honda into Copse after a frantic exchange that had the large crowd on the edge of their seats.

Slicing inside Chilton’s Ford at Becketts into P12 was Cook’s final play, as he came home an excellent P12 from grid P28. More places would undoubtedly have followed has Josh not run out of laps.

Just ahead, Senna had both held his own and made up places to score a P10 finish, also ruing the chequered flag as he closed rapidly on Austin’s Alfa Romeo after 22 hectic laps.

The expectation was high for a thrilling Race 3, and once again the BTCC didn’t disappoint, during a race that heavily featured the striking Power Maxed TAG Racing Astras from start to finish.

Starting P10 (Senna) and P12 (Josh), the opening laps were frantic, with side by side action at every turn. After holding station during Lap 1, Senna was shuffled back to P15 in the melee, before he could set about moving forward again.

Meanwhile, by Lap 7 Josh had progressed expertly past Tordoff and Turkington into P6, before the second Safety Car of the day created a ceasefire in the proceedings.

With Senna P13 and Josh P6, the restart on Lap 13 allowed the first 6 to get away, and there then ensued a mad, fantastic and nail biting battle royal to the chequered flag.

From the rear of this increasingly compact leading pack, Josh moved inside Chilton at Becketts on Lap 22, challenging Turkington’s BMW and looking for a podium finish to a day that had seemed lost in the gravel of Race 1.

With Austin and Turkington both battling hard, Josh made a great move inside Austin at Becketts, the Astra holding its own as Josh hooked the apex under the most intense pressure over 3rd place.  With Chilton’s Ford re-joining the party, all contenders were looking to maximise their positions going into the Brands finale, but were also prepared to take big risks. This made for a tense finish as Josh held on for a superb P4 and Senna, having been bundled backward, ultimately came through to a very competitive P11, ahead of reigning Champion, Sutton.

As the dust settled, the Championship roulette had taken another fascinating spin, as Power Maxed TAG Racing moved into a strong P2 in the Teams Championship, with Josh dropping just one place to P6 in the Drivers’ Championship, despite his early retirement from Race 1.

Despite a challenging weekend, Senna gains one place to 12th, whilst Vauxhall remain 3rd in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

The showdown for the 60th Anniversary season is at Brands Hatch in less than two weeks’ time, where Power Maxed TAG Racing’s breakthrough season will come to an end. There is all to play for!

Quotes:

Josh Cook, Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra #66 said: ““Before being pushed off in Race 1, we were showing really strong pace, so that was incredibly frustrating. Starting from the back for Race 2 was hard work, but the lack of weight gave me an extra advantage to fight through the pack. I loved Race 3; it was tense, but gave the fans exactly what they want to see when I was battling Rob (Austin). It’s been a tough day, and had we not been taken out in Race 1 I think the standings would look very different, but we go into the final in a strong position.”

Senna Proctor, Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra #18  “It’s been a tough weekend overall, but we showed good pace and I’ve had two points finishes, so it could be much worse! With a top-ten, and some decent points on the board, we’re going to Brands Hatch with our heads held high, and determined to bring home some more silverware.”

Martin Broadhurst, Technical Director, Power Maxed TAG Racing “Overall it’s been a really positive weekend, and the team have worked incredibly hard to bring us the points. I’m disappointed with the contact that ended up putting Josh out of action in Race 1, as I think that with the pace of the car during the day, it would’ve given us the opportunity to challenge for victory in Race 3, but both him and Senna drove really well this weekend. Both drivers scoring points in two races is a strong result, so I’m happy with that. To go into the final second in the Teams is a fantastic achievement, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens come the final round.”

Adam Weaver, Team Principal, Power Maxed TAG Racing “It’s been a good year for us as a team, and going into the final ahead of teams that’ve won the championship multiple times is obviously a boost for all of us. Josh drove incredibly this weekend, especially after being forced to retire so early in Race 1, and I’m convinced that had that not happened, we’d be even further up the table. Senna proved why he’s worthy of being a Jack Sears Champion by bringing in the points, with both putting us in a really strong position for Brands.”

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Ingram takes title fight down to the wire with thrilling third victory of season

Posted on Tuesday September 18, 2018

  • Talented Bucks ace scythes to ninth career BTCC triumph from 14th on grid
  • Peerless performance yields joint-highest score of Silverstone weekend
  • Speedworks Motorsport star one of three title contenders heading into finale

For the second year in a row, Tom Ingram will enter the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship finale in with a shout of clinching the most coveted crown in UK motorsport, after bringing the huge crowd to their feet with a rousing performance to storm through the field to victory at Silverstone last weekend (15/16 September).

The talented young Bucks ace has been a title contender season-long in only his fifth campaign in the immensely popular, ITV4 live-televised BTCC – commonly regarded as the world’s premier and most fiercely-disputed tin-top series – and he arrived at Silverstone sitting second in the standings, albeit 43 points adrift of leader Colin Turkington following a ride-height failure three weeks earlier at Knockhill.

Carrying 66kg of success ballast aboard his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis, Ingram lined up 19th on the grid, right behind Turkington and less than four tenths-of-a-second shy of the outright benchmark in an intensely close field in which barely 0.8s covered all bar two of the 31 high-calibre protagonists – some of the biggest touring car stars on the planet. In a bruising curtain-raiser, the reigning BTCC Independents’ Champion grappled with the extra weight and less favourable hard-compound tyres to ultimately snare the last point on offer in 15th place.

With the ballast removed for race two and on the more competitive standard rubber, Ingram immediately went on the attack, rising to 11th on the opening tour before pulling off a series of sublime, ultra-opportunistic double and even triple overtakes, scything past Turkington on lap four and going on to snatch the lead by mid-distance.

In a spellbinding display, he posted all four fastest laps of the race as he sprinted clear to take the chequered flag 6.4 seconds ahead of his nearest pursuer – keeping the championship battle very much alive. Impressively, the result marked the 25-year-old’s third victory from outside the top ten in 2018.

Now carrying 75kg of ballast and starting from seventh on the partially reversed grid, race three promised to be a considerably tougher proposition, but Ingram bravely muscled it out with Turkington and Rob Austin on the first lap to advance to sixth, took advantage of a second lap shuffle to pinch fifth from Sam Tordoff and outfoxed Matt Simpson and Ricky Collard for third on lap three.

Once more setting the pace, the three-time Ginetta Champion and former British Karting Champion found himself elevated to second by a jump-start penalty for Jack Goff, before focussing on chasing down Aiden Moffat at the front of the field. He had more than halved the two-second deficit when the safety car was summoned for a car beached in the gravel further down the order.

What ensued at the re-start was a high-speed, six-car freight train for the lead, as Ingram piled the pressure on Moffat while staving off the ever-present threat behind – spearheaded, in the closing stages, by arch-rival Turkington in a substantially lighter car. With so much at stake, the KX Akademy graduate and MSA Academy member handled the precarious situation in his stride, fighting tooth-and-nail to secure the runner-up spoils as less than a third-of-a-second blanketed the top three at the end of a truly breathtaking contest.

The result made Ingram the equal-highest scorer of the weekend and means he will go to Brands Hatch in a fortnight’s time (29/30 September) just 34 points behind Turkington in the duel for the Drivers’ laurels, with 67 remaining up for grabs in Kent. He has extended his margin in the defence of his hard-won Independents’ Trophy, with Speedworks doing likewise in the Independent Teams’ classification and climbing a spot to fifth out of 21 in the overall Teams’ table.

“We went to Silverstone promising maximum attack and that’s exactly what we delivered,” reflected the Northwich, Cheshire-based outfit’s Team Principal, Christian Dick. “With the championship scenario as it is, we knew playing safe and just collecting points was no longer an option and that we would need to take some risks.

“Deep down, we were conscious we were going to struggle with so much weight on-board in qualifying – and that proved to be the case for all three of the main title contenders. Our plan was to take the pain in one hit in the first race and then fight back from there – and Tom executed that strategy to perfection, pulling off some stunning moves along the way. Both he and the team showed immense strength of character to dig deep after race one and tally a huge points haul in races two and three.

“Tom’s performance throughout the day was simply outstanding. Our aim for race two had merely been to put ourselves into a position where we would be eligible for the reverse grid draw, so to dominate it in the way we did was sensational.

“That obviously meant the pressure was back on for race three, with 75kg in the car and Turkington alongside in a significantly lighter BMW, but Tom did a sterling job through the first half and his take-no-prisoners approach and ballsy overtakes really laid the foundations for the result. It gave him just enough breathing space that when Colin did eventually catch up, there were only a few laps left to have to fend him off.

“Thirty-four points is still a big gap but it’s not insurmountable, so we will go to Brands Hatch with our heads held high, our tails up – and ready to give this title battle maximum attack one last time.”

“I’m very happy with that,” echoed Ingram. “I was aiming pre-weekend to get to within 35 points, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Silverstone was such an important event for us; we went there knowing we needed to claw back some ground, and I think we got everything out of it that we possibly could.

“I was hoping to qualify inside the top ten or maybe even sneak into the top six, but it was such a difficult session. The level in the BTCC right now is the toughest I’ve ever known it, and with so many quick drivers and everybody so closely-matched around the short National Circuit, the extra weight makes a much bigger difference than before.

“It was always going to be an uphill battle from there, but I think bolting on the hard tyres for race one was the right strategy. It was obviously extremely difficult, but the balance of the car was actually very good – we just had no straight-line speed or stopping power. With the championship gap rising to 50 points after that, people were talking about Colin possibly being crowned at Silverstone – but there was no way we were going to let that happen!

“I was targeting the top five in race two, but when I achieved that, my engineer Spencer came over the radio to say, ‘you’ve still got another 17 laps’, which was when I knew it was on. The Avensis felt incredible; the Speedworks lads always put together such an amazing car and it’s an absolute rocket ship when we take the weight out – even on the last lap, I was barely six hundredths-of-a-second off my fastest lap outright. It’s very rare that you get to drive a car that is totally perfect, and I enjoyed every single moment.

“I knew I had to grasp my opportunities early on in race three and that it was critical to stay ahead of Colin, and I had to get my elbows out a bit. The Avensis felt great again – albeit heavy – and I’m convinced that without the safety car, we would have got Aiden because I was right on him with nobody immediately behind. I could have afforded to go for a move without risking losing a place, but the safety car changed all that and meant I needed to be much more circumspect.

“Even so, second place was another fantastic result and we will go to Brands Hatch with a fighting chance. Yes, we’re obviously still the underdog, but the ball is in our court and we’re not giving up now! We’re the hunter, while Colin is the hunted. The pressure is on him, not us and he’s sitting on two strikes, so he can’t afford to take any major risks whereas we can throw caution to the wind a bit more. I don’t think anybody has ever come from 34 points down ahead of the final weekend to win the title before – but we want to be the first!”


Image Credits: Matt Sayle Photography

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A Race Report of Confidence

Posted on Tuesday September 11, 2018

This race report is slightly overdue! However, my plan was to write a doubled-headed race report about Silverstone a few weeks ago coupled with my Brands race report from last weekend about two really good sets of results. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans…

Rewind to the 11th August and you would find me in a very happy place. My family were over from California and Edinburgh to watch me race on the Silverstone International Circuit and I was so excited to have their support. I was confident going into testing, I’d raced this circuit only a few weeks before in the CSCC and came third. During testing on the Friday it was forecast rain late morning and as I went out for my first session it started to drizzle. I had only been out for a lap when the session was red-flagged due to someone spinning off down Hanger Straight. As I sat in the pit lane waiting to go back out, it started to rain more. I watched the other cars in my championship head back to the garage to change onto wets as I stayed in the queue with the rest of the cars on treaded tyres and decided to go out on my slicks. The forecast was dry for both races the following day and I knew I had nothing to learn from testing on wets for my race. I wasn’t prepared to wreck a set of wets on a track that needed inters at most (which our championship doesn’t run) and I thought ‘how often do you get to test in these conditions?’. I love these conditions! As I drove out when the track was live again, I began testing out where the grip was. Although it did start raining a bit heavier during the session, there was no standing water and I had generated enough heat in the tyres to be able to still put some decent times down. I couldn’t help but feel slightly smug as the 997 in my championship on wets struggled to get by me for at least a couple of laps, and then really did not get away from me as he passed me through club. Confidence was very high going into the race despite the dry conditions and I decided that the only thing that mattered was to have fun.

Qualifying on Saturday went well. I qualified mid pack and was properly in the mix. I didn’t get a great start but managed to make some progress by the approach to Abbey. Unfortunately, a car had spun off the track at the apex of Abbey and to avoid this car and the cars avoiding him, I had to run completely off the track and was pretty much dead last by Village. By Village on the following lap, I’d regained five places and was on the hunt! My step-mom was watching from the ramp at Club when one of my competitors’ sisters turned to her and said ‘she’s got her tail up!’. I kept my pace up with the car in front and we steadily gained on the car ahead of him. We both passed him within a lap and I kept on the pace of the car in front from a distance.

About 7 laps front the end of the race my brakes started to fade. The pedal became longer and longer and I was having to pull myself out of the seat at Vale to stop. Regardless of fading brakes, knackered tyres and my air conditioning having failed again, I came in really happy. I finished 5th in class, 7th overall and had just achieved my best ever finish in Porsche Club. Unfortunately, race two later that day didn’t yield the same results as race one. My brakes only lasted for five laps before they started to fade. I was leading a gaggle of five Boxsters when I out-braked myself coming onto Hanger Straight and they all sailed past me. Having to manage a brake pedal increasing in length at every corner, I was just happy to see the flag and didn’t really concern myself with where I’d finished (which was pretty close to last). Despite this, I went away really happy and couldn’t wait to race at Brands in the Festival of Porsche a few weeks later.

In the weeks leading up to Brands we decided to put some harder compound pads on the rear brakes of the Cayman to try and stop them from overheating. We did a complete fluid change and everything was new. I wasn’t due to test before the race as I’d only raced there a few weeks before where I’d finished second in a CSCC round. My mechanic Alex told me to take it easy for the first few laps of qualifying to bed in the new discs and pads and then to come in for pressures. I did just that and went straight back out to put some times down. However, I knew pretty soon that there was a problem. The brake pedal became really inconsistent and I struggled to slow down at all into Graham Hill. My confidence dropped and I was pretty much braking over the finish line for the approach to Paddock. As I came into the pits half way through quali, the pedal was so long I almost couldn’t stop where my mechanic was standing! We decided that I’d boiled the fluid and that we would flush it through ahead of the race. I hadn’t put any kind of time down and was dead last. In the back of my mind, I knew I had a bigger problem than boiled fluid.

The race rolled around and I just knew before I’d even started that I wouldn’t finish. The start was a bit of a shambles as the organisers had left the sprint start in the system so instead of the red lights coming on then lights out signifying the start of the race, they put green lights on and left them on! We all went into Paddock not really knowing if we were actually racing or not until we passed the start line again. However, that was going to be the least of my problems! About three laps in, my brakes started to go again. A solid pedal at Druids was followed by a spongy pedal at Graham Hill and any confidence I had in the car or the ability to drive it at all was lost. I pulled into the pit lane and knew my weekend was over.

A disappointing weekend will not affect my love for Brands Indy and I can’t wait to race there again next season. We have one round left at Donington this Sunday with the CSCC and I’ve got all my fingers crossed that my brakes will be sorted by then. These last two races have taught me a lot about confidence and how important it is to focus on the positives in racing. You can have the quickest car on the grid and the best brakes in the paddock but without confidence you will not win that race. My GB Wheelchair Rugby coach once told me to ONLY worry about the things you can control. I can mitigate mechanical failures by having a strong team behind me but I can’t control all aspects of the mechanics of my car, that’s just racing. What I can control is how I think about the situation and the things I choose to focus on. Ahead of Donington, I am remembering my ability to drive on slicks in the wet, my last-to-seventh finish at Silverstone and all the silverware I’ve won this season. Trust me when I say that no one can believe in you more than you can believe in yourself.

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Props and Pistons Show at East Kirkby 2018

Posted on Wednesday August 29, 2018

A great turnout on Bank Holiday Monday at the Props and Pistons Show at East Kirkby, with the Lancaster and Spitfire flyover and a great selection of cars new and old. See you again next year!

  

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