MSV circuits hosted some of the biggest national race series' in
2013, all of which provided great entertainment to spectators
throughout the year.
Avon Tyres British GT Championship
GT racing is currently enjoying a golden age, with the British
series having another vintage season in 2013.
The action kicked off at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend and
echoing last year's opener, the first race saw a last lap change of
leader. Trackspeed's Porsche ace Nick Tandy succumbed to mechanical
issues that dropped him to second behind team mate Phil Keen, after
the pair had passed early leader Ben Hetherington, who was sharing
the third-placed Fortec Mercedes AMG SLS with Ollie Hancock.
The Tandy/David Ashburn combination won in the second race,
after challenges from Jay Palmer and Andrew Howard ended in spins.
Mark Patterson's United Autosports Audi R8 proved a late threat,
after a safety car intervention following, bizarrely, the second
Ginetta fire of the weekend. Marcos Attard's Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4
Ashburn claimed that the Oulton Park round was his final race,
but he stayed for the remainder of the season and took another win
at Snetterton. Both he and Tandy won twice on the road at the
Norfolk circuit, but the Trackspeed Porsche was disqualified from
the first race, handing victory to the similar machine of the
Motorbase Team, with reigning champion Michael Caine and Ahmad Al
Harthy on board.
Absent from Snetterton was the Rosso Verde Ferrari 458 that had
starred in the early laps of the Oulton Park opener at the hands of
Allan Simonsen. Just one week later the international star of GT
racing succumbed to injuries sustained in an incident at the Le
Mans 24 Hour race. He will be greatly missed in the
Tribute was paid to Simonsen on the grid for the Brands Hatch
round, which would be a single two hour race. The opening hour
produced one of the closest encounters that the championship has
ever produced, with Steve Tandy leading into Paddock Hill bend
before an audacious move by Andrew Howard saw the Beechdean Aston
Martin claim the lead at Graham Hill. Howard then defended from the
Z4s of Tandy and Attard, before the Ginetta of Colin White picked
them off one-by-one, heading the field after passing the Aston
Martin on the outside of Clearways.
White spun at Surtees a few laps later, leaving Howard back in
the lead. By now the Aston Martin of Mark Poole and the VonRyan
McLaren of Brands Hatch rookie Gregoire Demoustier had caught the
pack. Demoustier, after starting 19th, worked his way into the lead
before the mandatory pitstops began at half distance.
There was chaos in the pitlane, including a botched stop from
Ashburn, and cars blocking each other as the teams swapped tyres
and drivers. However Jonny Adam had taken over the Beechdean car
and held a secure lead, which he kept to the flag,from the VonRyan
car, now at the hands of Duncan Tappy. Attard and Oliver Bryant
took third in the Ecurie Ecosse car as the series headed off for
its final rounds. Beechdean's Howard took the title, with
Adam losing out on sharing the honours due to a penalty in an
Cooper Tires British F3 International
Co-headlining with the GTs at Brands Hatch was the penultimate
British Formula 3 round of the season. The show may have been
stolen by Jazeman Jaafar, who returned to the series and winning
ways, but it was the performance of Jordan King that mattered most.
Having learned the style of driving demanded by F3 cars, he clawed
back the points deficit to title leader Will Buller, and would go
on to take the championship at the finale a few weeks later.
British Truck Racing Championship
The worlds of GT and Truck racing couldn't be much further
apart, but after swapping Bollinger for beer and caviar for cod,
the thrills on offer are remarkably similar. The sight of a pack of
racing trucks has much the same pull as the sound of a supercar
engine on-song and added to the mix this year was an exciting new
race format, where the slower Division 2 entries had a head start
on the top trucks.
At Brands Hatch this meant that Kent's Dave Smith scored three
overall wins on his way to retaining his Division 2 title. The last
of these came the day after being unceremoniously barged off the
circuit by John Powell, almost destroying his truck.
Meanwhile Matt Summerfield also kept hold of his Division 1
crown at the Brands Hatch firework finale, despite a year of
rivalry with David Jenkins, who starred at the final round along
with visiting German Sascha Lenz. In between the Brands Hatch
rounds Snetterton held its second truck race over the August Bank
Holiday weekend and this saw Summerfield take two wins, with Steve
Thomas, Stuart Oliver and Richard Collett also victorious.
MSA British Superkart Grand Prix
In July the MSA British Superkart Grand Prix also returned to
the Snetterton 300 circuit after a successful event in 2012. In the
headline Division 1 Gavin Bennett headed qualifying but was beaten
in race one by Emmanuel Vinuales. He was about to get his revenge
in the second but ran low on fuel on the final lap, eventually
nursing his kart home to second place. However in the main Grand
Prix, Bennett was correctly-fuelled and went on to take the
Click here for
a list of 2014's confirmed events and look out for additions
over the coming weeks.
Photos courtesy of British GT, Blzeebub, and Az Edwards.