Tag: Andy Priaulx

BTCC: Matt Neal makes it a Honda double at Brands Hatch

Honda’s Matt Neal completed a memorable afternoon and claimed the second victory for the new Civic Type R, following team-mate Gordon Shedden’s thrilling race two win earlier in the day.

The finale got off to a dramatic start when Rob Collard’s BMW was tapped into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend, whilst a quartet of runners further down the field made contact at Druids. The first safety car of the season was immediately deployed as Josh Cook’s Chevrolet and Warren Scott’s VW were also forced into retirement.

Pole-sitter Rob Austin remained out front in his Exocet AlcoSense Audi but the two-time race winner couldn’t shake off the attentions of Neal and the MG of the impressive Jack Goff. The top three pulled away following the restart as Sam Tordoff’s kept a trail of cars behind him in fourth.

2013 champion Andrew Jordan was busy having his best showing of the day on his MG debut, as he scythed his way by Tom Ingram’s Toyota and Tordoff’s BMW to grab fourth on lap 15. Aron Smith was cutting his own similar ascent through the pack and eventually followed Jordan through and into fifth.

There would be changes aplenty in the top order, however, as race-leader Austin struggled for pace late on. Neal made his move on lap 21, and was immediately followed through by Goff at Paddock, as Austin was unable to withstand the race-long pressure. Jordan was soon upon the Audi too but a mistimed attack on the approach to Clearways led to contact, with both cars scampering across the gravel. Austin recovered and went on to claim fifth while Jordan retired in the pits with a puncture.

Goff kept Neal honest throughout and although they couldn’t match the incredible closeness of the race two finish, the gap across the line of just 0.196s again went to show the ultra competitiveness of the BTCC.

Smith, Tordoff and Austin were next up on the timesheets while Ingram rounded off a solid opening day with a top six result. Adam Morgan’s Mercedes took seventh ahead of the charging Andy Priaulx, who made the most of last corner contact between Dave Newsham’s Chevrolet and Hunter Abbott’s Audi to claim eighth.

Former champions Colin Turkington, Jason Plato and Shedden all endured disappointing results for differing reasons. Turkington spun his VW at Surtees and could only recover to finish 12th while his team-mate Plato had his storm through the field halted by a power steering problem. He was able to finish the race, albeit way down the order, while Shedden’s Honda did not make the final classification after a mid-race pit stop to correct his own mechanical woes.

Read more at BTCC.net

BTCC: Rob Collard completes WSR line-up

West Surrey Racing has confirmed that Rob Collard will complete its driver line-up in this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The team has already added young race winner Sam Tordoff and triple World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx to its ranks and has now re-signed the experienced Collard for a sixth consecutive season.

Collard, who has taken eight race victories in his BTCC career to date – all with WSR, finished sixth in the overall championship last season and helped the squad win both the teams’ and independent teams’ titles.

The Hampshire-based driver has been part of the BMW 1 Series programme since its inception in early 2013 and has gone on to enjoy one victory and a further seven podiums in the all-conquering 125i M Sport WSR designed and built machine.

Collard brings with him continued support from the Duo Group and Hitachi Construction Equipment.

WSR commences its pre-season testing with two days of running at Thruxton next week (18/19 February) where its refined cars will come up against much of its tin-top opposition. All three drivers are expected to be in attendance with further test dates planned during February and March before the BTCC Season Launch takes place at Donington Park on 24th March.

The opening three rounds of the 30-race season will get underway at Brands Hatch on 5th April. Every race throughout the season will be screened live and exclusively on ITV4.

Rob Collard said: “I am delighted to be racing for WSR for the sixth consecutive season and it’ll be my eighth in total with the team in the BTCC. We have had some great memories together and I believe there are many more to come. I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel during testing over the coming week as we prepare to defend our titles in 2015.”

Dick Bennetts, WSR Team Principal, said: “Rob has been a mainstay of WSR for a number of years and we’re extremely pleased to have him signed up for another season. It’s great to welcome the talents of both Andy Priaulx and Sam Tordoff into the team but we felt it was vital to have some continuity in our driving ranks. Rob’s speed and experience are there for all to see and he will, as ever, play a key role in helping WSR challenge for more titles.”

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: Andy Priaulx signs for WSR for 2015

Triple World Champion Andy Priaulx MBE will make a sensational return to the BTCC in 2015 after joining West Surrey Racing.

The long-time BMW driver has previously won the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for the German giant and will now be looking to add a BTCC crown to his illustrious list of achievements.

Having last raced in Britain’s premier motorsport series during the 2002 season, taking one victory, Priaulx later joined BMW’s assault on the ETCC. The Guernseyman claimed the title the following year before going on to take a hat-trick of World Touring Car Championships between 2005-2007. His unparalleled triumphs were then officially recognised in 2008 when he was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

A move to the DTM followed and in recent seasons the factory BMW driver has competed in top-level sportscar racing across the globe, winning legendary races at both the Nürburgring and Sebring.

Priaulx’s adaptability in driving many different machines throughout his career will stand him in good stead during the upcoming season where he will dovetail his BTCC campaign with his ongoing sportscar commitments.

In a return that the man himself has hailed ‘unfinished business’, the IHG-backed driver will race one of WSR’s all-conquering BMW 125i M Sports in 2015 – a car that claimed all four BTCC titles it was eligible for last season.

Following today’s (8 January) historical announcement at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, Priaulx will commence an intensive BTCC test programme before the opening round of the season at Brands Hatch on 5 April.

The BTCC is enjoying one of the most successful eras in its long history with capacity grids and record trackside attendances. TV viewing figures are also at an all-time high with every race being screened live and free-to-air across the UK. No fewer than seven former champions entered the bumper-to-bumper action last season, where WSR driver Colin Turkington eventually claimed overall honours.

With the level of competition being greater than ever Priaulx recognises the challenge that lies ahead in 2015, and it’s a challenge that the tin top legend is looking forward to immensely.

Read more at btcc.net