Tag: MG

BTCC Brands Hatch FP1: Tom Ingram is fastest

Tom Ingram was the surprise name at the top of the time sheets in the first free practice session of the new season of the BTCC at Brands Hatch this morning.

On a drying track the Speedworks Motorsport driver set a time of 50.665 seconds, more than half a second faster than the next best car, the Honda of Matt Neal
Rookie Josh Cook, runner-up in last year’s Clio Cup, was third frastest ahead of Rob Collard and Dave Newsham.

Reigning champion Colin Turkington could only manage 13th fastest in his first session with Team BMR. All three of his team mates were ahead of him, with Aron Smith seventh, Warren Scott eighth and Jason Plato 11th.

MG pair Jack Goff and Andrew Jordan spent most of the session in the garage, completing just eight laps between them.

The next free practice session is at 12:45pm.
Follow live timing and driver tracker on itv.com/btcc
Qualifying, live on itv.com/btcc at 3.30pm

Read more at ITV Sport

BTCC: Jack Goff completes MG Triple Eight 2015 line-up

Reigning constructor/manufacturer champions, Triple Eight Racing, have signed BRDC SuperStar Jack Goff to a one-year race deal.

He will compete alongside 2013 BTCC Champion Andrew Jordan in the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) in a second works-supported MG6.

The Briton, 23, made his series debut in 2013 after clinching the 2012 Clio Cup UK crown and has steadily progressed taking ten top-10 finishes throughout 2014, after the tail end of his debut season showed promise with a maiden BTCC podium in the final race of the year.

“It’s a thrill to start the season in the quickest front-wheel drive car on the grid,” commented Goff. “Obviously as a kid growing up, driving for a works team is the pinnacle. I’m chuffed that we’re working with Triple Eight and MG, over the course of the past three years they’ve shown that the MG is a race winner and a championship contender.

“This is an important step in my career and I have come here expecting to win races. I know what it takes to do that, I’ve shown my ability in the Clio Cup, and now I have a BTCC car and team that will give me a platform to challenge from. There’s a really good buzz at Triple Eight; you walk around the factory and there are so many trophies and references to winning in the BTCC. Add that to having a former BTCC champion in Andrew (Jordan) in the team, it really gives me a lot of confidence for the year ahead.

The Buckinghamshire-based driver added: “This is an unforgettable moment that I owe to all of those who have supported me – my family, my friends, and of course my partners 5 Star Cases, AC Entertainment Technologies, The HSL Group & RCIB Insurance, who without their help, I wouldn’t be on the grid this year.”

Triple Eight Racing’s Founder and Managing Director, Ian Harrison believes Goff will complement Jordan well and is excited about the new line-up for the 23-times champions, who will set out to defend their 2014 Constructor/Manufacturer title won with MG.

“Jack is a young guy on a journey to become a top BTCC driver. It’s great that he is with us; he fits with what we’re trying to do. We spoke to several drivers over the off-season, but when we found out Jack was available it was clear he was the best option for us. Everybody remembers the 2013 last round at Brands with (Gordon) Shedden and we need him to try to replicate that, albeit on a regular basis.

“We’ll aim to get him working in a methodical way, aid his development as a driver and give him a car that will allow him to show what he can really do behind the wheel in a BTCC car. We need Jack to be running in the top eight all the time and becoming a regular front-runner as the season progresses to enable us to defend the manufacturers title for MG.”

Harrison continues: “We said early on that what we want is someone who fits the demographic for MG; Jack ticks the box for MG, but also for us. We want to continue to win races, take podiums and lock out front-rows in qualifying, so for us Jack is the perfect compliment to Andy. It’s a nice story for MG too; he started his racing in one of its cars, and now things have gone full circle and he is in a works MG BTCC car.”

Goff has a significant allegiance to MG and is no stranger to its devoted fan following, having begun his racing in a MG and owned seven MG road cars. The arrival at Triple Eight as a MG works-supported driver sees the Triple Eight driver go ‘pro’ with the Longbridge-based brand.

“I started my track driving with MGs in the MG Trophy Championship in the ZR and having had lots of MGs in my lifetime, I have a real soft spot for them. I spent a lot of hours working on my MG racecars in the garage! The MG brand is huge and it has one of the most devoted and passionate sets of supporters of any car manufacturer. To hopefully have the weight of that support is going to be a real bonus this season.”

MG’s head of Sales and Marketing, Matthew Cheyne was pleased with the signing, adding: “Jack is a likeable young racer who has yet to realise his full potential. We’ve seen Triple Eight aid the development of drivers of all ages, and look forward to Jack achieving new levels of track success with MG, the brand he began his career with.”

The new MG-man won’t have to wait too long for his first test in the MG6 racer either, with his Triple Eight debut scheduled this time next week (Wednesday 4th March) at the Leicestershire track, Donington Park, with a further two tests planned before the series media launch back at Donington some three weeks later.

“This year we’ve got four days of testing planned before the first race, and it will actually be the first time I’ve properly run at the media day; we’ve never really got on track at it before. I just can’t wait for my first run in the MG6; I got a taste of what to expect when I had my seat fitting recently and I’ve spoken to Andy (Jordan) too. Bring on 2015!”

The deal will see Goff’s MG feature a different livery to that of past years, and the bold new design will be unveiled at the upcoming BTCC media day on Tuesday 24th March.

To complement the announcement, at 20:00 GMT tonight, Jack will takeover the official BTCC Twitter account (@DUNLOPBTCC) for a live Twitter Chat for approximately an hour. Fans and media alike can get involved, and should submit questions directly to the @DUNLOPBTCC handle, using the hashtag #AskJack.

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: “I really want the Championship back” says Jordan

Andrew Jordan enjoyed a faultless debut run in the manufacturer-backed MG6 at Brands Hatch yesterday (12 February), completing more than 70 laps of the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

The 2013 BTCC champion’s return to Triple Eight Racing has been one of the biggest stories of the off-season so far and the squad has wasted little time in kicking off its all-important test programme.

A steady start to the day in damp and chilly conditions gradually increased in intensity with the Lichfield-based driver piling on the lap count after lunch.

“The car is great, as you’d expect from a 2014 title challenger,” he said. “It’s very quick and rides the kerbs well. It’s hard to be too accurate with the assessment as it was so cold that the tyres were warmer when I came in and crossed them than after a ten-lap run.

“First impressions are that the general feeling’s pretty similar [to the Honda] to be honest. It is all the same running gear, so there aren’t too many differences in terms of fundamentals. The Swindon engine has different characteristics to the MG, which I thought it would and I think the engine will be more challenging to drive, which I’ll enjoy, because the power comes in more aggressively than the Honda did.”

Despite the change of machinery Jordan will be chasing a hat-trick of pole positions on the opening day of the season after he kicked of both his 2013 and 2014 campaigns with a flying performance in qualifying.

“We’ve been on pole the last two times here on the Indy circuit at Brands and I think that has something to do with us being early to test and experiencing conditions that we’ll probably face at the first race,” he continued.

“This test has provided us with a couple of interesting ideas for things to try. We’ve got another test here in a few weeks time, which I hope will be dry. I’d love to repeat last year’s form and get pole plus a couple of wins. That’s my aim because it would make a cracking statement.”

Jordan has already competed for the multiple championship-winning team back in 2010, but it’s fair to say that with a number of race wins and a BTCC title under his belt, the Pirtek-supported racer is at a completely different stage of his career.

“It’s a very different scenario to when I was here last,” enthuses Jordan. “Back then I didn’t win a race, so that’s certainly something I want to change! It’s been great to come back to Triple Eight. There are a few familiar faces here still; I know Ian [Harrison, Triple Eight Racing founder and MD] very well for example.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve had an arm round the shoulder, I’m not sure I’d want that either, but the whole team have been really warm and welcoming. In our technical meetings I’ve been very sure about what I want, it’s pointless coming in and just sitting there, and I have a lot of experience now, so it’s important to use that and get my views across.

“From the moment I started I wanted to be a full factory driver, so the outcome of that happening is something I’ve had plenty of time to consider. Last year I took to the grid as champion and that brought about an added confidence; I feel the same about being a works driver.”

The 25-year-old is clear to point out that yesterday was just the beginning of months of hard work, which he ultimately hopes will end with him winning his second title later this year.

“The Indy circuit at Brands doesn’t give me much chance to evaluate the aero, which I know is a strong characteristic of the MG,” he concluded. “I’m looking forward to visiting Thruxton next week because there’s a lot I want to try there; I’m really excited about trying to get the MG to improve there because I love the track.

“I’m here to do my job and get the most out of the season that I can and give my sponsors some podium celebrations. I really want the championship back. I have no doubt that Triple Eight can help me deliver the drivers’ title this year, there’s no reason why we can’t do it. We’ve assembled a good team of talented people and now I need to make sure I do my job on track and become a good team leader.”

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: Turkington and MG crowned by Todt and Surtees

FIA President Jean Todt and Formula 1 legend John Surtees crowned the 2014 MSA British Champions at the Night of Champions ceremony.

Reigning BTCC champion Colin Turkington and Guy Jones – representing manufacturer winners MG – were among those awarded.

Alan Gow, Chairman of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), welcomed the winners of UK motor sport’s most prestigious titles to the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall for the annual awards evening. They were joined by a series of special award winners, each recognised for outstanding achievement throughout the past year.
Todt, who leads world motor sport’s governing body, took the opportunity to praise the breadth and depth of UK motor sport, while paying tribute to the MSA’s efforts to promote road safety messages in support of the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign.

Surtees, the only world champion on two wheels and four, entertained guests by recollecting the 50th anniversary celebrations of his 1964 F1 title.

Respected broadcaster Steve Rider returned as Master of Ceremonies and was joined by long-time colleague Louise Goodman.

Alan Gow, MSA Chairman, said: “The MSA Night of Champions is always a great occasion and a highlight of the domestic motor sport calendar. But the evening is not ours; it is our champions’ night and we were delighted to welcome them to the Royal Automobile Club to celebrate their achievements and successes. We were also honoured to have our FIA President, Jean Todt, with us throughout the evening and thank him for his contribution to such a special occasion.”

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: Andrew Jordan joins works MG Triple Eight Squad

Andrew Jordan will mount a bold new bid for BTCC success in 2015 after securing a lead place in the works MG team with Triple Eight Racing.

Jordan, the 2013 BTCC champion, and his prime sponsor Pirtek will move to the car and team that took the 2014 manufacturers’ title in a major new phase of his British Touring Car Championship career and Jordan says he is excited about his prospects for the coming season.

“We looked at a lot of different options for 2015 and it came down to deciding on the package that gave us the best chance of winning the championship,” he said. “It is a complete change for all of us and I’m really positive about it. This is a fabulous opportunity for me and my loyal sponsors to race a manufacturer-backed car from an iconic brand.”

Triple Eight is the most successful team in the BTCC field and the MG6 GT is a proven race-winning package. The 2015 season will be the squad’s 19th year in the BTCC, while MG is the fastest-growing automotive brand in the UK.

Andrew raced for the Triple Eight team in his second season in the BTCC back in 2009. “Now I’m going back with a lot more experience to try and lead the team to the championship,” he added.

For the 25-year-old racer from Lichfield, who has already taken 14 BTCC wins and 41 podiums, the move away from a family-run team is a major step. “I want to be more prepared than I have been in the past and this package will allow me to focus 100% on the job of driving. From my pre-event planning to my mental approach and fitness, I need to make sure that I am more prepared than ever in every aspect.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of moving to a different team and am very open to take on board as much as possible from their NGTC knowledge. I believe, with what Triple Eight has learnt over the last three years of NGTC and what I have learnt myself, we will be able to make gains through our winter testing programme.”

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC: MG to return 2015

MG confirmed that it will return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 2015 with the MG6 GT.

MG Head of Marketing, Matthew Cheyne, said “I am delighted to be able to confirm that MG will return to defend its title as BTCC manufacturer champions in 2015.  The three-year programme to race the MG6 GT with Triple Eight has proved so successful both on and off track that there was little doubt we would return in 2015.”

MG’s BTCC engineering partner, Triple Eight Race Engineering, is working on an exciting new-look driver line-up for 2015, which will see the MG6 GT’s re-branded and given a fresh look, courtesy of a host of new sponsors joining the team next year.

Cheyne, continued: “The MG brand is iconic and Triple Eight are the most successful team in the history of BTCC, as such together we are an attractive proposition and believe we will be in contention to defend our title next year. The BTCC has never been in such good shape and with a full grid containing a wide range of manufacturers and models, plus rising attendance and viewing figures, I am excited at the prospects for 2015 for MG, Triple Eight, our drivers, sponsors and of course our loyal and growing worldwide MG fan base.

“The BTCC programme has been a key part in re-establishing the MG brand in the UK and also globally. It has raised awareness of the brand with TV, online and press coverage that is not only followed in the UK but also across the world. The MG6 GT race car was designed to resemble the road car as closely as possible and in addition to the on-track programme,we have also operated a very successful mobile showroom next to the track, so BTCC fans can see and touch the latest MG6 and MG3 products.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering Managing Director and co-founder, Ian Harrison, commented: “We’re very much looking forward to next year, our fourth with MG and 19th in the BTCC. Over the past three years we’ve taken more race wins than any other constructor and manufacturer, and next year we are intent on extending that run of form. There’s little doubt that 2015 will be even more competitive than this year as teams get a handle on developing their cars, but we’re confident we’ve assembled the right elements to take it to the other teams and ensure we’re in the mix by the end of the year.”

MG is currently the fastest growing automotive brand in the UK with sales up 573 percent year to date (SMMT data). The MG6 is already a favourite with MG owners for its drivability, affordability and exceptionally high levels of standard equipment included and was also voted by owners to be the Best Handling and sixth overall Best Car to Own in the 2014 Auto Express Driver Power Awards.

Read more at btcc.net

BTCC : MG Grabs The Manufacturer Lead

For the first time since the Donington Park event in 2013, MG/Triple Eight have taken the lead in the Manufacturer/Constructor standings ahead of Honda Team Dynamics.

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It has been an incredibly close battle between the four manufacturer-backed cars so far this year, and now MG have moved ahead by just a single point.

With Honda having taken the past four consecutive Manufacturer’s titles, MG drivers Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff are on a mission in this, the third year of the MG6 racer, to snatch the crown from the new-for-2014 Honda Civic Tourers. The hatchback Civic model is a proven package, but with the switch to the larger Tourer this year there have been some new challenges for Team Dynamics to overcome. It didn’t take long, however, for the car to take its first podium in the hands of Matt Neal in the very first race of the year at Brands Hatch. Podiums soon became wins, as Shedden triumphed in the final race of the day at Donington Park, but the Pershore–based squad hasn’t had things entirely its own way.

Two podiums for Plato at Brands were followed up by a dominant display by Triple Eight three weeks later at Donington. A front-row lockout for Plato and Tordoff followed by 1-2s in both races was mightily impressive, but a strong race three for Honda just kept the Japanese marque in front.

With both Thruxton and Oulton Park balanced between the two works teams, Honda held a slender advantage coming into the BTCC’s sole trip to north Yorkshire. The MG pair had been fast at Croft in 2013 and were confident ahead of the weekend, and while they didn’t quite get the results anticipated, it was still enough to move them ahead in the race for manufacturer honours.

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