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Monday, April 15, 2024

What we’re wanting ahead to in nationwide racing in 2024

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The membership racing season started final weekend with the British Racing & Sports activities Automotive Membership kicking proceedings off at Silverstone.

This was simply the primary of a complete plethora of various occasions resulting from be held within the UK over the subsequent eight months, which cater for a various vary of equipment.

There’s lots to sit up for, however some race conferences stand out greater than others and here’s a choice of occasions and championships Autosport’s writers are most eagerly awaiting.

An epic line-up in British GT, begins 1 April

British GT area options each high quality and amount this yr

Photograph by: JEP

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Returning champions, a plethora of manufacturing unit drivers, and new machines to tame all through a sell-out grid – the British GT Championship has all of the components to supply one other thrilling yr of motion.

A complete of 36 full-time entries – with additional one-off additions doubtless – are due to participate within the nine-race, seven-round calendar, which will get below approach at Oulton Park on 1 April earlier than taking within the standard venues of Silverstone, Donington Park (x2), a return to Spa after a one-year absence, Snetterton, and the season finale at Manufacturers Hatch.

4-time champion Jonny Adam returns with fledgling team Blackthorn, father-and-son duo Rob and Ricky Collard team up at Barwell Motorsport, whereas Aston Martin Components 1 ambassador Jessica Hawkins will make her debut at Beechdean.

BMW manufacturing unit driver Raffaele Marciello remains with John Ferguson at RAM Racing for one more yr, and nearly-man Phil Keen returns at 2 Seas alongside 2022 GT3 champion Ian Loggie.

On the automobile entrance, the brand new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 is ready to race within the championship in addition to up to date GT4 variations of the Ginetta G56, Ford Mustang and Vantage, whereas the Lotus model is because of make a comeback. With additional stay tv publicity deliberate on Sky Sports activities F1 as soon as once more, presumably at as many as 5 occasions, the UK’s high endurance class goes from power to power. Stefan Mackley

Goodwood Members’ Assembly & Revival, 13-14 April/6-8 September

The 60th birthday of the Mustang is due to be celebrated at the Members' Meeting

The sixtieth birthday of the Mustang is because of be celebrated on the Members’ Assembly

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Goodwood Street Racing Membership’s occasions on the hallowed circuit want no introduction, however the three-day Revival in September – beloved of spectators since 1998 – and extra relaxed Members’ Assembly in April deliver golden eras of the game again to life with peerless panache.

This yr’s 81st MM is the tenth because the sequence of second-tier British Vehicle Racing Membership ‘clubbies’ run from 1949-66 resumed with the 72nd in 2014, COVID-19 having deferred 2020’s by a yr. The Sunday’s double-driver Ken Miles Cup Ford Mustang race commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the horse automobile’s introduction and reminds us of Roy Pierpoint’s and Jack Brabham’s exploits within the rumbling 289ci V8s.

The Derek Bell Cup Components 3 race will likely be one other anniversary spotlight, 60 years after future triple F1 world champion Jackie Stewart examined Ken Tyrrell’s Cooper-BMC impressively at Goodwood, then dominated the 1000cc class’s inaugural season in 1964. Supplementing the racing motion will likely be an superior Can-Am cavalcade and a Sidecar Shootout.

Alongside epic racing on the Revival, two of Ferrari’s biggest heroes will likely be honoured in landmark years: John Surtees, who made historical past by including the F1 crown to his seven world motorbike championships in 1964; and Niki Lauda, who bagged two of his three F1 titles on Prancing Horses. The Austrian would have turned 75 final month. Marcus Pye

Ford vs Chevy race at American SpeedFest, 8-9 June

Chevrolet Camaros and Corvettes are among those due to tackle special Brands Hatch race

Chevrolet Camaros and Corvettes are amongst these resulting from sort out particular Manufacturers Hatch race

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

Manufacturers Hatch’s American SpeedFest fixture is all the time a well-liked one. The mixture of thrilling EuroNASCAR, Legends and Pickups motion on monitor and a wealth of American-themed shows off it ensures a bumper crowd. And there’s a particular race resulting from be on the timetable for this yr’s eleventh version.

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The organisers of the eclectic Bernie’s V8s sequence ran a particular Corvette race final yr to have a good time the American automobile’s seventieth birthday. This time round, they’re celebrating the glory of American muscle vehicles extra broadly with a Ford vs Chevy battle that encompasses the racing and a number of fan-voted classes as the 2 US automobile giants are pitted in opposition to one another.

Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros are prone to be the main focus of the on-track battle, however organisers are concentrating on a spread of different historic equipment to be a part of the grid, together with the likes of Ford Falcons and Corvettes. Let battle begin! Stephen Lickorish

Tremendous Touring Energy at Manufacturers Hatch, 29-30 June

Inaugural Super Touring Power event proved hugely popular with fans

Inaugural Tremendous Touring Energy occasion proved vastly fashionable with followers

Photograph by: Gary Hawkins

The Tremendous Touring period of the Nineteen Nineties has all the time been a favorite at Autosport, however even we have been stunned by the big help that Manufacturers Hatch’s inaugural Tremendous Touring Energy occasion garnered final yr. Not solely have been there scores of followers, a number of whom queued to get autographs from interval heroes resembling Alain Menu and Paul Radisich, however most of the period’s stars and vehicles have been there, each on and off-track.

Being a MotorSport Imaginative and prescient occasion, there have been some nice element touches too, resembling having the ability to play the unique PlayStation TOCA video games, and interval music.

Anticipate the identical once more. Already confirmed are the Nissan Primeras that dominated last year, with present British Touring Automotive star Jake Hill and twice championship runner-up Anthony Reid once more main the cost. Jason Hughes will present opposition together with his ex-Jason Plato Vauxhall Vectra, as will Peugeot 406 and Honda Accord equipment, and there are certain to be lots extra tantalising bulletins between now and June.

The tin-top extravaganza will present loads of racing, which this yr will embody two contests on the Sunday solely for the Group A vehicles that preceded Tremendous Touring. So, followers of firebreathing Ford Sierra RS500s also needs to add this occasion to their 2024 diary. We have already got. Kevin Turner

Santa Pod Dragstalgia, 5-7 July

Wide range of historic dragster machinery is due to descend on Santa Pod

Big selection of historic dragster equipment is because of descend on Santa Pod

Photograph by: Richard Types

Born within the USA, the ground-shaking self-discipline of drag racing has been a extremely specialised a part of British motorsport because the fabled dragfests of the early Sixties. State-of-the-art nitro-burning vehicles have change into so quick that their programs have been trimmed from a standing begin quarter-mile to 1000 toes – attend Santa Pod Raceway’s FIA European Championship opener on 24-27 Might or finale on 5-8 September for an opportunity to see 3.7-second 320mph motion – however the urge for food for older equipment is large.

Dragstalgia, on the residence of British drag racing in July, is an encyclopaedia of straight-lining historical past, showcasing extraordinary vehicles and bikes spanning the Sixties, Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. The quickest quarter-milers are nonetheless able to 200mph terminal velocities, with Bob Hawkins (sure, the veteran Components Fordster) first to enter the Cannonball characteristic in his 427cu in slingshot rail Time Traveller II.

Wild Bunch dragsters, caricature Gassers and Outlaw Anglias are large spectator attracts at this classic way of life occasion. This yr’s thirteenth version already boasts an entry of just about 40 Nostalgia Superstock vehicles, American monsters from Ford, Normal Motors and Mopar marques battling for supremacy, cheered by partisan supporters. Even if you’re solely curious, put together to be blown away. Marcus Pye

Pre-’66 Touring Automobiles at Croft, 27-28 July

Historic tin-tops will join the modern BTCC machinery at Croft

Historic tin-tops will be part of the fashionable BTCC equipment at Croft

Photograph by: Ollie Learn

The inclusion of a various mixture of visitor classes at British Touring Automotive Championship occasions was undoubtedly a spotlight of final yr. The Legends, basic Minis of the Mini 7 Racing Membership, Radicals and Caterhams added a brand new dimension to the race conferences, and it was nice for a spread of various membership sequence to get their flip within the highlight.

And, whereas all of them are again for extra visitor appearances this season, there’s a fifth division becoming a member of the bundle. The Traditional Touring Automotive Racing Membership’s Pre-’66 tin-tops are on the invoice at Croft, and this would be the first time in over a decade that some actually historic equipment has raced alongside the BTCC.

Given the CTCRC can also be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this yr, the trio of Croft contests ought to be extra-special. Anticipate the likes of Ford Mustangs, Cortinas and Anglias, Hillman Imps and Austin A40s to entertain the crowds with much more selection on the BTCC undercard. Stephen Lickorish

Silverstone Pageant, 23-25 August

Big grids of spectacular cars are a regular feature of the Silverstone Festival

Large grids of spectacular vehicles are an everyday characteristic of the Silverstone Pageant

Photograph by: JEP

Together with the Goodwood occasions, the Silverstone Pageant – or Traditional because it was beforehand identified – has been one of many largest historic conferences on the earth for 3 a long time. The sheer breadth of equipment, from pre-war sportscars to almost-current Le Mans racers through Cosworth DFV-engined Components 1 vehicles, is one in all its key appeals. F2, F3 and touring automobile contests all the time add to the range.

Different sights of the Historic Sports activities Automotive Membership occasion embody high quality drivers and packed grids, plus the historic Silverstone Grand Prix structure typically makes for some high quality wheel-to-wheel motion.

The occasion is so large that it’s inconceivable to take all of it in throughout simply in the future. And for these with youngsters, there are shows, actions and off-track performances to maintain these much less taken with the racing entertained for hours.

As standard, an effort has been made to commemorate specific anniversaries and figures. The massive one this time is Ayrton Senna, 30 years after the three-time F1 champion was killed at Imola. The hope is for a record-breaking gathering of vehicles raced by the Brazilian, and the particular tribute has the blessing of the Senna household. Kevin Turner

Fortress Combe Autumn Traditional, 21-22 September

Combe event is set to expand to two days this year

Combe occasion is ready to broaden to 2 days this yr

Photograph by: Ollie Learn

The runaway success of final season’s Fortress Combe Autumn Traditional – named Occasion of the 12 months within the 2023 Royal Vehicle Membership Historic Awards – has introduced unprecedented demand for grid slots on the 2024 version, expanded to 2 days.

This yr’s 16-race showcase options 12 various teams. Becoming a member of perennial favourites the GT and Sports activities Automotive Cup and Fifties Sports activities Automotive Racing, the Historic Racing Drivers’ Membership returns to the social gathering on the Sunday. Packed Jack Sears Trophy, Allstars and Gerry Marshall Trophy fields are central to Julius Thurgood’s charismatic circus, as near the spirit of Fifties, Sixties and Seventies membership racing as you can find.

The Historic Sports activities Automotive Membership’s content material grows with spectacular 1000cc Components 3 screamers, within the class’s sixtieth anniversary yr, and Historic Street Sports activities becoming a member of the Griffiths Haig Trophy sportscar races. Final season’s fashionable debutant the Ferrari Membership Traditional brings one other triple-header, and an thrilling native angle will likely be a race named for Bathtub storage proprietor Ron Fry, a legendary Ferrari competitor at Combe within the Sixties.

An Ecurie Traditional Racing/Jaguar contest and Mini Se7en and Miglia bouts assure frenetic tin-top motion, whereas a relaxed paddock replete with nostalgic components additionally makes it particular. Marcus Pye

Components Ford Pageant/Walter Hayes Trophy, 19-20 October/2-3 November

End-of-season Formula Ford events provide close racing

Finish-of-season Components Ford occasions present shut racing

Photograph by: JEP

We’ve mentioned it many instances earlier than and we’ll say it once more: Components Ford supplies a number of the greatest racing motion in motorsport. And that’s by no means been extra true than on the end-of-season blue riband occasions: the Components Ford Pageant at Manufacturers Hatch and Silverstone’s Walter Hayes Trophy.

The only-seater class might not be as fashionable because it as soon as was, when it provided step one on a pathway for younger expertise to achieve the top of the game, however however it has continued to supply leisure for greater than half a century.

Not solely that however, with the Pageant celebrating its fiftieth operating in 2021, names from the previous have made fashionable appearances again behind the wheel at current occasions, together with ex-Components 1 driver and 1992 Pageant winner Jan Magnussen and 1991 victor Marc Goossens. All of this has helped be certain that the occasions stay must-visit locations for followers of motorsport.

The Pageant will happen, as ever, on Manufacturers Hatch’s Indy structure on 19-20 October, and is adopted two weeks later by the WHT on the Silverstone Nationwide circuit the place, if it stays dry, you’ll be able to stand by for epic slipstreaming. Stefan Mackley



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