Saturday, 7 March 2015

2015 TCR International Series Update No.3...

Its been a busy two weeks for the TCR International Series and the domestic TCR Series and for Craft-Bamboo Racing...

Here are the latest announcements...

The TCR Asia Series has unveiled an impressive five round calendar for its maiden season, with the opening event at Guangdong International Circuit on August 16.

“Our original plan was to start in May in Korea, however after taking into account the organisation and logistics aspects, we decided to postpone the first event,” explained David Sonenscher, CEO of WSC Asia, the series promoter.

“We had to be realistic and accept the fact that most of the cars may not be delivered in time for an earlier start. Our first round will now be alongside the China Touring Car Championship which will allow us to showcase the new category to one of the biggest markets in the world. Already we have significant interest in the series from some of Asia’s most competitive teams, many of whom are waiting for the delivery of cars,” Sonenscher added. 

After Guangdong, the 2015 TCR Asia Series will visit Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, while the venue for the final race meeting will be unveiled at a later date.

Sonenscher said: “For Singapore,our competitors will enter in the TCR International Series, while in Thailand they will have their own races. We are already looking forward to include Japan and Korea in the 2016 calendar.”

2015 TCR Asia Series – calendar
16 August, Guangdong International Circuit, China
6 September, Sepang iCircuit, Malaysia
20 September, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
25 October, Buriram International Circuit, Thailand
22 November, TBA

Craft-Bamboo Racing announced a title partnership with LUKOIL, to compete in the 2015 TCR International Series.
Entering the maiden season of TCR International Season under the name Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL, the team presents itself as a competitive force with a trio of SEAT León cars. The strong driver line-up, which will be announced soon. This partnership is a demonstration of the team’s clear intention to challenge for both the team’s and driver’s championship titles.
Craft-Bamboo Racing has a successful Touring Car history dating back to 2009. In 2013 they claimed the independent title with a third place overall in the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing declared: “I am thrilled to announce our three car entry into the TCR International series.  We are very excited to be working with LUKOIL because not only are they an excellent partner, but they also have a reputation for backing winners. The title is our aim but we know how difficult that will be with so many top teams and drivers.”

Marcello Lotti, CEO of WSC Ltd, added: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Craft-Bamboo Racing and LUKOIL. This will prove to be a powerful alliance between a team that has established itself as a winner in many different categories and one of the most dynamic oil companies on the global market. The fact that these two prestigious brands have decided to join the series in its maiden season, is a further evidence that the TCR concept is sound and well grounded.”

Westcoast Racing announced that American racer Kevin Gleason will form one third of its attack on the inaugural season of the TCR International Series.
Westcoast Racing was created in 1994 by Dick Jönsson-Wigroth and has gone on to establish itself as the world’s leading Swedish touring car team by accumulating several championship titles over the course of two decades in the highly esteemed Swedish Touring Car Championship.

Westcoast Racing will field a trio of Honda Civic cars built and developed to the new TCR technical regulations by JAS Motorsport.

With a background in US-based touring cars, Gleason has demonstrated skill and adaptability by seamlessly transitioning between different specifications of race cars and accumulating various high profile race victories along the way. His key achievements include a win in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge VIR 13 Hour and the 2014 ADAC Nürburgring 6 Hours.

“I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Westcoast Racing team for the inaugural TCR International Series season,”said Gleason. “The team is well proven and brings a vast array of experience that I’m sure will help see it quickly adapt to the new challenge it faces in 2015. Beyond the team itself, I expect the Honda Civic TCR to be a competitive package, especially with the support of JAS Motorsport and Mugen. I look forward to building these relationships into a successful campaign.”

Westcoast Racing Team Manager, James Nixon, said: “Westcoast Racing is delighted to welcome Kevin Gleason to the team. His pace and hunger to succeed is very apparent and that was a big appeal when we started our conversations. The TCR International Series is the ideal category to start a full season campaign and to perfect his racecraft on some of the best tracks in the world. I have no doubt Kevin will soon be a name we all know and remember in touring cars.”

Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL announced Sergey Afanasiev as one of the three drivers that will be contesting the new TCR International Series.
The 26 year old Russian began his career with LUKOIL in Formula Russia in 2003. His first season was a success, taking three wins and the title in his first year of professional racing.

Afanasiev progressed through various single-seater series, culminating with a third place in the 2010 FIA Formula Two Championship; the following year he finished third again in the AutoGP. In 2013 Afanasiev switched to the FIA GT1 World Championship and was crowned champion in the Pro-Am division.

Earlier this week Afanasiev has completed four successful days of testing at Valencia and Barcelona with the SEAT León Racer, which allowed him to familiarize with the car and adapt to front wheel drive.

Afanasiev said: “The TCR International Series is a new challenge for me and I'm looking forward to the season. We conducted several tests, in which I learned the car. The new SEAT León is very different from GT cars, but I did not have any problem adapting."

Evgeny Malinovskiy, Head of LUKOIL Racing, commented: “I am pleased to present our international project for 2015 with Craft-Bamboo Racing. We decided to combine the efforts of two successful teams to conquer another challenge. I believe that in our maiden season in the TCR International Series we will be able to fight for the championship. From my point of view, this series is one of the best championships for independent teams.”

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Sergey to the team, he is a true professional and has already been adapting well to front wheel drive racing. I am sure that he will achieve success this season, he has impressed in his attitude and shown very good pace in testing.”

Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil announced Pepe Oriola as the second of three drivers that will be contesting the 2015 TCR International Series.

The young Spaniard began his career in karting at the age of nine and moved up to Touring Cars when he was 15 to finish on the podium in the final round of the SEAT Leon Supercopa. In 2011 Oriola became the youngest ever driver in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at 16 years old and in the 2013 WTCC Race of Morocco he took his first win and became the youngest ever driver to win an FIA World Championship race.

“The feeling is very positive with Craft-Bamboo Racing and we have already begun working to prepare for the TCR International Series that will surely become a championship of reference. It has a very attractive calendar and several races will be shared with Formula 1, which is another attraction for this championship,”Oriola said.

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing, commented: “I am so pleased to welcome Pepe Oriola to Team Craft-Bamboo Lukoil, he is a proven race winner and despite his young age will not be a number two driver. He brings with him tremendous speed and experience in Touring Cars and I expect him tol be a championship contender. I think Craft-Bamboo Lukoil will give him the environment to take the step from a race winner to a champion.”

Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL announced Jordi Gené as the final driver in the trio that will contest the TCR International Series.

A factory development driver for SEAT since 2005, Gené was instrumental to the development of the SEAT León Racer. The Spaniard has been focusing on testing and development during his role in the past few seasons. His professional input has helped SEAT to prepare the car for its upcoming series debut. Gené’s distinguished career in motorsport contains multiple championship wins spanning numerous racing disciplines, including the FIA World Touring Car Championship, in which he won four races and helped SEAT win the manufacturers titles in 2008 and 2009.

Richard Coleman, CEO of Craft-Bamboo Racing, stated: “It is great to welcome our third driver, Jordi Gené. He is a proven race winner and brings with him vast amounts of knowledge as a factory development driver for SEAT. I have high expectations for results with the quality of drivers and years of collective racing experience they possess, and will be looking forward to a very exciting season.”

Gené said: “I am really looking forward to this new project, and I'm also very motivated to participate in the TCR International Series with the SEAT León Racer, especially after having collaborated with SEAT Sport in its development. I know the car very well and I've done some testing during the pre-season, which I also have combined with karting to make sure my reactions and skills are up to the challenge.”

At Craft-Bamboo Lukoil, Gené joins his fellow countryman Pepe Oriola and Russian racer Sergey Afanasyev.

Finally, WSC Ltd, the promoter of the TCR International Series, appointed Touring Car legend Nicola Larini as the driver in charge for the forthcoming Balance of Performance test.
The Italian ace will take the wheel of the various eligible cars on Monday and Tuesday next week at Barcelona’s Catalunya Circuit.

A former Formula 1 driver and tester, with 49 Grands Prix under his belt, including one second place at Imola for Ferrari, Larini established himself as one of the most successful Touring Car drivers in the latest twenty years. At the wheel of Alfa Romeo factory cars he was crowned Italian Supertouring champion in 1992, won the 1993 DTM, finished second in the FIA World Touring Car Challenge at Monza in the same year and claimed eight race victories in the FIA European Touring Car Championship between 2001 and 2003. From 2005 to 2009 he raced for Chevrolet in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, in which he was classified fifth in 2007.

“I have accepted with pleasure to run this test; it is going to be an interesting experience and I trust I will be able to deliver a clear and detailed feedback that help to balance the performance of the different cars. I have gained enough experience in Touring Car racing and with the turbo engine to duly accomplish this task,”declared Larini.

Marcello Lotti, CEO of WSC, said: “Having a very experienced driver like Larini is the best guarantee of success for the test. From his undisputed driving skill and technical knowledge, Nicola is the right person to help our technical department to fix Balance of Performance among the different cars. We are very grateful to him for having accepted our invitation.”

The Balance of Performance will be based on three different parameters: the minimum weight of the car (+/- 70kg), its ride height (-10/+20mm over 80mm) and the air restrictor (95/90% of nominal diameter).

All the best!


2015: A Big Year for Rallycross...

Rallycross is big news right now in the Motorsport World...

And 2015 is an important year.

Let me explain why...

In 2013, the running of the FIA European Rallycross Championship was taken over by IMG Motorsport and they relaunched the brand as "RallycrossRX" Several big name drivers joined the series in the form of Petter Solberg and Tanner Foust, going up against regulars such as Liam Doran and Timur Timerzyanov whilst being joined by newcomers like Timmy Hansen and Anton Marklund.

The series proved so popular that the FIA took the step to create the first ever World Rallycross Championship or WorldRX for 2014. In came factory supported efforts from Peugeot-Hansen, Ford OMSE and VW-Marklund whilst names such as Jacques Villeneuve, Toomas "Topi" Heikkinen and Manfred Stohl raced in Supercar machinery taking on the best. With added live TV & Internet coverage, the series boomed with many European rounds seeing over 40 Supercar entries and Petter Solberg crowned as the first ever World Rallycross Champion.

So, why is 2015 so important?

Well, the fact that the RallycrossRX regulations have been left largely unchanged means that there are plenty of Supercars out there to use and race that are eligible in Domestic, European & World Championships. Factor in the point that its relatively easy to transport a Supercar to any of the EuroRX events and that alone allows domestic series competitors to take on the best from WorldRX and even have a chance at winning the EuroRX Title. All this means that you can expect large numbers of entrants and big crowds at Rallycross events.

The hugely positive effect that the expansion of WorldRX has had on Rallycross has begun to spread. In 2014, The 5 round FIA European Rallycross Championship saw large entries in the Supercar, Touring Car, Super1600 and RX Lites catergories. This prompted a rethink for the Support Catergories that resulted in a revised calendar in 2015 that now allows drivers from the various different European Domestic series to compete on home turf and compete in Europe as well at little more cost.

This has led to 3 British drivers confirming their intention to contest the Euro Super 1600 catergory in Citroen C2's this year.

But theres also growth to be seen in the British Championship. In 2014 Julian Godfrey secured his 4th British Rallycross Championship title. However there were plenty of regular drivers chasing him for that title in Supercars, such as Steve Hill, Simon Horton, Steve Harris, Kevin Proctor and Colin Anson. Godfrey enjoyed a good early season run that helped him build up a cushion of points, but the racing remained close and fast between all of the competitors.

British Rallycross veterans Mark Flaherty and Ollie O'Donovan both returned to the series. O'Donovan piloted a Mk 2 Ford Focus from midway in the season and took three event wins. Had he contested a full season, Godfrey would have been pushed hard. Flaherty, a veteran from over 20 years ago made sporadic appearences in a LD Motorsports Citroen DS3 during a fact finding return to the series.

This has led to early confirmations of programmes for BritishRX. O'Donovan has confirmed he will run a full programme in British RX and EuroRX in a new Mk7 Ford Fiesta Supercar run by RX Racing Ltd with further appearences in other WorldRX rounds possible. Andy Scott, whose Albatec Racing team contested all WorldRX 12 rounds last year has confirmed a two car assault on BritishRX for 2015 with further plans for EuroRX & WorldRX to be announced.

Add in confirmation of renewed series Title Sponsorship from The Shannon Group, a revised calendar and a revised TV & Online package that will hopefully be confirmed and this could see BritishRX on the road to becoming a domestic series that is capable of rivalling both the BTCC and British GT Championships, the UK's two biggest domestic Championships.

But both EuroRX & WorldRX continue to grow in 2015 as well. Tommy Rustad confirmed over the winter he will race a VW-Marklund Motorsport Mk5 Polo Supercar in EuroRX. Per Eklund announced his intention to run a VW Beetle in EuroRX as well, returning an inconic name to Rallycross.

2014 French Rallycross Supercar Champion Fabien Pailler has confirmed he will contest EuroRX 2015 in a Peugeot 208 WRX Supercar, a similar machine to the Albatec Racing and Hansen-Peugeots campaigned this year in WorldRX. 2014 EuroRX Champion Robin Larsson is looking to expand to a WorldRX campaign, whilst VW driver Johan Kristoffersson and KMS Motorsport are looking to a larger Rallycross programme in 2015.

WorldRX has seen 2 brand new teams confirm their full season campaigns for 2015. WRC driver Manfred Stohl and Austrian Rallycross driver Max Pucher announced the formation of WorldRX Team Austria, running two Mk7 Ford Fiesta Supercars built by Stohl Racing. Munnich Motorsport confirmed they are running two Audi S3 Supercars with Team Owner/driver Rene Munnich driving one of the cars in a full campaign. Swedish Rallycross racer Ramona Karlsson has announced an original route to competing this year, setting up a Crowdfunding scheme to allow her to run the first ever Female Supercar Rallycross team in EuroRX

With the confirmation on New Years Eve by 2014 WorldRX Champion Petter Solberg to defend his title and the return of Mattias Ekstrom's EKSRX Team, who have signed Anton Marklund to be his team-mate, VW-Marklund signing Per-Gunnar Andersson... All this already and theres still more to come from big hitters such as Peugeot-Hansen, Ford OMSE, LD Motorsports and others as well.

Add in new venues in Barcelona, Spain and the Double-Header with the DTM at Hockenheim for this year and the chances of the show getting bigger and better are 100%!

Recently Tino Anayi, WorldRX Managing Director for IMG Motorsport confirmed the increase in Social Media alone last year was huge. The Championship witnessed huge growth via its social platforms with Facebook likes showing a percentage increase of 348% over a 12 month period. Twitter saw a 202% increase in followers, while Instagram proved to be the biggest growth platform with a 900% rise.  Overall, the average reach across all social media platforms per event rose from 430,000 in 2013 to 6.7 million in 2014.

Thats huge interest on a Global scale.

In the US, the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship saw an increased entry last year with Manufacturers such as Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, Chevrolet and Volkswagen represented. Former F1 driver Nelson Piquet Junior joined SH Motorsport whilst Ford OMSE fielded Joni Wiman & Patrick Sandell. Gymkhana star Ken Block competed in his Hoonigans Division Ford Fiesta with limited appearances in EuroRX.

Andretti Autosport joined the series with support from Volkswagen. Scott Speed & Tanner Foust drove for the team, starting out in works Volkswagen Polo Supercars before switching to GRC Beetles. The Team has confirmed both drivers will return in Beetles this year. Subaru Rally Team USA have also confirmed they will be back with two cars for regulars Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek and a limited programme for Travis Pastrana. The Championship itself has confirmed a larger 12 round Calendar for 2015 as well.

In a time where Motorsport fans are looking for a bigger and better spectacle than the current pinnacle of Motorsport, Formula One, Rallycross is stepping up to meet that need. The Supercars alone are machines to behold themselves: Flame Spitting Monsters, producing over 600bhp from 2 litre Turbocharged engines, using 4 Wheel Drive to slide and drift on various surfaces such as Dirt, Tarmac and gravel. These guys are sliding sideways in cars that can accelerate faster than an F1 car.

Now dont get me wrong. I love Motorsport as my regulars know. I watch F1, Touring Cars and Rallycross and I enjoy them all. To all the people I talk to who say Motorsport is boring, I recommend Rallycross as its a new, exciting sport again. It has a very large coverage base utilising the Internet and Social Media very well and in 2015, its prescence can and will only grow.

I'm looking forward to the 2015 Rallycross seasons in:

The FIA World Rallycross Championship
The FIA European Rallycross Championship
The Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship &
The MSA British Rallycross Championship

I hope you'll join me in what is looking to be a stellar year for Rallycross in general.

One final thing to add. If your reading this and you love talking about Rallycross or your a fan of all things Rallycross and you are on Facebook, type in "Rallycross Talk" into the search bar. Its a group dedicated to all things Rallycross and we chat about everything there.

Heres The link:

All the best!


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Red Bull GRC 2015: Subaru Rally Team USA confirm 2015 Red Bull GRC Lineup

One of the most exciting teams in the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship has confirmed an unchanged driver lineup ahead the new 2015 season...

Subaru Rally Team USA have announced that drivers Sverre Isachsen and Bucky Lasek will lead the charge for the team’s rallycross efforts in 2015. Both drivers have renewed multi-year contracts with Subaru and will compete in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship and Summer X Games.

Sverre Isachsen, a former three-time European Rallycross Champion and Bucky Lasek, one of the most recognizable names in action sports have been with Subaru since 2011. Last year, the duo led Subaru to their most successful season to-date in the burgeoning series, earning a combined five podiums including an X Games Silver Medal by Lasek and victory at the Seattle, WA round for Isachsen.

Action sports icon Travis Pastrana will join the team at select rally and rallycross events in 2015. Pastrana’s schedule will be announced at a later date.

“It was an easy decision for us to keep them on the team,” explained Rob Weir, Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager. “Bucky and Sverre put Subaru on the podium five times last season and continue to play a key role in the development of our rallycross program. Both drivers share tremendous pride for the Subaru brand and the success of Subaru Rally Team USA.”

“The team as a whole is like a family and we have worked so hard together the past few years to develop this program and we are winning now, fighting at the top,” said Bucky Lasek. “I’m so happy to continue to be a part of this family and the Subaru motorsports heritage.”

Red Bull Global Rallycross will feature a 12-race schedule, its largest ever, for the 2015 season. The series will again return to the NBC family of networks and will include LIVE coverage on NBC.
Broadcast dates and times will be announced shortly by the series.

All the Best!


BTCC 2015: Team HARD Returns...

Tony Gilham's Team HARD Racing outfit has confirmed that it has purchased one of the United Autosports NGTC Toyotas and will run Kieran Gallagher in its return season to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship this year.

The release on the website was as follows...

We are very excited to announce that we will be returning to the British Touring Car Championship this season after agreeing a deal provisionally for one Toyota Avensis.

Kieran Gallagher will be at the wheel of our first car having been with us now for the last two seasons. Kieran has been a big part of the team and has the drive and ambition to get to the very top. Having sampled BTCC at his home track of Knockhill in 2013, there was only one place he wanted to be. Provisionally a deal was in place for a Clio Cup debut, but when the opportunity came up for a full season in the BTCC, he jumped at the chance.

Kieran knows this is a big step up and will be a very steep learning curve but we believe there is more than enough potential there to be fighting for points from the very start. He has a lot of experience in various Championships including VW Cup, BTCC, Porsche Carrera Cup and Legends in just a very short racing career so far.

Kieran said “I am over the moon to be fulfilling my lifelong dream to be competing for a complete season in the BTCC. After driving the Insignia for Team Hard at Knockhill in 2013, I made it my ambition to someday race again in the series and to do it with Team Hard is awesome. As soon as Tony offered me the chance to join them for their return, I immediately said yes and literally cannot wait to get going. I know this is a big jump, but at the same time I feel I can learn very quickly and will want to get up to speed and fight as high as possible up the grid. It will be a huge learning year but I am more than up for the challenge”

We will be taking over one of the United Autosports entries for 2015 and beyond. Having confirmed our first driver, we are now looking to run a second and are in discussions with several drivers.

“This is a very exciting programme, we are going to be in this for many years. Initially we will run the Avensis but have further plans hopefully for 2016. We have seen glimpses of how quick the Toyota can be on its day and the development we have planned, we hope to see a marked improvement”

We joined the championship in 2012 in a privately run S2000 Honda Civic before taking over the Vauxhall Insignia’s, and building a very much new and improved second version culminating in a 2nd place overall in the last race of 2013 at Brands Hatch. We also built the first two VW Passat CCs introduced to the Championship 2013 securing a brace of podiums in only its 3rd race weekend at Thruxton.

“This is a totally new approach from us,” said Gilham. “We have gone back to being a family-run team and there are no outside influences this time. We are building this for the future.”

The team confirmed at the end of December that they intend to build and race at least one NGTC Volvo S60 in the 2016 BTCC season, returning the famous Swedish brand back to the UK's top domestic motorsport championship.

All the best!


TCR International 2015: News Update...

The names of various WTCC Teams who will take part in the International TCR series as well as a new Central American TCR series were some of the news updates from the world of TCR this week...

Several FIA WTCC teams were confirmed to be taking part in this years inaugural TCR International Series by series boss Marcello Lotti in a recent interview on the Italian website

Lotti confirmed that Zengo Motorsport, Proteam Racing and Campos Racing will be entering cars for the Championships first season. He also confirmed which cars/models will take part as well.

Seven teams in total have been confirmed so far, each of which should field three cars. Target and Zengo will use SEAT Leons, Onyx and Proteam Racing will be using Ford Focus STs. WestCoast Racing has already confirmed it will use Honda Civics built by JAS Motorsport.

Campos Racing has revealed it will use Opel Astra's and Lotti confirmed that the Astra will be used in its VLN Configuration, before the new model due to be released next year is eligible. Engstler Motorsport are due to start with SEAT Leons before making the switch to the Volkswagen Golf later in the year.

It is expected that there will be a 20 car gelrid for the Malaysian opening round with the full 24 cars expected to compete after May. Team Target Competition have already released images this week of their three TCR SEAT Leon Racers through Social Media.

TCR has appointed SEL Sport & Events Logistics as the official carrier for the 2015 TCR International Series.
A company owned by the renowned haulage contractors Gruppo Arcese, SEL Sport & Events Logistics will be in charge for all logistics and transportations during the series’ maiden season.

SEL has built itself an excellent reputation as Official Carrier and Transportation Supplier of a number of important motorsport series such as MotoGP, Superbike World Championship and World Rally Championship. The combination of its logistics and transportation activities enables SEL to provide a service based on the experience of more than twenty years in support of different sports.

Pier Carlo Bottero, CEO of SEL said “This agreement represents a demanding challenge that we face with the same professionalism and enthusiasm we devote to any new project we are involved in. This new opportunity will enable SEL to further implement its top level service that is especially dedicated to the world of sports.”

Marcello Lotti, TCR Series boss explained “We are very pleased and proud with sealing this deal with SEL Sport & Events Logistics as Official Carrier of the TCR International Series. Arcese it’s a leading group in worldwide transportation and logistics. It’s another premier brand that has chosen to be linked to this new series for Touring Car racing.”

SEL has also been appointed as the Official Carrier of the TCR Asia and GT Asia by series’ promoter David Sonenscher.

Finally, on Monday, Promoters of a number of different Touring Car series that plan to adopt the TCR technical regulations had a meeting in Barcelona for a two-day Working Group with the aim of establishing a common strategy.

The meeting was chaired by Marcello Lotti, CEO of WSC Ltd (the promoter company of the TCR International Series), assisted by David Sonenscher, promoter of the TCR Asia Series.

Twelve countries were represented by championship promoters and members of National Sporting Authorities: BeNeLux, China, The Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, USA and Venezuela; one of the first items approved was the plan to create from 2016 a TCR Central America Series that should visit Colombia, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, USA and Venezuela.

The participants unanimously expressed their will to cooperate with the aim of establishing the TCR category on a global scale, adopting one corporate identity and a single set of technical regulations.

This should arouse interest from the car makers’ national dealers or importers and will create an international market among teams for buying and selling cars and parts. On the sporting side, each national series will be free to choose its own format, tailored on the local tradition and the drivers’ needs.

Marcello Lotti commented: “I am very pleased to see that the concept we launched a few months ago is already meeting with such a large and enthusiastic consensus. After the meetings we had in Barcelona I am even more convinced that a bright future is expected for TCR.”

The first ever TCR International Series event is due to take place in Malaysia as part of the support bill for that weekends Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix that takes place on 27-29 March.

All the best!


Anton Marklund joins EKS Audi for 2015 WorldRX

Anton Marklund has signed for Mattias Ekstrom's EKS squad to compete in the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, leaving his family run Marklund Motorsport team.

The young Swedish Rallycross star will join Team Principal and driver Ekstrom in one of the teams Audi S1 RX Quattro's that proved to be so competitive during the 2014 season. Marklund will also take part in the new Audi TT-Cup, a six round one make series supporting the DTM this year. Ekstrom himself has confirmed he will race for Audi in the DTM this year as well as contesting non-clashing WorldRX events.

The Audi S1 RX Quattro proved to be fast out of the box last year with Ekstrom winning his home SwedenRX event and finishing second to Petter Solberg by 5000th's of a second at the memorable GermanyRX event.

“This is an amazing opportunity that Mattias and EKS are giving to me, both to score top results in 2015 and to develop on all levels for my future career,” explained Marklund who went on to finish sixth in last year’s World RX driver standings. “Mattias has been a friend of mine since 2013, when we competed together in X Games Munich. He has helped me a lot already in my career and I’m really glad that I now will join the EKS family.”

Marklund has so far competed in WorldRX for his family run team. He won the European Rallycross title in the Touring Car catergory in 2012, before the team moved up to a single entry Volkswagen Polo WRX Supercar in the 2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship and in last years World Championship, he was joined at Marklund Motorsport by Toomas 'Topi' Heikkinen. Marklund scored a podium finish in the first ever CanadaRX event.

Norwegian Rallycross and Touring car legend Tommy Rustad confirmed last year that he will be contesting the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship in a Marklund Motorsport built VW Polo Supercar. Marklund Motorsport have also confirmed that they will reveal their 2015 driver lineup in the coming weeks.

The 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy kicks off in Portugal at the Montelagre Circuit on 24th - 26th of April.

All the best!


Eklund Motorsport to debut VW Beetle Supercar in 2015 WorldRX

Per Eklund has confirmed that his Eklund Motorsport organisation will enter a VW Beetle Supercar in this years FIA World Rallycross Championship.

The Swedish Rallycross legend explained that due to the FIA opening up the Supercar Homologation rules this year, this has opened up the oppurtunity to take the Beetle Supercar racing in the World Championship. The team has been testing and developing the Supercar for the past twelve months.

“We’ve been working on this project for a long time, so I’m pleased that now we can make plans to use the Beetle,” said team owner Per Eklund. “We have one car running now but there are some changes to make before we can race.“

However the exact plans for how many events the Beetle will contest in either the World Rallycross Championship or the European Rallycross Championship also depends on drivers that can bring a capable budget for the season.

"There has already been a lot of interest in the Beetle and I’ve spoken to several drivers who would like to race it, but so far nothing has been agreed and I’d really like to find to a driver who has the budget for a full World Championship season in the car,” continued Eklund. “If we can’t get a full World Championship then we will focus on European events. I think the car can be a winner.”

The chance to take the car into regular Rallycross action has been made possible due to the FIA adding the Volkswagen Beetle to the list of cars eligible for Rallycross competition this year.

The FIA has also opened up the engine regulations this year to allow a larger range of Supercars to be run and to ensure that two litre engines can continue to be used even if a manufacturer does not produce a suitable a two litre base engine. This means the Eklund Motorsport VW Beetle will be the first Rallycross Supercar to take advantage of the Custom Engine Regulations.

The VW Beetle Supercar in another guise has already seen action in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship in 2014. The Andretti Autosport Rallycross team introduced the car for its drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed in September last year at the Los Angeles round of the series. However the Supers in Red Bull GRC run to a different specification used in FIA WorldRX.



Red Bull GRC Lites Announces 2015 Schedule...

Red Bull Global Rallycross is proud to announce a 12-race schedule for the 2015 GRC Lites season, kicking off in Florida on May 31 and culminating in Las Vegas in November. In addition, GRC Lites races will be telecast as a standalone program for the first time in series history. The series will be featured in nine 30-minute shows, each telecast on NBCSN on weekdays following Red Bull GRC race weekends.

"We are delighted to announce the 2015 schedule and first standalone broadcast slate for the GRC Lites class,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “GRC Lites is an important feeder series for Red Bull Global Rallycross, and the source of our future champions for years to come. We are incredibly grateful to our fantastic partners at NBC Sports Group for helping us ensure that the future stars of our sport make it to television, and we know that our fans will be excited to watch the most talented young drivers in the world.”

The full 2015 GRC Lites points championship schedule is featured below. Telecast dates and times will be announced at a later date.

May 31: Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
June 21: Daytona, FL
July 5: United States Military Base
July 25: Detroit, MI (I)
July 26: Detroit, MI (II)
August 15: Washington, DC
August 30: Seattle, WA
September 12: Los Angeles, CA (I)
September 13: Los Angeles, CA (II)
October 3: Barbados (I)
October 4: Barbados (II)
November 5: Las Vegas, NV

With a 12-race schedule, its longest ever, the third season of GRC Lites competition will be the most intense in series history. The nine-city tour includes three doubleheader events, as well as the class’ first trip outside of the United States with an October visit to Barbados.

Introduced in 2013, GRC Lites is the official feeder series of Red Bull Global Rallycross. GRC Lites races feature 310 bhp, all-wheel drive spec vehicles built to emphasize driver skill over mechanical advantage.

These cars are also the same as the RX Lites catergory that supports the FIA World Rallycross The RX Lites Cars are identical, meaning that the formula encourages driver ability and the talent to find the best setup in order to succeed in cars that have 310bhp, are all-wheel-drive like a Supercar and are rear-engined machinery, which is designed to make sure costs are kept to a minimum. This allows the racing to remain close and exciting between the drivers as they compete on a level play field for the championship win.

Competing on the same courses as Red Bull GRC Supercars, the class is designed to provide future stars with the ideal rallycross training ground. Defending Supercar champion Joni Wiman won the inaugural GRC Lites title in 2013, while Mitchell DeJong won last year’s Lites championship.

As yet there has been no confirmation of when this series will be shown Internationally, but this is expected to be on Motors TV.

All the best!


The 2015 Autosport International Show: Part Two

Welcome to the second part of of my blog regarding my visit to the 2015 Autosport International Show as an Official Blogger...

Read on and Enjoy!

On the Yokohama stand was another of the cars I wanted to see on my ticklist. During the show, British Rallycross Driver Ollie O'Donovan confirmed that he would be competing in the 2015 British Rallycross Championship and at least six rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship in his new RX Racing Ltd Mk7 Ford Fiesta Supercar with title sponsorship from Tyre Manufacturer Yokohama. Ollie was rapid in his return to British Rallycross in the second half of 2014, taking his Mk2 Ford Focus Supercar to three event wins, so I'm expecting him to be fast out of the box again.

Sticking with the Rallycross theme, our visit to ASI2015 could not go without stopping by the M-Sport Stand, where on display they had the 100th Ford Fiesta Rally Car they have built, alongside which was the famous Hoonigans Racing Division Ford Fiesta Supercar of Ken Block, who contested several rounds of last years WorldRX series, resulting in a podium in Norway.

All of this had me absolutely glowing with happiness as Nik and I walked around looking and taking in all the sights and sounds of the show. One stall I wanted to see was the Brabham Stand, where this year David Brabham is taking the team into Sportscar racing in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship with an entry in the LMP2 class. I'd like to thank Sam Williams who happily explained the whole project to Nik and I on how it worked and what the public received back depending on how they subscribed to the Online programme that the funds raised so far by the fans and public.

For me, seeing the Brabham name in Motorsport again is something I've long hoped for. Before my following of Williams in Formula One, when I began watching the sport it was Brabham I was happiest seeing on the TV and I'll happily be keeping an eye on them this years FIA WEC.

I also took the oppurtunity to speak with several different BTCC drivers during the show, conducting my first ever interviews for the blog and I'd like to say thank you to Simon Belcher, Tony Gilham, Aiden Moffat and Richard Hawken for allowing me the time to interview them. I'll be posting their comments and thoughts on the season ahead in Part 3...

There was one other box to tick during our visit to the show, however it remained empty once we made our way home. My son Aaron is a big Drift fan and it turns out that former Boyzone member Shane Lynch had launched his new Maxxis Tyres sponsored Nissan 370Z. But could we find this bearded wonder? Nope. Hunted high and low for him too. Couldn't sniff him out at all.

One of my favourite moments of the day came just before lunch. We were headed back towards the Dunlop Stand when I spotted Rob Austin having a few photos taken with some fans. As he went to walk past, Nik collared him for a quick couple of words. She apologised for stopping him on the way to the loo, however Rob said he was off for a sneaky fag. But he did impart to Nik that Sherman would have a new look body shape and a new livery that would be revealed at Media Day...

I'm the blogger... She gets the exclusives!!!

I can happily say we both enjoyed Saturday at the show and its definitely something we want to go to again in 2016. It was amazing to be walking around and seeing so many different motorsport disciplines represented in one show, before the start of their various 2015 seasons and we have the knowledge that we saw them first.

One other moment that made my day at #ASI15 was catching up with my fellow Social Media TinTop family. Normally this takes place at BTCC Media Day, but this year saw an earlier chance. I managed to catchup with Baz Taylor and Daz Vallis, admins on the BTCC Fans Group and also with fellow blogger Alan Faulkner and I have to say it was great to chat to these guys and its up the excitement of BTCC Media Day even more. It was also great to catchup with Gemma Newman, who will be GridGirl for Speedworks Motorsport as well as catching up with Tony & Samantha Gilham and also with Gary Allen, who is Team Manager at Laser Tools Racing for a second consecutive season.

Finally I want to say Thank You to all the people at ASI for picking me as an Official Blogger and giving me this fantastic oppurtunity to attend the show. It been an amazing experience!



The 2015 Autosport International Show: Part One


I can happily say that the wait to go to this years Autosport International Show has been worth it...

Warning: Grab a cup of tea, maybe a few biscuits... Its a long one...

On Saturday I travelled up to the Birmingham NEC on the train with my partner Nik to take part as one of their Official Bloggers. The early morning train did little to suppress my excitement which has been slowly building since August 2014 when I was chosen as one of the competition winners.

Once we arrived, we sorted out suitable transportation for Nik (A Rented Buggy) and then headed to the Media Centre to pick up our passes. Whilst there, I met up with Alex Golschmidt who will be covering the DTM this season for (plug) and gave me a few pointers regarding the show.

Naturally, being fans of the BTCC and other tintop series, once we were inside Hall 6 we took a slow walk around to get our bearings and take in the size of one part of #ASI15. We found the Laser Tools Racing stand next to PopBangColour, where the new NGTC Mercedes A-Class Challenger that young Aiden Moffat will drive was on display. Not far from there was the Dunlop Stand of which was home to the 2015 Triple Eight MG6 of Andrew Jordan, the 2015 Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50 in its new livery, the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer and Rob Austin's faithful Audi A4 "Sherman."

Keeping in the BTCC theme, around the corner was the Handy Motorsport Stand, which was voted as the best stand at the show and the team proudly displayed the award during the show. Tom Ingrams 2014 Speedworks Toyota Avensis could also be seen at the show along with the 2014 WIX Racing Mercedes of Adam Morgan not far from the Laser Tools Racing/PopBangColour stand.

Hidden away on the Miller Oils stand were Mike Bushell and his NGTC Challenger for his maiden full season in the BTCC, The AmD Ford Focus, keeping the now tradition Red and Black colour scheme for the 2015 season.

As usual, the F1 Racing Magazine had its grid of 2014 Formula One cars on display, with the all conquering Mercedes proving to be the most popular poser for photos. Further around the show were the MSA Stand, showcasing some of the cars from the UK's Motorsport Championships, including the new MSA Formula Mygale that will run to the new FIA Formula 4 rules. On the Porsche Stand there was one of the Carrera Cup GB cars on display, whilst over at the Autosport Stage the 2014 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 car was joined on display by Andy Priaulx's 2015 BTCC BMW 125i NGTC Challenger, the Formula E Display car and the new McLaren GT racer, the 650S.

We wandered back and forth through the show, taking in the different stands and cars on show and it all added to the amazing day we had as we walked around. Over at the Silverstone Classic stands were iconic cars such as the Audi Quattro Sport, the Honda Accord Super Tourer of Phil Dodd who won the 2014 SuperTCC series along with the Sauber Mercedes from the Group C era of Sportscar racing and many others on display.

Over on the 60th Anniversary Motoring News Display was my chance to get a picture of the PSRX Citroen DS3 Supercar that Petter Solberg piloted to claim the 2014 World Rallycross Drivers Championship. As my readers know, I love my Rallycross of late and seeing this car was on my tick list. Nearby was another Super ouring Honda Accord from the BTCC, this time piloted by Tom Kristensen who won the last ever BTCC SuperTouring race.

Further around the show, I found the BMW SuperTouring car driven by Peter Kox in the 1995 season of the German SuperTourenWagen Championship that has been fully restored to its former glory and is ready to be raced in series such as SuperTCC and the like. Another historic favourite Touring Car of mine there was the Group A DTM Eggenberger Ford RS500 driven by Manuel Reuter. Those cars look so beautiful!!

Well, this is the end of the first part of my ASI15 Blog, the rest is continued in Part Two...

All the best,


Red Bull Global Rallycross Announces 2015 Schedule

Red Bull Global Rallycross is pleased to announce a 12-race schedule, its largest ever, for the 2015 season.

Once again featuring marquee stops in major urban environments, the race calendar kicks off in sunny Florida on May 31 and ends with a return to the bright lights of Las Vegas on November 5.

“The 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross schedule stands to be our best yet,” said Colin Dyne, Red Bull GRC CEO. “The combination of one of the strongest calendars in all of motorsports, as well as one of racing’s best broadcast packages, thanks to our partnership with NBC Sports Group, is one that will take the racing world by storm this year. With more races and points on the line, we expect to see a thrilling chase for the championship. We are grateful to our many partners for their support throughout the 2014 season, as well as NBC for a fantastic job in their event broadcasts, and we look forward to bringing these relationships into 2015.”

The full 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross points championship schedule is featured below. Broadcast dates and times will be released at a later date.

May 31: Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
June 21: Daytona, FL
July 5: United States Military Base
July 25: Detroit, MI (I)
July 26: Detroit, MI (II)
August 15: Washington, DC
August 30: Seattle, WA
September 12: Los Angeles, CA (I)
September 13: Los Angeles, CA (II)
October 3: Barbados (I)
October 4: Barbados (II)
November 5: Las Vegas, NV

The 2015 points championship features 12 rounds at nine unique venues, including several of the series’ most familiar stops from seasons past. This year’s calendar is also marked with three doubleheader events, including the second straight doubleheader in the series’ home city of Los Angeles, and the expansion of the series’ popular Barbados race.

Red Bull Global Rallycross will also return to the NBC family of networks for the 2015 season, with 14.5 hours of original content, an increase of 4.5 hours from the 2014 season. For the first time, GRC Lites will have its own broadcast slate, with 30-minute broadcasts of all events airing  on weekdays on NBCSN.

It is expected that MotorsTV will show the RedBull GRC on International TV, but a date is not set yet.



The FIA Touring Car Challenge... A sight we might see again...

This is a post I originally wrote in 2013, but with the introduction of the TCR International Series and the FIA adopting the BTCC's NGTC regs for other national series, this post now has a different ending...

Before the European Touring Car Cup and its successor the World Touring Car Championship returned in 2005, in the early 1990's the FIA decided to bring together the best of the Touring Car World in a sort of "World Cup" meeting...

Better put the kettle on, this one is a biggie...

After the demise of the European Touring Car Cup in 1988, Domestic Touring Car Championships continued on with the Group A/Multi Class rules until the early 1990's. The BTCC followed its own route with a single class structure with only 2 litre normally aspirated production cars allowed. The DTM followed a single car structure with 2.5 litre normally aspirated production cars with electronic aids from 1993 onwards.

The FIA decided to clarify the two different sets of regulations, calling the DTM set "FIA Class 1" and the more universally adopted BTCC regulations "FIA Class 2." With the majority of the different Touring Car Series in Europe and other parts of the world taking the Class 2 route, pretty soon the best Touring Car drivers in the world were racing in equal machinery.

And so it came to pass that the best drivers and manufacturers met at Monza in October 1993 and 2 races were held. There was a points system for individual drivers and also a Nations Cup.

Names such as Radisich, Cleland, Winkelhock, Larini, Giovanardi, Longhurst, Pirro, Biela, Stuck, Rouse, Soper and many others in the 45 car field drove in such iconic Touring Car Machinery provided by Ford, BMW, Vauxhall, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Peugeot, Mazda, Toyota and Nissan.

It became obvious that the end of season form shown in the BTCC by Ford from their drivers Andy Rouse and Paul Radisich that they would be the ones to watch. Radisich proved this theory correct by putting his Ford Mondeo on Pole Position for both races. However it would be the massed ranks of Peugeot, Alfa Romeo and BMW who would provide the Kiwi driver with the fiercest competition on both races.

But that didn't stop him running away into the distance and taking two wins from two Pole Positions. In race one, Larini got the better start and led the field around in the greasy, slippery conditions. As the field poured through the Lesmo's Rouse, Soper and Aiello would make contact, putting Rouse and Soper out on the spot. Radisich would catch Larini and pass him, taking french driver Alain Cudini in the Opel Vectra (or Vauxhall Cavalier to the rest of us) with him. Radisich won from Cudini and Larini with John Cleland taking 4th in his Cavalier and ex Grand Prix driver Alessandro Nannini 5th in a second Alfa Romeo 155.

In Race Two, Radisich would lead the field away in a better start to a lead he wouldn't lose. Larini would valiantly try to stay with the Ford Mondeo but had to settle for 2nd place again. However the top five for Race 2 would have a different look with Phillippe Gache in the Alfa Romeo in 3rd, Alex Burgstaller in the BMW 318i in 4th and Eric Van de Poele in the Nissan Primera in 5th. Soper would fail to finish again whilst Rouse fought his way up to 19th from the back. Cleland would spin in the greasy conditions and finish in 17th place.

Radisich won the Drivers Title whilst Italy would win the Nations Cup. The event took place again in 1994 at Donington Park where the worlds best would fight it out on the Grand Prix Circuit over just one race this time. At the first attempted standing start Cleland led away from 4th on the grid in his Vauxhall Cavalier followed by Steve Soper in his BMW and Radisich in the Mondeo. However the race was red flagged when Shaun Van De Linde, Phillippe Gache, Keith O'dor, Jan Lammers and David Leslie were all involved in a crash and later in the lap Alain Menu in the Renault Laguna would retire after hitting Frank Biela's Audi.

Radisich led from the restart with Soper, Cleland and Tarquini in pursuit, however Tarquini would outbrake himself at Goddards leading to Cleland and Pirro retiring from contact behind the italian. At one stage the three german drivers Biela, Ravaglia and Winkelhock would fight for 3rd as Soper pursued Radisich, however Ravaglia would fall back into the clutches of Tarquini and Muller in the BMW whilst Winkelhock would take 3rd from Audi driver Biela after contact at the Melbourne hairpin.

Radisich would win the race with Soper, Winkelhock, Tarquini and Han Joachim-Stuck in the top five. This second win would confirm Radisich as the first double world touring car champion whilst Germany won the Nations Cup thanks to Winkelhock, Stuck and Markus Oestrich.

In 1995 the event took place in France at Paul Ricard. The new Audi A4 Quattro's dominated both races and Frank Biela would be Champion as the Audi's and rear wheel drive BMW's dominated the races. In Race One Biela would win from Soper and Yvan Muller whilst in Race Two Biela's team mate Pirro won from Steve Soper and Biela. Audi would win the first Manufacturers title from BMW and Honda.

There was an attempt to run the race at the Austrian A1-Ring but only 10 entries were made leading to the event being cancelled.

Following a break in 1996, the SuperTouring fraternity had another  two chances in 1997 and 1998 with the 2 litre version of the Bathurst 1000kms taking place. Both editions of the race featured Iconic names such as Radisich, Cleland, Brock, Warwick, Morris, Longhurst, Biela, Richards, Rydell, Neal, Plato, Menu, Harvey, Jones, McConville & many more, eith teams often combining the Australian and European tintop talents in both cars.

The 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000 was the 38th running of the annual Bathurst 1000 touring race. It was also the first Bathurst 1000 race held after the controversial split between race organisers, the Australian Racing Drivers Club, and V8 Supercar.

The 1997 race featured teams from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. It was won by brothers Geoff and David Brabham, driving a BMW 320i for BMW Motorsport Australia. The car of teammates Paul Morris and Craig Baird had initially been declared the winner of the race but were later disqualified as Baird had breached the race regulation which limited any one driver to a maximum of three hours continuous driving. A late race error saw the team leave Baird in the car at the final pit stop instead of putting Morris in the car for the run to the chequered flag.

This mistake cost the team a 1-2 finish for BMW. The Orix Audi Australia 4WD A4's of Brad Jones/Frank Biela & Cameron McConville/Jean-Francois Hemroulle completed the podium with the two Volvo 850's of Jim Richards/Rickard Rydell and Cameron Mclean/Jan Nilsson completed the top five.

However the 1998 race was a more memorable affair. Practice, Qualifying and the race lead for the entire 161 laps was fought out between the Volvo Racing Team of Jim Richards & Rickard Rydell in a Volvo S40 and Matt Neal & Steven Richards in a Nissan Primera run by Team Dynamics with support from Nissan Motorsport.

Rydell put the S40 on pole in a lap that is regarded by the Swede Tintop legend as his best ever pole lap for his favourite race. In the end it was the Volvo pairing that won by over two seconds from the Nissan pair. Joining them on the podium were the Audi Sport Australia pairing of Brad Jones & Cameron McConville, this time in a FWD Audi A4. The top five were completed by Cameron McLean/Tony Scott in a privateer BMW 320i and BTCC pairing John Cleland & Derek Warwick in the Team Vectra Vauxhall Vectra.

Now the sad thing is that such an event may never take place for quite sometime due the fact that the major touring car series all run to different regulations and have done for the past few seasons. But the idea of seeing the worlds best racing in equal machinery is something rare and wonderful and something I hope will happen again in my lifetime.

I suppose that S2000 regulation cars would be the most popular set of cars to try and resurrect the Touring Car Challenge with but you would have 2 classes of car with S2000 1.6 litre turbo's racing with S2000 2.0 litre non turbo cars. Its an idea but with a fully fledged World Championship in operation and a European Cup in operation, this makes logistics and timing difficult. Add to the fact that budgets are tight in touring car racing and getting tighter each day and the revival idea becomes nigh on impossible which is a shame.

Anyway, its another memory I wanted to share with you and you've earned that cup of tea...

Now the original post ended there, but with the WTCC moving to new TC1 cars, the creation of TCR & the recent announcements of the various national TCR series to be in place for 2015 or 2016 and the FIA's adoption of the BTCC NGTC regulations to be introduced in other national tintop series, its just possible that we could yet see a Touring Car Challenge re-appear one day...Plus, I love talking about these SuperTourer Memories.

See you soon!


All the best from the Guru!!

Low'Life Photography

Hello fellow blog followers.
This may sound cheesy, but I have been asked to do something by my son Aaron and I feel this is a good cause.
On his 18th birthday in 2013 we gave him an expensive camera as a birthday present. This was due to his enormous interest in Photography which began after his first trip to a BTCC event in October 2010.
Since then Aaron has taken many Photo's from BTCC Events in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 he began taking pictures of the wildlife and landscape of our home on Billing Aquadrome, taking pictures of a local band performing in Bedford and in late 2014 taking photos of street modified cars at different shows, which is his current focus.
Aaron is hoping to make a business from this and both Nik and myself are supporting this 100%. The passion he has for Photography is amazing. It reminds me of the passion I have for Motorsport & SciFi...and the passion Nik has for Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, West Ham United & Chris Hemsworth...
All I am asking is for you all to take a look at his Facebook Page. If you search for Low'Life Photography on Facebook you will find him.
Once again I thank you myself for reading my blog and I have further posts planned for 2015 as previously posted.
All the best from the Guru!!

Ford OlsbergsMSE Prepare For 2015 WorldRX Campaign

With the start of World RX 2015 just over three and a half months away, Swedish team Ford OlsbergsMSE are hard at work preparing for round one at Montalegre in Portugal.

The team have brought their Ford Fiesta Supercars back to their base at Nynashamn in Sweden, where all of the cars are being stripped down and upgraded to the latest specification ahead of the 2015 season. The squad are also building brand new Supercar chassis’ for use this year, and are advertising some existing cars for sale.

“We have all the cars back home in Sweden to give them the best possible review before the season,” said team principle, Andreas Eriksson. “We are building some new cars, and doing updates on all cars to meet the new season in the best possible way. We are selling some cars too, including car number seven, previously run by Tanner Foust and myself in the European Championship. It is well developed and has proven parts.”

OMSE are renowned as one of the biggest rallycross car builders in the world. Since 2005 they have built four Fiesta Mk6s and have recently finished the 22nd complete Fiesta Mk7 Supercar. Eriksson is keen to keep progressing in the sport. “I have a long-term goal to be a part of the development of the sport. A lot has happened in several areas in recent years, and the interest for rallycross is growing rapidly." Alongside the Supercar programme, OlsbergsMSE works closely with Turkish outfit Avitas Motorsport to run the RX Lites category, which continues to go from strength to strength as a support category to the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Sebastien Eriksson and namesake Kevin both made one-off Supercar appearances in World RX last season following time in the RX Lites category and were straight on the ultimate pace.

All the best!


Autosport International 2015 Launches the new BTCC Season...

The first race of the new BTCC season is still three months away, but major announcements are due from former champion and local favourite Andrew Jordan and 2014 title-winning team West Surrey Racing that will kick off the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Autosport International this week.

A host of cars, star drivers and launches at Birmingham’s NEC will place the world’s most popular touring car series firmly in the spotlight on 8-11 January. Fans will be able to get up close to BTCC machines and hear from leading drivers including 2014 champion Colin Turkington and former titlists Jordan, Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.

On the opening morning of the show, Thursday 8 January, a dedicated Dunlop MSA BTCC feature in Hall 6 will formally launch 2013 champion Jordan’s programme for the new season. Nearby, on the Autosport Stage, WSR will make a major sponsorship and driver announcement. In their 2015 liveries, both cars will remain on display throughout the four days of Europe’s biggest motorsport show.

“I’m really excited about the new challenge that’s ahead of me in 2015,” Jordan said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to telling everyone about at Autosport International, as we start the new season.”

Jordan’s car will be accompanied on the Dunlop MSA BTCC display by 2014 race winner Rob Austin’s Audi and the factory-backed Infiniti Q50 from the new Support Our Paras Racing programme, both unveiling the liveries they’ll carry this year.

Announced late last year, it will be the first chance for enthusiasts to see Infiniti’s maiden BTCC racer. The team will employ injured ex-Paratroopers and donate its profits to charity.

Austin and Support Our Paras Racing’s Derek Palmer and Richard Hawken are among a strong contingent of drivers heading to the show, and will take part in interviews and autograph sessions on the Dunlop MSA BTCC feature. By tweeting their questions to @DunlopLive, fans will be able to set the agenda.

Also at the NEC, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class of the BTCC’s youngest driver, Aiden Moffat, will be revealed on the stand of artist PopbangColour.

“The 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship was one of the most competitive seasons ever, and 2015 is shaping up as another massive year,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director.

“We’re delighted to be getting it started this week at Autosport International with a special Dunlop MSA BTCC feature.”

BTCC favourites will be joined at Autosport International by the likes of 13-time F1 race winner David Coulthard, FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg and FIA World Endurance Championship-winning Brits Anthony Davidson and Allan McNish.

Other Autosport International showcases include the F1 Racing Grid, Wales Rally GB feature, special 60 Years of Motorsport News collection and a unique collection of Track Icons and Wild Road Cars presented in association with Classic & Sports Car Magazine and Silverstone Classic.

Tickets to Autosport International are available from £32 for adults, with children’s tickets priced from £21 and children under five years admitted for free. Public access is avsilable on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets, visit

All the best!


Tintop Guru: My plan for 2015...

Happy New Year everyone!!!

I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas time and celebrated the New Year in your own particular fashion.

Whilst all this has been going on during the holiday period, I have been organising my plans for the Tintop Guru blog and I've decided to explain what I plan to be writing about in 2015.

First of all, I've had to organise myself a bit earlier than normal as I will be attending the 2015 Autosport International Show as one of their official bloggers. This has happened after I entered the competition that the Autosport Show Organisers ran during the summer where you had to post on your blog, your favourite Motorsport Memory from between 1990 and 2015, as part of celebrating the 25 years of the Autosport International Show... I was picked as a winner! My entry was a post about the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix.

Now whilst I am there, I am planning on speaking to a few teams and drivers from the BTCC to find out what their targets and hopes are for the new season and posting a blog regarding my experience at the show. Keeping with the BTCC theme, I shall be attending the Annual BTCC Media Day in March at Donington Park that will see the launch of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, where we will finally have the confirmation of who will be driving what car and for what team after a long winter of shuffling.

Now as well as attending these two events, I will be writing blogposts regarding the race weekends of the BTCC as well as the 2015 edition of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, which sees the new TC1 regulation cars in their second season of competition, whilst the older TC2T cars are now outlawed in the WTCC and only legal to compete in the FIA European Touring Car Cup, which itself expands to a six event calendar for 2015.

The WTCC also sees a change in calendar for 2015 with visits to the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany, the Vila Real street circuit in Portugal, a change of location from Suzuka to Motegi for the Japanese round whilst the championship visits Buriram in Thailand and Losail in Qatar for the first time. The Qatar races will be the first ever night races the new incarnation of the series has had.

In 2014, I immensely enjoyed watching the first ever FIA World Rallycross Championship and also writing posts about it during the season. I will be following the championship again in 2015 and producing race weekend reports on the blog, reporting on what I felt was the FIA's most exciting World Championship in 2014 with an ever expanding fan base and growing prescence on Social Media. To add to this hype, 2014 WorldRX Champion Petter Solberg confirmed on New Years Eve he would return in 2015 to defend his title.

There is one change to the WorldRX Calendar in 2015 with Finland being dropped and replaced by a Spanish round held at the Barcelona Grand Prix Circuit. Whilst Finland is a fan favourite and popular round, Barcelona will offer new challenges to the field. I will also be posting blog reports on the FIA European Rallycross Championship, which was just as exciting as the World Championship was last year.

There are three new series that I will be casting my eye over and offering my thoughts and opinions on throughout the year. The first is the newly announced TCR International Series. I am looking forward to seeing how this championship fairs during the year, with several established and well known Touring Car teams already confirmed to be taking part with a calendar that is on the support bill at three different Formula One Weekends and also sees several national championships planned for 2015 and 2016.

The second Championship I will be casting my eye on will be the revamped MSA British Rallycross Championship. During 2014, the series saw increased numbers in each class of competition from Supercars to the RX150's. Along with an improved Media package in the form of a one hour highlights programme on Eurosport and a Series Sponsor in The Shannon Group, BritishRX showed increased viewership and prescence on social media. With a calendar for 2015 confirmed and a TV/Media package to be confirmed, I'll be keeping an eye on this series as it grows in a similar fashion to WorldRX.

Finally, the third series I will be covering is the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship. I have been lucky enough over the winter to be chosen to recieve the press reports on a series that is building a big reputation in a fast amount of time. Whilst the cars are similar to the Supercars of the FIA WorldRX series, the Supercars of the Red Bull GRC offer the same amount of high quality action and entertainment from some of America's best known talents behind the wheel. The 2014 series is being shown on MotorsTV in the UK and I look forward to seeing how the 2015 season shapes up...

So its a busy year for myself on the blog as I increase the series I monitor and also share with all my readers on Social Media.

I will also be increasing my role at where I will be reporting on both the 2015 WorldRX & EuroRx series for the website.

There's also a big event taking place in August this year thats very important to me, but I will divulge more details on that later in the year.

Finally I would like to say thank to all my readers from 2014 and thank you to all the support I have recieved in writing the blog. It spurs me on to see so many positive comments each time I post on Social Media and I intend to maintain the high level of the blog and its posts.

Thank you