Around the British Championships: 26th September 2022
Two more Motorsport UK British Championship titles were awarded last weekend, with a packed programme including hillclimb, rallying, sprint, trials, drag racing and the usual plethora of circuit racing action.
Here’s our round up of all the action:
British Touring Car Championship – Silverstone (National)
Three of the British Touring Car Championship’s young stars will head to Brands Hatch in a fortnight to decide the 2022 crown, after a thrilling title fight took another twist at Silverstone.
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton stormed to the top of the standings with second in the final race of the weekend, but a victory apiece for ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill and EXCLER8’s Tom Ingram means the trio will head to Brands covered by just seven points, in that order.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington remains in mathematical contention, 27 points back with a theoretical 56 to play for at the legendary Kent circuit’s Grand Prix layout, but a bruising day for the Northern Irishman has dented his hopes of a record-breaking fifth crown.
The other victory went the way of Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher, who enjoyed his strongest weekend of the season, the win coming as part of a podium hat-trick.
ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA – Silverstone (National)
Alex Dunne (Hitech GP) has all but wrapped up the ROKiT British F4 title, but victory in the final race at Silverstone for chief rival Ollie Gray (Carlin) kept the champagne on ice for the Irish teenager – for now.
The two collided at Luffield whilst disputing the lead in the opening race; Gray continued on to victory with front wing damage as Dunne span off, then charged back through to fourth. Post-race, Gray was twice penalized – once by the Clerk, and again on appeal by the stewards – with the matter now set to go to the National Court.
That proved crucial, as the potential for Gray to be restored to victory adds another 16 points to those left on the table at Brands Hatch. Dunne leads by 102 points, with 103 now available to Gray, so only a perfect weekend, plus having his penalty rescinded, will be enough to deny Dunne.
Louis Sharp was declared the winner of the opening race in light of the penalty, with JHR’s Georgi Dimitrov taking the spoils in a typically action-packed reverse grid contest.
British Hillclimb Championship – Loton Park
Wallace Menzies wrapped up a third British Hillclimb Championship crown with a brace of Run-Off victories on a dramatic final day at Loton Park.
Menzies and nearest rival Alex Summers arrived at the Shropshire venue with ten Run-Off victories apiece across a breathtaking 2022 campaign, and just five points between them at the championship summit.
Disaster struck Summers, however, as he made a crucial error whilst 0.6 seconds up on Scott Moran’s benchmark time in the opening, going off-course in his DJ Firestorm single seater.
In his absence, Menzies shot to the top of the times, and with it scored a crucial Run-Off win. He repeated the feat later in the day, eventually steering his Gould to a third straight title by seven points, with Summers second.
British Rally Championship – Trackrod Rally Yorkshire
Victory at Trackrod Rally Yorkshire was enough for Osian Pryce and co-driver Noel O’Sullivan to wrap up a maiden Motorsport UK British Rally Championship title.
A faultless run in the Melvyn Evans Motorsport-prepared Volkswagen Polo GTi began with the 11-mile Dalby test on Friday evening, with Pryce and O’Sullivan stretching out a 5.2-second advantage over their chief title rivals, four-time winner Keith Cronin and Mike Galvin.
Try as Cronin might, Pryce proved unstoppable out front throughout the event, winning four of the six stages en route to victory. The Irishman was able to salvage second, recovering to re-pass Ruari Bell, but his bid for a record-equalling fifth crown will have to wait another year.
Wera Tools British Kart Championships – PFi & Kimbolton
The IAME, TKM and Bambino classes of the Wera Tools British Kart Championships all crowned their respective champions at PFi International last weekend, with the KZ2 title decided at Kimbolton earlier this month.
In X30, Gus Lawrence and Gabriel Stilp celebrated winning the Senior and Junior titles respectively, with Leon Frost and Chris Whitton similarly victorious in Junior TKM and TKM Extreme in turn.
Jesse Phillips wrapped up the IAME Cadet crown, with Riley Murro the Bambino winner to round off six action-packed championships for the 2022 season.
The KZ2 class went right down to the wire at Kimbolton, as a P2 finish for Charlie Turner in the final was enough for him to triumph, sealing the title by just two points.
British Drag Racing Championship – Santa Pod Raceway
Bobby Wallace scored his first career victory by defeating newly crowned 2022 champion Andy Robinson in the final. Robinson, unusually, tripped the red light with a false start.
Wallace, assured of the win, could have eased through to the finish but instead blasted to a personal-best, 5.881sec elapsed time which stood as low ET of the event. Robinson had qualified low at 5.902sec, setting the event’s top speed at 245.15mph.
Robinson is champion for the eighth time.