Up to Speed: 23 – 24 April

Friday 22 April 2022

The curtain will be raised on several major British Championships over the weekend with a bustling grassroots scene providing plenty of opportunities to watch and participate in motorsport.

The British Touring Car Championships and ROKiT British F4 Championship get going at Donington Park, Shenington will host the opening round of the British Kart Championships and Clacton-on-Sea will welcome the British Rally Championship. Prescott will host the opening round of the British Hillclimb Championship and on the international stage, the competition heats up in F1 and the World Rally Championship.

ROKiT British F4 Championship – Donington Park 

The stage is set for the inaugural round of the ROKiT British F4 Championship which is organised by Motorsport UK for the first time in its history. The first three rounds of the season are being held at Donington Park and are part of the TOCA package, joining the British Touring Car Championship.  

The ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA is the first step for aspiring young drivers making the transition from karting into single seaters. The series enters an exciting new phase in 2022 with the second generation Tatuus T-421 chassis – featuring the all-important halo safety feature – and Abarth engines. 

Aiden Neate has set the pace at during practice with the fastest time across both free practice sessions. Neate closed a best lap of 1:05.301 on his final run during FP2.  

All of the action can be watched as part of the British Touring Car Championship programme on ITV4. 

Wera Tools British Kart Championships – Shenington, Warwickshire

Britain’s premier karting series – the Wera Tools British Kart Championships will blast back into action as Shenington in Warwickshire hosts the opening event of the eagerly-anticipated 2022 season.

Buoyed by a spectacular list of registrations across the classes for the new term, the BKC will contest a 12-event tour of the country, taking some of the best karters in the UK from Dorset to Scotland in a dynamic calendar of events, testing each of the competitive categories to the limit.

The 1,018 metre circuit near Banbury, affectionally knowns as `Sheny`, provides the perfect backdrop for the IAME, TKM and KZ2 classes to get their season underway and offers a scintillating prospect of another blistering weekend of racing action that we come to expect from the British Kart Championship protagonists.

The Wera Tools sponsored series provides packed grids of privateers and team squad members who will line up to tackle the fast and flowing but narrow layout which ensures nose to tail racing throughout the categories. All will undoubtedly be eager to get a head start on their championship aspirations and grab the top step of the podium.

On Sunday, live racing can be viewed on Motorsport UK’s YouTube Channel here – https://youtu.be/QfFgdwmnP8c

British Rally Championship – Clacton-on-Sea, Essex

The Motorsport UK British Rally Championship open up this weekend as the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton plays host to the opening round of the season for the first time in the BRC’s impressive 64-year history.

The closed public roads of the Essex seaside resort will provide an uncharted start to Britain’s premier rally series which will see an inspiring list of contenders, from former champions to energetic newcomers all keen to start their championship campaigns in fine style.

A blistering array of top-flight BRC1 crews in Rally2 machinery will line up to do battle over the two-day event, and they will be joined by contenders in the National Rally Title who will be gunning for the sought-after honour.

Added to the four-wheel-drive heavy hitters, a dynamic and impressive list of ultra-rapid Junior and Academy drivers will kick-start their season in Clacton, with a chance of winning a supported drive in a round of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship, behind the wheel of a Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing i20 N Rally2 up for grabs.

A new-look BRC calendar will take crews to some of the most challenging and highly regarded rallies in the UK this season, but for now, the Clacton curtain raiser will be the main focus for some of the best drivers in the UK.

Find out more on BRC here – https://www.britishrallychampionship.co.uk/.

Around The Clubs

The weekend is packed full of club motorsport up and down the country.  

Ventnor Botanic Garden’s will host the Isle of Wight Car Club’s Autotest with further Autotests being run by Swansea Motor Club, Boundless By CMSA, Oxford Motor Club, Scottish Sporting Car Club, Larne Motor Club, North Wales Car Club and York Motor Club.  

Weald Motor Club, Exmouth Motor Club and the Cotswold Motor Sport Group Competitors Club will run 12 Car Navigational Rally events with a variety of novice and experienced competitors taking on the challenge.  

Furthermore, a number of Touring Assembly’s will be held including the European Classic Touring Club’s Jubilee Tour, Morgan Sports Car Club’s Yorkshire Weekend Run, Cirencester Car Club’s Corinium Run, Austin Healey Club’s North Wales Drive Your Class Day to name but a few.  

Heading off road, a number of Trials events will take place including Raiders Off Road Club’s April Trial, highland 4 Wheel Drive Club’s Kinrive Trial and Shropshire Off Road Club’s Picklescott CCV Trial 

British Touring Car Championship – Donington Park 

BTCC is finally returning after the winter break for the first three round of the championship being held at Donington Park. Reigning and three-time champion Ash Sutton will be looking to get a strong start on the new season with an aim to add a further title to his name. Sutton has joined Napa Racing for the 2022 title defence.  

Shocking last minute announcement is that Team Hard Racing driver Jack Goff has left the team with immediate effect and will not be racing in the 2022 BTCC season. The news came as the team arrived at Donington Park Thursday for set up. Team Hard Racing will be announcing a new driver imminently however it does mean that their fourth Cupra Leon has been stood down for this weekend’s racing.  

Follow the action on ITV4. 

The International Stage 

On the international stage this weekend we have Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3 jetting off to Italy for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This will also mark the first Formula 1 sprint race of the 2022 season.   

All races from this weekend Formula 1 package can be view on Sky Sports F1.  

Also on this weekend on the international stage is round three of the World Rally Championship where we will be heading to Croatia. The first stages held on Friday saw some exciting action with Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin get a puncture but then continue to fight during SS3. 

All of the action from WRC can be found on the WRC website.