Up to Speed: 28 – 29 May 2022
This weekend is shaping up to be a perfect exhibition of the thriving motorsport community in the United Kingdom, with action across disciplines as varied as autotests, stage rallying, GTs and touring cars.
Here’s your guide to get clued up ahead of the action:
What’s on this weekend
British Rally Championship – Jim Clark Rally
Osian Pryce will be aiming to repeat his performance at a thrilling opening round of the 2022 Motorsport UK British Rally Championship, overhauling four-time BRC champion Keith Cronin in the final throws of the Clacton and Tendring Rally.
Driving a Michelin shod Volkswagen Polo GTi for a second successive season, Pryce, and co-driver Noel O` Sullivan had played second fiddle to Cronin over the opening two loops of stages before overhauling the Irishman to take the BRC maximum points haul in sensational style. It was the 2017 BRC champ Cronin who took the second spot in the Hankook-backed Polo with James Williams/Dai Roberts rounding out the podium in their Hyundai i20 after a confidence-boosting weekend.
The Asphalt Rally Championship and the Scottish Rally Championship are both joining the British Rally Championship for the Jim Clark Rally, as the UK’s premier tier of stage rallying returns to an iconic Scottish venue.
For more information, please visit the Jim Clark Rally website.
Around the Clubs
There is plenty of grassroots action going on over the weekend with a plethora of disciplines from autotests to trials and circuit racing. Highlights include the Arran Car Club hosting an Autotest on home soil in Arran, the Scottish Land Rover Owners Club hosting the Bathgate Tyro Trial, and the 750 Motor Club heads to Croft with the Tegiwa Club Enduro Championship top of the bill. Last, but no means least, is Holsworthy Motoclub and the Tatson Autotest.
British Touring Car Championship – Thruxton
EXCELR8’s Tom Ingram arrives at the high-speed Hampshire venue looking to extend his lead at the top of the British Touring Car Championship standings, but the Hyundai racer is likely to face stern opposition from the chasing pack behind.
BTC Racing’s Josh Cook sits within striking range, just eight points adrift, and Thruxton has long been a happy hunting ground for his Honda Civic Type R challenger. Reigning champion Ash Sutton is third, the NAPA Racing Ford a further 13 points back.
Follow all of the action on ITV4 over the weekend.
ROKiT British F4 – Certified by FIA – Thruxton
Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne will arrive at Thruxton looking to make amends after a character-building weekend in the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA at Brands Hatch, on which his lead was cut to 15 points.
Closest challenger Oliver Gray (Carlin) is twice a race winner at the Hampshire venue from last year, and third-placed Ugo Ugochukwu (also Carlin) makes the trip south on the back of a maiden victory in front of his McLaren boss Zak Brown last time out.
Thruxton is often the scene for some of the championship’s vintage moments. All bar two corners are taken flat out around the 2.4-mile lap, creating some spectacular slipstreaming moments, not least up the Woodham Hill into the Club chicane.
Follow all of the action across the weekend on ITV4 and the British F4 website.
British GT Championship – Donington Park
The title battle is beginning to take shape in this year’s British GT Championship as a bumper grid of GT3 and GT4 challengers descends on Donington Park this weekend.
In GT3, just 10 points covers the early top-five currently jointly headed by RAM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG in the hands of Ian Loggie and Jules Gounon, and the Balfe Motorsport Audi driven by Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll, although ironically both were non-scoring last time out at Silverstone.
In the GT4 stakes, Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding’s Stellar Motorsport Audi is out front, seven points clear of Matt Topham and Darren Turner’s Newbridge-run Aston Martin Vantage.
A second three-hour contest in as many rounds awaits the field around the Leicestershire venue’s Grand Prix layout. Action on the support bill includes the latest rounds of the GB3 and GB4 Championships. Joel Granfors leads the former by three points from Luke Browning after taking a maiden win at Silverstone last time out.
In GB4, Alex Walker still leads the way but now has a 12-point buffer over Nikolas Taylor after a character-building trip to the ‘Home of British Motorsport’, Taylor taking two wins to close the gap.
British Drag Racing Championship – Santa Pod
Santa Pod Raceway rolls international championship drag racing and a full family entertainment programme into a single, spectacular weekend package at The Main Event from 26th to 29th May.
A trio of Top Fuel Dragsters and a quartet of fuel Funny Cars highlight the fast and loud end of the on-track action, abetted by three Nostalgia Funny Cars, four Jets and a rocket-powered motorcycle from France. It’s not the first time that Eric Teboul has threatened to retire his record-setting rocket bike, but this may be the last time his astonishing, 280mph two-wheeler traverses the Santa Pod quarter-mile.
On four wheels, Top Fuel Dragster entries from Sweden and Finland will bid to break the 300mph barrier once again while four bellowing fuel Funnies battle it out in the second round of the Funny Car Cup.
Pro Modifieds are drag racing’s most powerful ‘doorslammers’ – ‘tin tops’ in circuit racing parlance – and Sweden’s reigning FIA European champion Jan Ericsson returns to Santa Pod for the first time since wrapping up the title there in 2019, the last time it was contested before Covid-19 set in. The final-round opponent whom Ericsson beat on that occasion to secure the crown, French veteran Jean Dulamon, is another contender on the full 16-car entry list bidding for early-season victory. Racers from the Netherlands, Switzerland, Estonia and Germany join seven of Britain’s best in a race also combined with round two of the Motorsport UK British Drag Racing Championship.
Follow all of the action on the Santa Pod website.