Up to Speed: 7 – 8 May 2022
A jam-packed grassroots schedule, hill climb at Harewood, single-seaters at Silverstone, a plethora of national and international sportscar racing and Formula 1’s first visit to the streets of Miami headline the bill for this weekend’s motorsport action.
Here’s everything you need to get ‘Up to Speed’:
British GT Championship – Silverstone
Andrew Howard’s return headlines a bumper entry list as the British GT Championship returns to action at Silverstone this weekend.
The two-time series champion will make his first start in the category without Aston Martin since 2007, deputising for regular driver Kelvin Fletcher in a Paddock Motorsport-run McLaren 720S GT3, with the Emmerdale actor imminently expecting twins.
Howard, who now races full-time in GT World Challenge Europe, will have big shoes to fill, as the Paddock McLaren recently celebrated victory at the Oulton Park season opener, the other win heading the way of Balfe Motorsport’s new-for-2022 Audi R8 GT3 in the hands of Shaun Balfe and Adam Carroll.
The Audi arrives in Northamptonshire atop the GT3 standings by four points from RAM Racing’s Mercedes, then the Paddock McLaren. In GT4, Stellar Motorsport pairing Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding lead the way, five points clear of Matt Topham and Darren Turner in the Newbridge Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage.
Live coverage of Sunday’s three-hour race can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/gtworld
GB3 & GB4 Championships – Silverstone
Alongside British GT, the trip to Silverstone also marks a return to action for both the GB3 and GB4 championships this weekend.
After claiming a brace of wins at his home circuit, Hitech GP’s Luke Browning arrives at the ‘Home of British Motorsport’ with a seven-point advantage over Carlin’s Roberto Faria. Their consistency has moved them clear of third-placed John Bennett (Elite Motorsport) but expect plenty of fireworks on-track from the stars of tomorrow.
Alex Walker (Elite) has the early bragging rights among the GB4 runners, the Motorsport UK Academy athlete having extended his lead with a brace of his own in Cheshire last time out. His advantage stands at 32 points over Hillspeed’s Max Marzorati, with Jarrod Waberski (Kevin Mills Racing) a further three markers adrift.
Live coverage of both single-seater championships will be available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJmkL5aYJtg
British Hillclimb Championship – Harewood
The British Hillclimb Championship heads to Harewood for the first of two visits during the 2022 season this weekend.
Harewood Hill is a technical challenge as it ascends 76 metres from start to finish, along with numerous tight corners for the drivers to manoeuvre. Scott Moran and Alex Summers arrive tied at the championship summit with a win apiece, but a double victory for defending champion Wallace Menzies at Craigantlet last weekend has propelled him into contention, just two points adrift.
Follow the action from this weekend on the British Hillclimb Championship Facebook page.
Wera Tools British Karting Championship – PFi International
Contenders in the Rotax and Honda Cadet classes of the Wera Tools British Kart Championships will kick off their 2022 season at the impressive PF International [PFi] Circuit this weekend [6-8 May] as the Lincolnshire track hosts the second event of Britain’s premier karting series.
Read our full preview HERE, including where to follow the action:
Around the Clubs
There is plenty of action going on around the clubs this weekend. Rallies are a popular option this weekend with the Citroen Car Club holding their National Rally at the Wetherby Racecourse and the South Hams Motor Club has organised a 12-car navigational rally in Plymouth. The Northern Off Road Club is holding a Safari Trial in Tong, the Midland Automobile Club is holding their Speed into Spring Hillclimb at Shelsley Walsh and the Hartlepool and District Motor Club is holding a Teeside Autotest.
For more information on how to get started in any of these disciplines and compete yourself, be sure to visit our website.
On the international stage
FIA Formula 1 World Championship – Miami, United States
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship breaks new ground this weekend with a first-ever visit to Miami.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrives as the championship leader despite suffering a setback at Imola last time out. Max Verstappen led home a Red Bull 1-2 finish to close the deficit, and as a result lands stateside 27 points adrift.
Mercedes-AMG are expected to bring upgrades to the race, so Britain’s George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, currently fourth and seventh respectively in the standings, will be hoping for an improved run of form after a tricky start to F1’s new regulations.
Lando Norris (McLaren) completes the British contingent on the grid, and will undoubtedly be aiming for a repeat of his Imola heroics after delivering McLaren’s first silverware of the 2022 campaign in third behind the Red Bull pairing.
Live coverage of the weekend is available in the UK on Sky Sports F1.
W Series – Miami, United States
Also featuring on the support bill in Miami is W Series, as the all-female single-seater category returns to our screens after a 195-day absence.
Two-time and defending champion Jamie Chadwick headlines the entry list as part of the all-new Jenner Racing team, but will face stern opposition from the usual suspects, including Alice Powell, Jessica Hawkins, Beitske Visser and Emma Kimilainen, as well as some exciting new prospects, among them the likes of Juju Noda, Chloe Chambers, Bianca Bustamante and Britain’s Abbi Pulling.
W Series’ season-opening double header this weekend will be available to watch on Sky Sports F1.
FIA World Endurance Championship – Spa, Belgium
The FIA World Endurance Championship heads to the Ardennes Forest this weekend for the 6 Hours of Spa. There will be 37 cars racing through the 7.04km circuit – the second biggest entry for a WEC race outside of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Nicolas Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxivière triumphed amongst the Hypercar runners at the Sebring opener, but the Alpine A480 Gibson has been hit with a balance of performance reduction for the trip to Spa.
That could open the door for a number of contenders, not least Toyota Gazoo Racing, who arrive at their ‘local’ round – based in neighbouring Germany – keen to bounce back after Jose-Maria Lopez’s race-ending crash at Sebring hampered the charge of the sister machine driven by Sebastian Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa.
Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen swept to both pole position and victory in LMGTE Pro at Sebring, and the Porsche has a certain affinity with Spa. Four-time event winners AF Corse will be aiming to topple them from their early season perch with Ferrari, whilst in LMGTE Am the AMR trio of Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard are the ‘ones to beat’ after a thriller in Sebring last time out.
United Autosports will be aiming to make it a hat-trick in LMP2 after tasting the winner’s champagne at Spa in both 2020 and 2021, but keep a weather eye out for the usual suspects giving chase, among them Prema, JOTA, WRT and Team Penske.