A Hat Trick for Boardley at Croft

A Hat Trick for Boardley at Croft

Ipswich – based Four Times World and Multi – National Hot Rod Champion, Carl Boardley competed in the fourth round of the Ginetta GT4 Supercup as part of the British Touring Car Championship at Croft at the weekend and landed a Hat Trick of Race Wins in a maximum points haul as he closes within eight points of leading the Championship in 2018!

Two open practice sessions in very hot conditions on the Friday confirmed the steering issue of Oulton Park a fortnight earlier had been overcome and by Official Qualifying on Saturday, a best time put Boardley in P2 for Race one after a mere two lap flying qualifier to post the best time possible out of the tyre allocation, which was to prove crucial as the weekend unfolded!.

Race one, Saturday afternoon in now very hot conditions saw Boardley set his marker by confidently heading the pack into the first corner and putting in a ‘head down’ confident drive to take the win from championship leader Charlie Ladell and Harry King.

By Sunday afternoon, the circuit was sweltering under blazing sunshine for Race two. With Boardley off the Pole this time, he raced Ladell to the first corner and pushed out into the lead again and despite some thrilling racing between the two, Boardley’s strong first two sectors each lap, in front of the ITV4 Cameras made sure he was going to make the result stick with Ladell second and Angus Fender third.

Carl Boardley Croft

With the Grid drawn for Race three, Boardley was off P4 but was second to Ladell going into the first turn. As the Drivers struggled on by now, ‘well past their best tyres’, Boardley managed to get past Ladell and go into a commanding lead as everyone behind swapped positions. Just when it was thought the result would stick, there was a caution car period which bunched the pack up again and upon the restart, Harry King on superior rubber made a class move on Boardley to take the lead and the win whilst Boardley literally limped home in second with a rear puncture, his tyres had, had enough!
Post – Race investigation however saw King removed from the result following an earlier altercation in the race and thus the win was awarded to Boardley to claim a Ginetta career best Hat Trick of wins.

Boardley now sits in an even stronger second place in the Ginetta GT4 Championship, just seven points behind Charlie Ladell as we prepare for the next Round when the BTCC visits Boardley’s local Circuit, Snetterton on Croft on 28th /29th July.

Before then, Boardley will be behind the wheel of a 2018 Team Hard British Touring Car Championship Car on July 12th as he takes part in an official Tyre Test with the Team!

Carl Boardley Motorsport wishing to thank the following Partners for their support to our Race Season so far; 1KE Engineering, A1 Performance, Teng Tools, Nimbus Motorsport, Boardley and Roberts, Torco Oil, Dean Cox Media & PR Management, Print 4U, Gridart, Team Hard and Trade Price Cars.

CBM = A Winning Team, is your Business a leader in its field too?
We are pushing for the 2018 Ginetta GT4 Supercup Championship and with a little financial contribution towards the tyre budget etc, we aim to keep pushing for that Championship win.

There is still plenty of room on the car for Partners to join us, even if just for the Snetterton Round – and enjoy the unrivalled Publicity and Hospitality Partnerships we have available this year, – and to have the chance to associate your brand with a winning Team!

Please contact Dean Cox Media & PR Management on 07947 509390 for further details.

‘Hardest drive ever’ sees Thompson end opening half of BTCC 2018 on a high.

‘Hardest drive ever’ sees Thompson end opening half of BTCC 2018 on a high.

To coin a footballing phrase the half time whistle has blown with Bobby Thompson giving his maiden Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season a timely boost with easily the best performance of his BTCC career to date in the final race of a scorching weekend at the 2.13-mile Croft circuit in North Yorkshire.

Although his 21st place effort in the 15th round of the 30 race season didn’t net the reigning VW Cup Series Champ a point, the manner of Thompson’s race three charge gave the 21 year-old Hornchurch based driver and his #19 Team HARD with Trade Price Cars crew a filip as the 60th anniversary season of Britain’s premier domestic race series heads into its five week summer break.

Making a drive that Thompson admitted was ‘the hardest of my life’ even more impressive was the fact that is came at the end of yet another emotionally draining weekend for the current BRDC Rising Star, who went in to Saturday’s qualifying session with precisely one flying lap of the technical but deceptively quick track under his belt following a day he described as ‘a total nightmare.’

Even though he ended Sunday on a high, Thompson and his team didn’t escape the trio of 15-lap races without drama, as a race two encounter with an errant stack of tyres at more than 100mph put paid to a realistic shot at a points scoring finish.

“There is no other way to describe Saturday other than a total nightmare,” said Thompson after a steering rack failure on his out-lap in free practice one relegated him to the role of reluctant spectator right up until the final three minutes of free practice two. Considering the fact that Croft is one of the few tracks on this year’s calendar he has never raced at, Thompson’s 1:25.974secs 30th place effort (just one second shy of 10th fastest man Rob Austin, seemed fairly remarkable.

“I had literally done about three corners on my out lap when suddenly the car stopped turning,” continued Thompson, who arrived at Croft sitting 11th in the Jack Sears Trophy standings and subsequently discovered his brake discs were warped after qualifying. “But my team didn’t give up and got the whole steering rack changed so I could at least do one lap in final practice but I knew that the brake discs were brand new for qualifying which isn’t ideal as I had no chance to bed them in.”

With new brake discs in place, for the third BTCC race day in succession temperatures soared as the 32 strong BTCC grid lined up for race one, with the trend of record setting crowds like those seen at Thruxton and Oulton Park continuing.

Bobby Thompson CroftSide

Starting half way around Croft’s inviting but infamous final hairpin, the tightest turn on the entire BTCC calendar, the #19 GKR Ltd machine lost a place to Tom Boardman’s MG before a first corner collision between Rob Austin and Stephen Jelley and the retirement of his Team HARD teammate Jake Hill moved him into 28th place.

After a safety car intervention, green flag racing resumed on lap 3 of what was now a 17 lap affair and Thompson began attacking the former World Touring Car star, feeding off the added confidence in his brakes, inching ahead of the MG briefly after a move at the hairpin although Boardman cannily kept Thompson on the outside for the run into turn one and reclaimed the place.

On several occasions during the first 12 rounds of the year Thompson has erred on the side of caution as he works on gaining the trust and respect of the series veterans and it wasn’t until the end of lap 11 that he finally made the move stick, although it took a heart-stopping wheel to wheel dice down the main straight for the pass to be completed. Despite having to keep a mindful eye on the potential repair bill for any misjudged move, you won’t overtake anyone in such a high calibre field unless you are prepared to commit 100 per cent to every move and this move was a sign of Thompson’s growing confidence.

Once clear of the MG, Thompson made short work of Brett Smith’s Honda and with Adam Morgan and Aiden Moffat also retiring, with four laps to go he had clear track ahead of him and a car that was handling to his liking. With 23rd place driver and fellow Team HARD driver Michael Caine too far up the road, Thompson served notice of his as-yet untapped potential by reeling off several lap times that matched the top ten runners and crossed the line in 24th.

“It’s just a good feeling to be able to attack and make passes with confidence,” said Thompson, who was 11th in the Jack Sears Trophy. “I’ve got a bit of damage and it got a bit hairy there with Tom but it’s a big step in the right direction and the brakes actually felt better and better as the race went on. “

That result meant a starting slot well away from the hairpin for race two and from the outside of the 12throw Thompson capitalised on some typical opening lap BTCC argy bargy through the first few corners and Tower Bend and was 21st when the pack headed towards the 110mph Jim Clark Esses. Somewhere in front of the #19 machine James Cole’s Ford was tipped into a spin, knocking one of the banded tyre bales directly into Bobby’s path. Hitting the tyres head on Bobby’s car suffered enough damage to the bonnet that required a pit stop, ending any hopes of a decent result.

“I wasn’t too pleased with my initial getaway,” commented Thompson, who eventually finished a lap down in 27th place. “The Esses is one area where you are flat out with no room for error so I couldn’t do anything to avoid hitting the tyres. In a way I was lucky that nobody collected me but my bonnet was just acting like a parachute so the lads told me to pit and get it taped up.

“When I got back out the car felt really good but once the leaders came through to lap me I had to just stay out of their way. The annoying thing is that I was following the top five and was easing back to make sure I didn’t get in their way. It just shows that we have the pace and can run with the leaders but we just can’t get up there right now.”

Starting from the 14th row for the final race and with the prospect of ending the first half of the season pointless now looking increasingly likely, Thompson might have been forgiven for having one eye on the summer break. But that isn’t the attitude that wins you eight races and a championship in the last two VW Cup seasons and although the #19 was out dragged off the line by Rob Collard’s BMW and Josh Cook’s Vauxhall to leave Bobby 29th at the end of lap one, for the remaining 14 laps nobody was able to keep pace with him long enough to even think about passing.

Thompson started his head-turning drive by passing teammate Caine around the outside of Tower Bend on lap two. Two laps later Smith’s Honda was passed on the run into the first corner. With Mike Bushell retiring, by the time Thompson pulled off a stunning inch perfect move on Ollie Jackson’s Audi going through the first complex he was up to 25th, which became 23rd with the departure of Chris Smiley and the retirement of Austin’s Alfa Romeo.

Although the field was quite spread out, early season championship contender Jack Goff was put to the sword in a very brave move at Sunny In and as others started to struggle with tyre wear Thompson’s pace did not drop. Hill sportingly offered no resistance when the #19 approached on lap 12, leaving Thompson two laps to gain two seconds and pass Cole for a place in the top 20.

Incredibly Thompson began the final lap in the slipstream of the bright yellow Ford although Cole did just enough to defend and Thompson was not about to undo all his good work with a rash last corner lunge. It may have only been 21st place but after the trials and tribulations of the first 14 races it felt like a win.

“I can honestly say I’ve never driven that hard in my life,” said Thompson as his received the plaudits from his hard working crew and team Principal Tony Gilham. “I didn’t leave anything out there and I feel like I was finally able to show the BTCC paddock a true glimpse of what we are capable of.

The result netted Thompson 6th in the Jack Sears Trophy and moved him back up to 10th in the season long JST standings. More significantly, over the second half of the race the #19 actually gained ground on Sam Tordoff, Tom Ingram and Tom Oliphant who finished eighth, ninth and tenth on the road. For a championship winning driver, 15 races without a points scoring finish is tough to take, but in the context of the season thus far, Bobby was still smiling as the spectator banks started to melt away into the mid-summers evening.

“We know we have a lot of work to do over the summer break but it feels really good to finish the first half of the year after a proper race with some proper moves. I was in a race there, not just competing and when I can race, that is what I can do. We haven’t had a totally clear weekend yet and we have always started at least one of the races at each round far lower than we should have been. But more often than not in racing you make your own luck and when that clear weekend comes, and it will, then we’ll be off and running. And I’ll be able to really pay back all my supporters and sponsors.”

Hill’s Tough Times at Croft BTCC

Hill’s Tough Times at Croft BTCC

 

Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing’s Jake Hill described his weekend at a blisteringly hot Croft in North Yorkshire as ‘one of the toughest I’ve ever had in BTCC’ after a weekend which saw his first retirement of the season in race one, and performance issues in races two and three.

 

A promising run to P8 in practice lead to hope for qualifying, but both Hill and team-mate Mike Bushell were unable to match the times set in practice, with Hill qualifying a frustrated 25th.

 

“BTCC is always really close, so had I been able to repeat my time from practice, I would have been P11….but both Mike and I had the same issue, just not able to repeat the times from practice. Hopefully we will have a stronger car for the races”

 

Starting on the option ‘Hard’ tyre Hill made a good start and benefitted from incidents ahead involving Austin and Cook, so ended lap one in P22….however behind the Safety Car a stone was flicked through the radiator, forcing retirement.

 

“One of those unlucky things I guess – just pleased I realised quickly and came in slowly to save the engine”

Jake Hill Croft

Race two and starting P30, a drama on the grid saw the car spring a water leak, the crew frantically working to repair things and get Hill away from his grid position as planned.

 

Another strong start and some issues for cars around, plus a couple of strong passes saw him up to P21 – all good for his Dunlop #ForeverForward award for most places gained – but as the last few laps began, Hill’s ‘Prime’ tyres began dramatically losing performance, with his lap times almost 10 seconds slower than his best, meaning a finish of P26.

 

“The car was good for the first few laps, but very quickly I could feel the tyre performance dropping, and by the last few laps it was like driving on ice. We just couldn’t get the tyres to last, so I was just making sure I brought the car back safely”

 

Hill’s crew worked hard in sweltering conditions to change the car for the final race, and the early indications were promising, moving past Smelt and Smith on the opening lap, then passing team-mate Bushell and a lap later Jackson, plus benefitting from Austin’s problems. Now P21 and pushing Cole, the issues from race two reappeared, and again tyre performance dropped massively, Hill dropping back and eventually finishing P25.

 

“The team have worked incredibly hard. Geoff, Phil and Yahor my engineer, Jamie, Josh, Carl, Nathan, Gary and the rest of the lads have put in so much effort. We just haven’t been able to get things working the way we want, which is incredibly tough for everyone, all of the drivers and all of the team are trying their hardest, that’s for sure”

 

“Now there is a five-week summer break and the team are testing at Snetterton, so let’s hope they can unlock the pace there, as there are some tracks in the second half of the season which should suit the car”

 

“As always I am hugely grateful to Tony (Gilham), Gary and everyone at the team for their support, and for my amazing partners Rolec Racing, Brisky Racing, Sportif Cars, Trade Price Cars, Oodle, Click Dealer, Ecoflam, Danfoss, ABGO, AWS Appliance Spares, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, ScoriaTech, Zynth, ModelWorld, P1 Nutrition, Spine Optics, Octane, BRDC Rising Stars, TechMax and everyone else who makes this fantastic journey possible!

Hill prepared for Croft charge

Hill prepared for Croft charge

After showing real pace in practice, Trade Price Cars Brisky Racing driver Jake Hill qualified P25 for the opening race at Croft for the 60th Anniversary Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, but ready to ‘charge’ into action.

BRDC ‘Rising Star’ Hill worked through a number of set-up changes, being happy with the car after FP2, and felt confident going into qualifying he had a car ‘under’ him to work with.
After putting in a solid initial lap, Hill was ‘up’ on his best time on his second set of new tyres, when he caught the Honda of Matt Neal – at one of the fastest sections of the circuit – and although Neal moved over, Hill having caught Neal ‘late’ was forced wide at Bancroft, resulting in a scary 100mph+ spin, finally stopping just metres from the tyre wall.
‘That scared the life out of me! I think Matt saw me late, didn’t quite move over as early as I expected, so I went into the corner and next thing I knew I was spinning…it was pure luck the car wasn’t destroyed!’
‘We have struggled to get the one-lap pace out of the car in qualifying, but we often have a very strong car for the races, I know we will have a car that works well over a full race distance, so I am really confident we will make progress’.
‘I am proud to be leading the Dunlop #ForeverForward series, am third in the Jack Sears Trophy, and my team-mate Mike (Bushell) and me are doing well in the Independents team series – so I am aiming to improve in all of these series’
All three races are shown LIVE on ITV4HD – race one at 12.05 – race two at 14.45 – race three at 17.25
Hill back to where his BTCC journey began

Hill back to where his BTCC journey began

Aged just 19 back in 2013, BRDC ‘Rising Star’ Jake Hill had been struggling to raise a budget to race, and was facing a season off, not by choice of course, when completely unexpectedly the call came that would change his career.

Having tested for Motorbase at the end of 2012, Hill had impressed sufficiently that when regular driver Liam Griffin was unable to race at Croft, the chance was given to him to make his BTCC debut at the North Yorkshire venue.
“We were fighting like crazy to raise a budget, but it was just proving so tough. Then the chance came, we managed to get the funds required, and out of no-where I was going to make my BTCC debut!”
Hill impressed and went on to Win the Jack Sears Trophy on his debut (then for older spec. S2000cars), standing on the podium with Turkington, Shedden and Neal…a surreal experience (below)….!”
“I managed to have a brilliant race, Won my class, should have won race three too…but to have made my debut and got on the podium it was incredible. It gave me the momentum to show I was ready to compete in BTCC”
“I have been very fortunate that firstly Motorbase, then RAR (at the end of 2013), and AmD (at the end of 2015) gave me the chance to race, and that brought me to the attention of Tony Gilham at Team HARD….and the rest is history!”
“I can’t thank everyone who gave me the chance enough, but I am loving now being a Dunlop BTCC regular, and this is my third full season with Tony, and he has believed in me and made this possible, as have his awesome partners like Trade Price Cars, Oodle and Click Dealer.”
“Plus I have the support of some amazing, loyal and passionate people – Brisky Racing, Rolec Racing, Sportif Cars, Ecoflam, Danfoss, ABGO, Bill Rawles Classic Cars, AWS Appliance Spares, ScoriaTech, Jakob Ebrey Photography, Zynth, P1 Nutrition, Octane Hair, Cloud 9, ModelWorld, TechMax and lots, lots more over the years…and I am hugely proud to be part of the BRDC ‘Rising Stars’ programme…so I would just love to be back on the podium at Croft again…five years later!”
“This year I have Won the Independant’s Class and taken 2nd overall at Brands, took the 2018 version of the Jack Sears Trophy at Donington and the Dunlop ForeverForward award there….and I am still leading the Dunlop ForeverForward series going into Croft. We made big progress in the final race at Oulton, so I hope we can carry this on here – I love Croft – I won my first ever car race in Ginetta Junior in 2009 here – so let’s hope for more podiums!”
Qualifying is live this Saturday 23rd June on line atitv.com/btcc at 15.20, then all three BTCC races are LIVE on ITVHD4 on Sunday 24th June – race one at 12.05pm – race two at 14.45pm – race three at 17.25pm