Team BMR and Colin Turkington part company Team BMR can today confirm that the team has parted company with Colin Turkington after mutually agreeing to end the contract. Colin has had two successful seasons with Team BMR in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and in 2015, his maiden year with the team, he played a huge part in putting BMR on the map with his massive contribution in assisting us in claiming our first ever Team Championship title along with his fifth independent Championship crown.
2016 saw BMR bringing Subaru to the championship as a new manufacturer outfit and Colin's commitment along with his input to the team was a huge asset in aiding us to develop our newly built Subaru Levorg. Colin has made history by bringing the first Subaru BTCC Pole Position backed up by a maiden win for the Subaru Levorg. His success continued throughout the season claiming further pole positions, race wins and podiums establishing himself in the final three for the overall Championship title at Brands Hatch back in October. He ended the season 4th overall in a battle that nearly saw the Ulsterman claiming his third BTCC title. Speaking of Colin's time at Team BMR, owner/driver Warren Scott said:
"Colin has been an absolute pleasure to work with over the past two seasons and has brought a tremendous amount of knowledge to the team which has aided BMR in it's growth and development as a front running BTCC team.
I wish Colin good luck for the forthcoming season and would like to thank him for all his efforts that he has brought to BMR"
Speaking of his time at BMR, Colin Turkington stated:
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Team BMR and will savour the success we shares together over the past two seasons; however, the time has come to part company and apply the focus to each of our own individual goals and needs.
I sincerely value the journey we have shared together securing the team's Championship in 2015, winning my fifth Indy title and of course the thrilling year we have just had with the Subaru Levorg. I have been fortunate to work with some of the best in the business at BMR and it has been a valuable experience and certainly helped me grow and improve.
The BTCC is surely one of the toughest Championships in the world to win and to finish last season with a realistic shot at winning the title in a new car was a tremendous achievement.
I wish Team BMR every success going forward and I hope they are just as proud of our two seasons together as I am.”
All of us at BMR Racing would like to thank Colin for his tremendous input to the team and we wish him continued success in his future career.
Team BMR will announce their confirmed 2017 plans in the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing everyone at Autosport International over the next few days.
6 top tips for a winter-proof house
Craig's top tips for a winter-proof house!
1. Gas Safety
It pays to be prepared and perhaps the most important thing to consider now is what happens when you turn your heating on after months of having the system switched off!
Gas safety is absolutely essential, so before you fire up the boiler, you really need to get it checked by a qualified and registered engineer. First, you need to make sure it will work when you need it – nobody wants to be replacing their boiler in the winter! Also you need to be checking for carbon monoxide release.
It's a good idea to fit a carbon monoxide detector and make sure it's working regularly. As well as this, if you haven't had your gas appliances and flues checked for a while, now's the time to do it. Whilst checking your flues, you might want to look at any air vents or even your chimney (if you have one) to make sure nothing has grown over and is causing a blockage. Finally, when you fire up your boiler, make sure the gas flame turns blue. If it doesn't, shut the boiler down immediately and call an engineer. 2. Radiator Maintenance Of course, your heating system's efficiency is not just about the boiler, so take time out to check all of your radiators. Do they leak? Do they have air in them and need bleeding? Follow our easy guide for bleeding radiators:
3. Flood Risk and Water Damage
Another way of preparing your home for the winter is to minimise the risk of floods and water damage when the rain and snow arrive! Gutters and drains are always susceptible to blockage by leaves or other debris, and if you get a spell of heavy rain or snow for lengthy periods you could be in trouble. Our lock rods are great for cleaning your down pipes, gutters and even chimneys! One more thing, is your guttering strong enough to take the weight of potential snow sitting there for days? If you're unsure, you should look at replacing it! We have a range of winter essentials available to help with flooding and water damage including sand bags, water pumps, torches and various covers as well as much, much more! Check out our website and get tooled up for winter! 4. Roof Firstly, you need to make sure that all of the tiles are in place and that lead flashings around your chimney are in good condition. Make sure there are no gaps anywhere that could let in water or allow the wind to get underneath! On the subject of chimneys, it's always good practice to have it swept before you start up a fire since there can be debris, old birds' nests and all sorts of things causing an unsafe blockage. If you need a dry place to store your logs for your fire this winter, have you thought about building your own log store? We have a simple video showing you how:
Of course, you should always arrange for an experienced roofer to climb up and check your tiles - never think you'll just nip up there yourself! That said, you can nip into the loft and check the roof from inside. Assuming your loft is boarded and you have light in there, find a safe position away from the loft entrance, switch off the lights and check for daylight coming in. There will always be small amounts of light coming through, you are checking for major gaps! Whatever you do, be sure to switch the light back on before moving away from your secure position. If you don't have your loft boarded already, now is the time to consider doing so. Insulation has been shown to make a big difference to the size of energy bills, with some households saving over £200 a year! 5. Lighting Efficiency Speaking of energy and bills, now the days are shorter you will be using your lights for much longer periods, it's a good time to go around and check your light bulbs! Do you still have the old-style energy-sapping bulbs? Fitting energy-saving bulbs can make a huge difference to your electricity bill, while also help you to play your part in saving the planet.
6. Draughts You may have welcomed a bit of a breeze coursing through your home in the warm summer months, but when the cold sets in you will want to get rid of any drafts that drift into your home through leaky door seals or windows. Most people have double-glazing but you'd be surprised where draughts can sneak in! No house is fully sealed and everywhere that there is a void in it's structure - including letterboxes,anywhere holes have been created for passing pipes or cables through, and even cat flaps - there is the potential for a draught. Even inner doors can be a problem, so even though it may seem a little old-fashioned, the humble and trusty draught excluder across the bottom of a door can make all the difference!
#12DaysOfSilverline is back!
#12DaysOfSilverline is back
We'll be giving away daily prizes on Instagram, so make sure you're following us win exciting prizes in the run up to Christmas! Terms and Conditions: 1. Powerbox Limited reserves the right to publish the names of all winners. All winners are required to give their full co-operation to all requests by Powerbox Limited or a promoter in connection with publicity for the competition, their entry, the prize or otherwise 2. Employees and family and friends of Powerbox Limited or any third party involved are not permitted to enter the competition 3. Winners will be chosen at random and are non-negotiable 4. Winners will be notified by 5 pm each day and announced on Instagram 5. All winners must be following @silverline_tools and have liked relevant Instagram post to enter 6. No winner shall be chosen more than once 7. The competition runs from Monday 12th December until Friday 23rd December 8. The last winner will be notified by 1pm on the last day of the competition 9. No cash alternative for any prize will be offered and prizes are non-transferable 10. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition 11. The competition is open to all residents of the European Union 12. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current (UK) Data Protection Legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant's prior consent. 13. By entering this competition, the entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions 14. If any winner of a competition is unable to take up a prize for any reason, or if Powerbox Limited has not been able, after making reasonable efforts, to make contact with the winner, Powerbox Limited reserve the right to award the prize (without notice to the first winner chosen) to an alternative winner. In this case the original winner will not be eligible for any share of the prize. Powerbox Limited shall not have any liability in such eventuality. 15. Entries must be made in accordance with the competition instructions and are invalid if received any later than the specified closing time (which shall be GMT date and time)
Greenpower largest ever International Final
GREENPOWER ROCKS ROCKINGHAM FOR THE SECOND TIME WITH LARGEST-EVER INTERNATIONAL FINAL
Working internationally to promote sustainable engineering among the next generation of engineers, the charity Greenpower Education Trust hosted its largest-ever International Final at Rockingham on 15-16 October.
Dylan, the car built by an all-girls team from Sandbach High School, won IET Formula F24 title despite a mechanical failure during the first race of the day. Meanwhile, Renishaw won the Silverline Corporate Challenge, whilst Cullimore Racing clinched the IET Formula F24+ championship, for the third time.
The 2016 International Final was held at the Northamptonshire-based track; this is the second time the Final has been contested on the 1.48 mile American-style banked oval circuit.
125 school teams across Greenpower’s IET Formula 24 (11-16 year olds) and IET Formula 24+ (16-25 year olds) race categories competed at the International Final along with 40 Kit Car teams and a host of entrants in the Silverline Corporate Challenge. Participants came from all over the UK, as well as teams from Brazil, USA, Poland and Portugal.
The sustainably-powered F24 and F24+ single-seaters all feature the same electric motor and 12 Volt batteries supplied by Greenpower Education Trust. Students build the cars themselves as part of an enhanced STEM education programme, and design their own bodywork using Siemens Solid Edge software.
Greenpower Education Trust CEO, Jeremy Way, said after the last race of the weekend: “There is nothing more inspiring than seeing all our finalists proud to race their cars at the International Final, and witnessing the teams really working together in the true spirit of Greenpower.
“We hope many of the participants competing here today will go on to pursue a future career in engineering – that’s the result we are looking for, and already numerous graduates from the Greenpower programme are working full time in the industry.”
Charity patron David Richards CBE, Chairman of Aston Martin and Prodrive, was at Rockingham to support the young racers. YouTube star and inventor, Colin Furze, also attended the event.
We arrived at Brands Hatch for the finale of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with everything to play for with us having two of our Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers in championship contention. Colin was sitting 7th in the table just 37 points behind the championship leader Sam Tordoff and Jason in 8th a further 21 points adrift.
The first point of the weekend would be awarded to the pole sitter during the most important qualifying session of the year on Saturday afternoon, and as dark clouds loomed overhead it wasn’t going to be straight forward. The track was initially dry as the cars left the pit lane for the 30 minute shoot out that lay ahead, with Jason instantly placing himself 2nd on the leader board. There was a stoppage due to Aron Smith’s car rolling onto its roof at Hawthorns, which in turn allowed the wet weather to set in when the circuit went live for the second time.
With Colin in 17th and Warren and James further down the order there was concern that the drivers wouldn’t be able to increase they current times with the track conditions. The cars returned to the track and did all they could to get temperature in the tyres in a bid to try and increase their lap times. The rain then halted and the track started to dry but with the clock ticking we were under pressure to get up the order and into a better grid position for the first race of the day. Colin then put in a storming lap which was more than a second quicker than his competitors and lap after lap he increased his time to ensure that he held onto pole position. Jason didn’t manage to get a clean lap but impressively still managed a time quick enough to put him in a great 4thposition. James set the 22ndquickest time with Warren just behind him in 23rd. Post-qualifying Tom Ingram’s Toyota failed the ride height check and his times were disallowed forcing him to the back of the grid and moving our drivers up one place, with Jason now starting behind Colin on the grid for the first of Sunday’s three races.
As the lights went out for the first race of the day, the Subaru Levorgs made great starts, as did Rob Austin from 2nd in the front wheel drive Toyota which left Colin immediately fighting for the lead, which he remarkably held onto, as Jason went on the attack to find a way past, eventually safely slotting in behind in 3rd with both James and Warren also getting a good safe start on the opening lap.
There was drama for Andrew Jordan and Hunter Abbott at Druids on lap two and the safety car was deployed which gave Colin the opportunity to control the pace. An immense restart from
Colin created a gap to Austin as he fought off Jason who in turn was having to defend the MG of Josh Cook. The gap increased even further for Colin as did his lap times with him setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 7 gaining one more valuable point.
As the checkered flag fell it was Colin who crossed the line after a lights to flag victory tallying up a staggering 22 points in the process, the maximum achievable and now in 5th for the driver’s title and just 20 points off leader Tordoff.
Jason lost out to Cook on the final corner and brought the car home in an all-important 4th place gaining 13 valuable points in the process. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep Jason’s hopes of a third driver’s title alive.
James finished the race in 23rd place as Warren endured more bad luck from a puncture that dropped him down the order, followed by an off into the gravel trap which he didn’t recover from.
For race two both Colin and Jason gained additional success weight due to their finishing positions and with both cars being on the soft tyre, there was a whole new set of challenges.
As the lights went out both drivers up front made a great getaway with Jason immediately going on the attack of Austin, as James and Warren moved up the order to 20th and 22nd respectively.
By lap two Jason was right on the tail of Austin looking for a way past the Toyota which enabled Colin to run away with the race up front.
The second safety car of the day was then deployed after a dramatic crash into the tyre wall on the run down to Graham Hill by title contender Matt Neal in the Honda which subsequently took him out of the competition after he suffered concussion and bringing an end to his day. There was then a lengthy stoppage which allowed the drivers to take a breather.
When the race restarted Colin made a break again out in front. Jason made the move on Austin at Surtees and into second and Gordon Shedden, who was also in contention for championship honours, followed him through in the Honda and was now behind in third. Jason then closed the gap to his team mate Colin to just 0.8 seconds and was gaining on him with every lap when the team then asked Jason to hold station and act as rear gunner to Colin. Jason rose to the challenge keeping Shedden at bay and in turn made Colin’s job easier to escape into the distance and enabling him to take race honours once more as they brought the Subaru Levorgs home with a 1-2 for the team with Jason in 2nd. James brought his Levorg home in 20th with Warren in 23rd.
It was now a three way fight for the championship with just one race to go and Sam Tordoff in his BMW still in the lead, Gordon Shedden in the Honda in 2nd just two points behind and Colin in 3rd and 10 points adrift of the leader.
The reverse grid draw was made for the final race of the 2016 season by Micky Butler from title sponsor Dunlop UK who he drew the number seven from the barrel which placed the final championship contender Mat Jackson on pole position, placing Jason in 6th and Colin in 7th.
For race three Colin had maximum weight on the car for the second time of the day it was going to be a big ask for him to get past his fellow contenders and into a position of being in the championship lead but he was up for the fight and was prepared to do all he could to finish his season in the best position possible.
Jason got a great start and instantly tried to get past the Honda of Shedden but it just wasn’t possible whilst Colin was held back in traffic trying to get a clean start and dropped to 10thposition. Both James and Warren both got away without incidents and James was up to 17th with Warrenrunning in 21st. The safety car however was then deployed for Warren after contact from Dan Welch sent him into the gravel ending his race prematurely.
Racing resumed and Shedden took 3rd from Tordoff and into the lead in the championship standings. With Jason now running in 8th and Colin in 12th, both struggled with the weight as James moved further up the order to 16thA further safety car was deployed for the stricken car of Dan Welch which left just a couple of laps left to decide who would reign supreme in 2016 and walk away with the title.
Racing resumed once again and the three remaining Levorgs held their positions with Jason finishing in 10th, Colin 12thand James 16th. Jackson in his Ford took the race win, with Aiden Moffatt in second and Gordon Shedden took third and the title of 2016 British Touring Car Champion for the third time in his BTCC career. . Ultimately it wasn’t enough to get us to the top and Colin finished fourth in the championship with Jason ending his 2016 campaign in 7th.
What a year!!!! All of us at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing would like to take this opportunity in thanking Subaru UK and all of our sponsors for their support over the course of the 2016 season and to also thank the team who have put in lengthy hours of hard work to ensure that we fought a great fight in the championship. Thanks also to the army of loyal fans who have supported us through thick and thin this year, your support is second to none. We mustn’t forget the TOCA officials, marshalls, grid girls, photographers and last but not least Fat Goose Catering who have looked after both us and our guests superbly once again this year, huge thanks to you all.
We now go into the winter break with an extensive winter testing programme planned as we set to embark on the 2017 season ahead, and I think it’s safe to say we are hungrier than ever for that title!
Sponsor and drivers quotations:
Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director, Subaru UK commented – “When we started the season our expectations were low. An all-new car, with very little preparation time, we planned on 2016 being a year of learning and experimentation. In the event, these objectives were blown away. Certainly, there were dark times, especially early in the season, but, thanks to the skills and dedication of the technical team at BMR and their drivers, these were overcome, and we enjoyed a second half to the season which we never could have anticipated. By Brands Hatch we were transformed from the cinderellas of the championship, to being the team to beat. With some justification, we expect to start 2017 as firm favourites.
“We have attended every round, with dealers as our guests, the project having really captured the attention of those close to the brand. Even our colleagues in Japan have been watching the races, often live in the middle of the night. We cannot wait for Donington next March, when we can start all over again”.
Rob Henry, Global Brand Manager, Silverline commented – “What an action packed Championship!
“Congratulations to all the drivers, mechanics and support staff who worked so hard to overcome the challenges facing the team at the start of the season. You all did a great job in getting the team and the drivers so close to the top of the standing table. Enjoy the off season!”
Warren Scott commented – “I am so immensely proud of what the team have achieved in our maiden year as a Manufacturer team with Subaru UK. With a new car a lot of credit goes to the drivers who have managed results without any extensive testing and to finish on the points they did driving young cars is remarkable.
“Huge thanks to Subaru UK, all our sponsors and everyone in the team, the results speak for themselves and are proof of how hard everyone has worked to make it all possible.
“We will continue to develop the cars over the winter to ensure that we come out even stronger for the 2017 season”.
Colin Turkington commented – “I don’t really know where to start in summing up our weekend, it has all happened so fast and I now find myself in China testing a Chinese Touring Car! I am beaming with satisfaction with a phone full of heart-warming messages and missed calls. So something pretty special must have went on!
“I knew I was a significant outsider coming into the season finale, but I still wanted to prepare and plan like it was my crown.
“That has been my approach all season, and I can honestly look back at every weekend and say I give everything I had. I never missed an hour’s preparation and I put 100% into every lap I had the Levorg on track.
“In the end it just wasn’t meant to be, but I am far from disappointed. Yes I was saddened to know that I couldn’t get any more out of race 3 and my chances were over, but overall it was a near perfect weekend.
“It’s been a season of up’s and downs with DNF’s, DNS’s, grid penalties and tough battles but we kept our focus and kept pushing onwards. You can’t start contemplating what if’s or what might have been, all you can do is look back and be proud of the success that we worked so hard for.
“I would like to thank every last member of Silverline Subaru BMR Racing and all my fantastic partners, supporters and fans. 2016 has been a roller-coaster and one that will stand out for me for the rest of my career”.
Jason Plato commented – "The finals meeting at Brands Hatch always produces fantastic drama and action and this year was right up with the very best.
“Our Silverline Subaru Levorg's were once again the class of the field on the demanding Grand Prix circuit and produced fantastic results for the team.
“This season has given us all lots to be excited about for the future and I can’t wait to begin testing for next season.
“I’m confident that with the winter test program we have planned we will arrive at the first race of 2017 fully prepared to win the championship.
“I would like to thank all our loyal partners and supporters and in particular, Subaru UK, Silverline Tools and Adrian Flux Insurance and last but not least I would like to thank each and every one of our amazing team”
James Cole commented – “I can’t believe how fast this season has flown. Seems like only yesterday we were back here at Brands Hatch with four brand new Subaru Levorg’s. What a roller coaster of a year.
“I have so many positives to take out of this year and I really can’t wait to get back in the car ASAP and get lots of winter mileage under my belt.
“I would like to thank the whole team on an amazing job. A special thank you to my three fantastic team mates for all their help and encouragement throughout the year. I’m so excited to see what 2017 brings!!!
Silverstone points confirm season finale duo
Silverstone played host to the penultimate rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship last weekend with both Colin Turkington and Jason Plato in contention for the 2016 championship title. Between the pair they were looking for a good haul of points in order for them to be in a strong position for the final rounds some two weeks later.
Following Saturday’s qualifying session, Warren came out on top of the four Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers placing his Levorg 13thon the grid after jumping up the order on his final lap from 21st. Jason would line up for race one right behind him with James 23rd so it was all to play for. Unfortunately Colin was forced to start from the back of the grid following a penalty he picked up last time out at Rockingham, his third of the season.
All four made great getaways, but a tap from behind for the team boss Warren sent him into a spin that caused Jason to take evasive action leaving the boss stranded sideways on track allowing all of the chasing pack to pass. He did however manage to get the car started again albeit down in last position but clawed his way back up to 21stplace before a puncture on the final lap forced him to retire from the race with great disappointment.
It wasn’t going to be an easy task for Colin following the grid penalty, but despite starting from the back of the grid he carved his way through the field, passing no less than 19 cars in the process, to finish in an outstanding 10th place.
Jason dropped back down the order at the start but impressively fought a good fight and gained a number of positions back to finish in a comfortable point scoring position of 12th.
James had a great start to his first race of the day and by the end of the first lap was up to an astonishing 17th from 23rdon the grid. Unfortunately he too was forced to retire on the final lap with a front left puncture.
MG were initially awarded first and second positions although the final race result was amended due to the MG’s being excluded from the race and both Colin and Jason were promoted two places and up to 8th and 10threspectively.
Colin had a great start in the second encounter as did Jason, with both Subaru Levorgs running side by side into Beckets and then again into Luffield where Colin eventually stayed ahead in 8th with Jason tucking up behind him in 9th by the time the opening lap was complete. Warren and James also made up places on the first lap into 23rd and 24threspectively.
Colin and Jason then worked in formation picking off their targets one by one as they fought their way through the field into 4th and 5thplaces. Warren made it up to 17thbefore succumbing to his second puncture of the day finishing all the way down in 29th with James securing 23rd. James also scored a point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Andrew Jordan was victorious as he took the win in the Ford Focus.
For the final showdown of the day, Warren suffered more misery as he was unable to make it to the grid for the third due to an engine issue.
Colin doubled up with a second 4th place finish after passing Jason on the final lap after the latter brought more misery to the team after he too suffered a puncture. He managed to finish the race by limping across the line in 12th place and still in a point scoring position after running fourth throughout the 22 lap encounter. James brought the third and final Subaru Levorg home in 21st. Honda’s Gordon Shedden took the win.
There is just one event remaining this season with rounds 28, 29 and 30 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship being held at Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit on the 1st and 2nd of October.
Sam Tordoff currently leads the standings from the Honda duo of Shedden and Matt Neal. With a maximum of 67 points up for grabs, there are a further 5 drivers who can mathematically still walk away with the 2016 championship title that includes Rob Collard, Mat Jackson, Andrew Jordan and our very own Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers Colin and Jason with just 58 points separating the top eight.
Warren commented “The number 39 crew experienced another tough weekend at Silverstone, the circuit really suits me as the racing lines are pretty much the same as when riding a superbike here unlike the other circuits where the car racing lines are so different.
“We managed a great qualifying result where we were the quickest rear wheel drive car which gave me a confidence boost for the race day on Sunday. Starting from P13 in race 1 was an achievement for me, I was really looking forward to race with the front runners only to be knocked off the circuit on turn one.
“Race 2 I had a puncture and then we didn’t manage to get the car out for race 3 due to a mechanical issue so all in all quite a rough day!
“As usual I am immensely proud of the team who work tirelessly and put every bit of effort in, also to James, Colin and Jason who work so incredibly hard to achieve the results that they have done this year so far, especially at Silverstone which was always going to be a very hard track for the Subaru’s to compete.
“We now look forward to the season Finale at Brands Hatch to mark the end of our development season with the Subaru Levorg before a very comprehensive winter testing programme begins.”
James commented “Silverstone sadly was always going to be a circuit we would struggle at more than most. Considering our lack of horse power the team did a fantastic job all weekend. Yes a fastest lap in Race 2 was a very high positive from the weekend, but being able to use it to fight through the field is a different story. To get anywhere close in the races every lap has to be a qualifying lap, we are not able to manage our tyres over a race run, which lead to our two punctures in the first two races. We have such a good car through the corners, which is so important. The straight bits, maybe I’ll try pushing my foot down harder on the throttle next time, see if that help.”
Colin commented “I left Silverstone hugely satisfied after three strong finishes despite having to start the first race from the back of the grid. An unexpected good haul of points at one of our toughest circuits means I go to the final meeting 37 points from the top of the table and still a contender for the championship.
“Making good progress early in the day and passing 19 other cars to finish 10th in race one was the perfect start and the key to my weekend. The grip on the circuit was unusually low, so we had to work hard to find a good setup, but thanks to my engineering team we did and I was able to keep progressing and take home another two fourth place finishes.
I now go into the finale still fighting for honours, albeit an outside bet. This is an incredible achievement for the whole team considering the tough start to the year and this being our first season with the Levorg. My focus is already on Brands and I will keep the pressure on to see how far up the championship leader board I can get.”
Jason commented “Silverstone was always going to be a tough one for everyone at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing as it is a circuit which the lap time is heavily dependent on engine power and therefore straight line speed. To be so far off in qualifying taking into account the skill of the engineers, drivers and equipment at our disposal is beyond disappointing.
“Whilst we made progress in the races, this was mostly due to us overtaking cars that were experiencing tyre degradation issues. We are just so slow in a straight line it is almost impossible to mount an attack.
“My frustration hit a new high with a puncture on the last corner of the last lap in race three whilst in 4th position.
“We have a car which is without doubt the class of the field in the corners. We need more power from the engine to be able to compete in the races.”
Red Bull Hardline 2016
8.30am, Sunday 18th September. As the riders and teams walked onto the Red Bull Hardline site for the race day showdown cloud was hanging low over the valley, it made for some amazing pictures but the riders welcomed it more as an alternative to wind!
Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle were on the mikes welcoming the first fans but there was a palpable sense of expectation and a few tired faces - none of the riders had slept much last night.
Course creator Dan Atherton said “ I’m nervous, I think all the riders are nervous, last year we seemed to have more practice crashes , this year there were fewer crashes, but bigger crashes, it’s a shame that we have to go through that process, I didn’t sleep much last night – not sure anyone did. “
Gee had a crash in practice, he came off over a rocky outcrop, landing on his injured shoulder and had to stay down for treatment, Mark Wallace was waiting for a new bike so Qualifications saw just 12 riders take to the hill.
The riders were clearly enjoying themselves with Sik Mik Hannah pulling three suicide no handers on the way down. Al Bond had a small crash near the end of the course but everyone made it down in one piece and the excitement began to ramp up off the scale.
Bernard Kerr 3.36.51
Adam Brayton 3.39.39
Ruaridh Cunningham 3.41.97
Taylor Vernon 3.43.69
George Brannigan 3.45.00
So to finals..
First up was Gee , the crowd weren’t expecting too much after this morning’s re-injury but Gee flew down in 3.35.97, a time that was faster than the winning qualification time and enough to keep him in the hotseat through the next 10 out of a total 14 riders.
Mark Wallace and Al Bond put in clean runs but came in after Gee, Graeme Mudd knocked his leg on his gear shifter and was scared coming into the Jeep Renegade jump that he wouldn’t have the speed, he cleared the jump and put in a clean run but wasn’t in contention, and then Dan Atherton was on course.
Dan had been so nervous all week, not only for his race run but for all of the other riders. Once he was on course he looked totally relaxed and super-stylish, it wasn’t the fastest run, enough for 13th onthe day but Dan was very happy.
He said “ All these guys have come off a World Cup season so for my run I knew I couldn’t compete for speed but I just wanted to have fun, to find my flow and I did that so I really enjoyed it. “
Mik Hannah was still having fun too, he was unable to resist another no-hander to finish, crossing into second , enough for an eventual 6th.
Eddie Masters had a good run – crossing into third, then it was into the top 5 with George Brannigan crossing into 2ndin 3.39.14 enough for eventual 5th
Our Trek Factory Racing team-mate 19 year old Taylor Vernon finished his run with a cheeky whip enough for 9th todayTaylor said “ I was so scared, I did enjoy it , through being scared but it was a bit of a leary ride! I rode like a squid in the middle – just happy to be down!”
Last year’s winner Ruaridh Cunningham was 1.21 from Gee at split 1, 2.03 back at split 2 but he flew through the bottom section and the crowd went crazy as he crossed into the hotseat in 3.34.86 - over a second up on Gee.
Ruaridh said “ That was a wild run, I lost quite a bit of speed out of the woods and it made me angry – I had to talk to myself and say that’s not how you ride this! It’s been a blast”
Adam Brayton was fast, but not quite as fast as Ruaridh, into 2nd. Then fastest qualifier Bernard Kerr was on course, Bernard had said that he was here to win and he made good on his promise, a second down on Gee’s first split time but ahead of Ruaridh he stayed in the green at split 2 and crossed in 3.32.46 – Winner of the third Red Bull Hardline. By 2.4 seconds.
I Bernard Kerr 3.32.46
2 Ruaridh Cunningham 3.34.86 +2.4
3 Adam Brayton 3.35.50 +3.04
4 Gee Atherton 3.35.97 +3.51
5 George Brannigan 3.39.14 +6.68
So the final word of the day has to go Dan who said “ It was an honour to have these riders come from all over the world to ride this event and to be able to ride with them, it’s so good to see these guys I’ve raced with my whole career on our local turf, it inspires me to keep progressing the event. “
Red Bull Hardline Final Rider List
1 Ruaridh Cunningham
2 Joe Smith
3 Bernard Kerr
4 Adam Brayton
5 Al Bond
6 Gee Atherton
7 Graeme Mudd
8 Mick Hannah
9 Dan Atherton
10 George Brannigan
11 Brook Macdonald
12 Eddie Masters
13 Mark Wallace
14 Taylor Vernon
Dan, Gee & Rachel Atherton to join Silverline at the Cycle Show
Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton of the Trek Factory Racing Downhill Team to visit The Cycle Show.
Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton in association with Silverline Tools will be at Birmingham’s NEC arena on Saturday 24th September for a Q&A on the main stage followed by autograph signings at the Silverline Tools stand F50.
The Atherton siblings are the fastest family on two wheels and the most awarded in the history of the sport. Rachel’s perfect 2016 season with a clean sweep of the World Cup Series topped by a World Champs win cements her and the team’s place in the history books.
Atherton, 28, is on an unprecedented winning streak, with 13 consecutive World Cup wins, including the unbeaten 2016 Series, and now her second consecutive world title, the fifth of her career. The World Champion had already sealed the 2016 World Cup crown in Canada last month but won in Andorra on Saturday to end the World Cup season unbeaten.
Also at the show will be six times British and double World Champion Gee Atherton and big brother Dan Atherton, himself a World Cup winner “one of the world’s greatest bike handlers”, Enduro World Series rider and renowned Red Bull Hardline track builder.
Long term sponsors and official tool supplier to the team, Silverline Tools will host an autograph signing session on their stand following the Q&A which is set to start at 12:30
Rachel wraps up a perfect season at World Champs in Val di Sole
Rachel takes the World Championships 2016, Val di Sole, and it’s a great showing for the Brits with 1, 2 in the Mens.
It’s the perfect end to the perfect season and her fifth World Championship (4th as an Elite)! In the Men’s Elite our “adopted” rider Trek’s Charlie Harrison put in a great run for 14th!! In a break from World Cup traditions World Champs doesn’t feature a qualifying round so riders take to the hill in reverse order of their UCI Ranking. In timed training Rach scored first place in 4.20. 191 despite a mistake in the top section but Tracey Hannah (2nd in the rankings) was just 0.59 seconds behind , French rider Myriam Nicole was in 3rd (9.7 seconds back with Brits Manon Carpenter and Tahnee Seagrave 4th and 5th respectively, 10 and 12 seconds back. The weather has been dry in the run up to todays Finals and the track was rougher and more blown out than the riders had ever seen it before. The track is ridiculous steep, technical and even though there’s barely any pedaling it’s a massive test of fitness. First up of the top 5 was Pompon, starting uncharacteristically early after a broken collar bone this season depressed her expected place in the World Cup rankings, she was up 12.6 seconds at the first split, which increased to 23 seconds up by split 2 , she crossed in 4.23.301 ( 3 seconds outside Rach’s time yesterday and 25.7 seconds clear of the field.) With 4 riders left on track Tahnee Seagrave was straight on the gas, she made it through the first turns with a lot of speed but she was 13.16 back by split 1, 20 secs down by split 2, back 22 seconds 4.45 Then Tracey Hannah was on course, she in touch 4.11 back at split 1 that had stretched to 7 by split 2, crossing into 2nd . Manon Carpenter went down hard in the first turn when her front wheel was grabbed by the dust. Rachel must have seen her GB team-mate go down but she didn’t look like she was taking it any steadier just 0.637 ahead at the first split 3.154 at the second, there was a heart stopping moment as she almost stalled in the dust but she held it and crossed the line 3 seconds clear of the field. Rach said “I cant believe it, I felt sure that Tracey would go faster she’s been riding so well in the dust, I’m still nervous talking to Peaty and he’s up at the top ready and waiting to sweep, and I was thinking oh no – he’ll be sweeping me!! The track was so mad, like a controlled fall all the way. But this feeling now it’s the greatest, I want everyone to experience it. Thanks to everybody who’d helped me and supported me – I couldn’t have done it without you all."
In the Men’s race the team and fans were gutted that Gee’s injured shoulder prevented him from racing but there was plenty to get excited about as our former team-mate and Atherton Academy graduate Belgian’s Martin Maes took early lead, and later our adopted shredder Trek’ s Charlie Harrison also went into the hotseat, he had a great result – 14thplace overall and 3rd fastest through the speed trap.
GB’s Laurie Greenland smashed into the lead by a massive 8.5 seconds from Jack Moir, then his team –mate Bernard Kerr (Gee’s last minute replacement) put in a great run to slot into 2nd, Greg Williamson crossed into 3rd so with 12 riders left on track it was an all GB podium – until Frances’ Florent Payet crossed into 2nd!
Into the top 10 and JGB’s Josh Bryceland, Marcelo Villegas Guttierez, Connor Fearon and Remy Thirion couldn’t get into contention, then Defending Champion Loic Bruni had a rear flat, it didn’t stop him tearing down the track but he couldn’t challenge the top boys. .
Even Greg Minnaar looked to be experiencing difficulties, he pulled back some time on the lower section, enough for an eventual 7th.
Danny Hart was on full gas straight out of the start-gate. He was up at the first split, and stretched this to around 2.5 seconds, crossing into first by 2.927.
Only Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin were left on course. Troy was back at the first split and continued to lose pace, enough for 4th today
Then Gwin was in the start-gate and the crowd held their breath for the man who has won more on this course than any other. But a slight mistake resulted in his rear wheel exploding, he came off his bike and DNF. So it was more celebrations in the British camp with a 1, 2 for Hart and Greenland with Florent Payet taking the bronze.
Finn Iles took the Junior Men’s win for Canada and Alessia Missiaggia the Junior Women’s for Italy.
1 Danny Hart GB 3.32.484
2 Laurie Greenland GB 3.35.411 +2.927
3 Florent Payet FR 3.37.531 +5.047
4 Troy Brosnan AUS 3.38.573 +5.877
5 Bernard Kerr GB 3.39.123 +6.089
14 Charlie Harrison USA 3.47.636 =15.152
1 Rachel Atherton GBR 4.20.187
2 Myriam Nicole FR +3.114
3 Tracey Hannah AUS +
4 Marine Cabirou FR +24.507
5 Tahnee Seagrave + 25.299
Rachel Atherton Wins Every Round of the UCI MTB Downhill Series!
Rachel Atherton has won the 7th round in the UCI MTB World Cup Round 7 in Andorra, simultaneously securing her 13thconsecutive World Cup victory, the Series Overall title and a clean sweep of 2016 World Cup victories – a feat never before achieved in the sport!
Youngest rider Taylor Vernon showed true grit when he took the early lead, despite riding with a broken nose and a LOT of bruising after a horrific looking practice crash and Gee only decided to race at last minute after re-injuring the shoulder that he’d struggled with since Fort William. He cruised down the hill for a few final points in the Series but he was never going to be in serious contention today.
The women were up first. As Rachel took to the track she had already been confirmed winner of the 2016 World Cup Series with 12 consecutive World Cup wins under her belt – 6 out of 6 rounds so far in the 2016 Series.
In the run up to the race Rachel had been suffering from a bad back and had qualified in 3rd place. The champion rider had talked about perhaps easing up a little to preserve her back for next week’s World Champs but there were no signs of her doing anything of the sort as she tore out of the start gate. Could she make it lucky 13 wins in a row and a clean sweep of World Cup wins?
When Rachel came on track Manon Carpenter was in the lead with Tahnee Seagrave sitting in 2nd, a brave run despite a punishing fall in yesterday’s qualis. From the first split it was clear that Rachel just couldn’t hold back, whatever her stated intention! She was almost 4 seconds up on Carpenter by split 1 and continued to pull away, tearing into the hot-seat a staggering 8.8 seconds ahead , her time 4:52.783
Only Tracey Hannah and local star Myriam Nicole were left on the hill. Tracey rode a good race to cross into 2nd in 4:59.351. Then all eyes were on Pompon, she was 2ndby 3 seconds at the first split but had dropped back to 4 seconds gap at the second and the gap had widened to almost 7 seconds by the final check. It was clear that she wasn’t going to match Rachel, she crossed into 3rd, about 1.5 seconds behind Tracey.
Rachel had won the day, taken a clean sweep of the Series and yet another record!
After she’d recovered a little bit Rachel said: "I cannot believe it! I totally thought it would never happen, I thought for sure Tracey or Pompon would beat me after qualis was so close” I just made some massive changes to my suspension, the opposite of what I had been doing all week, and I tried really hard making my bike stick to the ground and really using the steepness of the track to help me instead of being scared of it!! I am beyond over the moon and to have the perfect season is a testament to the hard work that goes in from the whole team and of how the team have kept my head together when I've been too nervous!"
In the Men’s race Taylor had qualified 73rd, he put in a storming run of 4.26.025 to take the hotseat and stayed there for a significant time! Enough for an eventual 26th, his Best World Cup place ever, and 50th in the overall rankings.
From the start it was clear that Gee wasn’t going to be in the race, his careful run ended with a puncture in the lower section, enough for 60th but crushingly it left him just 3 points short of a top ten ranking in the overall standings for the first time since 2005 when he was just 20 years old.
Just before 32nd place qualifier Adam Brayton came on track the long expected storms broke over Vallnord, conditions up top soon got super wet and slippery but the woods stayed dry, complicating tyre choice. Carnage ensued! Josh Bryceland had a big off in the woods, Brook Macdonald flatted, Mick Hannah made a mistake up top and Bernard Kerr stalled in the bottom sector. Into the top ten and Minnaar made experience count to go into the hot seat in 4:16.409. He didn’t stay there long as seventh place qualifier, Redcar’s own Danny Hart blasted through in 4:13.611.
Luca Shaw and Ferran Jorba Prats crashed out, Pierron couldn't get into contention and then there were only three left on the hill. Local rider Remi Thirion was disappointed to be twelve seconds off the pace, Aaron Gwin only had to score a top 80 to take the overall today, he took it easy to post 55th and clinch the series title, Troy Brosnan had a spill but recovered to cross into 20th leaving Danny Hart the winner of his third consecutive World Cup by a convincing 2.7 seconds.
In the Overall Team Standings Trek Factory Racing DH missed out to MS Mondraker by one point.
Pics Sven Martin
Subaru storm through the field at Rockingham
It was a weekend of highs and lows for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing at Rockingham over the weekend for rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon was red flagged half way through the session when the weather made a turn for the worse plunging the circuit into the darkness of thunder, lightning and torrential rain. Jason Plato was one of the many drivers that endured an off track excursion before the session was delayed for ten minutes allowing the rain to ease and the track to be assessed before the second half of the session recommenced.
As the track improved with every lap Jason brought his car home in 4th albeit with damage after another incident. Colin set the 5th quickest time making it two Subaru’s in the top five with James and Warren qualifying in 17th and 18thdetermining their grid position for the first of Sunday’s three races. Pole Position went to Gordon Shedden in the Honda.
With the weather having greatly improved for race day on Sunday, the crowds flocked to the Northamptonshire circuit to witness the drivers battle it out for points as the championship draws ever closer to the end of 2016 season.
Race One was a fantastic start to the day with both Jason and Colin making up a place on the opening lap resulting in the first podium of the weekend for Jason in third position and Colin just behind him in 4th, that also secured us the Manufacturer Trophy for Subaru. Both James and Warren received contact on the opening lap forcing them both down the order. James finished the race in 22ndwith Warren making a great fight back through the field from 30th to finish in a very respectable 19th. Pole sitter Shedden took the win.
Race Two wasn’t such a great affair as both Jason and Warren suffered damage on the opening lap forcing Jason into retirement and Warren two laps down in 23rd. Colin also tumbled down the order after getting caught up in the second corner mayhem and then subsequently had a spin which he impressively controlled avoiding the concrete wall. He recovered to finish the race in the final point scoring position of 15th. James excelled making up ten places and was the lead Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver finishing in 12th and adding to the impressive tally of manufacturer points for Subaru. When the flag fell it was BMW’s Sam Tordoff who crossed the line for the win.
There was further retirement for Warren in Race Three after an electrical issue with one of the engine control boxes failing. James brought his car home in 18th whilst teammate Jason had a superb race through from the back of the grid and up to 10th. Colin once again showed off his outstanding driving skills making his way up to the 3rd and final spot on the podium, his 8thof the season, from 15th on the grid. Aron Smith took victory in the BKR Volkswagen making it an incredible twelfth driver to stand on the top step of the podium during 2016.
All in all a mixed bag for the team but some very crucial points scored. Colin is now 48 points off the leader Sam Tordoff with Jason 11 points adrift of Colin.
The championship now heads into its final two events the first being at Silverstone in three weeks’ time on the 17thand 18th September for the penultimate rounds.
Colin Turkington said “I come away from Rockingham pleased with my performance but frustrated at what could have been. My aim before the weekend was to close the points gap to the leaders but unfortunately I was unable to do it. That said I didn't lose any ground and I'm still determined to give it my best shot over the final two meetings.
“The car was fast in all conditions and even in the most extreme conditions in qualifying we were seriously competitive. Banking a solid fourth place finish was a good start to the day, but unfortunately things unravelled in race two with two separate incidents, one of which saw me spearing backwards towards the wall at over 200kph!
“Race three was one of the best I can remember in some time as I moved from a lowly fifteenth grid position onto the podium. Once again the Subaru was on rails and I was able to slice my way through the field and demonstrate just how good our package is at the moment. I've got to start the first race at Silverstone from the back of the grid due to picking up two penalties at Rockingham for minor rule infringements, but I'm never one to shy away from a challenge.”
Jason Plato said“To summarise the weekend we were a bit unlucky in race one and then also for race two as in hindsight I could have won that. The Race two crash at turn two affected my weekend.
“I was pleased with race three and managed to get up the order, although I didn’t officially overtake anyone they all crashed out, I found it difficult to overtake due to the fact that we were too slow in straight line.
“Rock on Silverstone!”
James Cole said “Unfortunately, boost issues were the limiting factor to my Saturday. A sensor problem in both Free Practice One and Two had a serious impact on qualifying preparation, not getting a single lap in Free Practice Two. The small bit of running in Free Practice One showed we had top ten pace.
“Qualifying was without question the most challenging conditions I've ever driven a race car in. Driving around an oval in a thunder storm certainly gets the blood pumping!
“Race One pretty much ended before it started. Sadly first lap damage due to idiotic drivers is now becoming the norm in BTCC. I sound like a broken record but finishing the first lap of Race One with the rear wheels pointing in different directions isn't what you would hope for.
“Race Two thankfully was a lot better and moving up through the field was fun. The cars pace in clear air was fantastic and having better lap times on the hard tyres than many of the cars in the top ten was very encouraging.
“In Race Three I was again on the receiving end of constant contact before eventually getting spun out.
“What I take away from the weekend is, a bad Saturday is very hard to recover from. In Races two and three the pace of my Subaru was more than good enough to stay comfortably inside the top ten. I just need to focus on qualifying inside that top ten where there is respect between the drivers and driving standards are rarely an issue.
“It goes without saying the wonderful job Team BMR do to deliver such a great car. Any frustration I have is as much for them as it is for me. "
We're excited to announce our sponsorship of the South African MX team competing in the 2016 British MXDX World Championship at the famous Farleigh Castle on 3rd and 4th September. The international event which sees veteran riders racing pre 1989 motorcycles, is set to draw record crowds to the Hungerford racetrack. The South African Silverline Tools team will be headed up by former World Champion and MX celebrity, Grant Langston together with national Springbok riders Ryan Hunt, Tony Riddell and Andre David; The team will compete in all the major classes and will be looking to take the overall title. A full line up of fifteen teams will take to the circuit for two days of hard racing.
“It’s a tough and demanding track and all of us have raced there and know it well but racing the older pre 1989 machines will be a handful compared to what we’re used to riding, but that’s the rules for the MXDN,” said Ryan Hunt. “We have a pretty strong team and should come away with some good results.”
The event also includes four races for the Twinshock Nations races and last year's winners, Germany have again assembled a strong proven team. Apart from two team races for both classes each day there are also eight supporting classes making this event the biggest motocross gathering within the UK with over 700 riders registered for the event.
“Silverline has had a very successful season so far in British Touring Car and also within the British Super Bike series, when our South African distributor told us they were putting a team together for this prestigious MX event, we jumped at the opportunity to get involved. We’re looking forward to some exciting (and muddy) racing this weekend! “ said Rob Henry Silverline Global Brand Manager
Triple podium delight for Jason Plato on milestone weekend
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver Jason Plato started the weekend on a high qualifying with pole position for what would be his 500thrace of his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship career.
He set an impressive lap time during the final seconds of the qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and came out on top with team mate Colin securing his place in the top five with James setting the fourteenth quickest time and Warren twenty first.
Race one saw Jason take a lights to flag victory and his first race win of the season in his all new Subaru Levorg GT bringing his total wins to a staggering ninety-five.
Jason led the race throughout managing to hold off the threatening BMW of Jack Goff who took second place with Colin bringing his Subaru Levorg home in third and taking the final spot of the podium.
James brought his car home in a point scoring position of fifteenth but there was dismay for Warren who was tapped into a spin and subsequently forced into retirement from the race.
Race Two once again saw Jason lead the race from the off until the chasing pack of Jack Goff in the BMW and Colin in his Levorg were bunched up behind hi
m during a safety car period. Colin endured a race long battle with the BMW’s of Goff and Tordoff and then Jordan. The Honda of Matt Neal passed both Colin and Goff and into third after contact was made between the pair at the hairpin.
With 75kgs on board Jason was eventually passed by both Tordoff and Neal and finished in third position having held them of until the final two laps with Colin was just behind in fourth.
There was disappointed for both James and Warren who had incidents with James being sent into a spin due to contact but managed to bring his machine home in 21st and Warren was tapped from behind and put into the gravel trap and had to retire from the race for the second time of the day.
The Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers were lucky in the reverse grid draw for the third and final race of the day with Matt Jackson’s number being drawn from the barrel, promoting Colin up to third and Jason to fourth. James started from 21stand Warren 27th.
Colin got a good start retaining his position whilst Jason lost a place to the BMW of Rob Collard on the run down to the first corner. After a brief safety car period allowing the cars to bunch up, Colin was on the attack of the Collard, and the BMW of Goff was in turn on the attack of Colin, bringing yet another Subaru and BMW battle. Then disaster struck when there was contact between Collard and Colin sending them both into a spin and ending their races.
Jason then enjoyed a third place battle with the Honda of Scotsman Gordon Shedden but managed to keep him at bay. Jackson took the lead, Tordoff came in second and Jason brought home the Subaru Levorg in third for the final podium spot.
James finished in his second point scoring position of the weekend in thirteenth with Warren completing the race in twenty fifth.
Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship take place at Rockingham on 27/28 August, we hope to see you all in the stands.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing comments from Knockhill:
Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK commented: "Another good day's work for the team, with steady progress continuing to be made. I was particularly delighted for Jason, who, in true JP style, marked his 500th BTCC race with a pole, and a lights to flag victory. Colin continues to show gritty determination, carrying out crucial overtaking manoeuvres to keeps his title hopes alive. Personally, I wouldn't bet against us being there or thereabouts come Brands Hatch. Roll on Rockingham."
Jason Plato commented:“What a fantastic weekend!
“It was great to get back to standing on the top step of the podium especially as it was on such an amazing milestone in my career. I was on Pole and finished second in my first ever BTCC race in 1997 and nineteen years later went one better in my 500thBTCC race with Pole and a Win.
“To leave Knockhill as top points scorer with a first and two third places was a fine reward for all at Silverline Subaru BMR Team, they have worked so so hard.
“Race One was pretty straight forward, I nail the start, built up a lead and then controlled the pace, but, the safety car was deployed late in the race which eroded my lead and produced a tense last few laps.
“Race Two on the other hand was tense throughout, laden with 75kgs of success ballast I couldn’t breakaway and was under severe pressure throughout the race until I lost rear grip with four laps to go, as it turned out the one of the other cars was laying oil around the circuit and I lost the lead and slipped back to third when Matt Neal rattled inside me at turn seven. Still a good result.
“Race Three was all about being patient and letting the race come to me, I was sat in fifth keeping a watchful eye on the leading three starting to get a bit feisty and slightly desperate as Jackson was holding them up. Turkington made a last minute silly lunge on Collard which resulted in him taking both of them out of the race, and nicely promoted me to third. I then got onto the back Tordoff and we both applied serious pressure to the leader Jackson for some eighteen plus laps. Despite all our efforts neither of us could get past the “Slow in the corners, too fast on the straights’’ Jackson. A second third place podium of the day was a great reward.
“Rockingham can’t come soon enough, hopefully we should be on the pace but we are all very nervous about not having enough straight line speed for the flat out sections to combat the Ford and BMW cars.”
Colin Turkington commented:“I come away from Knockhill focusing on the positives and another strong weekend for the team. We were fast in every session and I was pleased to qualify strongly with championship ballast in the car for the first time. This was the best the car has felt all season in race trim and I was really able to bring the fight to the table. We're moving the Subaru forward at a fantastic rate each time out and considering this was our first time at Knockhill we can all be pretty satisfied. I really enjoyed the intensity of the racing at Knockhill. I had a car that I could push to the limits and there is no better feeling.
“I’m confident about the remaining three events and I'm committed to giving my best. We may have lost the points in Race Three but nothing changes – I’m here to challenge for the title."
James Cole commented: “Before we get onto my weekend I first want to once again congratulate Jason Plato and Colin Turkington on another mega weekend.
“My own weekend was filled with positives and frustrations. The team prepared a perfect car both days. Myself and my engineer, Richard Owen, are now getting into the nitty gritty of the Subaru's performance to best suit my driving style.
“Our times in Race One showed real top ten pace, which is where I feel I now should be. Sadly driving standards outside the top ten are in my opinion the worst I've ever seen. A distinct lack of respect between a few of the drivers is really ruining it for most.
“It only takes a few to spoil the party. Hopefully we will start to see improvements in the next round as having your own race ruined by the actions of others is tiresome.
“My speed is increasing, my knowledge of the car is improving and I'm certain all of this will be reflected in the results if we can all race properly.”
Fletcher and Sign Striking For Golden Upset
Brits Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign believe they can spring one of Rio 2016's biggest sailing shocks as their quest for 49er glory gets underway on Friday (12th August).
Fletcher, who grew up in Market Harborough, and Portsmouth-based Sign make their Games debuts 10 years after commencing their partnership in the Olympic skiff class and the pair head to Rio with a 2016 Worlds bronze medal to their credit.
Yet they know if they are to achieve their ultimate ambition of topping the Rio podium they are going to have to put a halt the Trans-Tasman class dominance of London 2012 silver medalists, Peter Burling and Blair Turke (NZL) and defending Olympic champions, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jense (AUS).
After London the Kiwis won 27 straight events, including four world and two Test Event title, before finishing third at last month's South American Championships, behind the Aussies and Poland's Lukasz Przybytek and Pawer Kolodzinski.
But Fletcher, 28, and 30-year-old Sign were involved in a relentless selection battle that went to the wire for the one British 49er berth for Rio, and they believe that will stand them in excellent stead to upset the formbook. Fletcher said "It's impossible to put into words the desire there is to win a gold medal. I think we're one of the few teams that can beat the Kiwis and we’ve known that all cycle. We’re one of the only teams that has come close to them, we maybe even rattled them, so hopefully their purple streak’s going to come to an end.
“To be successful we're going to have to be fast, boat speed wins medals, and that's something we’ve spent most of our effort on in the past year We’ve spent a lot of time in Rio and I really like it, it plays to our strengths. We’re better in smaller fleets, with shifty conditions, a bit of tide, great. It's definitely one of our strongest venues.” Sign continued: “We had quite a bit of pressure through the selection process so we see this as another opportunity to go and perform. Yes it probably is going to be a bit of heightened pressure, but through the work we’ve done the last six months we’re pretty happy with how we can deal with that.” Both Fletcher and Sign came through the RYA Youth pathway, enjoying great success in the 29er class, including a World Championship crown for Sign in 2004 and Worlds silver for Fletcher two years later. Since teaming up in the 49er in 2006, their 10 years together have yielded this year’s Worlds bronze, two European Championship titles in 2011 and 2013, plus bronze from the first Rio Test Event in 2014 too. Now the best friends are relishing the chance of capping a memorable decade with one of the biggest prizes in sport. Sign said: “A gold medal would be amazing, especially with my best friend. To be able to pat him on the back and say, ‘We've done this,’ it would be awesome. The 10 years we’ve been working together, even through when I was a young kid, wanting to stand on that Olympic podium with the National Anthem going, it would be a really emotional experience.” Fletcher added: “Alain is probably the nicest person I know and he's just the ultimate crew. In sailing it’s hard to base your performance on your result and ultimately if we have a good performance and feel like we’ve done everything we can I’ll be vaguely happy. But if we’ve got a medal, especially a gold one, I’ll be really, really happy.” The 49er class is scheduled to contest a 13 race series, with three races per day on 12, 13, 15 and 16 August before the final one off medal race on Thursday 18 August. To follow the Fletcher and Sign’s fortunes at Rio 2016 visit www.rya.org.uk/Rio2016, follow @BritishSailing on Twitter and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britishsailingteam
Rachel Atherton takes her 12th consecutive World Cup win at Mont St Anne
Hot, dry, dusty, fast and very very tough. Over the 26 years that it’s featured on the World Cup circuit, Mont St Anne’s track has weathered so that now it is almost as rocky as the other long serving World Cup track at Fort William.
In the Women’s Elite race Tahnee Seagrave had qualified uncharacteristically far down the order. She took the early lead in 4.50.35 and stayed in the hot seat until the final 4 were on track.
Australian Tracey Hannah bettered Tahnee by almost two seconds to go into the lead – still over 5 seconds out from Rachel’s qualifying time – would it be enough? Local hero Miranda Miller was 0.4 down on Tahnee with only two women left on track. Brit Manon Carpenter was 0.14 seconds down on her good friend Tahnee Seagrave with only Rachel was left on course.
In a scorching run the British National champion and winner of her last 11 consecutive World Cups made it 12 in a row – over 11 seconds clear of the field.
Rachel said “ I’m over the moon, don’t believe that it ever gets any easier, Mont St Anne is a TOUGH one!”
In the Men’s race Taylor put in a great run, crossing in 4.10.857 enough for an eventual 29th, his best of the season!
Taylor said “ I bloody love it here, it’s flat out! Stoked with that!”
French rider Loic Bruni was returning from injury and had also qualified lower down the ranks than expected – he put in a storming run to go into the hot seat 4.00.792 4.779 seconds clear of George Brannigan!
By the time the top seven riders were on track no-one had matched Loic – or Brannigan who still sat in 2nd. Luca Shaw started steadily ( 12th at split1) but made up time progressively down the track – crossing into 2nd in 4.03.421. With 6 riders left on track it looked like things were heating up when Loris Vergier went fastest at split 1! But a serious mistake put him down into 77thby split 2 and out of the running.
Now Gee was on track. He couldn’t seem to get into contention, 11th at split 1 he’d slipped back to 15thby split 3 but powered back to 7thby split 4 to cross into 7th in 4.07.275 , enough for an eventual 11thplace.
Women’s Elite Results
1 Rachel Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 4.37.448
29 Taylor Vernon – Trek Factory Racing DH 4.10.857 +11.103
Four in the top ten for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing
The return to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship was one filled with drama for the start of the second half of the series but it was one that brought fantastic results for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing with us accomplishing four of Subaru Levorg GT’s in the top ten.
Free Practice One was all about trying to get the right balance for the Subaru Levorg GT’s with the cars having not completed many miles during the annual Dunlop tyre test. The session saw Colin Turkington once again dominate for the first of the two free practice sessions and topping the times, as the machines of Jason Plato, James Cole and Warren Scott all improved for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing quartet into the second session of the day with Colin remaining the quickest of the four Subaru Levorg’s.
The afternoon’s qualifying session saw Honda’s Gordon Shedden secure his first pole position since Donington Park in 2014 with Colin setting the setting quickest Subaru time just 0.015s short, placing his Subaru Levorg GT on the front row. However it was disappointing for Jason as he couldn’t get a clear run away from traffic on track and qualified in eleventh spot. James qualified in the top half of the field with a thirteenth place as did Warren who still managed to set the fifteenth quickest time after an excursion off the track.
With huge crowds flocking into a sunny Snetterton on Sunday, the first of day’s three races got underway with all four cars getting a good clean getaway. Shedden held the lead into the first corner with Colin hot on his heels in 2nd position, with Jason making fantastic progress up to seventh place, as James moved into eleventh and Warren up into twelfth by the end of the opening lap.
All four drivers held their positions for several laps and by lap eight Colin had almost glued his Levorg GT to the rear of Shedden’s Honda as the duo approached Palmer, when Colin pounced and took the lead of the race. Warren and James gained a place each and moved up into tenth and eleventh after eight placed Josh Cook received a puncture in his MG. Jason kept the pressure piled on the Toyota of Tom Ingram seeking any opportunity to pass.
Jason, Warren and James all gained another place each moving up to sixth, ninth and tenth after Sutton followed in Cook’s footsteps and also pitted with a puncture on lap ten placing all four of the Subaru Levorg GT’s up into the top ten.
After a near race long battle Jason made a stellar move on Ingram at Agostini placing him fifth and Colin extended his lead out in front and brought the car home to take the win for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing.
Jason came home in a superb fifth place after a fantastic drive, with Warren matching his career best of ninth and James placing the fourth car in tenth. All of us at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing are absolutely delighted with our strongest result so far in 2016 and to have all four of the Silverline Subaru Levorg’s in the top ten for the first time.
There was disappointed at the start of race two as James Cole retired on the out lap with a broken drive shaft and had to abandon his stricken car between the Bomb Hole and Coram. Moments later the lights went out all three made great starts, but Warren was spun after turn one as he took a hit from behind spinning him across the track. However for once lady luck was on his side and the chasing pack all avoided further contact enabling him to continue albeit a lot further down the order than he had started. Colin then ran wide at the newly named Wilson bend allowing the Ford Focus of Mat Jackson to nip up the inside and into the lead. Jason also ran wide onto the grass dropping down a spot to sixth.
As the leaders headed down the Bentley Straight, Ollie Jackson in the Audi ran wide and made contact with Dan Welch kicking up a cloud of dust as the duo speared across the track. Unfortunately several unsighted drivers including Sutton, Alex Martin and Hunter Abbott ploughed into the accident ahead of them which blocked the track bringing a red flag to the proceedings. Thankfully although the cars were a bit worse for wear all of the drivers escaped without injury. The marshals and officials then had the mammoth task of retrieving the damaged cars and repairing the barriers ready for a restart.
As there was less than a lap contested the grid would line up in the same order as they originally started throwing Colin a lifeline and back to pole position. As the lights went out for the second time the remaining three Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers got off to a good starts as the mayhem unfolded behind him them once again as Mark Howard’s VW and Martin Depper’s Honda both going off the circuit.
With all three Subarus’s safely through the Ford Focus of Jackson on the softer tyres took the lead from Colin, with Jason and Warren holding station in fifth and ninth by the end of the opening lap.
When the pack arrived at Wilson on lap two, Colin escaped a nudge from Shedden’s Honda who subsequently received contact from the Mercedes of Adam Morgan creating a slight gap giving Colin a little breathing space for the remainder of the lap. However the chain reaction of events caused the chasing pack to bunch up that held up Jason dropping him back down the order to seventh. More contact ensued between Morgan and Shedden that allowed Jason to regain the advantage and into fifth. Unfortunately it was Warren that was this time held up as he received contact from the Ford Focus of Andrew Jordan dropping him back down into eleventh, it was then elbows out as everyone sorted themselves out and into their solid positions. Warren was then sent tumbling down the order to sixteenth by the end of the second lap.
On lap three Collard, in his weight free BMW, took fifth place from Jason at Nelson. The remaining three Silverline Subaru Levorg’s proceeded to hold onto their positions throughout the remainder of the race with Colin gaining his second podium of the day in a superb second place. Jason come home in sixth with Warren just out of a point scoring position in sixteenth.
The luck of the reverse grid draw didn’t swing our way and the highest placed Subaru driver for race three would be Jason on the second row in third position as Sam Tordoff was awarded Pole Position in his BMW. Colin would start in seventh, with Warren sixteenth as James joined the gird all the way down in in twenty seventh after the team made repairs to his car.
With the officials hoping for an incident free race after the drama earlier on in the day unfortunately the worst was yet to come. As the lights went out for what was set to be the final time of the day all the front runners made a clean getaway when disaster would strike for a second time. On the main straight as the cars towards the rear of the field went past the pit garages, contact was made between Howard and Martin forcing several cars to take to the grass in avoidance. Luckily for us the last gap through was James, and as Hunter Abbot tried to sneak through he clipped the side of Howard’s VW that forced his Chevrolet into a violent series of rolls, whilst he was rolling an unsighted Ollie Jackson hit Abbott’s car mid roll pushing it up onto the barriers and into the ITV camera crew tower sending it and the cameraman toppling in the process. The race was immediately stopped and remarkably the cameraman had a very lucky escape as did all of the drivers involved in the incident. The circuit officials then had a huge operation in front of them to clear the start line of the stricken cars and repair the barrier.
With the remaining cars re-joining the grid yet again in their original grid positions, pole position man Sam Tordoff was missing from the start line with a component failure creating a clear gap in front of Jason for the start. The lights went out with Jason getting a great start off the line and a good run up on the inside on Ingram and into the lead by the first corner with Collard following him through into second position. Colin also had a good start making up two places and into fifth with Warren fifteenth and James twentieth by the end of the opening lap. Jason however was struggling to hold onto the lead out in front allowing Collard to pass him on the inside at Williams as he defended from Jackson.
There was further disappointment on lap three when Jackson finally made the move stick on Jason sending him down the order to third and now under the attack from the Honda of Gordon Shedden with contact being made several times allowing the Scotsman to take the third place away by the start of lap four with Rob Austin also going through placing Jason in fifth with Colin now hot on his heels in sixth. Warren also dropped down the order to seventeenth and James eighteenth, when disaster would strike for Jackson moving all four Levorg’s up a further place in the race.
For the remainder of the now ten lap race there were no further gains to be made with Jason being the lead Subaru in fourth place as Colin passed Jordan to finish sixth. James brought the third Levorg GT home in nineteenth with Warren retiring with a boost leak on lap seven.
Colin remains the lead Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver in the championship standings having moved up a staggering six places from eleventh to fifth and just 34 points adrift of new championship leader Rob Collard, with Jason eleventh and a further 29 points behind. Warren took his first points of the 2016 season so far in twenty fourth and James right behind him in twenty fifth.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing also picked up the Team Trophy for outscoring all the other teams over the weekend.
Racing resumes north of the border at Knockhill in Scotland on the weekend of 13/14 August.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing driver quotes:
Colin Turkington commented:“I’m extremely satisfied with another strong performance and claiming my third win of the season was definitely the highlight. We thought that it could potentially be a tricky weekend for us, but all the summer test miles and hard work really paid off and that is incredibly rewarding.
“Coming from P2 to win in race one was a special moment and it was made even more significant as the whole team finished inside the top ten. I gave it my all throughout the three races and despite some pretty scary moments I was able to take home a big haul of points. I’ve been looking forward to Knockhill for some time and my aim is to build on this momentum and see how far up the leader board we can climb.”
Jason Plato commented:"Snetterton produced another mega milestone for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing with all 4 cars finishing in the top ten, a truly fantastic reward for the team for all the hard work everyone has put into our Subaru project.
“Personally Snetterton was a disappointment for me as we struggled to find the sweet spot on setup. We were close but not totally in the groove, I'm looking forward to making progress at Knockhill.
“Huge congrats to Colin, he is certainly on a roll at the moment.”
James Cole commented:“I was very happy with my performance over the Snetterton weekend. The two day tyre test certainly helped me get a deeper understanding of the Subaru Levorg. I am now starting to extract the last little bits, which has improved my pace.
“Finishing P10 in race one should have been only the start of what looked to become a successful weekend. Saving my soft tyres for race two and the potential of a reverse grid upset for race
three was certainly on the cards. Sadly a drive shaft failure on the warm up lap in race two put an end to my weekend early.
“As much as the weekend ended in disappointment there is still so much potential to extract from the package we have. I'm very optimistic for the future and understand that first year cars have their issues from time to time. I'm prepared to endure some pain now and reap the rewards in the future!”
Warren Scott commented: “I am very pleased with the team’s performance as a whole over the weekend and I am overjoyed with my own performance. To qualify one second off pole position on a two second lap is something I’m delighted with.
“My first race went extremely well with my ninth place finish, I had a difficult start in race two and finished just outside the points and there was obvious disappointment in race three with having to retire but overall I am extremely pleased the move forward in my own personal speed.
“Snetterton was great for the team and with Colin now lying fifth in the championship and us moving up the overall team’s order I am very much looking forward to an exciting to finish to the year.”
5 minutes with the Silverline 49ers on their journey to gold
The Olympics is only just around the corner now. After such a long journey to get here, including 10 years of campaigning the 49er together, it's an awesome feeling that in just under 30 days time we will be racing at the Olympics! We will have our best kit, be at our fittest and at the top of our game. All to try and win a medal for our country. It is a privilege to have this challenge ahead of us, to represent our country. Between now and then, there is lots of hard work left to do in order to be in the best possible position come the first race. Right now we are in Rio testing our kit and more importantly, practicing our sailing on the waters of Guanabara Bay.
The last few days we have been racing against all of our main rivals with some fairly informal racing. We have been super happy with how everything has been going in the run up to the Olympics. Our decision making had been as good as it gets and the boat is fast. There are still some tweaks needed and we made some silly errors over the 2 days racing, losing some big points. We are here to identify these weakness and improve them ahead of the games. Alongside the improvements on the water, we have also been working tirelessly off the ware to keep the boat in the best shape it can be. We have a large toolbox filled with Silverline tools out here in Rio, making it easy to manage and maintain the boat. Over the next few days we are going to continue racing against our main rivals, looking to improve on what we have learnt already and make gains. Then it's time for us to head home and have some down time before our final trip out here for the games on the 27th July, although racing doesn't start for us until the 12th so there is plenty of time to make those final gains. It's such an exciting time for us and we're enjoying every second. Dylan and Alain You can keep up with our progress on Twitter www.twitter.com/silverline49ers
Rachel takes her 9th National Championship at Revolution Bike Park, Llangynog
"The sun always shines in the Nog..." Well, actually practice day was on and off showers all day with the team swapping between wets (Bontrager G Mud) and drys (Bontrager G5) all day. The track was super slippery so the team were going as hard as they dared... By Sunday the sun was baking and the track had dried out well, definitely a day for G5s all round. The track at Llangynog is tight and technical at the top yet fairly groomed at the bottom with some fast berms. First up for seeding was Kade Edwards for the Atherton Academy riding in Youth Category. Kade was fast but made a mistake which led to him dismounting his bike but he managed to keep on his feet and jump back on, crossing the line 3.74 seconds clear of the field! Rachel had a text book run to take the seeding win by almost 8 seconds but insufficient gaps meant that Tahnee Seagrave had to overtake 2 riders on her run, even so she crossed the line into third just 0.2 seconds behind her good friend Manon Carpenter - what would Finals bring? Gee and Taylor both put in steady runs to seed in 7th and 18th respectively. Seeding - Youth Men 1. Kade Edwards, Atherton Academy - 2.47.692 2. Scott Riley, Revolution Bike Park - 2.51.434 + 3.742 3. Jamie Edmondson, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.53.749 + 6.057 4. Alec Geyser, We Love Mountains - 2.54.002 + 6.310 5. Jack Mills, Revolution Bike Park - 2.54.192 + 6.500 Seeding - Senior Championship Women 1. Rachel Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.51.694 2. Manon Carpenter, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 2.51.434 + 3.742 3. Tahnee Seagrave, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.59.74 + 8.046 4. Sophia Paull - 3.37.724 + 46.030 5. Lucy Drees, Grips - 3.43.466+51.772 Seeding - Senior Championship Men 1. Greg Williamson, Cube Global Squad - 2.34.841 2. Danny Hart, MS Mondraker Team - 2.36.08 + 1.239 3. Jack Reading, One Vision Global Racing - 2.37.694 + 2.854 4. Steve Peat, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.37.796 + 2.955 5. Jay Williamson, Steve Peat Syndicate Global - 2.38.627 + 3.786 7. Gee Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.39.565 + 4.724 18. Taylor Vernon, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.43.581 + 8.74 In the Finals run, Kade was excited and positive after his seeding run, he was looking fast and assured but disaster struck and he crashed in his race run on a grassy turn, slamming straight into a tree. He lost valuable time getting back on his bike, crossing into 4th place. Kade said: "Absolutely gutted, I know the speed is there, I just have to stay on my bike." In the Women's Race, Tahnee went through into first, Manon never really getting into contention 5 seconds behind her. Rachel blasted down the hill, beating her seeding time by another 2 seconds, taking the National Champs win by a clear 8 seconds. Rachel said: "I was really nervous coming into this weekend after Tahnee got so close at the World Cup but I soon forgot that once I started riding and having fun with all of the British riders. The tracl was wicked fun and I'm over the moon to take my 6th consecutive National Champs!" In the Men's race, Taylor Vernon put in an awesome run to cross into the hot-seat from his 18th place in seeding. He held that position for a while but eventually riders started to come through faster - he had done enough for an eventual 8th place. Taylor said: "I rode fast and aggressive, it wasn't the perfect run but it was good, something just clicked, I'm stoked." Gee had qualified in 7th but as in seeding, he struggled to find his flow, finishing in 9th. Gee said: "I struggled today to get up and over, hard to find my flow. Stoked for TV though, great run by the little bro." Youth Men Finals 1. Henry Kerr, Revolution CT - 2.44.095 2. Jamie Edmondson, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.48.388 + 4.293 3. Riley Scott, Revolution Bike Park - 2.49.124 + 5.029 4. Kade Edwards, Atherton Academy - +5.647 5. Alec Geyer, We Love Mountains - +7.101 Senior Championship Women 1. Rachel Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.44.095 2. Tahnee Seagrave, Transition/FMD Racing - 2.57.882 + 8.195 3. Manon Carpenter, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 3.03.582 + 13.895 4. Sophia Paull - 3.35.582 + 45.895 5. Lucy Drees, Grips - 3.37.488 + 47.801 Senior Championship Men 1. Greg Williamson, Cube Global Squad - 2.33.508 2. Danny Hart, MS Mondraker Team - 2.33.883 + 0.375 3. Steve Peat, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.35.760 + 2.252 4. Josh Bryceland, Santa Cruz Syndicate - 2.35.760 + 2.252 5. Marc Beaumont, Madison Saracen Factory Team - 2.36.286 + 2.778 8. Taylor Vernon, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.36.829 + 3.321 9. Gee Atherton, Trek Factory Racing DH - 2.37.331 + 3.823 Images - Dan Hearn
Race Report: UCI World Cup 2016, Lenzerheide: Rachel takes her 11th consecutive win!
Another win for Rach! 15th for Gee and 42nd for Taylor!
Saturdays Finals were to prove another scorcher in Lenzerheide this weekend. There’s been some rain overnight but the track had dried out nicely by the time the Women came on course.
5th place qualifier Manon Carpenter went into the hotseat with 3.41.304, still 2 seconds off Rachel and Tahnee’s qualifying times it looked beatable, but next up Tracey Hannah crashed out. French rider Myriam Nicole on her comeback race put in a fast run to take he hotseat from Manon by over 2 seconds then only Rachel and Tahnee were left on course. Rachel hadn’t seemed to be able to find her flow and had been uncertain of some of her line choices this week but all that was put behind her as she posted fastest times at every split, crossing the line 6 seconds ahead of Pompon. But Tahnee was on super-form, would the young Brit (Rachel’s friend of longstanding) take her first World Cup win?
The Trek Factory Racing team held their breath, Tahnee was down at split 1 but only by 1 second, 0.7 by split 2. At split 3 the gap had widened to 2 seconds and it looked like she might not make up the time but Tahnee stepped on the gas to cross just 0.7 secs behind Rachel. The 11th consecutive win was in the bag and this season’s clean sweep continues.
After the race Rachel said “ That was close!! So nerve-wracking. Tahnee is pushing me so hard right now, awesome racing and it’s so cool to watch our different line choices and how much they impact on the split times.”
In the Men’s race 19 year old Taylor Vernon was first up. He put in a great run, crossing the line into 2nd, a fast time that would earn him 42nd place, his second best result this season. Higher up the rankings it was 19th qualifier Aaron Gwin who really set the bar putting 5 seconds into Brendan Fairclough to take the hot-seat early on. Gee had qualified in 14th. His run was all about alternative line choices as time and again he took a different way down. He was 1.5 down at split 2, putting him in line for 5th but he kept on pushing, fully committed. Unlike Gwin who’d looked on the edge of control all the way down Gee looked composed but was having to pedal out of the turns. He lost some more time to cross into 6th , enough for an eventual 15th place. Into the top 3, Greg Minaar looked very fast but crossed 1.6 seconds back , George Brannigan never got in touch, he was 9th by split 1, enough fr an eventual 10th place then only Hart was on course. At split 1 he was down by a fraction, not the end of the world, but he didn’t really want that gap to get bigger… but it did. At split 2 he was further back in third, the same at split 3 where the gap was a full second, the crowd began to believe that Gwin was the winner but Danny roared through the last 30 seconds of the track like a man possessed to take the win by just 0.096. Massive Congrats to Danny today – we’re all stoked for him! Results Elite Women 1 Rachel Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 3.33.859 2 Tahnee Seagrave – Transition Factory Racing/FMD 3.34.566 +0.7 3 Myriam Nicole – Commencal/Vallnord 3.39.569. +5.71 4 Manon Carpenter – Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.41.304 +7.445 5 Emilie Siegenthaler – Pivot Factory Racing 3.42.461 +8.602 Elite Men 1 Danny Hart MS Mondraker 3:05.710 2 Aaron Gwin 3:05.806 +0.096 3 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 3:07.327 +1.617 4 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 3:08.276 +2.566 5 Conor Fearon Kona Factory Team 3.09.369 +3.659 15 Gee Atherton – Trek Factory Racing DH 3.12.544 +6.834 42 Taylor Vernon– Trek Factory Racing DH 3.16.243 +10.533 Pics: Sven Martin
The King of Croft retains his crown
Saturday morning's practice sessions showed that the cars had good pace with the lap times improving as the morning went on. The afternoon's qualifying session saw double BTCC champion Colin Turkington dominating from early on and gradually improving his times throughout the 30 minute shoot out and showing an outstanding performance being the fastest out of the four Subaru Levorg GTs with a time of 1m 23.608s. This was Colin's second consecutive British Touring Car Championship pole position start for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing, placing him in the hot seat for the opening race of the day for round 13 on Sunday. There was disappointment for Warren as he fought hard to be the highest placed of the Subaru Levorg GT's and ended up having a brief sideways off into the wall, however the car was repaired and he completed the remainder of the session. James was also left deflated after setting an impressive time of 41m 24.20s before having it disallowed for track limits. Jason set the 4th quickest time with Warren in 21st and James in 25th with a gap of just 1.4 seconds between the quartet. The opening encounter on Sunday brought a historical 1-2 finish for Silverline Subaru BMR Racing, during a race that was plagued with incidents and three safety car periods. Starting from the pole position, Colin had a great start with 2nd place starter Daniel Lloyd attempting a move around the outside of the circuit into the first corner, however Lloyd turned in too early and across the nose of Colin that resulted in contact with the front of the Subaru which subsequently sent the Honda into the tyre wall. Thankfully Colin escaped without damage and retained his lead. The incident also caught up a number of other cars and brought a safety car to the proceedings. Jason had an equally impressive start to the race moving to the inside line and tucking up behind Colin and settling in 2nd place. When racing resumed on lap 3, Colin held off Jason with both cars setting superb lap times, with the fastest of the race set by Colin on lap 5. By lap 8 there was a second safety car period after Mark Howard lost control into the first corner and went hard into the tyre wall. With Warren running in 18th and James in 23rd racing resumed on lap 10, but it was short lived after Kelvin Fletcher first tagged Dan Welch at the hairpin, that resulted in Fletcher spearing James off on the outside of the track ripping the wheel and suspension off the rear of his Levorg and putting an end to his race. The third safety car period began on lap 13 to retrieve the stricken Mercedes of Aiden Moffatt. The safety car came in at the end of lap 16 so Colin did all he could to make a break from the now bunched up chasing pack and led home the Subarus for a 1-2 finish with a gap of 1.3 seconds to Jason. Warren came home in 16th place and just one place short of a point scoring position. A delighted Colin collected the winner's trophy for the 38th time in his BTCC career and a second time for us at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing. An ecstatic Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of Subaru UK, also took to the podium for the second time in 2016 to collect the winning manufacturer trophy for Subaru UK.
Following on from the superb results from the opening race, Colin would be lining up on Pole Position once again albeit with an extra 75kgs of success ballast on board, with Jason alongside him on the front row with 66kgs. Warren would start from 16th with James having plenty of work to do from 26th after the team did a stellar job repairing the rear of his Subaru Levorg GT. As the lights went out it was Jason who got off to a flyer and shot into first place as Colin tucked in neatly behind him in 2nd. Further down the field the usual first corner mayhem struck again and once again James was forced off the circuit and into the gravel trap that resulted in yet another short safety car period for the next lap.
Jason set the fastest lap on the restart at the end of lap 3, and led by six tenths of a second before Colin retook the lead on Lap 5. With the rear wheel drive BMW’s of Jack Goff and Rob Collard looming ever nearer and hot on our tails, the pressure was on and with our Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers having a ‘free to race, no team orders policy’ the battle continued for the lead until lap 8 when Jason went for a gap in an attempt to pass up the inside of Colin at Tower but the two cars made contact sending Colin sideways, which in turn slowed up Jason and Goff, allowing Collard through from fourth to take the lead forcing Jason back into 2nd and Colin into 3rd. Warren was running in 19th until contact on lap 12 sent him into a spin at Hawthorn, however he managed to re-join the race before further contact from Kelvin Fletcher caused yet another spin on lap 15. Jason doubled up with another podium in 2nd with Colin right behind him in 3rd. Warren finished the race in 26th place in his rather battle scarred Levorg.
The reverse grid draw selection was made by Team BMR guest and 23 times Isle of Man TT Champion John McGuinness. Number 8 was pulled out of the bag placing Sam Tordoff on pole Position. Colin would be the highest placed Subaru in 6th, with Jason in 7th. Warren would take his finishing position from race two placing him 26th with James at the back of the grid in 32nd after his non finish. As the cars took to the grid the rain started to fall, and with it only being light the stewards hadn't called a wet race so it was up to the teams to choose which tyres to run, so a few took a big gamble and ran on slick tyres. However, all four Subaru Levorg pilots elected for wets and it soon became apparent that was the right choice as the heavens opened early on in the race.
Once again all four made a great start, but unfortunately it was Warren this time that was forced wide and into the gravel trap on turn one bringing an early safety car. Colin had made his way up to 4th, as Jason lost a few places and sat in 11th. James remained at the tail of the field having not made any advantage thus far.
When racing resumed on Lap 3 Colin found a way past the BMW of Goff around the outside moving up to 3rd. With Jackson on slicks he and Moffatt made contact on lap 5 the safety car was deployed once more whilst Moffatts Mercedes was lifted to safety. At the end of lap 9 Ash Sutton made a move in the MG making contact with Colin which then gave an advantage to the BMW of Collard and forcing Colin back into 5thplace.
The safety car was deployed once again between lap 14and lap 17 to retrieve the car of Hunter Abbott after contact with Jeff Smith bunching up the field once again. The last two laps would be a sprint to the line with Colin finishing in a great point scoring position of 7th, Jason 10th and James 21st. Rookie Sutton took the win, the first of his BTCC career.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now takes it annual summer break and reconvenes at the testing twists and turns of Norfolk’s Snetterton Circuit in six weeks’ time over the weekend of the 30th and 31st of July.
In the meantime Jason Plato will be attempting the Hill Climb at Goodwood this week with Colin Turkington’s’ car on display at the Subaru UK stand.
Quotes from the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing drivers:
Warren Scott – “Once again I am absolutely over the moon with the results for the team over the weekend, I think it really shows how far the guys have brought the Levorg’s on. We’ve still got a lot to do in the second half of the season but we’re feeling very confident with the challenge that lies ahead.”
Jason Plato - “Another great weekend for us, we are making great progress with the Subaru Levorg. To be as competitive as we are at this early stage in the cars development is very exciting as we know there is still so much more performance to unlock. Race one was another historic milestone for the team with our first one-two, it was a shame that Colin didn't see my move for the lead in race two as I'm sure we would have had produced another one-two. The wet race three was a learning curve for me as it was my first wet race in a rear wheel drive touring car. After the first few laps I re-calibrated my driving style and was thereafter setting fastest laps. I can't wait for Snetterton to come, I really believe the second half of the season will belong to us. Huge thanks to everyone in the team, our success is a result of their huge efforts. Cheers boy’s n girls.”
Colin Turkington - “I'm really pleased to continue my race winning form at Croft and make further strides with the development of the Subaru Levorg. We did the hard work on Saturday claiming another pole position and that helped set me up for a good race day. Wins don't come easy in the BTCC and I had to work really hard for this one, especially with three safety car periods. Croft was a track that played to our strengths, but it was still an amazing job by the team to turn up and deliver the results that everyone expected. Two podiums in any race weekend is a good return and overall I'm happy to walk away with a good haul of points and another victory."
James Cole - “I received a tweet on Sunday night from a Subaru fan, saying ‘If James didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all…’ couldn’t have summed it up better myself. It’s amazing how your weekend can be shaped by one decision. From being seventh in qualifying with a minute to go to twenty fifth sixty seconds later because of a judicial decision is a tough pill to swallow. My aim for Croft was to qualify solidly inside the top ten and get three solid results, which would have been a great step forward from Oulton Park. The positives to take out of the weekend are we achieved our aim only to get it taken away. With the championship being as competitive as it is, it was always a tough ask to carve through the field, even with a proven place.”
To learn more about the Subaru Levorg sport tourer, visit www.subaru.co.uk
Photo credits MJP Media
Rachel makes history by taking her 10th consecutive World Cup
Rach pedals into history but Gee's shoulder injury forces him to settle for 15th while Taylor is a disappointing 77th UCI Downhill Mountatin Bike World Cup, Leogang, Austria, 12th June 2016 Rachel Atherton took her 10th consecutive World Cup win in Austria and now hold more consecutive World Cups than any rider in the history of the sport, beating the record set in 2001 by French rider Anne-Caroline Chausson.
Leogang is not one of Rachel's favourite venues; in the past she's criticised the track as "bike parky" but substantial work by organisers over the last couple of years has ensured there's plenty of challenges with ultra-fast straights, rocks, roots and plenty of drops, and tunnels. But it's the weather in Leogang that probably presents the biggest challenge. Fluctuating track conditions saw riders practising and racing their qualifiers in ankle-deep mud one minute, then in drying loam and dust the next. Adaptability would prove to be key – and Rachel’s G5 2.5s!
As fastest qualifier, Rachel rode last. When she came on course, fellow Brit Tahnee Seagrave was in the hot seat with a time of 4.14.764. The track had largely dried out though there were slippery mud patches hiding in the woods. Rachel started as she meant to go on, cannoning out of the start-gate to go 1.8 seconds faster than Tahnee by the first split. It wasn’t a textbook run; Rachel washed out in a couple of turns and made a mistake in the roots section that cost her time but she extended her lead at every split - 3.223 seconds up by split 2, 4.779 seconds up by split 3 and 5.927 seconds up by split 4. She gained about a second with a courageous straight-line through the rock garden and finished her run with a massive jump to cross the line 5.3 seconds clear of the field in 4.09.394.
Rachel said: “I can’t believe it, I’m so tired and so happy. I honestly thought I might crash today, I was so nervous that I threw up in the trailer! That run was so wild and loose, I knew that I had to pull out all the stops! Massive thanks to my team who always believe in me, my brothers, my mum and dad and the awesome sponsors who make sure I have the best of everything! And to the fans - hearing them shout my name is what keeps me upright.”
By the time, the men came on course the track was even drier. Taylor Vernon had qualified in 67th so was first up for the team, hoping to improve on yesterday’s run. But it wasn’t to be, two crashes, one in the middle woods section and one in the technical bottom rock section put paid to his hopes. He crossed the line in 3.59.16, enough for an eventual 77th place.
When Gee Atherton came on course, Connor Fearon was in the hot seat. Gee looked as if he’d found a lot of flow and was just 0.788 back at split 1, 1.6 back at split 2. Given that he is such a powerful rider and one of the fittest on the circuit, he should have had no trouble pulling back that time on the lower sections; he made up 1.3 seconds to go just 0.32 down by split 3 and maintained good speed through the rocks with a more daring line than anybody had taken before but fading strength in his shoulder, injured in that huge crash at Fort William last week (and bashed again during a practice tumble!) meant that he couldn’t make it count and despite a textbook-looking run that left commentators scratching their heads as to where he’d lost the time, Gee crossed into 5th – enough for an eventual 15th place.
But it was the top 7 qualifiers who were to bring the action this afternoon. Seventh-qualifier Troy Brosnan put in a huge run to knock Brit Greg Williamson off the hot seat by more than 4 seconds. Brendan Fairclough’s early mistake put him out of the rinning then Greg Minnaar was on course. Greg was back 0.7 by split one and put in an unusually loose run with a mistake on a steep right-hander and uncertainty through the rocks costing him time, enough for an eventual 5th. Danny Hart had UK fans on the edge of their seats when he showed in the green at split 4 but he lost his advantage in the final section to cross the line 1.2 seconds down from Troy, enough for an eventual 4th. Mike Jones went down in the top section then only Loris Vergier and Aaron Gwin were left on course. The crowd went wild as Loris was up at split 1, 2, and 3, and 4… he crossed into the hot seat a second clear, what could Gwin do? The American was down at splits 1 and 2 but he powered into the lead by split 3 and the race was his - he crossed the line in 3.28.68, an amazing 3.13 clear of the field.
Gee said: “I’ve struggled a bit this weekend with a shoulder that’s a lot sorer than I’d realised. That was all I had in my arm for strength, I didn't leave anything up there, it was touch and go whether I'd be able to ride so I'm happy really. Now some serious rehab before Lenzerheide."
Images: Sven Martin
A PODIUM HAT-TRICK MAKES HISTORY FOR SILVERLINE SUBARU BMR RACING AT OULTON PARK
After three previously challenging weekends in the opening rounds of the BTCC series, the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team made some changes to the chassis and engine after withdrawing from the proceedings at Thruxton. A two day test followed in Wales to ensure that the gremlins were put to bed before travelling to Oulton Park. Speaking of the test Team Manager Alan Cole commented “Recent progress was made with the chassis and engine after a two day test at Pembrey. We would like to thank Mountune who have put in a huge effort to produce a competitive engine in such a short space of time.”
The Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team then backed that up when they entered the history books at Oulton Park at the weekend with Double Champion Colin Turkington scoring the team’s first Subaru win in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
With all four cars having shown good pace in the two Saturday morning free practice sessions, the team went into the afternoons qualifying session feeling confident of a good result. Colin Turkington delivered the goods producing a blistering 1m:26.264s lap around the 2.26 mile Cheshire circuit, setting the team’s first Silverline Subaru pole position. Jason was running in 2nd place for the first part of the session and eventually qualified in an impressive 6th with a time of 1m:26.366s. James set the 18thquickest time with Warren qualifying in 23rd and just 1.025s adrift of Colin’s benchmark time.
For the opening race of the weekend Colin made a great start from pole position fighting off challenges from Sam Tordoff in the BMW during the opening stages, before stretching his lead with a lights to flag victory and making it the team’s first ever win in the Subaru Levorg GT sports tourer. Jason endured a great battle with Honda’s Gordon Shedden after finally making the move on lap 12 and placing him in 3rd position, making it a double podium for the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing team. Warren and James both drove a great race and finished in 17thand 18th respectively. The team were also handed the manufacturer win that was greatly received by the Managing Director of Subaru UK Paul Tunnicliffe.
For race two all four drivers would start in their finishing positions from the opener. With Colin back on pole and Jason set to line up in 3rd, both drivers made a great start but Tordoff immediately took the lead leaving Colin and Jason battling for 2nd. Colin held off Jason and took the place ahead of his team mate in 3rd, making it another outstanding double podium with celebrations all round for the team. Warren brought his car home in 19thas James retired from the race after suffering a hit from behind causing him braking issues.
The reverse grid for Race 3 would see Honda’s Matt Neal drawn on pole position with Jason set to line up in 5th, Colin 7th, Warren 18th and James 31st. The 15 lap final shoot out was a great end to the day with an exciting battle for 3rd position between several competitors including Jason and Colin, which lingered throughout the entire race. A last gasp opportunity at Lodge corner would see Jason passing around the outside of several drivers that produced a hat-trick of third place finishes. Colin held onto a fantastic 7th place as both James and Warren pitted dropping them both down the order and as the flag fell Warren crossed the line in 24th with James retiring in pit-lane.
Silverline Subaru BMR Racing were awarded the Team Trophy for the weekend.
The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship now moves on to Croft in Yorkshire in two weeks’ time (18th& 19th June).
Paul Tunnicliffe Managing Director of Subaru UK commented “After the disappointment of Thruxton this result tasted very sweet indeed. We always had faith in the car, the team and drivers, and knew that this day was bound to come. With scope for more development, we are confident that this will be no flash in the pan.”
Warren Scott commented “Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Subaru UK, Jason, Colin, James and everyone in the team at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing along with all of our sponsors for getting us here. I am very proud of everyone involved in the project and everyone should remember that these cars are only six months old and we have just won our first race. We are all absolutely delighted”.
Colin Turkington commented “Oulton Park was the moment we’ve all been waiting on and worked so hard for. The true potential of the Subaru Levorg finally came to the fore and it was a weekend none of us will forget in a hurry. I’m so pleased for everyone involved and I hope in some small way this repays the incredible efforts over the past five months. It was a special feeling to make history and deliver the maiden win for Subaru in the BTCC and in truth it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I can’t imagine anyone expected such rapid progress, but we knew it was only a matter of time. It’s even more encouraging to see the cars run so well with success ballast after Race 1 and we’re even more convinced the Subaru Levorg will become a real championship challenger.”
Jason Plato Commented “What a fantastic weekend for everyone at Silverline Subaru BMR Racing. We should be enormously proud of our successes at Oulton Park. We really have arrived in some style. The future is very bright for us all and I can’t wait to get back in the car for Croft.
James Cole Commented“is it Croft yet!!?? I cannot wait to get back in this fantastic car and tackle the next circuit. A massive congratulations to Colin, Jason and the rest of the Subaru Silverline BMR Racing team on such an amazing weekend. Sadly for myself the cards didn’t fall for me like I’d hoped. Oulton Park is a circuit I know well and really expected better. A few issues pre-qualifying put our car on the back foot going into qualifying, which in reality at the moment effected my whole weekend. We have a fantastic car, we just need to make it a little faster in race pace; if we can do this we will be such a force to be reckoned with….. So, is it Croft yet!!??”
Rachel Atherton takes her 9th consecutive World Cup win!
Rachel takes her 9th Consecutive World Cup win - but Gee crashes hard. Race Report: World Cup 2016 Round 3, Fort William
Fort William is known as one of the toughest on the World Cup Circuit. It’s a track that Rachel loves and yet for years she had to settle for second place here. She had to wait until 2013 to take her first World Cup victory on home soil, but today she made it a hat-trick of Fort William wins, at the same time equaling the record for most consecutive World Cups, held since 2001 by Anne Caro Chausson.
Gee and Taylor both fell foul of the Fort this weekend – Taylor failed to qualify by just 0.1 second but Gee took the qualifying win – only to crash out in spectacular style on his Finals run.
It was a blisteringly hot day at Nevis range when the Women racers came on course. Rachel had qualified in second place after a small crash at the entrance to the woods. When she came on course for her Finals run Tracey Hannah was in the hot-seat with a time of 5.23.268.
Rachel rocketed out of the start gate. By the first split she was 4.41 seconds ahead of Tracey and by split 2 that lead had stretched to an amazing 12.83 seconds. There was a moment of trepidation for Rachel’s friends and fans as a small mistake caused her dab a foot but she held her bike up to edge up to 12.44 seconds clear by split 3, then 13.02 seconds at split 4, crossing the line in 5.11.219.
Only Manon Carpenter was left on course but she couldn’t match Rachel and was down 1.5 seconds by split 1. Through the woods the gap increased to 9.2 seconds, then disaster struck as a small crash put her off the bike. With true Welsh grit she climbed back onto the bike and pedalled for the finish line to take 3rd place .
Rachel said – I am so happy Fort William is the best!! I struggled to win here for a long time and then it clicked that to win here I’d have to take my brain out at the start gate! Fort William is the only track I race completely out of control!
Gee was also racing for his Fort William World Cup hat trick today and the team were optimistic after his first place qualis run.
Greg Minaar has won more World Cups at Fort William than anybody else. He had flatted in qualifications but as a protected rider he raced today – 19th from poll position. He put in a storming run of 4.35.601, would it be enough?
Greg was still in the hotseat when the time came that Stevie Smith would have been on track. With Danny Hart and Laurie Greenland who’d crossed in 2ndand 3rd he held up the Canadian flag as the stadium fell silent to honour Stevie.
Into the top 5. Adam Brayton looked sketchy the whole way down but crossed into 3rd to the great delight of the crowd, Troy Brosnan crossed into 4th then Aaron Gwin blasted through into 2ndplace. Surprise 2nd place qualifier Ed Masters’ luck ran out and he crashed hard twice, crossing the course tapes to get tangled in vegetation and end the race in 77th.
Only Gee was left on course. He came out of the start gate 100% committed and the crowd held their breath as he showed up 0.47 seconds on Gwin at split 1, he dabbed a foot on a corner but looked to be fully recovered until a slip put him down hard, ending his hopes for the weekend.
Gee said “ That was a stupid slip and it hurt! But I’m stoked to be back up to speed.”
Elite Women Results
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 5.11.219
2 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 5.23.268
3 Manon Carpenter Madison Saracen Factory Team +12.049
4 Katy Curd 5.41.024 +29.8025
5 Morgane Charre Bergamont Hayes Factory Team 5.43.049 + 31.830
Elite Men’s Results
1 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.35.601
2 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 4.38.958 +3.357
3 Danny Hart MS Mondraker Team 4.39.596
4 Adam Brayton 4.39.647 +4.046
5 Troy Brosnan 4.40.335 +4.734
61 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 5.02.144 +26.54
After 3 rounds Rachel leads the World Cup Standings by 190 points (730 to Manon Carpenter’s 540). Gee sits in 8thwith 264 points to Aaron Gwin’s 560.
#TheBox heads to the Highlands for the second round of the 2016 British Downhill Series
#TheBox headed out to the Highlands for the second round of the 2016 British Downhill Series and the legendary track that is Fort William.
What better way to kick off #TheBox than to take it to the bike-beater that is Fort William. Busy was an understatement for this round, Fort William was breaking bikes almost faster than we could fix them.
Going to Fort William and driving through the Highlands is a highlight of the race series for us.
It wasn’t long before we were nursing bikes back onto the mountain.
We try to fix everything, but sometimes Gaffa-Tape just won’t do it.
Next event is the Bala British Downhill Series so if you need your bike fixed, you know where we are!
Cheers, Rob @ Ride.io
Race Report: 2016 World Cup Round 2, Cairns, Australia, 23nd-24th April 2016
Rachel Atherton takes the win by 7 seconds
Celebrations for the unstoppable Rachel but disappointment for Gee Atherton in 22nd and Taylor Vernon DNS
Mixed emotions for the Trek Factory Racing Downhill team this weekend with awesome Rachel taking her 8th consecutive World Cup win but Gee was one of several big names who just couldn’t find their flow this weekend, finishing 22nd.
Taylor crashed out in practice; instead of starting his Finals race in his best-ever position he was hospitalised, being X-rayed for possible fractures to his arm and shoulder. He’s been given the all-clear and is back with the team - heal up soon, Tay!
The weather in Cairns has been uncertain all week, producing chaos in yesterday’s Qualification Race where every woman in the race crashed out. At one point Rachel tweeted that she was running down the hill after her bike!
But to the riders’ huge relief, Finals day dawned sunny and dry. The track was running fast, but even in the drier conditions the “rock garden”, a huge obstacle near the top of the course, was catching out a lot of riders, including fourth seed, Emilie Siegenthaler. But not so the 3rd qualifier, local rider Tracey Hannah who lives just 10 minutes from here and sailed through the rock garden in exemplary fashion to take the hot seat by 6 seconds.
Only the UK’s Manon Carpenter and Rachel Atherton were left on course. Manon was slower into the rock garden and couldn’t quite make up the time on Tracey crossing the line into 2nd place.
Rachel won here in 2014 at the last Cairns World Cup. The last woman on course carried good speed through the rock garden then drove hard up the jumps to show an advantage of 2.8 seconds at split 1, extended to over 5 secs by split 2. Rachel is known for her physical power so her relentless pedal to the finish surprised no-one - she crossed the line over 7 seconds clear of the field.
After the race an exhausted Rachel said: “That final pedal was a killer! I heard the commentator say 7.5 seconds down and I was really disappointed, I’d felt like I had a good run, I panicked! I’m glad I got that wrong, and of course I’m ecstatic to win but at the same time there’s a part of me that’s gutted for Tracey – I know how emotional it is to win on your home turf and she rode a great race.”
Women’s Elite Finals Results
1 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.48.56
2 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 3:55.664 +7.09
3 Manon Carpenter Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.58.37 +9.8
Rachel extends her lead in the UCI Women’s Downhill standings with 490 points. She is 135 points clear of fellow Brits Tahnee Seagrave (355 points) and Manon (350 points).
In the Men’s race, Taylor Vernon couldn’t start. He said: “I’m absolutely gutted, a stupid crash on my 2nd practice run of the day, but thankfully nothing’s broken so I’m hoping to be back on track for Fort William. I’m gonna have some bruises tonight!”
Australian (and eventual 5th place finisher) Josh Button was still in the hot seat when 10th qualifier Gee Atherton came on course. Last time Gee rode this course in 2014 he took the win so there was a lot of excitement in the crowd as he came on course. What could he do in these very different conditions?
Gee started strongly. He looked very smooth and fast across the rock garden but was perhaps a bit wide as he came into the jumps, just 0.48 back from Button at the second split. But a small mistake in the roots of the central section put him 1.8 back by split 3. Gee is known as one fittest riders on the circuit so should have taken the bottom section of the course in his stride but today he couldn’t pull back any time and crossed the line in 14th – enough for an eventual 22nd.
No-one could get near Josh Button until the top 4 qualifiers, Loic Bruni, Aaron Gwin, Troy Brosnan and Mick Hannah, were on course. Bruni was first up. The Frenchman put in a scorching run, keeping it low over the jumps and going 4 seconds up by the 2nd split to take the hot seat by almost 4 seconds. Would it be enough for his first ever World Cup win?
Third qualifier Aaron Gwin crossed into 2nd, almost 3 seconds back then only the locals were left on course. Mick Hannah had a little mistake out of the gate but was delighted to sprint into 2nd. Could last man down Troy Brosnan catch Loic? Troy stayed smooth, he was 0.02 back at split 3 and the crowd went crazy, now it was all about the sprint! He crossed the line just 0.49 back – Loic had his first win and it was 3 out of 5 Aussie for the Cairns top 5!
Gee said: “Massive congratulations to Loic, a storming run from him. A terrible day for me - just couldn’t put it together here and I’m gutted for Tay missing his Finals run. News is looking a bit more hopeful from that side though – heal up soon, bro!”
Men’s Elite Final Results
1 Loic Bruni Specialized Gravity powered by Sram 3.23.69
2 Troy Brosnan Specialized Racing 3.24.18 + 0.49
3 Mick Hannah Polygon UR 3.24.62 +0.92
4 Aaron Gwin YT Mob 3.26.64 +2.95
5 Joshua Button 3.27.48 +3.78
22 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.30.89 +7.89