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Race Report: UCI World Cup 2017 Round 6: Mont St Anne, Canada

Rachel and Kade podium with 5th places and Gee and Muddy ride awesome runs in wet conditions for 17th and 40th place.

Mont St Anne is a World Cup Classic, it's long, brutal and this year it's more rocky than it has ever been before. Rain in the last few days had left the course pretty slippery but all eyes were to the skies as thunderstorms rolled into Mont St Anne today with 100% likelihood of rain forecast - when would the storm him and who would suffer the consequences?

First up as ever were the juniors - and it stayed dry for them! Finn Iles had qualified down in ninth so perhaps unsurprisingly he was in the hot seat with Joe Breeden in 2nd and Nikolas Nesteroff in third when fourth qualifier Kade came on track. What could our rising star bring to today's race?

Kade didn't have a confident start, 4 seconds back by the first split but that was to be the least of it, a mistake in the woods saw him with his hands off the bars losing more valuable time and near the bottom he smashed hard into a rock partially detaching a pedal and rendering it useless for the rest of the run. 

Kade's good friend Kaos Seagrave had qualified in third but was way back in 15th today, Sylvian Cougoureux slotted into 2nd pushing Kade back into 5th and then only first place qualifier Matt Walker was left on track. Trouble in the bottom section (rumours of a puncture) ended Walker's weekend and Kade's 5th stood. 

In the women's race 6th qualifier Emilie Siegenthaler roared into the hot seat by 12 seconds just before the top 5 came on course, then the action got pretty wild! Marine Cabirou had trouble and was way off the pace then 4th qualifier Tahnee Seagrave was on track. Tahnee attacked all the way holding nothing back and it paid huge dividends, into the hotseat 12.75 seconds clear of Siegenthaler. Could Rachel match her?

Rachel started more steadily than usual and was slightly down by split 1, 2.5 down by split 2 and then disaster struck. She got completely sideways in the rocks and it was nothing short of a miracle that she managed to hold on and stay within the tapes as she veered to the side of the course. 6.1 seconds back by split 3, she had a few more sketchy moments and was 9.5 down on Seagrave by split 4, crossing the line in 3rd place. 

Tracey Hannah had a good fast run, but a flat right at the end of the course probably stole her 2nd place from her. Myriam Pompon didn't have a great start, losing her pedals out of the start hut but she composed herself and put together a good run - enough for 2nd place. 

Rachel said: "Congratulations to Tahnee and to Pompon, Tracey and Emilie. It's been a wild weekend. Only physio Fi Lundie's sterling work enabled me to hold on out there today!"

In the Men's race, Gee had qualified 31st, still nursing his hip he put together another solid run despite slippery conditions to finish 4.24.77 - just 8 seconds off his dry qualifying run and eventually good enough for 17th place. 

Muddy had qualified in 13th and was super-excited that at last he felt he was finding his flow, but shortly before his Finals run the storm arrived in earnest and looked likely to put paid to the entire top 20's chances. Muddy was one of the first to ride the storm and the driving rain put paid to his quest for a top ten result. He rode with the confidence of a successful week's riding behind him but he crossed in 4.29.83 (18 seconds back on his qualifying time), enough for 40th. Muddy said: "That was the wildest run of my life! I'm extremely happy with how I approached this weekend. I was calm, relaxed and shredding! Pity Mother Nature had other ideas for me! Crazy that this is my best result of the season though!"





National Championships 2017 Rhyd y Felin

Rachel takes National Championships for the 6th consecutive year and it's podiums for all this weekend with 3rd places for Kade and Luke.

The pits felt quiet with Gee resting his shoulder and repping the team at Trek World in Germany, Mille riding Norwegian National Champs and Muddy over in Australia. 

So it was all down to Luke in Youth, Kade in Juniors and Rachel in the senior women on a glorious afternoon in Rhyd y Felin. 

Seeding went well despite a track that was "like a bog" at the top. Tight wooded sections, berms, roots and a stump gap that's caused at least five flats kept the challenge level high. 

First up was Luke in the Youths. 2nd seed Luke said: "The track was pretty tacky, I had a couple of small mistakes but I'll know what to do for Finals".

Kade wasn't that stoked on his seeding run saying "it was just alright", but he was still the highest ranked first year junior - just over 3 seconds behind leader Matt Walker and 3rd overall. 

In women's seeding Rachel went 2.7 seconds clear of Tahnee Seagrave in 3.17.32.

By the time the Youth Men came on track for Finals the track was drying out well and feeling good. 3rd seed Jamie Edmondson put in a scorching run bettering the seeding times by almost 5 seconds. Luke couldn't quite match his pace but first seed Morgan Tyrell brought the goods to take the win in 3.09.92.

Luke said "the track was in better condition, I just took it too easy, way too average for a National Champs - it's horrible when you cross the line and you just want to go and do it again, pushing harder." 

The Junior Men's Finals was lit. Kade had seeded 3rd and the team were super excited when he roared into the finish arena 3 seconds faster  than the top seen and with the fastest time of the day so far. He went into the hotseat 5 seconds clear of the field in 2.53.58 

The excitement was short lived, on the next run Joe Breeden beat him by 0.5 seconds and the run after that Matt Walker stormed into the top spot; 2.51.45, 2 seconds up on Kade. 

Kade was disappointed, though it was a fantastic showing from the first year Junior. He said: "The run was good apart from one turn, I gapped it off the road, overcooked it and came to a stop."

In the women's race Manon Carpenter was in the hotseat when Tahnee bested her by 9 seconds. Her 3.16 was 1.3 seconds faster than Rachel's seeding time. Could Rachel bring enough to take her 6th consecutive National Championships? She did it, finishing 3.11.61 - over 4 seconds clear of the field to take her 6th consecutive National Championships. 

Rachel said: "That was mint! Everything that a British track should be with great conditions and loads of right turns. Tahnee pushes me so hard, I remember being here (2 years ago) and I won Elites and Tahnee won Juniors and now look! All the young girl riders should be inspired by that!"

The Men's race was won by Greg Williamson for the second year running.

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Race Report: UCI World Cup 2017 Round 5: Lenzerheide.

Friday night in Lenzerheide saw some big thunderstorms which left the track pretty slippery for practice this morning, Kade had a small practice crash because of it, but it dried out pretty fast and all in all the riders welcomed the extra moisture which would help the track hold together (a little!) better as the day progressed – it still got pretty blown out and once again there were plenty of crashes as the added moisture made the track run “horribly fast!”
Kade was first up for the team. He’d been looking forward to racing and putting right his disappointing quals run but perhaps a little unnerved by his crash in the top section yesterday and this morning’s spill he didn’t quite hit the pace required. A crash in the bottom section just a few corners from the end of the course put paid to this weekend’s hopes – and knocked him back in the rankings from 3rd to 5th.
Kade said: “The run was chilled but the surface here is super slippery, especially in the last couple of turns – I didn’t quite go in to them right and it punished me and put me down! I wasn’t that keen on the track and was pretty frustrated all week. Onward and upwards to MSA”
Next up were the Women. Marine Cabirou was in the hotseat when the top 5 qualifiers came on track. Tahnee Seagrave went storming into hot seat in 3.32.62, bettering Cabirou by 1.5 secs but her stay in the top spot was fleeting as next rider Emilie Siegenthaler blazed ahead of her by a convincing 3.3 seconds with Tracy Hannah next on track.
Tracy slotted into 2nd, 2.15 back from Emilie, would Myriam have what it takes? She did! 2.38 seconds clear and into the hotseat. Only Rachel was left on track but despite her brave show in quals she was still suffering after that shoulder dislocation – a brave attempt just 0.5 seconds off the win and into second place!
Rachel said: “ Thanks so much to the whole crew for getting me here , that was a team effort for sure,  getting my bike dialed, my body patched and my mind in a good place! What a mental track, horrible, so fast, its all a blur!” 
By the time the Men came on track even the most manicured turns were full of holes.
Gee had promised the team he’d take it easy and concentrate on staying on his bike rather than risk further damage to his hip – even so he managed 3.06.25  - enough for a top 30 spot. Muddy bettered his quals run by over 4 seconds 3.07.61  - enough for 41st  but not at all where he wanted to be on this track.
Muddy said “ It’s a weird feeling to get my best finish of the season so far and be the most disappointed! I was confident today, I thought I’d be in for a good race but I bobbled a couple of turns in the first split and struggled to pull it back – goal was top 30, or 10 secs off the win  - 10.57 I got  - massive respect to Geeman – he got it!”
The Brits made a very strong showing with 15th qualifier Phil Atwill and 13th qualifier Laurie Greenland taking turns in the hot seat  until he was deposed by Danny Hart, so it was a Brit 1,2,3 until 3rdplace qualifier Greg Minaar was on course. Ahead by 0.07 by split 1 he extended that lead to 0.7 at split 2 and 1.5 seconds at splits 3 and 4  - fastest by almost 2 seconds with just two riders left on course. Last week’s victor Troy Brosnan was in the red for the first 3 splits but not by much, by split 4 he was into the green by 0.09 and the crowd were wild but he couldn’t quite match Minaar’s sector 10 performance, crossing into second by 0.16. 
Only Aaron Gwin remained on course. He accelerated all the way down the track, in the green all the way leading by 1.5 seconds by split 4 when he had a flat and his race ended in disaster! 









Race Results
Junior Men
1 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 3.09.743
2 Joe Breeden Intense Racing UK 3.10.87 +1.134
3 Sylvain Cougoureux 3.13.80 +4.06
4 Moritz Ribarich NS-Bikes Factory Racing 3.16.14 +6.39
5  Nicolas Nesteroff Intense Factory Racing 3.16.46 +6.72
15  Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 3.24.49 +14.75
  
Women’s  Elite 
1 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.26.89
2 Rachel Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.27.40 + 0.51
3 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 3.29.27 +2.38
4 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 3.31.42
5 Tahnee Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.32.62 +5.73

Men’s Elite
1 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 2.57.04
2 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Racing 2.57.20 +0.16
3 Danny Hart MS Mondraker Team 2.58.87 1.82
4 Laurie Greenland MS Mondraker Team 2.59.98 +2.9
5 Phil Atwill Propain Dirt Zelvy 3.00.83 + 3.7
30 Gee Atherton Trek Factory Racing DH 3.06.25 +9.21
41 Graeme Mudd Trek Factory Racing DH 3.07.61 + 10.57 


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World Cup 2017 Round 3: Leogang, Junior Kade Edwards takes his first World Cup Podium

World Cup 2017 Round 3: Leogang, Junior Kade Edwards takes his first World Cup Podium 

Huge celebrations for our Junior rider Kade Edwards today who took his first ever World Cup podium but disappointment for Muddy who crashed out twice in his Finals run. And of course with Gee and Rachel both sidelined there was a noticeable gap in the team.

Leogang was hot and dusty, and after practice in the morning Kade said that the track was so blown out it was like a different track than the one he had ridden in yesterday’s qualifications. Kade said: “ the track was dusty and red hot, I was sweating in the start gate! Being Kade he cheerfully admitted that there were a few sketchy moments during his Finals run, “but that’s me! The run was amazing” he said. 

In the women’s race our North Wales neighbour Tahnee Seagrave took her first ever World Cup win. The team have known Tahnee since she was “about 9 years old and sending these massive jumps.” Congratulations!


Then the men were on track. Muddy had qualified 41st and was feeling confident as he headed into Sundays Finals but he made a mistake and then was pushing hard, eager to make up lost time when he clipped his pedal on a root in the second last turn and “hit the deck". He got sent off into the banners and lost a lot of time. Muddy said: “ I think I wanted it too much today, I really felt good, in my head anyway which blocked out all my banged up body parts from Fort William and practice here.”

The race got really exciting when Bernard Kerr took the hot-seat after a scorching top section – enough for 5th and his first ever World Cup podium. 6th qualifier Mick Hannah was making up a lot of time on the motorway but a puncture put paid to his thoughts of podium. Loris Vergier had a pretty sketchy run but still went 3 seconds faster than Kerr. With Loic Bruni out, injured Troy Brosnan was next on track, he crossed into second with only Minaar and Gwin left on track. Minaar crossed into second but it was Aaron Gwin’s race for the the third consecutive year!

Results
Junior Men
1 Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 3.15.47
2 Matt Walker Madison Saracen Factory Team 3.17.86 +2.39
3 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 3.20.45 +4.98
4 Kaos Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.20.65 +5.17
5 Harry Parsons 3.22.81 +7.34

Women’s Elite
 1 Tahnee Seagrave Transition Bikes/FMD Factory Racing 3.36.08
2 Tracey Hannah Polygon UR 3.36.77 +0.69
3 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 3.38.58 +2.5
4 Manon Carpenter Radon Factory Downhill team 3.39.02 +2.94
5 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 3.44.13 +8.05

Men’s Elite
1 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 3.06.95
2 Loris Vergier Santa Cruz Syndicate 3.08.39 +1.43
3 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 3.09.64 +2.68
4 Troy Brosnan Canyon Factory Racing DH 3.10.24 +3.28
5 Bernard Kerr Pivot Factory Racing 3.11.47 +4.35
75 Graeme Mudd Trek Factory Racing DH 3.35.41 +28.45

Images: Sven Martin

UCI Downhill World Cup Round 2: Fort William, Race Report

World Cup Round 2: Fort William, Race Report: Rachel’s Amazing Run of World Cup Victories Ends in Injury, Kade Narrowly Misses Podium.

Fort William race day  - the big one! Of all the World Cup rounds it seems that here is where the heart is, the home crowds making every run a special occasion for the team!
Race day dawned sunny but lots of rain over night meant that the track was boggy with exposed roots waiting on every turn.

Rachel would be chasing her 15thconsecutive World Cup win – 17th global victory if you include the World Champs but the atmosphere was relaxed with plenty of family and friends joining us in the pits.

It was a strange day for the Trek Factory Racing team with both Men’s Elite riders out of the running so all eyes were on Rachel and Kade.

But it was to get stranger still, Rachel crashed out in her practice run, she dropped off the end of the north-shore in the woods, hit a rut and slammed down on her left side dislocating her shoulder. She was taken off to the hospital for precautionary X-rays while the team waited anxiously.

But then the Men’s Juniors hit the track.

8th place qualifier Joe Breeden was in the hot seat with a time of 5.02.85 when Kade came on track.

Kade was up a massive 2.6 seconds by split 1 but a big OTB in the woods meant that he lost the advantage – down 1.9 by split 2, still second quickest by 2.5 at split 3, he was closing the gap with a mature and composed remainder of his run, just 1.1 second down by split 4 he powered to the finish to take the hot seat just 0.1 second ahead of Joe Breeden.

Kade knew that it wouldn’t be enough, Finn Iles was next on course, 6.5 up by split 2,  7.5 by split 4, he crossed 7 seconds up on Kade to take the hot seat.  But on the very next run Matt Walker smashed his time by another 5 seconds. All eyes were on Sylvain Cougoureux. The French rider was 2 seconds down at split 1, then 8 seconds down at split 2, the Trek Factory Racing team held their breath – would he deprive Kade of his first ever World Cup podium? He did, making up some time to cross in 4.59 for third.

Kade said “I’ve been riding here for 5 years and today I rode the top section better than I’ve ever ridden it  (he was up 2.6 seconds) but then came the woods, I nailed the first section but there were massive holes everywhere, I knew that I’d have to dab so I safety unclipped then sure enough got stuck in a hole! My right shoulder struck a tree, the bike flipped and I got all tangled up in it. I reckon I lost 10 seconds easy, then I pushed on down the bottom, it was a good run after that but I’m pretty fed up to miss the podium.

Team Director Dan Brown said: “We’re pleased with the boy, it showed real character to get composure back after that off, its only a matter of time before the results come.”

The women’s race was looming and still no news from the hospital. Riders were already on track when Rachel appeared with her arm in a sling – she’ll have further tests tomorrow to confirm the dislocation and treatment plan.

So Rach watched the top women with her teammates and family from the roof of the GoPro truck. It was a grueling race with crash after crash, fellow Brits Tahne Seagrave and Manon Carpenter both fell foul of the boggy woods, Tahnee came off her bike 3 times, rag dolling through the mud and Manon ran with her bike through a huge stretch of the wooded section – still enough for 4th on the day.

Polygon UR’s Tracey Hannah took the win in 5.39.298  hugely helped by staying on her bike all the way through the woods!  She scooted through, dabbing all the way to maintain enough speed for the win!

Rachel said: “ Obviously I’m gutted not to ride for the Fort William fans and to have picked up an injury this early in the season but its been a great winning streak and it had to end at some point, this is where it began and two years later this is where it ended. Huge congratulations to Tracy for a great ride – I’m glad I didn’t have to do it!”

The Men’s race was no less dramatic! 8th qualifier Remi Thirion was in the hot seat when Danny Hart crashed out in the woods, even Aaron Gwin was dabbing all the way through the wood section – it didn’t stop him taking the hot seat but he was soon deposed by Australian Jack Moir. Rain that had threatened the last half dozen riders was pretty hard by now, only Loris Vergier and Greg Minaar were left on track. Loris came off in the woods and suddenly it was all down to Greg Minaar, could he win at Fort William yet again and make this 20 World Cup wins? He was 0.3 up by split 1, 2.99 by split 2 and the crowd were going totally crazy. Up 3.38 by split 3, 2.8 by split 4, Greg absolutely smashed it, crossing the line in 4.40.344 to be buried in a huge pile of his team-mates rushing to congratulate him.

Results

Junior Men

1 Matt Walker  Madison Saracen Factory Team 4.50.155
2. Finn Iles Specialized Gravity 4.55.162 +5.007
3 Sylvain Cougoureux Les Gets Intense Team 4.59.007 +8.85
4 Kade Edwards Trek Factory Racing DH 5.02.757 +12.602
5 Joe Breeden Intense Racing  UK 5.02.855 +12.700

Women’s  Elite  

1 Tracy Hannah Polygon UR 5.39.298
2 Myriam Nicole Commencal/Vallnord 5.49.543 +10.245
3 Emilie Siegenthaler Pivot Factory Racing 5.53.108 +13.810
4 Manon Carpenter Radon Factory Downhill team 5.55.299 +16.001
5 Morgane Charre Bergamont Factory Team 6.05.146 +25.848


Men’s Elite

1 Greg Minaar Santa Cruz Syndicate 4.40.344
2 Jack Moir Intense Factory Racing 4.43.323 +2.979
3 Aaron Gwin The YT Mob 4.44.143 +3.799
4 Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas  Giant Factory Off Road team 4.44.834 +4.490
5 Remi Thirion Commencal/Vallnord 4.45.020 +4.676



Race Report: British Downhill Series Round 2: Fort William – Mille 1st, Luke 3rd and Muddy 6th but Gee crashes out badly

This weekend at Fort William proved a real mixed bag for the team with big crashes for Gee, Kade and Luke but also some strong results – a win for Mille, a 3rd place for Luke and a 6th for Graeme Mudd.

The weekend’s course is 90% identical to the World Cup track but there are some changes in the woods section, and the big road gap is kept exclusively for the World Cup. Dry weather leading up to practice left the track extremely loose so the riders welcomed the overnight rain to help the track settle.

Gee seeded first in the Men’s Elite proving that he is firmly back on the pace this season but tragedy swiftly followed as he crashed out in his Finals run with a massive OTB at the top of the course. As we write this report Gee is in the hospital awaiting X-ray results.

Kade also seeded strongly, in second place for the Junior Men but went down hard in his Finals run when he clipped a pedal and went over the bars. He’s “a bit concussed” but he’s going to be fine.

Rachel didn’t race, satisfied with four days of smashing out runs but her Atherton Academy protégée Mille Johnset did us all proud with wins in both seeding (5.35) and Finals (5.50) She was 3.94 seconds clear of Valentina Holl. Mille said “ My race run felt so good, I felt in total control and really confident, 15 seconds faster than my qualifying time. The whole weekend has been so much fun.”

And in the end it was a good weekend for our youngest Atherton Academy rider Luke Williamson who also crashed hard in practice. He grazed his side and hurt his wrist but he showed the kind of guts that make him a great fit for the team, strapping his wrist and seeding 3rd on Sunday morning. A good race run saw him 3rd in Finals for Youth at his first Fort William race.

Muddy’s previous best result here was in 2016 as a privateer when he finished 24th in the BDS so he was pleased to seed 4th in 4.43. He said “ It has been mega dry and slippery for practise, it always catches you out when you come to Fort William, you never remember how fast and rough it is! I’m glad it rained, it’s good to experience both wet and dry before the World Cup! Come Finals he went a full five seconds faster (4.38) enough for 6th place and to feel stoked with the progress that he and mechanic Sam had made between them.
Results

Youth Men 

1. Thibaut Daprela LaPierre / Gravity Racing / 4.52.744
2. Jamie Edmondson / FMD Racing/Transition Factory Racing / 5.03.432 + 0.10.68
3. Luke Williamson / Atherton Academy / 5.06.284 + 0.13.54

Youth Women

1. Mille Johnset / Atherton Academy / 5.35.253
2. Valentina Holl / SRAM Racing / 5.39.202 + 0.03.94
3. Maya Atkinson / Rose Biks Facotry Racing / 6.36.331 + 1.01.07

Junior Men 

1. Finn Iles / Specialized Gravity Racing / 4.40.401
2. Joe Breeden / Intense Racing UK / 4.47.553 + 0.07.15
3. Kaos Seagrave / FMD Factory Racing / Transition Bikes / 4.48.84 + 0.08.44

Elite Women 

1. Manon Carpenter / Radon / 5.07.514
2. Tahnee Seagrave / FMD Racing / Transition Factory Racing / 5.08.565 + 0.01.05
3. Lucy Drees / RAD Orange Factory Racing / 6.09.370 + 1.01.85

Elite Men 

1. Danny Hart / MS Mondraker / 4.31.807
2. Loic Bruni / Specialized Gravity Racing / 4.33.487 + 0.01.68
3. Greg Williamson / Cube Global Squad / 4.36.092 + 0.04.28
4. Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas / Giant Factory Off Road Team / 4.36.510 + 0.04.70
5. Adam Brayton / Hope Technology / 4.37.495 + 0.05.68
6. Graeme Mudd / Trek Factory Racing / 4.38.292 + 0.06.48

Pictures: Dan Hearn 


Race Report: 2017 World Cup Round 1, Lourdes: FINALS

Race Report: 2017 World Cup Round 1, Lourdes: FINALS 

Rachel takes her 14th consecutive World Cup win, Gee grabs 10th despite a storm and Kade is 5th in his first ever World Cup!

For the third time in three years Lourdes hosted the World Cup Finals on Sunday. The weather was sunny for Juniors and Women but the wind got pretty rowdy during the Women's Finals - by the time the men came on the track rain was looking very likely so most riders were heading up the hill with two sets of wheels, and the levels of uncertainty that's abound when practice has been in the dry and then the storm comes!

Young Kade Edwards was first up in his first ever World Cup Final. His run was nerve-wracking but he stayed on board slotting into 3rd place with just 3 riders left on track. The team were biting their nails as Finn Iles and Kaos Seagrave both went faster. Would faster qualifier Matt Walker deprive our boy of his top 5? Matt punctured, and the race was done. 

Junior Men Final Results 
1. Finn Iles / Specialized Gravity / 2.56.93
2. Kaos Seagrave / Tranition bikes/FMD Factory Racing / 3.00.44+3.5
3. Sylvian Cougoureux Les Gets / Intense Team / 3.04.18+7.24
4. Moritz Ribarich / NS-Bike Factory Racing / 3.04.89+7.96
5. Kade Edwards / Trek Factory Racing / 3.05.44+8.5

Rachel loves the steep and brutal course at Lourdes but she came into the women's race extremely nervous. The track was pretty blown out but it had been drying out for the three days so times started to run faster. Fifth place qualifier Myriam Nicole was the first to go faster than Tahnee's fastest qualifying time of 3.28.98, crossing into the hotseat in 3.27.

4th qualifier Tracy Hannah was very fast on the top jumps, she lost a little time on the technical sections but it was a strong run, 2.5 seconds up by split four, crossing 3.7 seconds up!

Brit Manon Carpenter couldn’t get into contention, she didn’t seem to make any mistakes but was a little more on the brakes crossing into 3rd place.

Then Rachel was on course. Could she do it?

Rach was clearly 110 % committed from the minute she left the start gate, carrying tremendous pace over the wall  to go 2.9 seconds  up by split 1. She had extended her lead to 3.5 seconds by split 2, and 3.8 by split 3. She lost a bit of time by split 4  (about 100th of a second) but she was starting to fade. With super-human effort she came into the finish with a time of 3.21.4 a whole 2.5 seconds clear of Tracy Hannah.

Only Tahnee Seagrave was left on course. Tahnee looked focused as she tackled the difficult top section, she lost a bit of speed in a corner to show 2.6 seconds back on Rachel by split 2 but there was still opportunity on the bottom section where she had been super-fast in qualifying. She pulled back to 1.94 seconds off the pace by split 3 but took a safer line than Rachel between split 3 and 4 losing more time. She was 3.07 back by split 4 and crossed into 3rd place. 2.7 back from Rachel and 0.15 back from Tracy.

Immediately after the race Rachel said: “I can’t believe it, the track is so rough and I’ve been watching Tahnee training so hard all winter, I’ve been literally sick with nerves, throwing up all morning, then smashing the Revels and the Haribos for some energy! I don’t know how much longer I can do this, the pressure is just mounting and mounting but at the end of the day I love racing!"

Women’s  Elite  Finals Results 
1 Rachel Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH / 3.21.43
2 Tracy Hannah / Polygon UR / 3.24.00 +2.58
3 Tahnee Seagrave / Transition bikes/FMD Factory Racing / 3. 24.16 +2.73
4 Myriam Nicole / Commencal/Vallnord / 3.27.78 +6.35
5 Manon Carpenter / Radon Factory Downhill / 3.30.02 + 8.59

In the Men’s race 52nd qualifier Alexander Fayolle took an early lead. By the time 15thqualifier Brendan Fairclough came on track there was a weather warning in place with high winds and lashing rain ready to completely change the nature of the track. 

Gee had qualified 12th and when he came on track the storm was in full swing and the start hut was barely visible through the rain. Despite being buffeted by the wind he was fully committed but nature was stronger. Gee was fourth fastest through split 2 but he was already 1.5 seconds back showing how tough conditions had got, and just how fast Fayolle must have been. By Split 3 he was 2.9 back, crossing into 8th.

Gee said: “That was as awful as it looked up there in the top section. We weren’t ready for it, I set off strong but all the way down the wind was stopping me, pushing me back.” 

The final 15 riders rode an entirely different race. None of them could get close to contention with the previous riders, many of the top 10 were 30 seconds off the pace and Aaron Gwin and Danny Hart both went down hard as the track became impossible to ride. So the lower qualifiers took the glory today and Fayolle his first ever World Cup win.

Our Muddy didn’t have the greatest run, enough for and eventual 56th place.

Men’s Elite Finals Results 
1 Alexander Fayolle / Polygon UR / 2.52.75
2 Mark Wallace / 2.56.08 +3.32
3 Marcelo Villegas Gutierrez / 2.56.19 +3.44
4 Florent Payet / 2.56. 55 +3.79
5 Connor Fearon / 2.56.96 +4.20
10 Gee Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH / 2.57.48 +4.27
56 Graeme Mudd / Trek Factory Racing DH / 3.07.73  + 14.97
Images: Sven Martin 

WIN tickets to NASS Festival 2017

WIN tickets to NASS Festival 2017

We'll be giving away tickets across all Silverline social platforms: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

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 5pm BST on Friday 9th June 2017

5. All winners must be following Silverline Tools on their chosen platform of entry (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter)

6. No winner shall be chosen more than once

7. The competition runs from Friday 12th May until Friday 9th June 2017

8. No cash alternative for any prize will be offered and prizes are non-transferable

9. Travel and accommodation costs are not covered as part of the prize - all winners are responsible for arranging and funding these costs.

10. Each prize will include a pair of weekend camping tickets to NASS Festival 2017. 

11. Winners chosen at random may be offered a VIP upgrade (travel and accommodation costs not included)

12. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition

13.The competition is open to all residents of the European Union

14. 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.

15. By entering this competition, the entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions

16. 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. 

17.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 BST date and time)




Rach takes the win and Gee and Mille 2nds. British Downhill Series 2017 Round 1 Nant Gwrythern

The 2017 season is on and it was podiums for all this weekend with first for Rachel, 2nd for Gee, 4th for Kade and the fastest speed-trap for Muddy. For the Atherton Academy it was 2nd for Mille despite a painful crash and a 5th for Luke. 

Saturday's practice saw a water-logged track, drizzly weather and loads of crashes but the riders loved being back on track and spirits were super-high as the season kicked off in earnest, even the constant Welsh drizzle couldn't dampen the riders spirits. 

Saturday was gorgeous! The sun shone and the pits basked in the spring warmth but track conditions became much more unpredictable as the trail started to dry out - mainly in the muddy pedal section!

It was hard to find much positive feedback from the riders after some very sticky seeding runs. Mille Johnset was first up riding for the Atherton Academy in the Junior Women's category. She seeded 2nd despite a crash at the bottom of the track. Mille said: "It's not so hard to ride here but it's hard to keep the speed up". 

In the Men's Youth race, Academy rider Luke Williamson struggled with coming constantly unclipped, ending up in 15th. 

In the Juniors and in his first race for Trek Factory Racing DH, Kade Edwards crashed out twice. Once getting hooked up at a steep corner at the top of the track and then running into a tree in the first wooden section. 

In the Women's Elite, Rachel didn't enjoy her seeding run, saying: "I was still playing around with my bike set up, there was literally nowhere you could push on, you were going so slow."

In his first race on Welsh soil, Muddy said: "It's fighting you every inch of the way! I had a lot of moments that made me step back a gear, I felt so awkward."

Before Finals kicked off there was an hour and a quarter delay. Waiting at the top in the sun played havoc with Mille's nerves and left her feeling pretty drained, she took a hard fall in the rock garden and struggled down the rest of the course -- still good enough for 2nd place but the young rider was disappointed. 

Luke managed to improve on his seeding run to take 5th place - he was pleased to podium and felt that he had learnt from the experience but admitted that he had struggled with this unfamiliar style of track. 

In the Junior Men Kade podiumed with 4th but he was far from pleased with his run. Kade said: "The top part of the track was so beaten up and different from seeding, and I didn't ride it well, I pretty much stopped on every turn in the top section, I made up a lot on the bottom but it wasn't enough."

Then Rachel was on track. Manon Carpenter crossed the line into 3rd and the crowd waited for second seed Tahnee Seagrave  to appear, but it was Rachel who crossed next a massive 10.1 seconds clear of the field! Rachel said: "Gutted for Tahnee to crash out, but that was a mint run, this is such a hard track to race, you have to be really calm, more delicate than aggressive. The bike felt great for this Finals run, we made some good changes to the suspension after qualies - thanks Joe!"

In the Men's Finals, Danny Hart smashed it in 2.05.92 with Gee a very respectable 2nd in 2.07.62. Gee said: "There was nowhere that you could smash it, I'm happy with 2nd today - and so good to be back racing."

Muddy said: "I'm happy with that - I've learnt so much this weekend about riding in the mud, the roots and the slick- so even though it's not a result that i'd aim for it seemed like I could ride a bike at last on that Finals run - I feel like I'm going to give myself the "most improved award!" 

Finals Results 

Junior Women 
1. Megan James / T-Mo Racing 2.49.48
2. Mille Johnset / Atherton Academy 2.55.28 + 5.8
3. Rosy Monaghan / TCH Factory Racing 3.03.39 + 13.9

Youth Men
1. Jamie Edmonson / FMD Racing 2.23.82
2. Morgan Tyrell / Wideopenmag 2.26.82 + 2.9
3. Luke mumford / Cyclefix Ltd 2.27.984 + 4.16
4. Chris Cumming / Nukeproof 2.30.46+6.

Junior Men
1. Joe Breeden / Intense 2.10.59
2. Matt Walker / Madison Saracen Factory Racing 2.12.35 + 1.76
3. Kaos Seagrave / FMD Racing 2.15.19 + 4.6
4. Kade Edwards / Trek Factory Racing 
5. Conor Bate / Madison / Shimano / P&O Ferries 2.19.20 + 8.61

Elite Women 
1. Rachel Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH 2

.28.22
2. Manon Carpenter 2.38.403 + 10.18
3. Veronique Sadler 2.53.516 + 25.29
4. Sophia Paull 2.58.329 + 30.1
5. Deborah Primrose 3.02.17 + 33.95

Elite Men 
1. Danny Hart 2.05.922
2. Gee Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH 2.07.625 + 1.7
3. Matt Simmonds / Madison Saracen Factory Racing 2.09.219 + 3.29 
4. Mike Jones / Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic 2.09.227 + 3.3
5. Charlie Hatton / Intense Racing UK 2.09.602 + 3.68 

Brits going for gold in Palma

Friday brought the last chance for Britain's sailors to qualify for medal races and grand final positions at the 48th Princess Sofia Trophy, with James Peters-Fynn Sterritt in the 49er and rising Laser star Elliot Hanson set to go for Palma gold tomorrow (Saturday 1st April).

On a challenging day in light breeze, which saw a number of classes held on shore for most of the morning, Hanson stormed to the top of the Laser leaderboard thanks to a second and first and heads into the medal race seven points clear of Italy's Franceso Marrai, bidding to claim his first senior gold medal.  

Nick Thompson will have his eyes set on a podium finish having moved back up to third. Lorenzo Chiavarini, who wrapped up his opening series in seventh, also secured his place in tomorrow's medal race. 

Hanson said: "I had a really solid day. I just have to try and finish it off tomorrow. I've made a few mistakes during the regatta, I'm sure everyone has, but I've remained one of the most consistent sailors all week. 

"Whilst there are a few of the top guys missing, it's a strong fleet and it's been really good racing. I need to have a good race and hopefully I'll come away with a win."

Peters-Steeitt, meanwhile, stay perched at the top of the 49er table. The pair start Saturday medal races one point ahead of Spanish duo Diego Botin Le Chever-lago Lopez Marra. 

Despite their lead having narrowed, Peters said: "Our week's been really good and we've put in lots of consistent results. We're really happy with how the regatta has gone so far."

Sterritt admits the pair have still needed to be at the top of their game to have maneuvered  themselves into this position with one day of racing to come.

He added: "The conditions have been tricky. We've had some classic Palma conditions mixed with some unexpected scenarios, so it's not all been plain sailing. 

Also in the 49er medal mix are Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell, who are currently third after a strong final two days of fleet racing. 

Reflecting between races two and three, Bithell commented: "There wasn't much wind this morning so we had a short postponement ashore. It clouded over for the first time all week, but once we got going we had a really nice breeze on the water.

"It was eight to 10 knots so we had some difficult racing as usual, with marginal gains around the course."

Looking ahead to the medal races, Fletcher added: "I think it could be quite tricky to get ahead of the boats in front, but ultimately we will do everything we can to try and win the regatta. If there is an opportunity to win, that is what we will be looking to do."

In the Men's RS:X Kieran Martin pumped his way into the quarter-final after finishing the opening series in sixth. Young gun Emma Wilson also secured her quarter-final place in the Women's event, qualifying in 11th. 

With the qualifying series over, the scores are reset to zero and the windsurfers need to progress through to the semi-final before they get the chance to secure a medal in the three-board grand final. With maximum 10-minute races it will be intense racing. 

"Today has gone very well, I had one really good race which was enough to put me into finals day," Martin said. "The new format means i will essentially start Saturday in the same position as those ranked third to 12th. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out as anyone can win. It's all new and pretty cool."

After a long wait ashore, it was a challenging day with a late finish for the Nacra fleet.  

Despite adding a 2,4 to their scoreline, a poor final race result saw John Gimson-Anna Burnett slip into second. The Brits remain in gold medal contention but, with a 16-point gap, between them and leaders Fernado Echavarri-Tara Pacheco, Gimson-Burnett will have a challenge on their hands.

With Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface still firmly in medal contention in fourth and Ben Saxton-Steph Orton also securing a place in their first medal race together in sixth, it has been a positive regatta for the British Nacras.

Having narrowly missed out on the medal races at their debut event at January’s Miami World Cup, 49er FX pairing Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey are through to their first medal races together in sixth place.

But following a challenging final race, Alison Young will miss out on the Laser Radial medal race by two points. Young, along with Finn sailor Ben Cornish, both wrapped up their regattas in 11th place.

Full event results can be found at www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall

For all the latest news from the British Sailing Team, follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @BritishSailing and on Instagram @BritishSailing. 





Top tips for a Spring garden

Now the clocks have gone forward and the days are getting sunnier, we will all be spending a lot more time in our gardens! We've put together three jobs that are perfect for this time of year. We'd love to hear what you are up to in the garden this month, share your top tips in the comments box below! 

1. Edging
If the edges on your borders are overgrown and uneven, now is a good time to re-cut them as the ground will still be damp from the winter months. 

You can easily re-cut and neaten the edges using an edging iron. If your edges are still nice and neat from the last time they were cut, you can just trim the grass with a pair of edging shears!

Top Tip: Always pick up the clippings to avoid attracting slugs and other garden pests. 

Tools you need:
Lawn Edging Knife 
Border Shears

2. Planting Spuds
If you would like to see some early new potatoes, encourage seed potatoes to sprout by placing them on a warm window ledge indoors. Planting them deep into large pots against a warm south-facing wall will also encourage healthy growth. Remember to top the pot up with compost as they grow. 

3. Sowing Broad Beans 
Broad beans can be sown in the greenhouse or on the window sill. Once they reach around 6 inches (150mm) they are ready to plant outside. 

In well-prepared soil, plant them in rows roughly 12 inches (300mm) apart. Alternatively, they will do well planted in a grid with a support frame. This method of plantation improves pollination and will provide good support as they grow. 

You can protect the young plants with small split canes until they reach the support frame. 

Top Tip:  When the plants start to show beans at about 2.5ft tall, nip out the tips to reduce the effect of aphids (plant lice). 

Tools you need:
Plant Support Ring 
Pea & Bean Support Net







NASS Festival appoints Silverline as official tool partner

Somerset-based Silverline Tools is to become the official tool partner of the popular action sports and music festival 2017.

NASS is four days of raw skateboarding, BMX, music and street culture. Held every summer at the Bath & West Showground, the festival is dedicated to highlighting a core action sports lifestyle, attracting the best international skate and BMX athletes and top billing artists. The event is expected to draw a crowd of up to 20,000 festival goers. 

Rob Henry, Silverline Brand Manager commented: "Silverline Tools are super-excited to be partnering with NASS Festival! We're not your ordinary tool brand, and love to get involved with unique events and projects like NASS. Silverline sponsors a number of action sports and high performance teams, and we think this is an unmissable opportunity for the brand to connect with our younger audience. The skate and BMX elements are a great match for our award-winning tools, which I'm sure, will also be put to good use building the park."

Silverline is a leading industry manufacturer and supplier of more than 5,000 hand and power tools across the UK and Europe. As official tool partner to NASS Festival, the brand will be supplying hand and power tools for use across the build of the festival village and skate parks. The Silverline events team will also be at the event with giveaways and goody bags for festival goers. NASS Festival runs from 6-9th July with ticket prices starting at £39. 

Image credit: Lewis Royden (NASS Festival)

BMR's Ash Sutton receives BRDC Superstar accolade

It has been announced that Team BMR’s Ash Sutton will join the BRDC Superstars roster in 2017 as the young drivers’ programme enters its 10th anniversary year. 

The British Racing Drivers Club founded the scheme under the watchful eye of none other than President Damon Hill OBE along with the programme director and ITV commentator Tim Harvey.  Alexander Simms will also remain on board as a BRDC Ambassador alongside his factory BMW drive. 

The programme itself has a lot to offer Ash and the eleven other hand-picked drivers to assist him in his development as a professional racing driver.  The programme will include workshops and training events that will cover physical and mental fitness, communication workshops, along with media and marketing training. 

Speaking of his step up to becoming a BRDC Superstar, the 23 year old commented: “Getting picked was a big thing for me. I was selected to become a Rising Star in 2014 so the goal was to step up to being a SuperStar. We put some work in to tick the boxes so I could move up and it’s great to be a part of the programme. The networking and connections available now are fantastic and there are certain people that could be a big support in my future career.”

Ash will carry the BRDC Superstars logo on his Subaru Levorg for the 2017Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship which gets underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st & 2nd.

For further information contact maddy@bmrracing.co.uk 

Image: Phil Laughton 

Rachel Atherton named 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

Rachel Atherton has topped off her perfect season with one of the most prestigious awards in the sporting world - congratulations to the 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

The Laureus Awards were created in 2000 as part of Laureus Sport for Good, a movement that uses the power of sport to end violence. discrimination and disadvantage. 

Nelson Mandela was Laureus' first patron and he believed passionately in the cause. In 2000 at the very first Awards Ceremony he said: "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."

This philosophy remains the driving force behind Laureus' work, teaching young people to discover the best in themselves and delivering the skills and tools they need to succeed through the power of sport. 

There are several categories of award, including World Sportsman of the Year, World Sportswoman of the Year (with a nomination for UK's Laura Kenny) and action Sportsperson of the Year. 

6 nominees per category are chosen by panels including sports editors, writers and broadcasters with Specialist Panels overseeing the Action Sports and Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy then vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners in all seven categories. 

The Action Sports Award goes to "the sportsman or sportswoman who best demonstrates supreme athletic performance and achievement in action sports in the qualifying year". Rachel was up against some tough competition with her fellow nominees all boasting amazing progression for heir sports in 2016 but in the end the perfect season swung it for the Queen of Downhill. 

The nominees for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the year 2017 were Rachel Atherton, Pedro Barros (Brazilian skateboarder), Surfers John Florence and Tyler Wright, Chloe Kim (snowboarder, USA) and Kelly Sildaru (Freestyle skier)

Rachel said: "I'm overwhelmed to be even nominated in such a list! And it's great that four out of the six Action Sports nominees are women - how awesome is that! Chloe and Kelly are still in their teens, looks like Action Sports has a lot to look forward to!

Laureus have been at the forefront of encouraging all aspects of mountain-biking and honouring its stars. Rachel is the first mountain-biker to actually lift the Laureus trophy but a quick glance at previous nominations throws up some familiar names including Anne Caro Chausson, Julien Absalon, Danny MacAskill and Darren Berrecloth.

The awards were made in Monaco in a glittering ceremony hosted by Hugh Grant with celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and sport dancing the night away. 

But instead of tripping down the red carpet, Rachel was hard at work with coach Nick Grantham at the team's training camp in California.

Rachel said: "I was gutted not to be able to make the ceremony; we looked at every available flight, about 100 different sets of scheduling but we just couldn't make it work. 

I can't quite believe this is real and I am so delighted that my success this season and the sport of downhill mountain-biking as a whole has been recognised in the wider world of sport. I really thank the Academy members for giving me this honour, it makes it even more special that the award is voted for by the real legends of the sports, all of whom I have admired and been inspired by; every one of them knows exactly how many hours go into finally achieving your goal. What Laureus stands for and the work Laureus does to help young people around the world really means a lot to me, I fully believe that sport changes your life and gives you the tools to overcome anything. Thank you so much Laureus, I will carry this award with pride and I will use it to inspire all the future mountain-bikers out there."

Winners receive a Laureus statuette of the human from against an engraving of the continents designed by Cartier; something tell us that this trophy will be taking pride of place. 

Images of Rachel: Sven Martin 


Ash Sutton joins Jason Plato & James Cole at Team BMR

We are pleased to announce that we have signed race-winning young gun Ash Sutton to drive alongside Jason Plato and James Cole for the forthcoming season of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. 

Ash, 23 from Hertfordshire, comes to Team BMR from Triple Eight Racing with a year’s BTCC experience after finishing the top rookie in 2016.  Right from the outset Ash made his mark on the championship with an impressive 4th place finish on his BTCC debut at Brands Hatch back in April last year and his success continued throughout the season leading to his maiden win in a very wet race three at Croft.  There were two further podiums, two pole positions from qualifying and two fastest racing laps.  On finals day back in October he lifted the coveted Jack Sears Trophy after finishing top rookie, a championship he led for the whole of 2016.  


Speaking of his signing Ash commented I am over the moon to be offered such a great opportunity. I joined the Team BMR Academy at the end of the 2014, signing a two-year deal to race in the UK Clio Cup Championship, with a view to working our way up through the 2015/16 seasons. That two-year deal soon turned into one, and 2016 saw me sat in a BTCC Car. Not for one second did I think that two years down the line I would be a part of the BMR factory team; let alone with such a newly bred BTCC manufacture as Subaru. I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacture drive; but now being a part of Subaru, and the package that comes with that, has certainly topped it for me.
  
“I have been asked what my thoughts are on jumping into a rear wheel drive car and to be completely honest I am I’m going back to my roots. I have only had two years in front wheel drive throughout my whole racing career, so I can’t wait to be back where I belong. I’m looking forward to the intense testing program we have planned.

“Working alongside Jason, someone I have always looked up to, is something of an added bonus for me. There are three things that have made this academy journey come alive, those being; my family, all my loyal sponsors, and Warren Scott himself for giving me this opportunity. All I can say now is, roll on Brands!”

For Jason, 2017 will be his third consecutive year with the team and we are delighted that another BTCC milestone will be coming his way, this year Jason will be celebrating 20 years since he first joined the championship in 1997.  Jason remains the most successful driver in the history of the championship to date and took several podiums in 2016 with the all new Subaru Levorg GT that included his first Subaru pole position for the start of his 500th BTCC race which he won with an impressive lights to flag victory, the 95th of his career. He is also Great Britain’s most winning driver in motorsport history with 113 career victories, Lewis Hamilton is 2nd with 90 wins and Sir Stirling Moss 5th on 74.
  
Jason said “I predict 2017 will bring much success, I’m energised and looking forward to fighting for the championship. Our team goes from strength to strength. We have a fantastic new addition to the driver squad in young Ash Sutton, I’m certainly expecting him to be right in the thick of the action. Testing begins in two weeks and I can’t wait.”

James Cole joined the team in 2016 after switching from Motorbase Performance and will remain with BMR for a second year in what will be his fifth season in the BTCC.  James brought a wealth of knowledge to the team last year which hugely assisted us in developing the Subaru Levorg GT in its debut year in the championship and confirmed this with a fastest lap during race two at Silverstone.  James has already completed a two day test at Donington Park since the 2016 championship ended where he gained valuable data for the team.

James said "Winter testing was a revelation. I worked with Jason's engineer, Carl Faux, and WOW, it felt like I was in a racing car again. It just felt right - the balance, my confidence. I can't wait to get back in the car and build on what I learnt in testing. I need to deliver for the team and myself. Jason and Ash are quality team mates and I relish the challenge to work and compete with them and help Team BMR to win the driver and team championships in 2017."

An announcement with regards to the fourth Subaru Levorg will be made within the next few weeks.

All of us at Team BMR are looking forward to the BTCC season getting underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st& 2nd.


Six Miami medals as first 2017 World Cup concludes

Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January).

Gold for Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er) and a British 1-2 in the Nacra 17 event from Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves and Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface on Saturday were topped up with two further silver medals and a bronze from Sunday's second day of medal racing. 

Lorenzo Chiavarini captured the first British medal of the final day in the Laser class, leapfrogging compatriot and two-time World Champion Nick Thompson to the third step of the podium.

Thompson had started the day in the bronze medal position - but as the only sailor who could realistically challenge Cypriot Pavlos Kontides for silver, a match race ensued as Kontides looked to protect his position and the British Rio representative was squeezed to the back of the fleet. 

Chiavarini sailed to fifth place in the race, edging Thompson, who finished ninth in the medal race, out of the podium spots by just one point. 

"It was a pretty challenging event - shifty all the time," Chiavarini explained. "To have average scores and come third in the whole event was fantastic. It was a high scoring event, but my downwind speed always took me back to where i needed to be and kept me in contention."

"The medal race was quite a challenging one," continued the 23-year-old. "I got myself to third and then had a small error, not knowing that there had been a change of course. I thought it was all over, but again my downwind speed got me the places I needed at the very end to get the last point on Nick.To come home with a medal is a pretty fantastic feeling!"            

"It was a very high-scoring event, but I enjoyed my first event back," said Thompson, who'd not sailed his Laser since the Rio Games.

"It was a really interesting medal race. I was in that awkward position of being one of those guys who could almost beat second place so I ended up having a match race with Pavlos. I did a reasonable job in the pre-start and the first beat, and then just couldn't quite get away for the second lap. So I slipped down, but it's good to see Lorenzo take the third."

Michael Beckett also contested the medal race, finishing sixth in the race and ninth overall. 

Ben Cornish started the Finn medal race in silver medal position, and had his work cut out defending it during a testing medal race in shifty wind conditions. 

Cornish was tenth after the first lap and looking out of the medal positions altogether before a second lap comeback saw him reel in and then overtake key rival Anders Pedersen of Norway to reclaim his silver medal position.   

Cornish finished seventh in the medal race to Pedersen's eighth, with fellow British contender Henry Wetherell crossing sixth to end his event in sixth place overall. 

"It's been a good week. I finished up second and had a reasonably consistent series and not a bad medal race to end the week," Cornish reflected.

"There's been a real mix of conditions with not really any straightforward days. There's been some difficult positioning, tactical racing and quite a small fleet which always makes it important to be fast."

In a nail-biting 470 women's medal race - the final race of the regatta - Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre so nearly made it a third gold for the British Sailing Team, but were edged out by Dutch duo Afrodite Zegers-Annaloes van Veen just before the finish.

The two teams had been effectively level heading into the final race, but with the points close between four boats they could also have ended up out of the medal spots altogether. 

The British pairing had a good start and first leg, but the Dutch crew just got in front at the windward mark. Weguelin-McIntyre clawed back on the second upwind leg and had gold within their sights on the final downwind but for a small error which allowed the Dutch pair back through in the shifty conditions, and the British duo had to settle for silver. 

"It was a tough race," said 22-year-old McIntyre. "We just made a small error at the leeward mark and meant we got silver, which is still really good, and we've learnt loads this week to take forward."

"We let the one boat that we needed to control get a little bit of leverage over us into the first mark, which ultimately put us on the back foot," Weguelin explained. "We gained back from there with quite a nice downwind and a good upwind to get back in control again, but we missed a gybe at the leeward gate and ultimately ended up second. 

"We should have gybed away and come back to get an overlap at the leeward gate. So it was a big learning opportunity for us and something to take forward to our future racing."

Fellow British Sailing Team crews Amy Seabright-Anna Carpenter and Jess Lavery-Flora Stewart also qualified for the medal race. They finished eighth and ninth in the race, and sixth and ninth overall. 

"Miami has provided a challenging first international World Cup regatta of 2017," said RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

"The race committees have done a good job to get the full series of races in, despite some light and changeable conditions through the course of the week. Other than the final medal race day on Sunday where the rain and fog came in and made it a little bit less Miami-like, Miami itself has put on a fantastic show and has been a great venue for some great racing. 

"From a British perspective, it's been great to see sailors fighting it out at the front of the fleet - particularly some of our up and coming sailors who've been doing especially well and have challenged for the podium through the course of this regatta.

"Hopefully that bodes well as we move into this new Tokyo 2020 cycle."

2017 Sailing World Cup Miami:

Gold
Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell (49er)
Ben Saxton-Nicola Groves (Nacra 17)

Silver
Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface (Nacra 17)
Ben Cornish (Finn)
Sophie Weguelin-Eilidh McIntyre (470 Women)

Bronze
Lorenzo Chiavarini (Laser)




There's a new dynamic at Trek Factory Racing DH as the team announce two new riders and a new Head Coach for the 2017 season

There's a new dynamic at Trek Factory Racing DH as the team announce two new riders and a new Head Coach for the 2017 season. 

Trek Factory Racing will add two exciting young riders to their 2017 World Cup squad. 16 year old Kade Edwards will graduate the Atherton Academy to join the team on the Junior World Cup circuit and 23 year old Graeme Mudd will ride in the Elites. 


Team Director Dan Brown said: "Racing with Kade is always exciting as any one who's seen him ride will know! He first came to our attention during an Atherton Experience Day when he was just 13 years old. In his first year with the Academy (as a 2nd year juvenile) he swept the board with 5 out of 5 wins in the British Downhill Series. The next two years had their ups and downs, all of which have been a vital part of his progression as a rider. We're all excited to see Kade on the World Cup Circuit."

Kade said: "I was so surprised and totally stoked when Browny asked me to join the World Cup team. I can't say enough what a massive learning curve the last three years with the Atherton Academy have been. Now it's time to pay them back with some points for the team and I'll be going all out to make that happen. If I can win the British National Championships and at least one Junior World Cup this year I'll be over the moon." 

Aussie rider Graeme Mudd bids farewell to life as a privateer and will base himself at Atherton HQ in North Wales for the 2017 season. 

Gee Atherton said: "We're always alert to emerging potential and there were some flashes of brilliance in Muddy's 2016 season, it was obvious that he was our kind of hard-wired racer. At Hardline we got the chance to spend some time with him and the whole team became huge fans. We're really looking forward to seeing how the increased support impacts on his 2017 results." 

Muddy said: "2016 felt like a real turning point for me and I gained a lot of valuable experience but I know that with some more resources behind me I can be sitting at the pointy end of the results lists a lot more often. I am totally stoked to be riding with Trek Factory Racing DH, I'm beyond excited to join a team whose passion  and desire for success is everything I've ever dreamed of. I'm about as good a guy who has just landed his first gig in the World Cup team could be!"

But it's not just the rider roster that's' been transformed this season. 

Announcing Nick Grantham's appointment as the team's new Head Coach, Dan Brown said: "We interviewed a number of very high-level candidates but Nick's down to earth approach and his 20 years experience of working across 35 different sports coupled with his successes as a Nike Trainer really grabbed our attention. His coaching CV stretches from Olympic Gymnasts to professional golfers and his current work as Head of Strength and Conditioning with a Premiership Football Club. We've deliberately gone outside of the expected industry pool and already we're enjoying the benefits of applying a completely new philosophy and methods."

Nick Grantham said: "I share the ambitions for the team so like them I'm excited for 2017 but I'm under no illusion that we have work to do. We've already identified several areas where we believe we can chase improvements. We'll build on the excellent work put in place by outgoing Strength and Conditioning Coach Alan Milway and Darren Roberts before him but we can't sit back and do the same old, same old. I've been impressed at the rider's openness to new ideas and the enthusiasm they've brought to training and testing and I believe they have the ability to kick on again to a new level of performance."

The Atherton family will remain at the heart of Trek Factory Racing DH. 


Rachel Atherton hopes to continue her run of 13 consecutive World Cups and 2 consecutive World Championships and Gee is focusing on an intense regime of shoulder rehab after a frustrating 2016 for the double World Champion. 

Dan Atherton remains the "guiding light" of Atherton Racing, mentoring the team, the academy riders and sharing his vision and world-class bike handling skills with both siblings and new recruits. He will continue building epic tracks for the team's film projects and events such as Red Bull Hardline. 

Behind the scenes Team Director Dan Brown takes the rein for the 11th consecutive year with Joe Krejbich continuing as Head Technician for his 4th season with the team. Pete Michaliszyn wrenches for Gee for his 7th year. Gill Harris heads up communications and stuff for the sixth year running.

Doug Jones and Laura Robson of Altius Healthcare will take charge of physio and rehab for the fourth year running. 

Rachel Atherton said: "We're so lucky to have the consistency of this great team behind us, year after year we're free to concentrate on riding our bikes."

The team are delighted to head into 2017 with the same brilliant sponsors as 2016. Gee Atherton said: "Working with Trek Bikes this year has been an absolute revelation, their level of expertise and responsiveness has blown us away." Long term supporters Red Bull, Silverline Tools, Fox, Shimano, Jeep UK, IXS Sports, Bell Bike Helmets, Muc-Off, Stages Cycling, Hopetech, Bontrager, GoPro, Oakley, Polished Racing, Douchebags and DG Mills remain an integral part of the Trek Factory Racing DH set up. 

Images - Richard McGibbon, Szymon Nieborak and Dan Hearn 

Team BMR and Colin Turkington part company

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.

The full 2016 International Final race results can be found here: http://www.bbk-online.net/gpt/.

For further information about Greenpower, please visit www.greenpower.co.uk



Turkington does the double at season finale

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 Warren running 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 commentedWhen 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 commentedSilverstone 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 commentedSilverstone 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.”