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2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Calendar

The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series calendar was unveiled on 10/11 and features 12 rounds in six American-themed NASCAR GP on the best European tracks cementing Euro NASCAR’s position among the best touring car series outside North America.

Built in continuity with a very successful 2017 season, which saw more than 60 top level drivers representing 21 countries on the grid to battle door to door for the NWES crown and delight hundreds of thousands of fans with the best racing in Europe, the 2018 Euro NASCAR schedule will include 6 different countries: Spain, Italy, Great Britain, France, Germany and Benelux.

A key change is the creation of a new international event that will take place in Tours, France where drivers from all over the world will compete to measure their skills against American guest-stars in the Oval World Challenge. The second major evolution is a new venue for the Semi Finals that will be hosted by the legendary Hockenheimring in Germany, building on the success of the first American Fan Fest.

“We are really proud to offer European fans, teams, drivers and partners this very well-balanced calendar, a great mix between some of the most iconic names in Motorsports – Hockenheim, Brands Hatch, Valencia and Zolder – and emerging high-action short tracks such as Tours and Franciacorta. We all share a common vision to make every NASCAR GP a unique fan experience and provide great family fun on and around the track. In just a few years, the NWES events have emerged as some of the best and most attractive in Europe. Pure racing and great fun are in our DNA and we will keep pushing this way!” said NWES President / CEO Jerome Galpin.

Spain and the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo will once again open the season on April 14-15 with the fourth edition of the Valencia NASCAR Fest, an event that has quickly become a classic in the NWES calendar.

On May 19-20 the Euro NASCAR will head to Brescia for the second event of the season at the Autodromo di Franciacorta. The Italian track’s compact layout provides the fans with a spectacular view and action-packed races.

A new King Of Brands Hatch will be crowned at the historic Indy Circuit in the context of the hugely popular American SpeedFest on June 9-10. One of the most coveted events in the calendar, the British festival is the longest running NWES event and will reach the sixth edition in 2018.

On June 30 and July 1 the city of Tours in France will host the new Oval World Challenge. The sole NASCAR oval race outside of North America will bring tons of excitement to the European fans. A unique prize and a special format for the event will be presented in the upcoming weeks.

For the first time in the Series history, Germany will host the Semi Finals on September 15-16 at Hockenheimring and represent a turning point in the season for the drivers chasing the European NASCAR title by awarding double points.

On October 20-21 the NWES season will once again reach its culmination in Belgium at Circuit Zolder, with the challenging 4 Km track hosting the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series Finals for the fourth consecutive year in front a huge crowd.

Well spread on the map, the 2018 NWES calendar will offer every race fan an opportunity to enjoy the unrivalled atmosphere of a NASCAR GP and grant drivers a variety of racing experiences: from the high speeds of Hockenheim or Zolder to the bumper-to-bumper action of Brands Hatch and  Oval Tours. Only the best of the best will be the 2018 Euro NASCAR champion. Save the dates race fans!

Click here for more info! 

Red Bull Hardline

Red Bull Hardline 


Sunday dawned bright – to the massive relief of course creator Dan and all of the riders!

The initial field was slightly reduced by injuries, illness and riders making the call not to ride so Darren Berrecloth, Bruce Klein, Charlie Hatton, Gareth Brewin, Yoann Barelli, Sam Reynolds and Gee were all watching from the comfort of the Red Bull teepee.

Gee said:“ I’m so gutted not to be able to race, if there was anyway that I could ride I’d do it – but I came down hard on my shoulder during practice yesterday and its going to need some time off the bike.”

So 13 riders lined up for the qualifying run, a bigger Finals field than ever before. Because the course is mega open at the top and the winds were increasingly strong the decision was taken  to start just before the cannon. This cuts out a very wet technical section and gives a long straight run to the cannon with a flag to help the riders judge the wind. –but it does mean that the riders are straight into one of the gnarliest jumps on the course.  

Graeme Mudd was the first to go up for his qualifying run, he said: “That was pretty chilled, I just tried to be consistent, didn’t push too hard and did the jumps as fast as I could. “

2nd rider Oscar Harnstrom went over the bars when he landed on a root just after the step up but 3rd rider Bernard Kerr went into the hotseat in 2.29.66. Craig Evans put in a stylish ride to go into 2nd 2.33 – enough for an eventual 4th.

Then Dan was on course, Dan’s riding is always super smooth but even he was forced to dab a foot and pick his way through several sections crossing into 3rd.

Dan said “ I was scared at the top ,  everyone is scared. This is definitely the hardest year – the fact that we had to move the start proves that.

This year there would just be 10 qualifiers out of 13 riders so tension mounted as the last 4 riders came on track.

Al Bond crossed into 8th place, would it be enough? Brage Vestavik stalled on the rocks losing valuable time and crossed into 10th, but Kaos Seagrave bettered him by 9 seconds, Dave McMillan couldn’t do enough finishing a heartbreaking 11th and then final rider Alexander Fayolle roared into 3rd

Finals

First off was Kaos Seagrave – he looked very comfortable and stylish all the way down to the road gap, the course had clearly dried out since the morning’s qualifications. The bottom section saw him make a few minor mistakes, he landed nose heavy over the Final jump but stayed on board for 2.45.40. 

Al Bond was next, he rode smoothly until he made a big mistake just before the road gap. Unsettled, he pulled up in the next rocks to regain his composure before the road gap  - nevertheless he was less than 5 seconds back – 2.49.99 – enough for 9th today.

Laurie Greenland had the start of light rain on his run, he had a big stall but recovered well 2.36.26.
Then came the first of our Trek Factory Racing riders, Muddy started fast, 1.55 at the split, he looked relative smooth all the way – 2.36.73  and crossed into 2nd!

Our former team mate Taylor Vernon was next, he was caught out a little bit on the slippery ricks but still pushed on looking super quick and active on the bike, he went down in the technical section crossing the line 10 seconds back 2.45.96. 

And then the creator of Hardline was on course. Dan was super smooth all the way, he was up at the split, flowing down the mountain to take the hotseat by 2 seconds, but he said himself as he crossed the line that in this fast company it wouldn’t be enough.

Alexandre Fayolle crashed out here in practice last year – he has been fearless this year but he lost the front on a slippery root and went down, his concentration broken he went down again, finishing the race just for the enjoyment of the crowd.

Then there were two – 2016 Hardline winner Bernard Kerr started big but soon got into trouble in the technical section, he became unseated and had to run after his bike.  He regained his composure, and  started to make amends, looking fast, but another mistake a couple of feet down before the road gap cost him some time eventually crossing into 2ndplace.

After his run Bernard said: “ It was like ice up there, the difference from even half an hour ago was ridiculous.”

Would Dan be able to hold onto 3rdplace for the second time in the history of the race? Adam Brayton lost a foot through the first  technical section, the crowd gasped as he made another mistake before the split but he was still 0.6 up at the split  - he went down just before the road gap. Craig Evans took the win.

Results

1 Craig Evans 2.31.29
2 Bernard Kerr 2.33.30
3 Dan Atherton 2.33.73
6 Graeme Mudd 2.36.73


Jerry De Weerdt To Make American NASCAR Debut

Fresh off his second Legend Trophy title in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Jerry De Weerdt will become the 16th NWES driver to compete in NASCAR in the US today by making his debut in the final race of the K&N Pro Series West at Kern County Raceway Park, California. 

Success in the European NASCAR series translates into the best opportunities to race in the United States and racing on Bakerfield's half-mile oval will represent De Weerdt another step towards fulfilling his dream of competing at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. 


The Belgian will count on the experience he gained in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to quickly adapt to the #14 Braxx Motors Ford Fusion fielded by Patriot Motorsports and owned by Jesse Iwuji. The goal for the weekend is to log miles and learn as much as possible in the highly competitive K&N Pro Series West. 

"I've been thinking about racing in the US for a while and finally here we are thanks to NASCAR, NWES and Joe Balash (NASCAR International Liaison)," said De Weerdt, who earned 3 top-10 finishes in four races this year in the Euro NASCAR oval racing weekend at Raceway Venray. 

"The track looks a little bit like Venray but has less banking and is wider so I think I can find a good feeling. The race also fits well with our schedule because we closed the European season last month. It will take some time to adjust to a new car, but it's great to be able to enter such a competitive race already knowing what to expect thanks to our experience in NWES and I would be happy to stay out of trouble, finish the race and try to move forward."


De Weerdt's 2017 season in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series has been extremely positive. Braxx Racing's team owner won his second consecutive Legend Trophy title in the Elite 2 Division with the 10th place in the final points standings and finished 14th in points in Elite 1. His Braxx Racing team also grabbed its first NASCAR win in the Elite 1 Division with Marc Goossens and the #90 Ford Mustang in the Circuit Zolder Finals, testifying the team's continuous progress.

"It's been such a great year and with a fantastic Finals weekend we proved we're a winning team, so this race in the US is the perfect ending for our season," concluded De Weerdt. "We are building our new headquarters in Belgium and we'll also put together a new car for Marc so we'll have a lot of work ahead of us in the offseason but we can't wait to be back on track. I hope Marc can be with us for the full season in 2018 and battle for the NWES title and we are also looking for an ELITE 2 driver to race alongside him."

Credits: NASCAR Whelen Euro Series / Stephane Azemard

Red Bull Foxhunt

Gee smashes through the ranks into 9th place at Red Bull Foxhunt, Rostrevor Ireland

450 riders descended on Rostrevor in the Mourne Mountains over the weekend for one of the craziest mass start races ever seen – this year riders had to avoid not one Fox but three Foxes! Fast ones at that with double World Champion Gee leading out the fox-pack joined by current World Champ Loic Bruni and last year’s winner Colin Ross!

At 3.5 miles long it was also plenty physical! Gee said: "The level of testosterone at the top of that hill was immense, everyone was roaring! We even had the Dire Wolves from Game of Thrones up there!"

Gee placed 9th, ahead of 395 other riders. Colin Ross placed 17th and Loic Bruni, the third Fox, was 18th. Kelan Grant the 24 year old Irish Enduro champion from Omagh clinched the win after opening up a gap in the top climb.

Results

I Kelan Grant 6.47.57

2 James McFerron 7.10.76 +23.19

3 Conor Bate 7.20.75 +33.18

9 Gee Atherton 7.44.81 +57.245

17 Colin Ross 8.31.247 1.43.67

18 Loic Bruni      8.31.247 + 1.44.00

The Fourth Female Red Bull Foxhunt

The 2017 Red Bull Foxhunt was seriously muddy!  250 women flocked to Machynlleth in Wales for an awesome weekend that felt more like a festival than a race. The atmosphere at Foxhunt is famously supportive, never more needed than at this year’s event where conditions made the riding difficult.

Katy Winton did an absolutely top job as the fox while Rachel was on hand with loads of tips and encouragement and Trek Factory Racing mechanics Sam and Joe fixed, tweaked and advised for hundreds of riders who dropped by for a chat and a helping hand.  

Practice was hilarious, queues for the B lines erupting into laughter and qualifying was tough with some riders choosing not to ride again after the arduous morning, about 170 riders took the uplift to the top. 

Rachel said: “ Everybody here can do this, even in the mud, its just having the confidence to have a go.”  

So in the final reckoning 190 women took to the mass start grid, Fox Katy was wild, overtaking all but 20 of the riders in some impossible situations, Atherton Academy’s Mille smashed it into 1st and Atherton Racing’s Gill was happy to survive in 163rd– despite some serious heckling and several crashes!

Mille said: “Woohoo that was super mega fun! So stoked to take the win at the Red Bull Foxhunt and to hang out with all these awesome women!” 


Results

1 Mille Johnset Atherton Academy 3.50
2 Rosy Monagahan  4.23 +33s
3 Claire Bennett 4.25 +35s
21 Katy Winton 5.41 + 1.51 

Photo credits: Red Bull Content Pool / Olaf Pignataro / Romina Amato 

British Sailing Team News: Saxton and Dabson win first foiling Nacra 17 world title

Saxton and Dabson win first foiling Nacra 17 world title

Ben Saxton and Katie Dabson have claimed gold at the first ever foiling Nacra 17 World Championship which grew to a close in dramatic fashion at La Grande Mote, France on Sunday (10th September). 

The mixed multihull duo are the second British Sailing Team crew to be crowned World Champions in the space of a week, with Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell winning the 49er world title in Portugal last weekend. 

And Saxton and Dabson are the only second set of names ever to grace the Nacra 17 World Champions roll of honour, with France's Billy Besson - Marie Riou the only previous titleholders in four previous editions since the class's introduction in 2013 in its pre-foiling era.

"It's unbelievable. It;s every dream come true!" said Rio Olympian Saxton after the medal race.

"I've never been an Olympic classes World Champion before. Well done to Katie, and thanks to our coaches Hugh and Derek and to National Lottery funding from back at home. It's awesome!"

Saxton and Dabson went in to the final day of competition wearing the yellow leaders' jerseys, but with two fleet races still to go to determine qualifiers for the top ten medal race positions, there could be no let up, with Saxton admitting that successes of his British 49er colleagues last week spurring him on. 

He laughed: "I thought if Dylan and Stu can do it and James and Fynn got a medal as well then I thought I'd better buck my ideas up!" 

Saxton and Dabson picked up 10,11 from their two final fleet races to book their place in the medal showdown in second place, but with the top three crews from Italy, Britain and Spain effectively all level-pegging in the chase for gold.

After a short delay, the medal race got underway in gusty and shifty 20 knot conditions, with drama unfolding as early as the first mark with a collision between the series-leading Italian crew of Ruggero Tita-Caterina Banti and the second Spanish boat of Iker Martinez-Olga Maslivets resulting in the Spaniard’s rig collapsing and neither boat able to finish the race.

The Italian crew were out of contention for gold, but it was far from over for Saxton and Dabson, who had Spain’s Fernando Echavarri-Tara Pacheco breathing down their necks in the Championship chase.

Saxton and Dabson crossed the finish line in second place behind Germany’s Paul Kohlhoff-Alica Stuhlemmer but narrowly ahead of the Spanish team, and it was enough to hand them the victory in what was only their third regatta together.

“We had two races this morning and they didn’t go completely as we’d have liked them,” Dabson explained.

“We’d have quite liked to have a bit more of a gap but we went into the medal race pretty much with whoever won the medal race out of the top three would have won, so we had a little bit on, but we kept our cool and raced our boat. We knew what we had to do and we went out and did it.”

“We had about every emotion going,” Saxton added. “We didn’t have a great start so we were playing catch up and got back in to it down the first run. Fernando and Tara then overtook us going up the second beat and we went for it down the last run and we got them."

John Gimson and Anna Burnet also made the cut for the final medal race, finishing sixth overall, with Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface finishing 16th, Chris Rashley-Laura Marimon 18th and Rupert White-Kirstie Urwin 25th.


At Hungary's Lake Balaton earlier on Sunday, however, there was disappointment for Ed Wright in his quest for a second World Championship title at the Finn Gold Cup.

Bournemouth's Wright sailed a solid week amid testing conditions and two days lost to lack of wind, to qualify for the medal race in the silver medal position.


But a sixth place in the ten-boat medal final race meant Wright narrowly missed out on the podium spots, finishing on equal points with the Netherlands’ Nick Heiner but missing out on the bronze on count back.


Sweden’s Max Salminen took gold, with silver going to France’s Jonathan Lobert.

“It’s been a very eventful regatta,” Wright surmised. “I started off very well but then managed to get myself a bad result in the second race which was kind of a noose around my neck the whole week.  


“It was very difficult to try and be extreme at all, and here it definitely pays to be extreme because sides of the course come in and if you’re not there then you kind of get left behind.”


He continued: “I think I managed pretty well to go into the medal race in silver medal position and actually I thought it might be time for another Gold Cup win.  I felt good and my speed was good as well.  I just got a bit unlucky on the start. I wasn’t really that punchy.” 

“Heiner got away and if he won the race I needed to be pretty high up – fifth and I was sixth so it was pretty close.  It’s impressive that the whole top four finished within three points of each other. It was very good, close racing and it’s just a shame that I was the unlucky one.”

The British Sailing Team’s Henry Wetherell concluded the event in 12th, Ben Cornish was 21st, Pete McCoy 41st and Hector Simpson 46th.


Image: Ben Saxton and Katie Dabson  Credit: Didier Hillaire  



Race Report – World Champs 2017: Top 20 for Gee

World Champs 2017: Top 20 for Gee!

Cairns dealt the most brutal blows to the Trek Factory contingent of the British Cycling Team this weekend with both Rachel Atherton and Kade Edwards injured during Friday's timed training day, Rachel sustained a broken collarbone when she clipped a bank in the top turns and went OTB and Kade went down hard on the big jumps knocking himself unconscious. Both withdrew from the Finals on medical advice. 

Rachel said: "Absolutely devastated doesn't even come close. I was having so much fun on track, attacking, loving the speed. I felt like my old self for the first time in months but a broken collarbone puts an end to me defending my World Champs title. Thanks so much to Mick and Tracey Hannah for getting me up and walking me to safety."

Kade said: "I had a big crash on a fast bit, landed on my head and was out for at least 10 seconds so the doctors say I can't race. I feel pretty bad right now but I'll live to fight another day. Good luck to all the boys."

In the Junior Men's race the British team reigned supreme with 1st, 2nd and 5th places going to Matt Walkers, Joe Breeden and Kaos Seagrave.

In the Junior Women's race, GB's Maya Atkinson was 11th in 4.53.44.

Then then women were on track  - and with the reigning World Champ cruelly sidelined there was everything to play for - and drama levels were high. All of the British hopes were now pinned on Tahnee Seagrave but they were dashed as our remaining female elite rider pushed a little too hard and crashed out - ending up in 10th place. 

Local heroine Tracey Hannah looked sure to take the hot seat until she washed out on a high inside line, she lay stunned for a couple of seconds before scrambling back onto the bike, perhaps long enough to lose her the race. Tracy finished 2nd but a timing complication meant that Myriam Nicole was promoted after the race with Tracey moving into 3rd. Pompon had made no mistakes but was recorded 4.7 seconds off the pace by the first split. A review of the back up timing placed her just 0.097 back from the winner Miranda Miller (Canada) who stepped outside of the general chaos with a fast and consistent run. 

World Champs has a slightly different format in that seeding is dictated by current standings. Gee's 9th place in timed training put him at the forefront of the British squad and he was feeling confident as he headed up the hill. By the time of the Men's race the course was getting even looser with lots of riders stumbling in the corners - the Aussie riders relished the dry, dusty conditions, dominating the results table with 4 out of the top 6 places! Sam Hill was first down the mountain and seemed to take up residence in the hot seat! 

Gee has a solid run and crossed into second place, 3.37 back from Sam, enough for 18th on the day, Gee said: "I'm stoked. After the injury (a hip dislocation at Fort William) I'm delighted to be here and my goal was for top 20 this weekend. Thanks to Trek, Fox, all the sponsors and team GB for the support and of course my right hand man Polish Pete!" 



Results 

Elite Men

1 Loïc Bruni (FRA) 3:26.656
2 Mick Hannah (AUS) 3:26.995
3 Aaron Gwin (USA) 3:28.623
4 Jack Moir (AUS) 3:29.257
5 Troy Brosnan (AUS) 3:29.649
18 Gee Atherton (GBR) 3.35.715

Elite Women 

1 Miranda Miller (CAN) 4:10.245
2 Myriam Nicole (FRA) 4:10.342
3 Tracey Hannah (AUS) 4:12.230
4 Eleonora Farina (FRA) 4:15.168
5 Danielle Beecroft (AUS) 4:19.361

Junior Men 

1 Matt Walker (GBR) 3:37.788
2 Joe Breeden (GBR) 3:41.244
3 Max Hartenstern (GER) 3:41.774
4 Sylvain Cougoureux (FRA) 3:42.154
5 Kaos Seagrave (GBR) 3:42.758

Junior Women 

1 Melanie Chappaz (FRA) 4:28.617
2 Shania Rawson (NZL) 4:31.318
3 Flora Lesoin (FRA) 4:35.552
4 Beatrice Migliorini (ITA) 4:38.098

5 Ellie Smith (AUS) 4:43.581 

Trek Factory Racing Downhill: Val di Sole The 2017 World Cup Series is in the books

Race Report : World Cup 2017 Round 7- Val di Sole The 2017 World Cup Series is in the books. 

Val di Sole is steep and it's rough, it's super tough on bikes and riders with roots, rocks, bomb holes and loose slippery corners all taking their toll. 

There was the constant threat of storms but this weekend at least the weather was king - all racers had good conditions with the deluge holding off until 30 minutes after the men's race.

In the qualifications run our junior rider Kade Edwards fell foul of one of the Black Snake's slippery corners when he washed out in a turn between the first and seconds splits and went down hard. Unhurt, he went into the finals run fully prepped and confident of a result. 

In his own words, Kade "came out of the start gate a mess". Off the pace from the start, he made up some ground in the mid sections but then a crash put paid to his hopes for a great result. 

Kade finished 10th and sits in 5th place in the overall standings - the highest ranked first year rider and a solid first season on the Factory team.

In the Women's race, Rachel was still riding at less than 100%, unable to fully trust her shoulder on this extraordinarily technical track. Rachel was enjoying her racing as she'd promised, finding lots of chances to chat to fans and hang out with her fellow racers but she couldn't match the top girls for pace with Tahnee Seagrave taking her third World Cup of the season while Rachel was pleased to come down in tact. Finishing in 4th place and sitting 4th place overall in the standings - not bad going with Fort William and Leogang missing from her score sheet. 

In the Men's race Muddy had qualified 48th and was looking forward to improving on that by some margin in the Finals race. He was riding strongly all weekend and hoped to continue his form from Mont St Anne but in another hideous piece of luck he contracted a stomach bug. The team worried he hadn't been able to keep any food down and wouldn't have the reserves required for such a brutal race run but at first it appeared things were going our boy's way, until he got hooked up in a turn after the 3rd split and went over the bars. 


67th today and 59th overall, not where he wanted to be after his first season as a pro rider. Muddy said: the stomach bug struck me hard. I struggled to eat anything today leaving me with no energy. I can't believe the season is over - I'm already thinking about how to prepare for 2018, I know I'll keep striving for the results I know are there for me". 

Next, Gee was on course. It's been a tough season for him following his hip dislocation at Fort William, realistically he's still not at full fitness and was unlikely to feature highly over the weekend. Having won two World Cups previously here, he was determined to push on and enjoy the return of some of his Val di Sole pace. 

Gee finished 24th and 43rd in the overall rankings having missed 3 rounds this season. Gee said "it's not the greatest World Cup Series but  I'm getting stronger every race and there's still everything to play for the at World Champs". 

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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WIN tickets to NASS Festival 2017

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 midday on 29th June 2017

5. All winners must be following Silverline Tools on Twitter

6. No winner shall be chosen more than once

7. The competition runs from Monday 26th June until Wednesday 28th June at 5pm. 

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 VIP 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)


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 [email protected] 

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)