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Motorsport

  • Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing secure first BTCC victory

    The Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team was able to celebrate a breakthrough victory after a dramatic opening to the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch.

    The team headed into the season opener with high hopes of success on track after a solid pre-season testing programme with the Honda Civic Type Rs it is campaigning for the first time this year.

    Fife racer Rory Butcher would enjoy a strong start to his season having qualified eleventh on the grid for the opening race of the year in a tricky session held in damp conditions on Saturday afternoon.

    Early morning rain on race day led to a gamble on tyres for the opening 24 lap encounter of the year, with Rory electing to go with wet tyres on his Honda – as was the case for most of the drivers ahead.

    Whilst that proved to be the wrong call as the anticipated heavier rain didn’t arrive, Rory fought hard to secure a top ten finish as the third best driver on wet tyres.

    An eighth place finish followed in race two on the less favourable soft tyre, with the reverse grid draw putting the Scotsman fourth on the grid for the final race of the weekend.

    Whilst he slipped back to fifth early on, Rory fought back ahead of Tom Ingram’s Toyota into fourth place and then took advantage of a battle between Stephen Jelley and Matt Neal to pass both drivers in one go exiting Graham Hill Bend on lap 16.

    Lapping quicker than leader Tom Chilton ahead, Rory set about trying to chase down his rival before eventually crossing the line in second place for his maiden podium finish. However, a post-session penalty for an on-track incident for Chilton then promoted Rory into first place – meaning a first victory for both driver and team.

    Rory also secured Jack Sears Trophy honours for the weekend thanks to his combined results across the three races.

    Leeds-based team-mate Sam Tordoff however endured a challenging start to his season as a result of an unidentified issue with his car that would hamper his challenge on race day.

    Despite an off in qualifying that resulted in him losing his quickest time, Sam had qualified ninth on the grid for race one only for his race to come to an end on lap two when on-track content damaged the rear suspension on his car.

    At the back of the field for race two as a result, Sam fought his way forwards to 19th place at the finish and then just missed out on the points with 16th in race three as he was unable to build on the pace shown throughout pre-season testing.

    Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type, said:
    “It isn’t the way that you want to win a race, but you need a bit of luck in the BTCC sometimes and I’ll certainly take it. I’m so pleased to be the person who gives the AmD team its first win, and it’s an amazing feeling to be able to call myself a BTCC race winner.

    “I’m delighted with the weekend as a whole as we battled back from qualifying. I stayed calm and tried to progress in each race, and I knew that we could take advantage of it we had the chance to be near the front.

    “I can’t thank the team enough and we showed strong pace in each race in different conditions. The only mistake was not to roll the dice on the tyres in race one, but it’s a nice feeling to have some silverware and I’m buzzing about the way things have gone.”

    Sam Tordoff, #600 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type, said:
    “It’s hard to know what to say about the weekend to be honest. We had such high hopes of a strong performance but there has been a fundamental issue on my car that we just haven’t been able to resolve.

    “We have to just put Brands Hatch behind us, and my season will start when we get to Donington Park in a few weeks time.”

    Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team principal:
    “This really has been a weekend of mixed emotions for us as a team. We came here with such high hopes of a strong performance for both drivers and the fact we were disappointed with our best ever qualifying performance shows how our expectations have been raised this year.

    “On one hand, I’m delighted for Rory with the results he had gained on track as he has done a great job and has shown why we rate him so highly as both a driver and a person. He’s been on the pace throughout race day and for him to take our first win is brilliant.

    “On the other, it’s so disappointing for Sam as he has been quick throughout testing and then when it mattered today, he has been unable to show it through no fault of his own. His car will be stripped down when we get back to base to get to the bottom of the issues there have been today, as the results are certainly down to something with the car rather than anything he has done behind the wheel.

    “When we get to Donington Park, we’ll look forward to both cars running towards the sharp end.”

  • Lomax gets 2019 British Rallycross season off to a Strong Start at Silverstone

    Craig Lomax and his XtremeRX team headed to the season opener at Silverstone looking to get the 2019 campaign off to a good start.

    The sun shone down on the Northampton circuit for the entire day, stark contrast to the artic conditions of a year ago. The Cobra Sport Exhaust backed driver recorded second fastest in class during free practice and went on to notch up a top three finish in Q1. However, in Q2 Lomax was forced to pull up after contact with another car during a racing incident caused damage to the steering.

    The Liqui Moly backed driver then secured a solid fifth place while ensuring he kept out of trouble during the mele at turn one in Q3. This earned him a second-row grid spot for the first final of the year. After a great start Lomax found himself firmly in the leading pack in fifth spot at turn one, a position he held onto for the duration of the race in what is shaping up to be a fiercely competitive Supernational field for 2019.

    The championship now moves to Lomax’s favourite circuit, Lydden Hill for its traditional Easter Monday fixture. Action gets underway at 09:00am.

    Craig Lomax, #24:

    ‘It was the first time we had driven the car with all the upgrades we made over the winter and it feels so good. It makes you wonder where we could have been if we hadn’t had the knock in Q2.

    I must say the work that Cobra Exhausts and Steven (Gault) have done takes Sabrina to a whole new level. We have a lot more to give this year’

  • Tordoff tops the time sheets on official BTCC test day

    Sam Tordoff - 2019 Kwik Fit BTCC Honda CivicCobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing drivers Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff kicked off the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship campaign in fine style yesterday, with Sam topping the time sheets and setting a new lap record on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit layout during the official season launch test day (March 27).

    Joining the 30-car BTCC line-up for the first time this year, Butcher and Tordoff set early benchmarks in the morning session with Sam leading the field and Rory only 0.146 seconds behind in P5 in the two Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type Rs.

    With lap times quickening in the afternoon session, Sam was the only driver to dip below the 48 second mark during his 170 laps, setting a new lap record of 47.927s on the 1.2mile Indy configuration.

    “I’m really happy with how today went. It’s been a great day. We knew this car was good. We’ve been fast in testing all year, but it’s nice to come here in front of everyone else and assess where we really are on the grid.

    “It’s the first time that I’ve been fastest in both the morning and afternoon sessions. It’s a good omen to start the season off. I’m very confident ahead of next week’s opening round. We have a good indication of where were going to be for the first race, and it’s very promising.

    Looking ahead to next weekend’s opening rounds, Tordoff concluded; “I couldn’t have asked for anymore. Big thanks to the Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance team. They’ve worked really hard this winter and we’re going to arrive with very different expectations of what’s possible.”

    The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season gets underway on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on April 6/7, with live race day coverage on ITV4, ITV4HD, and live online streaming via the itvHub.

  • Cobra Sport and Motorbase Performance racing ahead in the BTCC

    Leading performance exhaust specialists, Cobra Sport, join forces with another front-running BTCC team for 2019.

    Cobra Sport is proud to announce an exciting new technical partnership with Motorbase Performance for their 2019 BTCC campaign.

    Two Shredded Wheat-liveried Ford Focus RS’ driven by Ollie Jackson and Tom Chilton along with a ROKiT sponsored Focus RS driven by Nicolas Hamilton will compete in ten rounds of this hotly contested Championship – with all cars now running specially developed Cobra Sport race exhaust systems.

    With a proven track record at the highest levels of motorsport, Cobra Sport’s Motorsport Projects division was approached by Motorbase Performance to develop a bespoke exhaust system to meet the strict racing criteria.

    Developed at their Sheffield-based technical facility, with the assistance of sister company JP Exhausts, the brief was to produce a full system that would maximise performance of the Focus RS, while withstanding the rigours of a season of intense BTCC competition. The end result is a triumph of automotive engineering.

     

    Manufactured from ultra-resilient T304 stainless steel, the 3-inch mandrel-bent system has been precision TIG-welded to optimise gas flow and maximise strength. The profile of the exhaust’s side exit has been formed with additional strengthening to maintain ground clearance and withstand the rigours of the BTCC.

    With free-flowing silencers tuned to meet strict 115dB race-day limits, this bespoke competition system showcases Cobra Sport’s expert craftsmanship and industry-leading TIG-welding solutions. It incorporates the same high levels of quality and attention to detail that you’ll find on every single TIG-welded road-car application.

     

    Oly Collins Motorbase Performance Team Manager said: "We’re really pleased to announce our new technical partnership with Cobra Sport Exhausts. At Motorbase we’re very keen on loyal relationships with great technical partners. We have seen what Cobra Sport have been up to elsewhere in Motorsport and it’s a great time to join forces with them and start working together.”

    Cobra Sport have already tasted success at the top levels of British motorsport and also currently jointly run two Honda Civic Type Rs competing in the championship under the ‘Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing banner. Cobra Sport Exhausts look forward to building on this with Motorbase Performance in the 2019 BTCC.

    The first round of the 2019 Championship takes place at Brands Hatch on 06-07th April, with nine more races to follow.

  • Cobra Sport announce technical partnership with XtremeRX for British Rallycross Championship

    Cobra Sport XtremeRX Pembrey - British RallycrossKeen to expand its involvement with prominent UK Motorsport championships, Cobra Sport Exhausts can today announce a new technical partnership with the the XtremeRX Motorsport team in the Toyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship.

    Ahead of the new 2019 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross season Super 1600 championship contender Yorkshireman Craig Lomax and his XtremeRX Team are delighted to announce a partnership with Sheffield based Cobra Sport, who specialise in performance exhaust systems. Cobra Sport have a 40-year pedigree in motorsport developing exhaust systems and are best known for their involvement in the British Touring Car Championship and other circuit motorsport. They welcomed the chance to ply their technical skill to help Lomax further develop his Citroen C2 Super 1600 Rallycross car for the forthcoming season.

    Craig Lomax, #24:

    "Having the skills of the guys at Cobra come onboard is just amazing. We spent most of last season down on power and struggled to nail down the reason. Cobra came in and quickly made the changes necessary with the help of our engine builder Steven Gault and they were able to produce the bespoke proven manifold and exhaust system we will be running this year. It feels like a different car and we expect to be pushing at the front in 2019"

    Nick Cockman, Marketing Executive at Cobra Sport:

    Citroen C2 British Rallycross Exhaust Manifold by Cobra Sport"When the opportunity came up to work with Craig and his XtremeRX Motorsport team in the British Rallycross Championship we were delighted to be able to apply our technical expertise and experience to the car. We are excited to be involved in Rallycross and with such an ambitious team as XtremeRX.

    "Working closely with the engine design team, we were able to optimise the exhaust manifold design to significantly improve and enhance the gas flows restoring and enhancing the engine power. The new stainless steel race manifold and exhaust has been built to withstand the demands of the British Rallycross Championship, the new Cobra Sport exhaust system will put the team on the front foot going into the 2019 Championship."

     

    TheToyo Tires Motorsport UK British Rallycross Championship consists of eight events taking place across six weekends from March to October. Round one of the 2019 season takes place at Silverstone on the 24th March around a specially built Rallycross course on the Stowe circuit.

     

  • Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing chasing success with 2019 BTCC line-up

    Shaun Hollamby Sam Tordoff Rory Butcher Cobra Sport AmD BTCCThe Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing team will go into the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship fully focused on challenging for top honours after confirming its driver line-up for the 2019 campaign.

    The team will field a pair of race-winning Honda Civic Type Rs in the UK’s leading series next year and will head into the new season in better shape than ever before after concluding deals with two of the leading drivers on the grid.

    Fife racer Rory Butcher will return for a second season in AmD colours having joined the team at the start of 2018 for what was his first full year of touring car competition.

    Now armed with one of the strongest packages on the BTCC grid, Rory will seek to add his name to the list of race winners and launch a bid for championship silverware.

    In a real signal of Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s intent for the season ahead, Rory will be joined in the two-car line-up by Yorkshireman Sam Tordoff who joins the team for what will be his sixth full season in the series.

    The 29-year-old made his BTCC debut back in 2010 in a one-off drive before joining the grid on a full-time basis in 2013, having previously enjoyed success in the Renault Clio Cup UK and the Porsche Carrera Cup.

    Having finished as series runner-up in 2016, Sam spent a season in GT racing before returning to touring cars this year with Motorbase - taking eleventh in the standings and ending the campaign with the best qualifying average on the grid and a race win at Silverstone.

    Like Rory, Sam has his sights firmly fixed on challenging for championship silverware with an outright title bid being the ultimate aim.

    Rory and Sam will make their race debuts in the Hondas when the 2019 season kicks off at Brands Hatch in early April.

    Rory Butcher, #6 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
    “This year for me was all about gaining experience in the BTCC and learning the ropes after so long racing in GT cars. My aim was to build towards getting into a top package for 2019 to push forwards up the grid, and I’m delighted that I can do that and also stay with Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing to build on what we achieved this year. I have to thank Shaun, the team and all of my sponsors for making that possible.

    “You only have to look at the stats for the Honda in recent years to see how well it has performed and on paper, there is huge potential for us to do some big things on track in 2019. It’s a big step up for both the team and I, and I’m confident that this package will give us a great chance of success. Certainly, I think it would be silly of me to not aim for podiums and race wins and I’ll also be looking at the bigger picture of getting as many points on the board as we can to see where it leaves us come the end of the season.

    “It’s also great to have Sam coming onboard and I don’t think I could wish for a better team-mate. We enjoyed some good races together when I was with Celtic Speed in the Carrera Cup, and since he moved into the BTCC he has shown himself to be one of the top drivers with his results on track.

    Sam Tordoff, #600 Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing Honda Civic Type R, said:
    “The Honda is a car that I’ve wanted to race for some time and when Gordon Shedden beat me to the title in one, it only increased my desire to see what it was like. To be honest, I didn’t think it was going to happen and it wasn’t something that was on my radar, but then this deal with Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing came along and I couldn’t be more excited.

    “I’m sure there will be some people who are surprised by this move and whilst there is some appeal in going into 2019 as an underdog, the reality is that I have one aim and that is to fight for the championship title. I showed strong pace on track in 2018 but things just didn’t go my way and eleventh in the standings wasn’t what I was looking for – and it isn’t what I’m chasing next year.

    “Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing have put a lot of investment into not only getting the cars, but in strengthening the team behind the scenes in order to move to the next level and there can be no excuses. The Honda was on pole for the final round of 2018 and won races, so we have to be aiming to do the same from the outset and I’m confident we can raise a few eyebrows when the season gets underway – and will only get stronger as the year goes on.

    “It was also important for me to know that I’d have a strong team-mate alongside me and that is exactly what I have in Rory. Some of his performances in the MG this year were above where the car should have been and I think we’ll form a strong partnership. In my eyes, with everything that Shaun and AmD have pulled together for this programme, there is no weak link.”

    Shaun Hollamby, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing joint team principal, said:
    “From the moment we agreed a deal to purchase the two Hondas, our focus has been on making sure we signed the right drivers who would give us the best chance of success on track in 2019. In Rory and Sam, I’m confident we have found the ideal pairing and we are massively excited about what we can achieve together next season.

    “We knew when we brought Rory onboard this year that he was a top quality driver and his performances in the MG were outstanding. He fitted in with the team immediately and keeping him for a second season was a priority. Given the fact he now has a year of experience under his belt, I have no doubt at all that Rory will be a real contender for podium finishes and race wins.

    “To bring in a driver of the calibre of Sam is fantastic for us as a team and we are expecting big things from him at the wheel of the Honda. He brings experience from running with three of BTCC’s top teams and is a proven race winner who has consistently shown himself to be one of the quickest drivers on the grid. He is also well aware of what needs to be done to build a championship challenge, and that has to be his target in 2019.

    “Alongside the cars and the drivers, we have been working behind the scenes to strengthen our engineering team and made investments in the facilities back at base, which are an indication of how seriously we are taking this programme. Whilst the BTCC remains as competitive as ever, we aren’t here to make up the numbers and are fully focused on fighting at the sharp end of the grid and battling for silverware.”

    Rachel Abbott, Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing joint team principal, said:

    “I’m delighted that we have been able to have secure both Sam and Rory for the 2019 season as we embark on a new challenge with the Hondas.

    “A driver of Sam’s calibre is a great addition to the team and he brings a wealth of BTCC experience as well as a history of excellent results in the series. It is exciting to see what Rory is capable of at the wheel of the Honda after a solid season in the MG this year and I’m sure that as a pair, they will produce some fantastic results next year.

    “I’m really looking forward to working with them both.”

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